Review of Air Canada flight Tokyo Toronto in Business

Airline Air Canada
Flight AC6
Class Business
Seat 1A
Aircraft Boeing 787-9
Flight time 12:00
Take-off 30 May 16, 17:30
Arrival at 31 May 16, 16:30
AC   #45 out of 112 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 216 reviews
Rewardflying
By 3758
Published on 24th June 2016
photo ac6 cover 1

Date: May 2016

Route: HND-YYZ

Flight #: 6

Aircraft: Boeing 787-9 C-FNOE

Configuration: 3-class

Seat(s): 1A

On Time: Y

I admit to being very excited to fly on a 787 for an extended period. I wanted to see how the increased pressurization and humidity in the 787 cabin affected me. My only other 787 flight had been on the third United delivery right after the battery incident was resolved and the planes were cleared to fly again. It was a short crew familiarization flight from Chicago to Houston. So this 12 hour trip was the test!

United 787 in 2012
photo us 787 eng-wing no caption

My perceptions. First I slept really well on the plane, probably for a good 6 hours and that would be a first for me. Now was it the plane or me just tired? I can’t prove either one, just that I’ve never slept that well on any plane. The second is that arriving in Toronto I felt pretty good. I had to connect to Chicago so my journey was not complete. All in all it was 6 hours before I arrived home after landing. I wasn't wiped out so maybe there is something to the these cabin changes that's good for me.

photo ac6 gate 2

787 fliers have opinions on both sides of the fence, helps or doesn’t. Count me on the help side.

When arriving at Tokyo's Haneda Airport, which by the way is beautiful inside, I went searching for the ANA lounge. A handy touch screen map points you in the right direction. Just tell it where you want to go. I was in the middle of the terminal and my gate was 145. It showed a lounge next to my gate. So I walked down and the lounge was closed. I didn’t read the hours, it is only open in the morning. So I got my exercise for the day walking to the other end of the terminal for that ANA lounge.

photo ac6 haneda map

The lounge is large with many different rooms to relax in and has a great view of the airfield.



Food and drink, compared to Tokyo Narita, was not as plentiful. There wasn’t anyone making fresh sushi. Just a few pre-made maki rolls as well as some noodles, soups, sandwiches and salads. Typical beverages were offered.

photo ac6 lounge 4photo ac6 lounge 5

Cabin:
When doing the seating blog for Air Canada, I made the opinion that their new business cabin was gorgeous. I was not disappointed. Some may not not care for the two-tone grey, I like it. And their maple leaf logo couldn't be made to look better.


photo ac6 cabin 1photo ac6 cabin 2

This was a 9 series which has 30 seats in business all in the forward cabin. The 8 series has only 20. Designed in the reverse herringbone style all seats have direct aisle access.

I chose 1A, or should I say when I booked it I was assigned 1A. Since you have to call AC to change, as their mobile app or website doesn’t allow seat changes on tickets booked with other airlines (UA), I just left it alone. Some blogs even claimed 1A has more leg room.

This cabin was full so I wasn’t able to see if the footwell claim is true but I found something I disliked about 1A (1K too). Besides being by the galley, which wasn’t a huge bother, the issue is with the way the aisle is angled.

photo ac6 seatguru

In front of row one are compartments for the crew. The compartments are wider than the the seat pods against the windows. Therefore when entering the cabin from the front door or front galley the aisle is angled in towards the window. The curtain that closes off the cabin is at about at a 25 degree angle and it's right in front of the seat opening. So when someone opens the curtain they are facing you directly and it has the appearance they are walking into your seat area. I just found this distracting and lacking privacy. I would choose something in the middle cabin area next time.

photo ac6 cabin aisle

The 787 has huge overhead compartments. This carry-on stretches the girth limit and there is plenty of room above.

photo ac6 cabin 3

And hooray for Air Canada, adjustable air vents!!!

photo ac6 cabin 4

Seat Comfort:
This was my first ride on a B/E Aerospace Super Diamond and hopefully not my last. It is everything the hype says it is.

photo ac6 seat 1 ligther

Upon entering the cabin all amenities are precisely laid out. Your duvet and pillow on the seat, amenity kit, slippers and spare earbuds on the side table, IFE controller / electrical port storage compartment door open, IFE monitor on along with a bottle of water. Every pod was identical.



Underneath the touch screen control panel is a magazine/safety card holder as well as some kind of triangular storage area.
photo ac6 seat 4

The footwell has another storage area which can hold a tablet or laptop (There’s a warning notice about not storing anything on the ottoman. I wonder how many people get on their hands and knees to read it?) The ottoman and footwell are plenty wide for comfort. (Note the ottoman looks broken as its bend down. It’s not, was secured firmly, that's just the way it is.)

photo ac6 seat 6

On the side of the seat neatly placed is a reading lamp that has its intensity controlled by the touchpad.
photo ac6 seat 7photo ac6 seat 8

The touch panel controls your lighting, seat, and attendant features. You can use the manual buttons to adjust the seat as well.
photo ac6 seat 5

From the Home menu select:
photo ac6 seat control 1

Service: To ring for a flight attendant, wake for meals or set the do not disturb light.
photo ac6 seat control 2

Ambiance: To adjust the lighting.
photo ac6 seat control 3

Control: To adjust the position of your seat.
photo ac6 seat control 4a

Comfort: To adjust the seat cushion.
photo ac6 seat control 5

Sleep Comfort:
As I stated, quality sleep on this plane was a first for me. Maybe it was the plane, maybe the seat, probably both.
photo ac6 seat 9

The bed has lots of leg room as well as width due to an adjustable armrest.


