Canadian routes in J/W - AC vs BA

Old Apr 28, 17, 10:17 am
  #1  
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Canadian routes in J/W - AC vs BA

Having done quite a bit of J this year on both BA and AC (mostly LHR-YYZ) I have to say that I now prefer to fly Air Canada given the choice of direct flights.

Things that make it better:
-Good direct isle access modern seat with good storage & feel of lateral space
-great size IFE screen - must be 19/20/21"
-Much better food in terms of quality and presentation. I have always wanted to have seconds of the main. Their signature dishes are particularly nice!
-Nicer J lounge in LHR with better food selection and much quieter than GC

Minor cons:
-better champagne and wine selection on BA
-for a flagship lounge in YYZ the AC lounge is just awful both in terms of ambience and F&B. Ambience and preflight dining in BA YYZ lounge is much better. Also LHR GC is miles ahead of Air Canada's YYZ lounge for a main hub lounge. AC wins on LHR-YYZ but BA wins on YYZ-LHR.
-I always sleep better on a CW seat. I think this seat is too firm for me and the fixed tray table/screen can get in the way when trying to turn in your sleep! Plus AC make an absolute racket on the red-eyes while preparing the cabin limiting time to sleep on a short TATL. BA wins on sleep quality.

I've also done PE on AC a few times and think that AC are miles ahead given the gradual erosion of the WTP soft product. 2 hot meals on YYZ sectors (I hate that dreaded basket pass on BA!), better pillow, same or very similar seat = AC wins.

Your thoughts?
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Old Apr 28, 17, 10:42 am
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I flew AC in J for the first time a few weeks ago. I've not flown CW for several months now.

I loved the seat - I was on a last minute booking, in fact I was wait listed for the flight, and had no seat choice. The 1-2-1 layout meant there were no particularly bad seats which was a bonus compared to CW when you can't choose your seat on a full flight.

And I thought the catering was excellent in both directions, with very good presentation.

I certainly wouldn't hesitate to fly AC in J again.
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Old Apr 28, 17, 10:52 am
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You make some good comparisons there Foofighter69

With pro's and cons for both this is just my personal opinion from what you have posted but would clinch it for me and you also said the AC seat is too firm.

Originally Posted by Foofighter69 View Post
I always sleep better on a CW seat.
For the record I've never flown AC so I can't make any comparisons myself.
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Old Apr 28, 17, 10:55 am
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I have considered moving to AC many times recently but the fact you can get club to YYZ/UL rtn for under 700GBP is making the move unlikely.
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Old Apr 28, 17, 11:06 am
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Not flown AC J, but I would agree that Premium Economy is a slight cut above BA. However I would say that BA Y beats AC purely on the food - AC economy food is just dire.

Also AC staff seem to be uniformly miserable.
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Old Apr 28, 17, 12:22 pm
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I've only flown one booking in J with both BA and AC and have to say that Air Canada (particularly LHR-YYZ both ways) left a much better impression on me. The seat was spotless and really comfortable with a great IFE screen. The food was also excellent...I couldn't fault it, and a nice expresso served at the end.

With my Club World flights the crew were quite attentive during the service, but then I didn't see much of them. That's not to say that if I had called they wouldn't have helped/provided, but the crew on the AC flights were much more proactive offering snacks and drinks throughout the flights.

There was a particularly nice female purser with a Scottish accent on the YYZ-LHR flight who was really top notch, such a joy to meet and have a chat with her.

I actually preferred the lounge at Toronto to BA's Flounge, much fresher food and lots of nice places to sit. AC's Heathrow lounge was almost empty!

Regarding AC meal presentation, here are pics from AC869 LHR-YYZ.
Attached Images     
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Old Apr 28, 17, 1:00 pm
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I haven't been in BA's Toronto lounge (first visit due next month) but AC's lounge was absolute carnage last time I was there. They were out of glasses, out of plates and cutlery (didn't matter as they were also out of food) and it took some time to find that one last seat (which was covered in someone else's bags of course). To give AC their due, after about 20 mins some glasses did start appearing (still hot and wet from the dishwasher) and by the time I was leaving, a more normal standard appeared to have been resumed. I'd obviously arrived at a very bad time so maybe got a bad initial impression.

