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Flight Review: Air Canada (AC3), 777-300ER, Business Class, Tokyo (NRT) - Vancouver (YVR)

Updated: Sep 22


 

Airline: Air Canada

Flight: AC3

Date: September 2023

Duration: 10 hours 15 mins

Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER

Seat: 5G - Business Class

Wi-Fi: Yes

Inflight Entertainment: 18 inch touch screen

Inflight Meal: Full Hot Meal

Snacks: Mid-Flight – Chips, candy, fruit and Chocolate Bar

Cost for this ticket (Roundtrip): $3,082.66, points and (+ 24 e-upgrade credits - bothways)


 

Rating: 8.5

Seating Area: 8

Cabin Service: 9

In-Flight Entertainment: 8

Meals and Snacks: 9


Introduction


In September 2023, I bought a flight to Tokyo (NRT) and back (YVR). I bought Premium Eco with Flex pricing and used e-upgrades to move to business class. I also picked the Boeing 777 as this has more business seats than the Boeing 787, so my chances of getting an upgrade are better on the Boeing 777. The gamble worked, and I was upgraded to business using 12 e-upgrade points. Jason also has a review of the Boeing 777-300ER from last year click on this LINK.


Booking the Flight


OK, let's get into the booking details. I booked premium eco on Flex fare, and once the flight was confirmed, I used 12 e-upgrades to move to business class. As mentioned, I booked the Boeing 777 to increase my chances of getting that business class upgrade. The gamble worked because I got the upgraded notice five days prior to departure. So cost for this round trip to Tokyo was $3,082.66 cash and 24 e-upgrade credits which got me to business class. I will receive 11,640 miles towards my segments and $2,996 towards my dollars spent. This will get me closer to being super elite for next year and my ultimate goal of being a million miler (I am 270,000 miles away).



Check-In and Boarding


I completed my check-in online using Air Canada's app. Two hours before my flight, I arrived at the airport and went to the counter to get my ticket printed. I get my ticket printed because I have a privacy glass on my phone, and some readers have difficulty scanning my electronic boarding pass. The airport experience was uneventful, with no lineups for security as I was using Nexus. After I was cleared through security, I went straight to the International Maple Leaf Lounge. Boarding the plane was interesting. This was the first time that I noticed that there were two entrances used to board the Boeing 777 plane.



Separate entrance for business class



Seat Area (8/10)

Air Canada has 19 Boeing 777-300ERs in its fleet, one up from last year, consisting of two layouts. One layout has 40 business class seats, featuring a main business class cabin (with 26 seats) and a mini business class cabin (with 14 seats). The second layout has a single business class cabin with 24 business class seats. For this trip, the aircraft layout was the former with two business-class cabins.

Aircraft interior characteristics

Air Canada Signature Class

Premium Economy

Economy Class

Number of Seats

40

24

336

Configuration

1x2x1

2x4x2

3x4x3

Rows

1 - 11

12 - 14

18 - 64

Seat Pitch

Individual pod

94 cm (37 in)

78.7 cm (31 in)

Seat Width

53.3 cm (21 in)

50.8 cm (20 in)

43.2 cm (17 in)

Seat Recline

Fully lie-flat bed

20.3 cm (8 in)

15.2 cm (6 in)

Air Canada's business class, or "Signature Class", on the 777-300ER uses the Rockwell Collins Super Diamond seat with a reverse herringbone layout. The seats are in a 1-2-1 configuration, with each seat having direct aisle access.


I had slim pickings when picking my seats; the only available seating was the middle aisle section. So, I decided on 5G (360 view here), right in the middle of the first part of the business cabin. This is an equal distance to the bathroom in the business section.


Detail Layout

Seat 5D

Birds eye view of seat 5D

The color scheme and design of the seating and cabin area is pleasant with its neutral beiges and greys. While it may not scream cutting edge style or luxury, it is welcoming, relaxing and comfortable. The subtle blue lighting is also a nice effect.



Air Canada business class has the following items in my seat area: a mattress cover for the seat, a blanket, a pillow, a bottle of water, headphones and a personal kit by Acqua di Parma.


Acqua di Parma Kit

The personal kit includes the following items: Socks, eyes cover, dental kit (toothbrush, toothpase and mouthwash), ear plugs, small microfiber cloth, lip balm and hand lotion.


Content of the personal kit

The seating area has a small storage area accessed by flipping up a portion of the countertop.



Inside the storage area is the remote for the in flight entertainment system, USB charging port, AC plug and the headphone jack. It's a handy spot to be able to place your phone, wallet, glasses, etc. out of the way. There is also a small gap between the lid and edge of the storage area that allows a charging cord to extend out of the storage area so that you can use your phone while charging but still have the lid closed so that you have a flat counter space.


110V AC plug
USB port and headphone jack

The seat has a digital touchscreen that allows you to control various features. Using the touchscreen you can call for service, adjust the lighting, adjust the seat and use the massage function. In addition there are two physical buttons to the right of the touchscreen that allows you to use one touch to put the seat in the full sitting position or the full recline (bed) position.


The seat controls allow you to customize your seat adjustment to your desired position, as well as having three pre-set seating positions: sit, relax and rest. As this was an afternoon flight, I never fully reclined the seat into rest mode.




The comfort settings allow you to apply a massage function to the headrest, lumbar or mattress of the seat. The "Massage" function is not really a massage.


Seat controls

The pods are positioned to give you a fair bit of privacy.



Overall, I found the seat to be very comfortable. The seating area has a lot of counter space and sufficient storage for your odds and ends, as well as a charging space. If I could have picked my seat in the main business cabin I think I would have picked 5K as it has three windows.


