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Flight Review AC1034: Air Canada, 737–Max 8, Business Class - Vancouver (YVR)–Miami (MIA)

Updated: Jan 13

Airline: Air Canada

Flight: AC1034

Duration: 5 hours 54 mins

Plane: Boeing 737-MAX 8

Seat: 4A

Wi-Fi: No

Inflight Entertainment: High-Definition touch screen

Inflight Meal: Breakfast

Snacks: Mid-Flight – Soft drinks, coffee and tea (free)

Cost for this ticket : $749.38 USD (return via PBI -YYZ - YVR) + 10 eUpgrade credits


 

Rating: 6.5

Seating Area: 6

Cabin Service: 7

In-Flight Entertainment: 8

Meals and Snacks: 5


 

Introduction


In November 2023, I travelled to West Palm Beach, Florida, and faced the choice between flights via Toronto or Montreal. However, these options came at a premium cost, with prices exceeding $300 more than the chosen route. In a cost-effective decision, I opted to rent a one-way car from Miami to West Palm Beach, spending approximately $75. The drive took only an hour and a half, making the overall journey more economical. I then flew back from West Palm Beach via Toronto to Vancouver.






For those interested, Jason has provided a comprehensive review of business class on Air Canada's 737-Max 8. Additionally, you can find my review of the preferred seating on the 737-Max8.


Check-In and Boarding

I generally reserve my eupgrades for trans-atlantic or trans-pacific flights and don't typically use them for continental US flights. However, for this particular six-hour journey to Miami, I decided to take advantage of my eupgrades and super-elite status. Notably, the cost for the leg of the six-hour flight to Miami was the same as for longer routes via Toronto or Montreal, making it a more economical use of my e-upgrade miles.


Arriving at the airport at 6:00 AM, I was pleasantly surprised to find minimal queues at both the priority and regular check-in counters. Utilizing the check-in luggage option provided by my super-elite status, I proceeded to the US customs location. Despite holding a Nexus pass, which usually expedites the customs process, I encountered an unexpectedly lengthy line extending all the way to the Nexus status check area. This was the longest queue I had ever witnessed, and I couldn't help but feel a bit concerned about potentially missing my flight due to the slow movement of the line.


Long Nexus Line up
Long Nexus Line up

Fortunately, I eventually made it through customs, leaving me with around 30 minutes to enjoy the lounge before making my way to the gate and boarding my flight.


Seat Area ( 6/10)


The 737-Max 8 aircraft features a limited number of 16 business class seats. It's worth noting that the term "business class" is used loosely in this context, as these seats are more akin to premium economy seats found in larger aircraft such as the 787 or the 777. While the seating provides a comfortable experience, it's lamentable that a pod configuration, as seen in some long-haul flights, is not available on this aircraft. The addition of pods could have enhanced the overall in-flight experience. Here is the seating arrangement for the Boeing 737 Max 8.


​Aircraft interior characteristics

Business Class

Economy Class

Number of Seats

16

153

​Configuration

2 X 2

3 X 3

Rows

1 > 4

12 > 37

Bulkhead Rows

1

12

Exit Row

19, 20

Seat Pitch

97 cm (38 in)

76 cm (30 in)

​Seat Width

​53 cm (21 in)

45 cm (18 in)

Seat Recline

15 cm (6 in)

8 cm (3 in)

Overwing Rows

16 > 24

Entertainment


  • Personal touch-screen TVs at every seat

  • Gate-to-gate access to hundreds of hours of on demand audio and video entertainment

  • Moving map with flight path information

  • Games and wellness applications


  • Personal touch-screen TVs at every seat

  • Gate-to-gate access to hundreds of hours of on demand audio and video entertainment

  • Moving map with flight path information

  • Games and wellness applications

Power Ports (110 volt connection, no adapter required)

​At every seat

Between the seats

As of December 2023, Air Canada operates a fleet comprising 40 Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, all featuring a consistent layout. This number has increased by 8 since Jason’s last review. The configuration includes 16 business class seats spanning rows 1 to 4, and 153 economy class seats distributed across rows 12 to 37. Within the economy class, there is a distinction between preferred seating (rows 12-20) and standard economy class seating (rows 21-37).

