A lot goes into a business class experience, the hard product, service on-board, value of cash or miles paid to purchase the ticket, etc. Unfortunately, my trip on this Air Canada Business Class Embraer 175 was simply disappointing and left me wondering if this was a bad use of Aeroplan miles to begin with.
Air Canada Business Class Embraer 175
Flight: AC 7585 St. John’s (YYT) – Montreal (YUL)
Aircraft: Embraer 175
Duration: 2hr 41min
I headed to the gate after a quick bite at the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge in YYT . Boarding was prompt and the procedures were smooth with priority access. It had rained for a good part of the day, so did not have much of a view during taxi.
While the seats in the business class cabin were plush, it was disconcerting how worn-out and dated the product was. If you pay attention to the corner of the seats in the picture below, you can see the seat cushions coming off the seats. To be clear, the seats were comfortable to sit on but the aesthetics were horrendous.
The cabin had a 1-2 layout with 12 business class seats in total. The leg room was plenty and it was easy to stretch out without reclining the chair.
The in flight entertainment units were old but adequate. As is standard, Air Canada enRoute offers a great selection of programs. I was spoilt for choice on this 3 hour flight.
The armrest between the seats was wide and well cushioned for comfort. The drink holder was adequate for the water and the welcome drink.
The food and beverage service was smooth and the flight staff was exceptional, as expected with Air Canada.
I had pre-ordered a special vegan meal on this flight. While I was elated to hear that my special meal order had made it on-board, I was horrified at the sight of it. Boiled vegetables with raw tofu and plain white rice was not what I had in mind for a meal. Why does Air Canada equate vegan to tasteless and bland? It is meals like this that create the stereotype of vegan meals being awful. This certainly was. Just as bad as the vegan meal served on my flight from Montreal to St. John’s, if not worse. I was glad it was a short flight and the staff was sympathetic to the situation and offered me an extra plate of fruits. And more beer 🙂
Between the falling apart seats and the sorry excuse of a meal, unfortunately I do not have any fond memories of that flight. Landing at Montreal was uneventful, and I was happy to get out.
Pro-Tip: Aeroplan clumps everything east of Quebec as “one province/state”, thus Montreal to any Canadian maritime province or Atlantic Canada is a ‘short-haul flight’. 7500 miles one-way in economy or 15000 mile one-way in Business Class. Given Aeroplan’s generous routing rules on round-trips, its easy to build a multi-city itinerary for short-haul redemption. These tickets otherwise can run hundreds of dollars given the expensive seasonal demand in the region.
We paid 30K Aeroplan miles for each seat and would not recommend to do the same. The 15K economy seat is definitely the sweet spot on these short routes. The food served in-flight fell terribly short of being edible. It is sad to report that Air Canada operates sub-par fleet on these routes. But do not let that dictate your judgement on what Atlantic Canada and the Canadian Maritime offers its visitors, it is a gem of a region and one I would highly recommend.