AC204: Air Canada, 737–Max 8, Business Class - Vancouver (YVR) – Calgary (YYC)
Airline: Air Canada
Duration: 1 hour 27 mins
Flight Date: August 2022
Plane: Boeing 737-MAX 8
Inflight Entertainment: High-Definition touch screen
Inflight Meal: Breakfast
Cost for this ticket: 62,900 + 11 e-upgrades + $58.94 (connecting flight between YVR-DUB)
Seating Area: 7
Cabin Service: 6
In-Flight Entertainment: 7
Meals and Snacks: 8
This is a review of my flight on Air Canada's 737-Max 8 in Business class between Vancouver and Calgary and was my first time flying in business class on this aircraft. Typically I don't pay the premium required to fly in business class on short domestic flights. Indeed, this flight was only one and half hours long and normally well within my stamina to travel in economy. However, this flight was booked as one leg of a business class ticket my son and I were travelling on from Vancouver to Dublin. As a result, I found myself travelling on a very short leg in business class.
The entire route from Vancouver to Dublin cost 62,900 Aeroplan points and $58.94 for each seat. I booked Latitude Economy Fares and applied 11 e-upgrades to each ticket for an immediate upgrade to business class at the time of booking.
Check out Ladi's review from earlier this year if you wish to read a review of Air Canada's 737-Max 8 in Economy class with preferred seating.
Air Canada currently has 39 Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft in its fleet. This particular aircraft (Fin 519) was delivered to Air Canada in January 2019 so is about 3 1/2 years old.
Check-In and Boarding
As I was travelling with carry-on luggage only, check-in via Air Canada's app was a breeze. Business class comes with priority security screening at YVR, and the process only took about 15 minutes.
We then headed off to Air Canada's Maple Leaf Lounge in the domestic terminal for a quick bite to eat and some relaxation before we headed to the gate to board the plane. The lounge is accessible to those travelling in business class, those who have 35K Altitude Status with Air Canada or Star Alliance Gold members.
Seat Area ( 7/10)
Air Canada's Boeing 737 Max 8 has 16 business class seats (rows 1 - 4) and 153 economy class seats (rows 12 - 37) .
Aircraft interior characteristics
Number of Seats
2 X 2
3 X 3
1 > 4
12 > 37
97 cm (38 in)
76 cm (30 in)
53 cm (21 in)
45 cm (18 in)
15 cm (6 in)
8 cm (3 in)
16 > 24
Power Ports (110 volt connection, no adapter required)
At every seat
Between the seats
The business class cabin has four rows with a 2 - 2 seating layout.
On this flight I was seated in seat 2D with my son seated in 2F. Note that row 1 doesn't have any overhead storage so in those seats you are sharing overhead storage space with row 2. That being said, there is ample overhead storage in the business class cabin.
The colour pallette in the business class seating consists of grays and blacks which lends a refined look.
While not lie flat seats, the business class seats on the 737 Max 8 do have significantly more room than an economy class seat with an extra 8 inches of pitch and they recline an extra 3 inches in comparison to economy class seats on this aircraft. As expected with the 2-2 layout, the business class seats are wider than the economy class seats. The seats appear to be slimline seats which, while typically providing more leg room, can be uncomfortable on longer journeys. I actually found the seats to be quite comfortable with ample padding for the short 1 hour 27 minute flight from Vancouver to Calgary.
When I arrived at my seat there was chilled bottle of water, ear buds for the in flight entertainment system and a CleanCare sanitation kit.
The seats have more than ample leg room with a seat pitch of 38 inches. No risk here of banging your knees against the seat in front of you! There is also an adjustable footrest to further increase the comfort level. Both of these features are accessed through buttons on the side of the seat.
There is a wide padded armrest leaving sufficient space between you and your seatmate.
The armrest flips up to provide easier access to the storage area below the armrest. This is also where you will find the headphone connector, 110V power plug and USB charging port.
There is also another small storage area located behind the arm rests of the seats in front where you can store small items like a bottle of water.
The other armrest contains the tray table which with the flick of a switch pops up the tray table from the armrest. The tray table can then be folded out to a half size or full size tray table.
A good size HD entertainment screen is equipped on the seat back.
Cabin Services (6/10 Points)
Generally, the service was efficient and friendly, but not overly so.
As we have mentioned before in other reviews of the Air Canada's 737 Max 8, despite the aircraft being Wi-Fi capable, Air Canada does not offer Wi-Fi on these aircraft. It didn't affect my trip as I had no intention of using the Wi-Fi on this short flight, but it's something business travellers should take note of if they have any intention to get work done which requires a Wi-Fi connection.
Inflight Entertainment (8/10 Points)
The inflight entertainment system consists of a large HD touch screen. Air Canada consistently has a good selection of movies (both new releases and older movies), TV shows, music, and games whether one is in business class or economy. As well, there is also an interactive map feature. In flight entertainment is an area which I always find Air Canada shines.
Unlike Signature Class on Air Canada's wide body jets, noise cancelling headphones were not provided in business class. Instead, as noted, Air Canada provides disposable ear buds in business class on the 737 Max 8. These are very cheap ear buds and, in fact, are the same ear buds provided in Air Canada's Signature Class on international flights when the crew is prepping for landing and take your noise cancelling headphones. Needless to say, the quality is pretty low as one would expect with disposable air buds. As I was travelling only with carry on luggage for this trip to Europe, I didn't have room to pack my Bose noise cancelling headphones so I was stuck using the provided air buds. They were fine for what they were, just go in with low expectations.
Meals and Snacks (8/10 Points)
While this was a fairly short flight, Air Canada provided a full complimentary breakfast service in the business class cabin. There were no menu choices, just a set breakfast meal, which consisted of bread, fresh fruit, yogurt, eggs and sausage. Beverages were also available - I opted to just have water.
Breakfast was served on a tray - no tablecloth here like Air Canada's Signature Class in its wide body jets.
The bread was served warm, which was a nice touch.
The fruit was fresh, cool and crisp.
The main dish was an egg fritata which was exceptionally delicious. While not a lot to look at in terms of presentation, I actually think this was one of the better breakfasts I have had on a plane. The fritata had excellent flavour with chunks of potatoes distributed throughout. The sausage was also quite flavourful. If I had one complaint, I would say that the accompanying sauce, while tasty, was a tad too sweet.
I did find the breakfast service a bit rushed. No sooner had breakfast been served when it was announced that we would be landing in 30 minutes and the flight attendant was soon coming around and picking up dishes. Perhaps that can't be avoided when providing a full meal service on a short flight.
I found this short flight in Air Canada's business class to be quite pleasant on this short 1 1/2 hour flight. The seat was comfortable and a significant improvement from economy class. While lacking the luxury and comfort of Air Canada's Signature Class found in its business class cabins on its wide body jets, for short flights I would be quite content to fly in business class on Air Canada's 737 Max 8 in the future. That being said, given the significant premium typically charged for a business class ticket, I would be more likely to book an economy class ticket for such a short flight. However, all things being equal, if given the choice I would hands down choose the business class seat and would be more than content to fly business class on the 737 Max 8 should the opportunity arise in the future.