Hello from Montreal, as I’ve just embarked on a review trip to Oman! To kick off this journey, I flew Air Canada’s Airbus A220-300 business class from Miami to Montreal (which I booked using Aeroplan points).
While I’ll have a full trip report soon, in this post I wanted to share my initial impressions of the experience on this three hour flight, as this was my first time flying on Air Canada’s A220. Truth be told, this was an excellent flight, partly thanks to the general attributes of the A220, and partly thanks to Air Canada’s superior entertainment and soft product.
In this post:
Air Canada’s A220 business class cabin is comfortable
From a passenger experience standpoint, the Airbus A220 is one of my favorite aircraft to fly. There’s so much to like about this plane, from the huge windows, to the modern cabin, to the 2-3 layout in economy (which means you have fewer middle seats than on other planes), to the spacious lavatories.
Air Canada’s A220s are as good as any out there, and feature a comfortable business class cabin, with 12 seats, in a 2-2 configuration. Now, while the economy cabin on the A220 feels exceptionally spacious, it’s worth noting that on all airlines, the business class cabin feels a bit tighter. That’s because business class has the same 2-2 layout you’d find on a 737 or A320, except the cabin is significantly narrower.
Still, Air Canada has the most comfortable A220 I’ve flown to date. I found legroom to be a bit better than on Delta, and seats even have leg rests, which you don’t find on US airlines. I also appreciate how unlike on US airlines, Air Canada has real curtains between different cabins, and also has proper bulkheads between business class and economy.
Air Canada has excellent entertainment, good Wi-Fi
Air Canada’s A220s feature seat back televisions throughout the aircraft. Not only are the screens high definition, but I found the system easy to use, and the entertainment selection to be huge. It’s nice how committed Air Canada is to inflight entertainment, as the airline even has personal televisions on smaller regional jets.
Entertainment options included everything from movies, to TV shows, to live TV. There were programs from Apple TV+, Disney+, HBO MAX, and more, so it’s easy to stay entertained on Air Canada. My favorite part of these systems is the map feature, of course. 😉
Air Canada’s A220s also feature Wi-Fi, with the Intelsat 2Ku service. While I didn’t find the speeds to be quite as good as with Viasat, they were still plenty fast to stay productive. Wi-Fi for the entire flight with no data caps cost 15.50-20.75 CAD (~11.55-15.46 USD), which I found to be reasonable. On top of that, Air Canada offers free messaging for Aeroplan members.
Air Canada’s food & service can be good
At the end of the day, Air Canada is a North American airline, so the soft product isn’t to the level of what you’d find in Asia, for example. However, I do find that Air Canada is a notch above US carriers.
For example, the airline offers printed menu on all meal flights in business class, which is a nice touch.
Breakfast was served on this flight, with the choice of a parsley omelet or maple butter pancakes. I selected the former, which came with chicken sausage and hash browns. This was also served with a side of yogurt and fruit, and was tasty.
As you’d expect from a North American airline, service on Air Canada can be hit or miss, though on average I find it to be better than on US carriers. On this flight I was lucky to have great service, thanks to the excellent service director, John, who was working business class.
Air Canada’s Airbus A220 business class offers a great passenger experience, thanks to the general attributes of the A220, combined with Air Canada’s above average cabin finishes. I love how Air Canada has leg rests, personal televisions with a huge entertainment selection, and fast and reasonably priced Wi-Fi. Air Canada’s soft product is also a bit better than what you’ll find on other airlines, with printed menus, pretty good food, and friendly service.
All else being equal, I’d totally fly Air Canada again over just about any US carrier on a narrow body jet.
What’s your take on Air Canada’s A220 business class?