The business class seating offers additional legroom, a feature particularly appreciated by individuals with taller stature. Standing at 6 feet 2 inches, I personally experienced ample space and comfort in the business class seat during a six-hour flight.



Below is a photo of the business class Cabin. I would say that business class on this aircraft is more akin to premium economy on the Boeing 777 and 787, which I will be reviewing at some future point.


Bussines Class Cabin, Air Canada, Boeing 737 Max8

Below is a photo of the economy class cabin, starting with the preferred seats followed by the regular economy seating.

Economy class, Air Canada 737-max 8

For personalized comfort, the airflow control is located above you. By adjusting the airflow nozzle, you can easily increase or decrease the airflow directed towards your seat. The overhead control console offers added convenience, featuring a light switch and an attention-call button.



In business class, the power outlet is conveniently positioned at your feet, situated between the seats. It's worth noting that there isn't a USB outlet in this location, so it's advisable to bring your own AC adapter. Alternatively, a USB port is available on the bottom left side of the monitor, next to the headphone jack. The touch screen integrated into the monitor allows for easy volume control.There is also a AC power outlet in the seat armrest on your right



Armrest power supply

The inflight tray is located inside the left armrest.


Business Class food tray location in the left side arm rest

Take note that the noise level was acceptable at about 72 decibels at cruising altitude.


About 72 dB at cruising altitude

Cabin Services (5/10 Points)


Cabin Staff

Generally, the service was good and the staff was pleasant enough. I cant say that they went the extra mile.


In-flight Wi-Fi

I was disappointed when I discovered that Wi-Fi was not available on my flight. Despite the aircraft being Wi-Fi capable, it seems that Air Canada has not yet activated this feature for operation. I assume that, at some point, Air Canada will indeed offer Wi-Fi on its 737-Max 8 aircraft. As a business traveler, I consider Wi-Fi to be an essential tool, and its absence on this flight was notable. Fortunately, on this leisure trip, the lack of Wi-Fi did not pose a significant issue.


The table below shows Air Canada's current Wi-Fi pricing in Canadian dollars, which, as noted, is only available on select planes.

Package

Duration

Price (Cdn$ or Aeroplan points)

Browser Pass

1 Hour

$7 or 700 Points

Full Flight

$11.25 or 1500 Points

All Day

$34.95

Ultimate Pass (includes Streaming

1 Hour

$13.75 or 1400 Points

Full Flight

$24 or 2400 Points

Air Canada Plan

North America

$65.95 / Month

Global

$89.95 / Month

Inflight Entertainment (8/10 Points)


The in-flight entertainment system boasts a user-friendly interface on its High-Definition touchscreen, offering a diverse range of movies, TV shows, music, and games. There's an ample selection to keep passengers entertained during the journey from Vancouver to Miami. Remember to bring your own headphones, as the ones provided by Air Canada are of poor quality.


Meals and Snacks (5/10 Points)


Similar to many domestic flights in North America, Air Canada does not offer a complimentary meal in economy class. However, passengers in business class enjoy a more elevated dining experience, beginning with a warm bowl of nuts followed by an appetizer that includes a delightful mix of fruit salad, yogurt, bread, butter, and jam. The main course options include a fluffy parsley omelette and a traditional French toast. Opting for the omelette in an attempt to make a sensible choice, I found that the recipe has undergone a recent modification that is not an improvement. Air Canada, reconsidering the previous version of the recipe might be a welcome change.



Business Class pre inflight meal nut selection

Business class inflight meal

Complimentary refreshments, such as soft drinks, water, coffee, and tea, are available in both cabins. While a mid-flight snack is offered, it is more limited than those on trans-Pacific or Atlantic flights.


Mid flight snacks

Conclusion

The almost six-hour flight in this Boeing 737 Max 8 was relatively comfortable. I was happy with the business class, but I don't think the price difference from the preferred section is worth the upgrade. Having a better menu and an amenity kit would be excellent.


For a full video review check it out on our YouTube Channel


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