I've generally found AC flights to be pretty much on a par with BA, except I prefer the BA sense of humour and banter. AC crew are polite enough but they always come across as a bit dull to me. Canadians I guess.

What bothers me about flying with AC is that they seem to leave the seatbelt sign on for much of the flight. No signs of turbulence. I found it a little frustrating although maybe I just notice it more because my first ever AC flight was just after I moved back to the UK from China. It seemed like the seatbelt sign was on all the time and I really struggled with my Chinese-acquired desire to completely ignore the sign and just get up to use the bathroom whenever I wanted, and my English side knowing that the FAs might be cross if I ignored the sign and tell me off. It was a flight of East vs West conflict for me and the first time I realised that I might have acquired a few "bad habits" (through Western eyes) while I was in China.
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Old Apr 28, 17, 1:51 pm
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Originally Posted by williamn78 View Post
However I would say that BA Y beats AC purely on the food - AC economy food is just dire.
Depends on the route. If you're flying a route when BA uses the 788 the Y seating is dire!
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Old Apr 28, 17, 6:07 pm
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Originally Posted by Foofighter69 View Post
-Good direct isle access modern seat
1-2-1 with Gilligan, you, the Skipper and the Professor in the same row
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Old Apr 28, 17, 9:14 pm
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Originally Posted by Jagboi View Post
Depends on the route. If you're flying a route when BA uses the 788 the Y seating is dire!
I think its the same with the AC 788 though, a real squeeze. They're also adding extra seats to their 777's puts one more seat across than the LHR based 777's on BA.
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Old Apr 29, 17, 9:44 am
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I flew AC's latest J product a few months ago in their 788. i found the seat (in sitting position) to be very comfortable. very little stowage for your stuff though. i didn't find the bed to be super comfortable in its flat position though and i found the foot-well to be a bit restrictive. it was a west-bound flight from FRA-YYC so a daytime flight. food was good and i just had a single glass of red wine which was passable. the crew were excellent.
I've never flown their "classic pod" in J though but i will in a few weeks.
i find lufthansa's J bed to be more comfortable but it's not great if you are travelling alone and don't know your seat mate which is where the window seats in CW shine especially since east-bound i tend to go to sleep as soon as possible skipping what BA calls dinner.
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Old Aug 20, 19, 5:05 am
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Bumping this thread as i need to decide between BA 777, AC 77W and AC 789.

At the time the above posts were made the Signature lounge in YYZ didn't exist yet, and I notice the negative comments about the ML lounge in YYZ. I presume things have changed with the opening of the Signature lounge? Is AC the obvious "winner" now? Any recommendation whether to pick AC on the 77W or the 789?

Plus: upon arrival in LHR I want to take a shower at the airport. I understand there is an AC arrivals lounge which is pretty good and not too crowded? I have some horrible memories of 45+ minutes wait times for a shower at the BA arrivals lounge

Last edited by San Gottardo; Aug 20, 19 at 5:14 am
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Old Aug 20, 19, 5:21 am
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Originally Posted by San Gottardo View Post
Bumping this thread as i need to decide between BA 777, AC 77W and AC 789.

At the time the above posts were made the Signature lounge in YYZ didn't exist yet, and I notice the negative comments about the ML lounge in YYZ. I presume things have changed with the opening of the Signature lounge? Is AC the obvious "winner" now? Any recommendation whether to pick AC on the 77W or the 789?

Plus: upon arrival in LHR I want to take a shower at the airport. I understand there is an AC arrivals lounge which is pretty good and not too crowded? I have some horrible memories of 45+ minutes wait times for a shower at the BA arrivals lounge
Apropos the last point, the last 10 or so visits I've made to the BA arrivals lounge in T5, I have not once had to wait for even a minute, so I would suggest that you shouldn't be too concerned about that particular point.
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Old Aug 20, 19, 10:22 am
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Here are some photos of the lounge ( not mine), I have heard very positive things about it. https://photos.app.goo.gl/0nui9iIVxRH5nczi1
The seats will be uniform across the fleet, so doesn't really matter if you are on a 77W or 789. Pick whatever schedule meets your needs.
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Old Aug 20, 19, 11:29 am
  #15  
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Hi,

Of course later this year the A350-1000 with the new club world suites comes to the YYZ Toronto route ( not sure about 2020 yet)


Regards

TBS
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