Air Canada Refreshes Inflight Meals, And They Look Great!

Air Canada Refreshes Inflight Meals, And They Look Great!

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I’d argue that on balance, Air Canada has the best and most extensive inflight catering of any major North American airline, at least in premium cabins. However, Air Canada hasn’t necessarily been known for variety, especially within North America.

So there’s an exciting update, as Air Canada has announced that it’s upgrading inflight menus, with the introduction of 100+ new seasonal recipes, and more. While we’ll have to save our final judgment until we try these new dishes, these changes sound great. Let’s go over the details, as there’s something for everyone here.

Air Canada business class dining revamp

Air Canada is updating its catering in business class, no matter the length of your flight. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Air Canada Signature Class (long haul business class) will offer new menus with flavors from around the world, including chicken thigh accompanied by mandi rice and Emirati bzar sauce, roasted salmon in teriyaki sauce with Shandong noodles, and a Middle Eastern mezze plate appetizer
  • The Air Canada Signature Suite Toronto, which is the best dining lounge in North America, will feature wild-caught Fogo Island cod (this puts such a big smile on my face, because I got married on Fogo Island, and Fogo Island Inn is one of my favorite hotels in the world)
  • Air Canada is introducing new champagne, with Haton Cuvée Classique and Duval-Leroy Brut Réserve on long haul international flights, and Jaillance Brut Traditionnel on flights within North America and the Caribbean
  • Air Canada is the only airline in North America serving hot meals on flights of under two hours, and the airline is refreshing those menu options as well, with dishes like flatbread with arugula, chicken tenders with coleslaw, cobb salad, and charcuterie and cheese plates
  • Air Canada is rolling out Dilmah tea in business class, with specialty teas available on select routes, including jasmine to China, chai to India, brown rice green tea to Korea, and Japanese green tea to Japan
  • Air Canada will introduce other new drinks, including Campari, Canadian-owned Tequila Tromba, and Quebec-made Montellier sparkling water
Air Canada is updating its business class dining

Air Canada economy class dining upgrades

Air Canada is also making updates to its economy dining, ranging from a refresh of the complimentary meal service on long haul flights, to new buy on board selections on short haul flights. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Air Canada will be introducing new international economy dishes, including red Thai chicken and rice, and chicken cacciatore with roast potatoes and bell peppers
  • Air Canada will revamp its Bistro menu for food for purchase options on shorter flights, with options like a peppercorn roast beef sandwich, cheeseburger sliders, and Mediterranean hummus wraps
  • On shorter flights, herb and garlic pretzels from TWIGZ will be the new standard snack served with drinks
Air Canada is updating its economy class dining

Air Canada expanding meal pre-orders

Nowadays quite a few airlines offer the option to pre-order your meals, to make sure you get your first choice. Air Canada currently offers this in long haul business class when departing Canada, but will be expanding that to more flights in 2024:

  • Meal pre-orders will be expanded to include flights within North America, starting with flights offering Signature Class and premium economy
  • Then later this year, meal pre-orders will be expanded so that customers can select their second meal choice on long haul flights, rather than just their first meal choice
Air Canada is expanding meal pre-orders

Bottom line

Air Canada has announced a refresh to its inflight dining. Admittedly it’s easy to stage professional photos that make airplane food look appealing, but I’m actually quite excited about these changes.

Air Canada has been investing nicely in its inflight product, and has rolled all kinds of thoughtful changes, ranging from oat milk to aperol spritzes. Many of these new food options look great, and I can’t wait to try them.

What do you make of Air Canada’s dining refresh?

Conversations (25)
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  1. Matt Guest

    Is there any word on if the catering upgrades will carry over to their special meals, too? I acknowledge this may be a polarising question after seeing the comments on the LH special meals post..

  2. Barbra Streisand Guest

    Teriyaki is the cheapest, fakest sauce in the world.

  3. Tim E Guest

    I am writing this on AC7 from YVR-HKG. I am of the view the Signature Suite at YVR is head and shoulders above the same lounge in YYZ. As a AC SE+++ they offered me the new chicken dish.. Superb. Best meall I have had on AC in years.

  4. JohnG Guest

    I hope they add a decent bourbon to the drink menu. Last I knew, they carried no bourbon. Same for lots of other airlines, despite it being a very popular whiskey variety.

  5. FLLFLYER Guest

    I wish they would do something to improve the catering on AC Rouge, especially in Premium Rouge. Crews can be very good, but they have served the same President's Choice frozen casseroles forever and on every flight.

    Pasta or chicken dishes. Pathetic. 2$ frozen entrees at Wal Mart.

  6. AC*3MM Guest

    AC's food has been going downhill for a long time and these changes along with other things have really sucked.

    What's this disgusting coucous plate they have been serving on YOW/YUL-YYZ? Looks cheap and pathetic. Not very tasty either. It seems like they ran out of money and are now serving something for the sake of serving something. (Why is there no picture of this? Too embarrassed?)

    What are these inflight "light bites" where I...

    AC's food has been going downhill for a long time and these changes along with other things have really sucked.

    What's this disgusting coucous plate they have been serving on YOW/YUL-YYZ? Looks cheap and pathetic. Not very tasty either. It seems like they ran out of money and are now serving something for the sake of serving something. (Why is there no picture of this? Too embarrassed?)

    What are these inflight "light bites" where I have only two choices? Chicken pot pie (thank god that's gone now?) and some crappy salad? How about the Miss Vickies chips?

