Flight Review AC554: Air Canada, 737–Max 8, Economy (Preferred) Vancouver (YVR)–Los Angeles (LAX)
Updated: Feb 6
Airline: Air Canada
Duration: 2 hours 53 mins
Plane: Boeing 737-MAX 8
Inflight Entertainment: High-Definition touch screen
Inflight Meal: Purchase
Snacks: Mid-Flight – Soft drinks, coffee and tea (free)
Cost for this ticket : 28,111 points return
Seating Area: 6
Cabin Service: 5
In-Flight Entertainment: 8
Meals and Snacks: 5
In March 2022, I took my first international flight in almost 21 months from Vancouver to Los Angeles on a 737-MAX 8 with Air Canada in economy class (Preferred Seating). This was also my first flight after the 737-MAX 8 has been re-certified for operation. I purchased my ticket using 28,111 Aeroplan points, a significant savings compared to the cash price of $1,200 (Spring break).
Be sure to also check out Jason's review of business class on Air Canada's 737-Max 8.
Check-In and Boarding
People are heading back to the skies and the lineups are getting longer. The picture below shows the super-elite and elite lineup at the Air Canada check-in. The shocking part is that they didn't have enough ground crew to facilitate this large number of people for check-in. I guess the concierge was on a coffee break - perhaps not the best way to treat your elite customers.
I later discovered an Air Canada check-in counter for departures to the United States (located close to the Fairmont Hotel entrance) with much better queue numbers.
The check-in was quick and painless; however, the security lineup was the longest I have seen in a long time, as you can see from the picture below.
Seat Area ( 6/10)
As with most airlines, masks were required to be worn throughout the flight unless you were eating, drinking, or taking medication.
The Boeing 737 Max 8 has been re-certified to fly again in the skies of North America. This is my first flight in this layout.
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
Air Canada currently has 32 Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft in its fleet, all with the same layout. There are 16 business class seats (rows 1-4) and 153 economy class seats( rows 12-37). Economy class is split between preferred seating in rows 12 to 20 and standard economy class seating in rows 21 through 37.
The preferred seating gives you extra legroom. I am 6'2" tall and I found that the preferred seat gave me plenty of room on this almost three hour flight. As a super-elite member, I was able to pick the preferred seating free of charge, and row 14 was the one that was in the middle of the stack, so I decided on that. There is lots of overhead storage.
Below is a photo of the business class Cabin. Air Canada does not have lie-flat seating on its 737-Max 8 aircrafts in business class. 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.
Below is a photo of the economy class cabin, starting with the preferred seats followed by the regular economy seating.
This is home for the next almost three hours.
The seat only reclines 3 inches, but that seemed adequate for a three hour flight in which I didn't plan to get any shut eye. More important for me, was the legroom for this relatively short flight. As you can see, there's plenty of legroom.
Here is a little life-hack when you are in these seats. As shown by the diagram below, if you click a release button on the underside armrest close to the hinge, this releases the armrest to allow it to fold up to the top. The armrest in a vertical position makes access in and out of the seat much more manageable.
The power outlet in economy class is located at your feet between the seats. There is no USB outlet, so you'll have to bring your own AC adapter
The airflow control is above you, and by rotating the airflow nozzle, you increase or decrease the amount of airflow aimed towards your seat. Also, there is a light switch and the attention call button in the above head control console.
The headphone jack is located just to the bottom left of the screen in front of the seat, and the touch screen can control the volume. The headphone jack is located just to the bottom left of the screen in front of the seat, and the touch screen can control the volume.
Cabin Services (5/10 Points)
Generally, the service was good and the staff was pleasant enough.
Personal Protection Kit
Once we were in flight, the inflight service personnel handed out a personal protective equipment kit. The kit comes with two individually wrapped hygienic wipes, two single-use hand sanitizers, and a disposable face mask. I would have preferred that the kit be given to us as part of the greeting as we entered the aircraft so I could have wiped down my seat area before getting comfortable.
I was disappointed to find that Wi-Fi was not available on my flight. The aircraft is Wi-Fi
capable, it simply appears that Air Canada has not yet enabled it for operation. I presume that at some point, Air Canada will actually offer Wi-Fi on its 737-max 8 aircraft. As a business traveller, I think that Wi-Fi should always be enabled as its an essential tool. As luck would have it, on this trip I was traveling for leisure, so the absence of Wi-Fi was not particularly problematic.
The table below shows the Air Canada's current Wi-Fi pricing in Canadian dollars, which, as noted, is only available on select planes.
Price (Cdn$ or Aeroplan points)
$7 or 700 Points
$11.25 or 1500 Points
Ultimate Pass (includes Streaming
$13.75 or 1400 Points
$24 or 2400 Points
Air Canada Plan
$65.95 / Month
$89.95 / Month
Inflight Entertainment (8/10 Points)
The inflight entertainment system is comprehensive and straightforward to navigate on the High-Definition touchscreen. It had a good selection of movies, TV shows, music, and games, more than enough to keep one occupied on a flight from Vancouver to Los Angeles. Bring your own headphones as they are not supplied on Air Canada flights. You can, however, purchase a pair if you don't have wired headphones.
Meals and Snacks (5/10 Points)
Like most domestic airlines, Air Canada does not offer a complimentary meal in economy class. Meals and snacks are available for purchase, however, the choices are minimal. In my view, Air Canada could improve this category by adding more variety. Refreshments such as soft drinks, water, coffee, and tea are still free.
The almost three hour flight in this Boeing 737 Max 8 was relatively comfortable. I was pleasantly surprised by the preferred seating in economy class with its extra legroom, and I would opt to book preferred seating on this flight again.
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