My first class flight from Seoul on Asiana arrived to Los Angeles on time and I was through customs relatively quickly (it’s so nice being one of the first off the plane and beating the rush). I don’t like LAX much… It seems dated, huge, and very busy. I had a few hours to kill before my last flight home to Vancouver and slowly made my way to terminal 2 where Air Canada had a lounge (this has recently changed and the lounge is being operated by Delta now). The lounge was big and had great airside views. Also, it wasn’t crowded, which was a bit surprising given how busy everywhere was in the terminal.
The food selection was pretty standard for a North American domestic lounge, which is to say not very good. I took a pass as I was still incredibly full from the endless food on Asiana in first class.
My flight was scheduled to leave at 8:30 pm, so around 7:30 I decided to walk around the terminal to stretch a bit before my flight! Things had calmed down significantly since my arrival, but I’m still not the biggest fan of LAX…
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Air Canada 559
Los Angeles (LAX) – Vancouver (YVR)
Saturday, May 13, 2017
Arrive: 11:03pm (Same Day)
Aircraft: Airbus A320
Seat: 3A (Business Class)
Boarding began right on time and I was greeted by the friendly cabin crew. I love how Air Canada always says ‘hello, bonjour’, no matter the route. I was the first passenger to board and managed to get a few pictures of the cabin before it eventually filled up. I have to say, I don’t love the blue interior. It kind of reminds of me of 90’s furniture from my childhood…
The seat is fairly standard for North American ‘premium cabin’ at 21 inches wide with 38 inches of pitch. Pillows were waiting upon boarding and the crew came around with pre-departure beverages as the cabin filled up. Choices were between water and orange juice, and I had both!
There is no bulkhead separating the business class cabin from economy, but rather just a thin curtain that does little to block noise. The curtain, of course, was another shade of 90’s blue. While the interior felt old, the hardware felt at least 10 years older. The plastic around the window was extremely discoloured (reminded me of cigarette smoke staining) and a lot of the cabin was in rough shape (my footrest was jammed up, which didn’t really bother me on this short flight).
Thankfully, nobody was seated next to me for the flight, but there was an extremely annoying passenger just ahead of me. First a little background: the business class cabin is configured in such a way that the left side of the plane has only three rows, and the right side has four.
The woman in seat 2A demanded she be changed to the ‘front row’, because the check-in agent told her she was seated at the front. Unfortunately for her, 1D/F were occupied, and there wasn’t much anyone could do. I don’t really understand what the big deal was, and she complained for literally the entire flight to the person seated next to her (who I think was a stranger).
Anyways, back to the flight… We pushed back on time and made our short taxi while the safety video played. I was thankful for the seat-back screen, which a lot of business class seats seem to leave out these days.
It was a bit of a bumpy climb out of Los Angeles, with the seatbelt sign staying on for about 30 minutes. The orange juice and water had gone right through me so I was quick to visit the bathroom as soon as I was able! After being in first class, this bathroom felt like a closet, though I did appreciate the branded amenities.
For the meal service, there was a menu distributed at the beginning of the flight. There weren’t actually any options, with the card only presenting what was being served in both English and French.
The food was actually very decent for such a short flight, though not quite as good as what was served on a similar length business class flight with Asiana.
I had a can of Coke with my dinner, which I never have on the ground, but can’t get enough of when I fly!
Air Canada business class within North America can be a bit of a mixed bag. While I appreciated having the extra legroom and meal service, there really isn’t a lot of value (money or points) for such a short flight compared to economy. However, Air Canada operates a lot of medium-haul flights across Canada on larger aircraft (787, 777) with fully flat beds that are used on international routes. If taking a flight from Vancouver to Toronto, I could see justifying the extra miles for the comfort. Be aware though that these small A320’s are used for the same routes and aircraft swaps could happen.
For this trip, being the last segment of a longer international itinerary, I was really pleased with the service and comfort for the short flight from Los Angeles to Vancouver. Unlike a lot of other North American carriers, I actually have nothing but good experiences with Air Canada cabin crew, who seem to genuinely enjoy their jobs and care about passenger service. While the service was great, the interior was dated, and I do wonder just how well these planes are cleaned on the turnarounds. Overall though, I value service more than cabin colour, and I wouldn’t hesitate to book Air Canada business class as part of a larger itinerary in the future!