Amenities:
A pair of slippers along with an amenity kit featuring Escents skin products, socks, eye mask, ear plugs, toothbrush, floss and toothpaste was waiting when you arrived.
photo ac6 amenity 2

A set of earbuds was also provided which you could use before they passed out the headphones and after they were collected. Nice touch.
photo ac6 amenity 1 photo ac6 amenity 3

Drink Selections:
Beverage selection was pretty good. Liquors weren’t necessarily top shelf but I found it interesting that they offered an organic red wine, which was actually quite good.

Air Canada has installed an expresso/cappuccino makers on the 787 aircraft and use Lavazza brand coffee. I ordered a cappuccino however I was told that the part of the machine that made the milk foam was broken, I could only get an expresso.



Food Menu Selections and food extras:
Air Canada offers some express meal options for folks who want to get to sleep right away. Otherwise the menu was fairly extensive, with three international selections and one Japanese selection for dinner. The brunch menu however was one international selection and two Japanese selections. I went Japanese all the way.

photo ac6 menu 3photo ac6 menu 4

Meals /Presentation:
The meal was presented nicely. Care was taken to arrange the appetizer tray as well as provide a chop stick rest.

photo ac6 dinner 1

Food/Quality:
I have no idea of what some of the izakaya were other than the soba noodles and soup. But the 2nd onedown, with the 4 green peas was outstanding.


The main however was just ok. Somewhat chewy for braised beef and wasn’t robust with flavor. However it was edible, just not memorable.

photo ac6 dinner 6

Dessert for me was tiramisu. They had ice cream and cheeses as well. Certainly nothing to get overly excited about.

photo ac6 dinner 7photo ac6 dinner 8

No mid-flight snacks for me. But brunch was served 90 minutes before landing. I chose the congee rice with sticky egg. I guess croissants are now part of Japanese cuisine, I didn’t know that.
photo ac6 brkfast 4

While us Westerners probably look at this as an odd combination, it was very good, with the exception of the salmon, which was not edible. Shoe leather would be more tender.
photo ac6 brkfast 3

All in all the food had some hits and some misses. (Better than some of the internet stories about AC food however!)

IFE:
The enRoute IFE system is a robust product that has some interesting features. It is touch screen as well as having a smartly placed controller tucked inside a closable compartment.

photo ac6 ife controler


The lower navigation bar has an email selection. It is here passenger messages are shown, in this case a message to fasten seat belts as well as one about the duty free shop being open. There are also shortcuts to the entertainment sections, airshow as well as lighting, flight attendant calling and settings on this bar.

photo ac6 ife 1photo ac6 ife 2

The main menu:
Watch and Listen: Movies, TV shows and music.
Shop: Duty free
Moving Map: Numerous map views including a simulated cockpit screen that shows airspeed, altitude, etc.
photo ac6 ife 5photo ac6 ife route
Play: Games
Eat and Drink: What is being served on board, except not food, only beverage. And it showed the cappuccino that wasn’t available.
photo ac6 ife 4

About US: A lot of information about Air Canada
photo ac6 ife destinations

Kids Corner: Kids shows and games
Travel: Here you could select from a list of international cities and get recommendations of hotels, restaurants and sights to see. However the city list and recommendations were not very comprehensive. Might be a work in progress.
photo ac6 ife 6

The FA crew was very nice. They were attentive but not necessarily proactive as I had to ask for some water.

The Boeing 787 is quiet, spacious as well as having the pressurization/humidity benefits that I mentioned earlier. The mood lighting is also cool. If you need a negative, the lavatories are small.




Flight Path
photo ac6 flight path

Hello Toronto
photo ac6 photo toronto

For a complete review on Reward Flying website
See more

Verdict

Air Canada

8.0/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew7.5
Entertainment8.0
Meal/catering7.5

ANA Lounge Haneda International terminal

7.4/10
Comfort8.5
Meal/catering6.0
Entertainment8.0
Services7.0

Tokyo - HND

8.9/10
Efficiency9.0
Access8.5
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.0

Toronto - YYZ

6.8/10
Efficiency7.0
Access7.0
Services6.5
Cleanliness6.5

Conclusion

This flight on Air Canada was a great experience. With the rankings I assign, this flight is up near the top. (7 of 10 where LH is tops with 8 of 10.) With some improvements in catering, AC could be a star. Even so, with an expanding fleet of 787 aircraft, good reward availability and a quality business class seat, I certainly don’t mind connecting in Toronto for more international flights on Air Canada.

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