    Also, the downgrade of the champagne from Laurent Perrier? And the removal of Perrier water?

    This seems like change for the sake of change. And marketing all about nothing (trying to spin things into a positive story when frankly there's nothing positive here).

    Also, what's this about making passengers wait for the amenity kit and slippers on a night flight (instead of those two items already sitting at the seat along with the headset)? I was told this is a newly implemented spec. Are they trying to save a kit or a 2 cent slipper, hoping they don't have to give it out if the passenger has already passed out? I don't want to have to wait until we are airborne to get my kit and slippers. Give it to me while I'm still awake on the ground!

    Why the hell am I still flying AC? I am starting to regret being a 3MM...

    1. Pudu Guest

      Goodness you sound like a whiny, miserable person.

  7. Will Guest

    I’m sure we’re all relieved that the parsley omelette has remained on the menu

  8. Chris Guest

    Champagnes a downgrade from the Laurent Perrier, but other than that looks solid.

  9. Jacques Portgieter Guest

    Wow is that a chicken drumstick + thigh I see in one of the meals? That's crazy!!

  10. SideshowMel Guest

    Maybe they can get rid of the “pizza pocket” as the snack on trans-Atlantic flights…..finally.

  11. Cr- Guest

    ANOTHER IN FLIGHT DINING REVIEW? Just go to a nice restaurant of your choice and review till’ your heart’s content! Again, isn’t the entire point of flying to get to destination alive and well? I’m beginning to think that all of these articles from so many authors about food would get old. If one is that hungry and relies solely on an airline to feed you, than your problems must not be of any significance.

    1. James Guest

      What on earth are you on about? Why wouldn't a blog about flying include a post about the food you'll get in the plane? "Isn’t the entire point of flying to get to destination alive and well?" - have you confused this for a blog about aircraft safety?

    2. Ricky Guest

      Rude...This is Ben's blog; when you have your own airline blog you can omit talking about inflight dining. I for one like these reviews; I have a business class on Air Canada LHR to YYZ in September and appreciate these updates.

    3. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      What a stupid comment.

      Plenty of people have an interest in the dining selection for their, or their potential, flights.

    4. BradStPete Diamond

      For me, a big part of enjoying a premium cabin experience is the meal service. And why yes, I have been to a few nice restaurants in my life (wow !) and have enjoyed quite a few excellent dining experiences at 35,000 ft as well. I enjoy reading about inflight dining !

    5. Johncadams Guest

      C-
      A really rude comment buddy. Ben spends hours researching & doing this blog. Personally, it’s the only one I read besides Aviation Week and Airliners.net.
      As an airline crew member I sincerely appreciate the information about what other various airlines are doing. And trust me sir, customers inflight are REALLY interested in what food they’ll be eating & drinking. It’s a huge part of the travel experience.

  12. Chris Guest

    I am happy to see some airlines providing the mezze plate as a part of the service. Fairly tasty, fairly healthy, fairly easy to serve and keep "fresh" (I know, I know). Mostly veggie but can have some meat. An eff of a lot better than any "green salad" being offered for sure with the sad lettuce and meager garnishes. Read a report about a Finnair business flight where the appetizer was wilty lettuce and...

    I am happy to see some airlines providing the mezze plate as a part of the service. Fairly tasty, fairly healthy, fairly easy to serve and keep "fresh" (I know, I know). Mostly veggie but can have some meat. An eff of a lot better than any "green salad" being offered for sure with the sad lettuce and meager garnishes. Read a report about a Finnair business flight where the appetizer was wilty lettuce and ONE HALF of a shrimp. Gee, thanks (or "kiitos" as the case may be).

    1. SMC Guest

      Same. I wish they had mezze platters (and cheese & crackers, guacamole and chips, etc - things of that sort) more often at airport grab n go stores, lounges, in flight meals/ snacks cause it’s pretty much always the same quality, filling, non-fussy to eat and discard of…

  13. Northern Flyer Guest

    I had a very nice hot chicken and rice lunch last November in business class on the 70-minute flight from Ottawa to Washington National. In some ways it was nicer than the Premium Economy meal I had on the Heathrow-Toronto flight a couple of weeks later.

    1. BradStPete Diamond

      I have been very impressed with AC's meal service of short haul trans-border flights...like there actually IS one ! compared to US carriers..AC rocks !

    2. AD Diamond

      When did they start flying two cabin aircraft between Ottawa and DCA? I've never had anything other than a CRJ on that route.

  14. Cedric Guest

    Looking forward to positive changes in catering, but the service is always crap on AC. I have a flight to AMS in may, I usually avoid AC like the plague, but its a super easy way to get star gold.

  15. AaronFM3 Guest

    Any idea when these changes are rolling out this year? I'm scheduled to fly international on AC next week.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Ricky Guest

Rude...This is Ben's blog; when you have your own airline blog you can omit talking about inflight dining. I for one like these reviews; I have a business class on Air Canada LHR to YYZ in September and appreciate these updates.

4
James Guest

What on earth are you on about? Why wouldn't a blog about flying include a post about the food you'll get in the plane? "Isn’t the entire point of flying to get to destination alive and well?" - have you confused this for a blog about aircraft safety?

3
Northern Flyer Guest

I had a very nice hot chicken and rice lunch last November in business class on the 70-minute flight from Ottawa to Washington National. In some ways it was nicer than the Premium Economy meal I had on the Heathrow-Toronto flight a couple of weeks later.

3
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