Air Canada: International Business Class (YVR-FRA)
Recently we had the opportunity to sample Air Canada's flagship business class product - on a long-haul routing from Vancouver (YVR) to Frankfurt aboard the Boeing 787-8.
The first thing we realized (after sampling several other business class products recently - including United's new Polaris and Condor Airlines) was the privacy, space and storage space. A large screen and working/dining table rounds out the experience. Easy-to-use seat and inflight entertainment controls make the journey so much more enjoyable. We had a wonderful sleep in the lie-flat seats, which come with a comfortable duvet blanket and thick pillow.
We believe we lucked out service-wise: the inflight director was both pleasant and knowledgeable - not only about the wines but also about political events on the ground! We immediately became attached to the Gerard Bertrand Corbières red, and there was no hesitation on the part of the cabin crew to keep our glass filled!
Unfortunately the inflight kitchen didn't impress on this flight, however we were able to sample an appetizer dish by our friend, celebrity chef David Hawksworth - poached tiger prawns, marinated artichokes, roasted fennel with red pepper vinaigrette.
The main course - a "Grilled AAA beef tenderloin" with cabernet peppercorn sauce - was dry and tough - the equivalent of a $2 steak in a diner. The accompanying Yukon Gold mashed potatoes had little taste and poor texture, and the asparagus was over-cooked. An "Express Light Option" was also offered, featuring an appetizer, with salad, cheese and fruit. Breakfast, served 75-minutes prior to arrival, was equally unremarkable.
To round out the experience a simple toiletry kit has most everything we need to stay savvy, and the large washrooms allow plenty of room to get spruced up. Movie buffs won't be disappointed with the range and selection of films: we took in an award-winning Iranian drama with English sub-titles. Unfortunately the 787-8 does not feature inflight wifi - but this can be a blessing sometimes!