Toronto to London day flight with Air Canada.

The gate was only a few steps from the rather excellent Signature Suite, and boarding hadn’t yet started.  I joined the queue for group 1 and it wasn’t long before I was on board, turning left at door 2 to find 1K.

Air Canada have configured their 787-9’s with 30 business class seats, in one large cabin, between doors 1 and 2.  The seats were identical to the ones I had the day before on their 777-300ER service from Vancouver to Toronto, the B/E Super Diamond, reverse herringbone seat.

Despite the slightly smaller 787 cabin, it still seemed just as spacious and was every bit as comfortable.

I was exceptionally received to find out that the Ontario liquor laws didn’t apply on board the aircraft (as they did in the Signature Suite),  and so gratefully accepted the welcome glass of Prosecco as boarding was going on.

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Air Canada 787 business class glass of Prosecco

There was a bit of a taxi out, so snapped a few pics whilst we waited to take-off.

We took off on a beautifully clear day and had some great views of downtown Toronto from the window.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a massive fan of day flights from the East Coast of North America as I generally find them far too short to get any meaningful rest on board.  I’ve previously done quite a few sectors on the British Airways services from Boston (BA238) and New York (BA178/180).

British Airways typically serve a hot main meal immediately after take-off in the morning, and then a light snack 90 minutes before landing.

Air Canada do the service the opposite way around – a light breakfast after take-off and then a full hot dinner before landing.  Having thought about it, I find it a much more sensible way of doing.  I’m generally rubbish in the mornings so the last thing I want is a massive meal, but then later on just getting a couple of sarnies for ‘dinner’ isn’t great.

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Air Canada 787 business class breakfast

For an aeroplane breakfast, it was actually very good.  Fresh fruit and yoghurt, a croissant and jam, and then a hot omelette with sautéed potatoes and a sausage.  If I was being particularly picky, there was only filter coffee available with no option for an espresso, but that’s forgiveable.

For the remainder of the flight I napped and watched movies, which was identical to the selection on the 777 the previous day.

As we started to get a little closer to home, the crew started the dinner service as we approached the coast of Ireland.

The starter was a pretty traditional prawn salad, with a side salad.  However for me, the standout was the main course – I don’t think I’ve ever had duck confit on an aeroplane and it was done very well.  Dessert was a tart with some custard which I enjoyed with a small glass of Baileys.

Before long, we were on the approach to Heathrow and touched down at Terminal 2B.  It was actually quite a busy time as the two United day-flights were also arriving at the same time.  Coupled with arriving at a stand at the far end of the satellite, it was a good 30 minutes from stepping off the aircraft to getting to the platform of the Piccadilly line.

Thoughts

I was impressed with Air Canada.  Very impressed.  They have a market leading seat (although perhaps not the Q-Suite) on their long-haul aircraft.  The food and drinks are great with details like offering cheese and then dessert.  The lounge at Toronto was excellent too.  Perhaps the best business class across the North Atlantic?

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