Cabin Services (9/10 Points)


Cabin Staff

Upon arriving at my seat, the flight attendant, Lara, came by, welcomed me aboard and handed me the dining menu. Later on Shielane the service director came by to introduce himself and welcome me to the flight. Throughout the flight both Shielane and Lara were my main point of contact. There was a third person that I interacted with who suggested the chicken as a meal option, however, that was the only time we interacted and I did not get a chance to see her name.


Restrooms

There are three washrooms in the business cabins, one in the front behind the cockpit and two at the second door entrance. I prefer the ones in the back, for two reasons: one, they have a window, two, they seem more spacious, and for a tall guy like me, you need all the room one can get. All the bathrooms have the same decor and decorations with very neutral colours. Whenever I went to the bathroom, they were immaculate and adequately stocked. The bathroom indicator only shows the availability of the front bathroom in the main business cabin. There is no bathroom status indicator for the bathrooms in the rear from the main business cabin area.



Front bathroom

Basin view


Lots of headroom and light

Bathroom availability indicator

In-flight Wi-Fi

In-flight Wi-Fi was available on this aircraft. Air Canada introduced a new feature on their Wi-Fi settings on their available aircraft. You can now text using popular apps such as WhatsApp, Viber, and messaging. It may not work with applications such as MS Teams, which technically is a messaging app; I will test this on my way back from Tokyo to Vancouver. One caveat is you need an Aeroplan number; however, when I registered for this feature, it only asked for my last name and seat number. There was no Aeroplan number mentioned when registering. Maybe it's automatic. If there is still a need for you to use Wi-Fi for e-mail checking or doing any more intensive surfing, you can use Canadian dollars or Aeroplan to purchase packages:

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

Entertainment (8/10 points)

The business class seating on the 777-300ER comes with an 18 inch high-definition touchscreen.


18inch Touch screen

The entertainment offerings are quite comprehensive, including just released movies, lots of older movies, an abundance of TV shows, music channels, flight map and video games.


As noted above, the storage console houses a remote control for the entertainment system. I particularly like that Air Canada's remote has a small screen on it that allows you to display the in flight map on the remote control. There is also the option of having a small window on the entertainment screen, but I much prefer simply putting the in-flight map onto the remote display to it doesn't clutter up the main screen when I am watching a movie.


Air Canada also provides noise cancelling headphones which are adequate. However, I prefer to use my own Airpod Max noise cancelling headphones, these are rated to last up to 21 hours.


Meals and Snacks (9/10 Points)

This flight included Lunch/dinner, a mid-flight meal option, and a breakfast option. The breakfast choice was odd as we landed in Tokyo in the afternoon. The menu is below:




The flight attendant came around to take my meal order. I did notice that they came to me first; I assume this is because I am super elite. I looked at the menu, and there were a few choices: salmon, chicken, cod and beef short ribs. I could not decide. I've had the salmon in the past, and the salmon seemed to be rather dry, so I wasn't moving in that direction. I did ask the attendant for her advice as she, I'm sure, has had a sample of every single meal. She did advise that I take the chicken parmesan, but she warned me, saying that it was rather heavy, and she was right.


The Prawn cocktail always satisfies you as long as you like seafood. I did go with the garlic toast as I wanted to be satisfied with my bun selection, unlike Jason with the ciabatta (hockey puck) bun in the review of the same aircraft flying from Toronto to Vancouver.


Prawn Cocktail

The parmesan-crusted chicken did not disappoint; the lemon caper butter hit the spot. However, the chive mashed potatoes were not my favourite. A better combination here would be simple old-fashioned garlic mashed potatoes. The chicken was thick, juicy, and flavoured, but as the flight attendant mentioned, it was rather heavy. Notice the garlic bread is gone and didn't last long. I had a total of two pieces, and it was not disappointing. The bread was not warm when it was served. However, this is understandable as it didn't come straight out of the oven and onto my plate. The rosé wine was a good combination with the parmesan crusted chicken.


Parmasian crusted chicken

The cheese tray was well balance with cracker to cheese ratio.


Cheese plate

For dessert, I opted for the coconut lavender cake. I did not go with the suggested servings of espresso cappuccino coffee and selected teas, but I went with a Baileys.


Coconut lavender cake

Baileys on the rocks

In-flight Snack


The inflight snacks are growing in options. First of all, the fruit is no longer wrapped in plastic. The unhealthy section of the in flight snacks now includes popcorn (Bad Monkey brand), which is excellent for watching a movie. They have also added gummy bears to the menu; Kit Kat is still an option whenever you need to take a break.


Healthy option snack tray

Not so healthy inflight snacks

Conclusion

Air Canada has started improving service for business class on long-haul flights; the food choices are improving. I like the parmesan chicken; I hope they don't take that away. Maybe a suggestion for Air Canada is to post all the recipes on their website. I would not hesitate to fly business class with Air Canada to Tokyo. Air Canada also recently announced that they'll be flying direct from Vancouver to Singapore. This will be a welcome service servicing Southeast Asia. With Singapore Airlines as the Star Alliance partner, this opens many regional routes. I look forward to writing a review on that route.


When In Vancouver:

Hotels:

Westin Bayshore: https://www.pointspals.com/post/hotel-review-westin-bayshore-vancouver-canada

Hilton Whistler Resort & Spa: https://www.pointspals.com/post/hotel-review-hilton-whistler-resort-spa-whistler-canada


Lounges:

International Maple Leaf Lounge.

Plaza Premium Lounge - Domestic Terminal

YVR Plaza Premium Lounge


City Tour:

https://www.pointspals.com/vancouver-canada-360-vr


Other Air Canada Flight Reviews:

787-800 - Business Class YVR-YYZ

737-Max 8 - Economy Class YVR-LAX

777-300ER - Business Class YVR-YYZ

787-9 - Business Class YVR-BNE

787-8 - Business Class DUB-YVR




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