On my way back from Jordan, I booked a business class ticket using my Aeroplan points. Air Canada’s Boeing 777-300ER business class is my favorite. Also known as Air Canada Signature Class Cabin, I was looking forward to a smooth flight and try out the FRA Air Canada Maple Leaf lounge.
I checked-in with Lufthansa in Amman for the Amman to Frankfurt leg. A pretty swift process. I boarded the Airbus 321 Neo at 4am and fell asleep the entirety of the flight. One cannot really speak of a business class experience on a regional plane like this. Quite disappointing for me, but particularly for those who paid in cash.
Flight information and cost of Air Canada Signature Class Cabin
Airline: Air Canada (AC)
Flight time: 07:45
From: Frankfurt – FRA
To: Montreal – YUL
Date: February 2022
Total miles paid: 70,000
Total price/taxes/fees: C$186
Full routing: AMM-FRA-YUL
Booking Class: Business Class
Booked via: Aeroplan (Air Canada)
Date of booking: January 2022
Documents verification at the FRA lounge
After a confusing transit run in Frankfurt airport, I finally made it to the Air Canada Maple Leaf lounge. It was a busy morning. The first thing that came to my attention was the staff. They were well trained, smiling and available.
At the front desk, the agent took the time to do a final document verification to insure I was allowed to embark: ARRIVECan, proof of negative PCR test certificate and ID. Good thing I got that settled and behind me. Indeed COVID-19 travel has added a layer of stress. Now I was ready to recover from my Lufthansa red-eye.
I had a quick breakfast then headed straight to the shower. The shower facility was shining clean and spacious. I had a comfortable hot shower and took my time.
I was clean, had new clothes on and ready to head to the gate.
Sadly Frankfort feels like an American airport. Tight spaces, low ceiling and dense traffic that make for a messy boarding. But I was lucky to get priority boarding right after families with young kids and passengers that need assistance. Therefore, I did not have to undergo economy class boarding.
Off I went to my assigned seat 10A, right next to the Boeing 777’s huge GE engine. Yes, I’m an avgeek as well.
The inflight menu was available in English, French and German. Here are the details of what offered on the flight:
Halibut and smoked salmon, lentil and quinoa salad, dill mustard mayonnaise
Served with fresh seasonal green salad and bread
Beef fillet, veal cream sauce, fennel mashed potatoes,
Roasted chicken, sweet chilli and coriander sauce, bok choy, rice
Salmon, fish velouté, rice with red quinoa, bell peppers, pea shoots
Rucola filled pasta, creamy tomato sauce
CHEESE & DESSERT
Selection of cheese, crackers
Fresh seasonal fruit
Chocolate crumble cake
Served with espresso, cappuccino, coffee and selection of tea
Tyrolean ham slices, salami, sausage, pasta summer salad
Fruit salad, bread, chocolate
There was a drinks menu as well:
CHAMPAGNES AND WINES
Laurent-Perrier Champagne Brut, France
Loimer Lois Gruner Veltliner, Kamptal, Austria
Henry of Pelham, Chardonnay, Niagara Peninsula, Canada
Zuccardi Los Olivos, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mendoza, Argentina
Domodimonto I AM, Marche, Italy
James Bryant Hill, Pinot Noir, California
Dow’s Port, Portugal
Spirits, liqueurs and beers
Smirnoff Vodka, Tanqueray Gin, Bacardi White Rum, Johnnie Walker Black, Jim Beam Bourbon, Courvoisier VS, Grand Marnier, Crown Royal Whisky, Baileys Irish Cream, Heineken, Molson Canadian, Coors Light.
I discovered that the dine on demand option was available after the meal. It would’ve been nice to get that information from the cabin crew, especially when they came over to write down my choice of main course.
Snacks were served swiftly after take off despite a bit of turbulence. I asked for a glass of Laurent-Perrier champagne. It came with a bag of Bad Monkey pop corn. Although a napkin was provided, it wasn’t the case for the coaster.
Snack and drink were served swiftly with very little eye contact. I hate it when I feel the staff rushes through service in business class while the cabin is half empty. Level of service on Air Canada premium cabin is still lacking. It’s definitely a breaking point from the service I got at the lounge.
Overall, the food was tasty and healthy: great fish offering and vegetables. The chocolate crumble was a bit dry but very flavourful. I recommend to have it tea.
Verdict on the Air Canada Signature Class Cabin
The Air Canada Signature Class Cabin is a great product. The seat is comfortable, IFE has a reasonable array of choice while the belt could be more comfortable.
Inflight quality of service remains Air Canada Achilles’ heel. Serving business class patrons cannot be done in the same manner as in a cafeteria setting. Staff need to be less mechanical and more responsive and interactive. Many factors can explain this service gap. My personal theory, and I could be wrong, is linked to the fact that the more senior staff works these premium intercontinental flights. Staff that is more resistant to change and demonstrates a jaded behaviour. However, that won’t stop me from flying intercontinental business on Air Canada.