Review of Air Canada flight Paris Toronto in Business

Airline Air Canada
Flight AC881
Class Business
Seat 11A
Aircraft Boeing 777-300ER
Flight time 7:05
Take-off 22 Apr 16, 12:00
Arrival at 22 Apr 16, 13:05
AC   #48 out of 107 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 210 reviews
hometoyyz
By 1981
Published on 16th August 2016
And down the stretch we come! This flight-report completes a round-the-world adventure, highlighted by flying Singapore to Paris, my first flight ever in Singapore Suites.

This will be a much briefer flight-report than that one, because I’m lazy, because I usually tend to write shorter reports further into the trip, because there’s a lot less new to talk about in this one, and because the flight went down as it did. But we’ll get to that in the report.

First, the rundown of the trip:

AC153 YYZ-YVR 4/18/2016 - Right here
AC63 YVR-ICN 4/18/2016 - Here you go
SQ609 ICN-SIN 4/20/2016 - Sure, why not
SQ336 SIN-CDG 4/22/2016 - Enjoy!
AC881 CDG-YYZ 4/22/2016 - You are here

Conveniently, my SQ flight into CDG, arrived at terminal1 right next to the shuttle bus over to T2, and Air Canada flies out of T2A at CDG. The previous flight-report ended off on the bus between terminals, and that’s where we’ll pick things up.

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A little bit of spotting on the way over to my terminal. First, an American Airlines 767.

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And then its big younger sibling from Hong Kong.

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We arrived, conveniently enough, right at the security checkpoint for this section of Terminal 2, which means I got to avoid the disaster that the main security checkpoints at CDG can be. On the downside, it means my No. 1 access card was pretty much meaningless. On the upside, there was literally no one at the security point I arrived at, so I was very quickly through, since SQ had been kind enough to print my onwards AC boarding pass in Singapore.

Things are fairly quiet at this hour of the morning at CDG.

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AC operates out of the one of the “pods” attached to the central part of Terminal 2, connected by curved glass hallways.

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After a bit of a walk, I arrived in the satellite pod, which was not exactly busy at this hour of the morning.

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Air Canada operates a Maple Leaf Lounge at CDG, in the satellite pod, which is quite convenient. That might be the only good thing about it. Let’s head downstairs — that’s always a good sign for a lounge — and check it out.

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Here we are. Looks good enough from here.

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On the YYZ-YVR flight-report that began this series, there was some conversation about how good the Canada-based Maple Leaf Lounges look compared to some U.S.-based lounges. Allow me to introduce the other side of the coin. The MLL at CDG is almost certainly the worst in the system — certainly the worst aside from some of the very small lounges offered at smaller Canadian airports.

The whole thing is downstairs, dark, not exactly attractive, and in need of a bit of an update. seating is decent, and when I arrive, it’s not very full. But with a small lounge, no many other Star Alliance options in T2, and at least one 400-plus seat 77W flying into or out of CDG at a time, it gets very crowded, very fast. Here’s a look at the main room.

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The bar.

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Coffee marker and water dispenser.

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Magazines on offer.

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And a very feeble “buffet” for food. Fortunately, I’m not exactly starving after coming off Suites.

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A cooler of drinks, and another coffee machine.

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I take a seat and chill for a bit, catching up on e-mail. At least the WiFi works well, and is quick.

There’s a shower stall available for those who want to partake. I seem to recall it’s nothing special nor terrible, but I didn’t partake in a shower this time around.

Pretty soon, the lounge is packed to the gills, and dishes and cups are piling up. It’s getting loud and generally unpleasant, plus it’s almost boarding times, so I head upstairs to the gate, to see where we’re at in terms of getting my flight home going.

Upstairs, the lineup for pre-boarding has already begun, and I join the lineup, where a lively discussion of the wonders of the 10-across 77W ensues.

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Boarding is called on time, and after scanning be boarding cart, I get my first look of our toothpaste tube back to Toronto this morning.

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Flight: AC881
From: Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG)
To: Toronto Pearson (YYZ)
Date: 4/22/2016
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Registration: C-FIUR
Seat: 11A
ATD (STD): 12:00 (11:00)
ATA (STA): 13:08 (13:00)

And so, this flight-report series ends as it began — in seat 11A of an AC 77W. Voila! The seat is equipped with a good pillow and a nice duvet.

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A bottle of water and the standard AC amenity kit are offered on the pull-out table in front of the entertainment screen.

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We’ll do a quick review of this pod’s features — any of my other AC business class flight-reports go more in depth if you want to know more about specific features. Seat controls are on a screen in the side wall of the pod, while the cubby above it contains the pullout toushcscreen IFE controller, and all your ports.

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Out my window, an AA 777 gets ready to head Stateside.

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Here’s the legroom in this pod, and a look into the footwell, which is a decent size for my 5’11” frame.

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Service begins during boarding with pre-departure beverages. Sparkling wine, sparkling water, and orange juice are on offer. We’ll go with the wine, of course.

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Next up, the menu is offered, and orders are taken. I choose the beef, because I’m feeling brave.



IFE is available from gate to gate, so I choose a movie — Daddy’s Home. It’s… well…. it’s a movie. That’s for sure.

By the time boarding has completed, they’ve completely changed the pain job on the 777 parked two gates over. That’s really amazing!

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As we push back, this pretty Air Tahiti Nui A340 is towed by.

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Goodbye, ground agent!

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Passing an Air France whalebus as we taxi.

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All AF, all the time!

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Au revoir, CDG!



Once we level off, service begins with the noise-cancelling headphones being distributed. IFE was available immediately, but AC only allows in-ear earbuds prior to the seatbelt sign being turned off.

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Then Canadian arrival forms are distributed — glad to have these early, considering how the rest of the flight progressed for me.

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And then a hot towel is offered.

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A quick trip to the lav between the J cabins. Pretty standard, but at least it’s clean this early in the flight.



Drinks are offered from the cart. I decide to forego my usual pre-meal champagne, and go straight to the Caesar. I’m sure Socalnow will be pleased. Drinks are offered with (very) heated cashews. Almonds are apparently on the outs at AC.

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Lunch service begins very quickly by AC standards, with the appetizer and salad offered together, accompanied by some water and a glass of the French merlot being offered.

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The starter was decent. I’m not a big fan of foie gras, but it’s a nice big serving of it if you’re so-inclined. But the duck breast was very nice.

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The salad was nice, a bit of a departure from AC’s salads ex-Canada. Unfortunately, the dressing story remains the same — your choice of balsamic and olive oil or nothing.

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Starter plates were quickly removed, and my main offered. I rolled the dice on beef, and turned up a winner. This dish was not overcooked, and quite tasty. The vegetbles offered were good, and the potato was fantastic. Overall, I think the presentation was very nice as well.

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After dinner, cheese was offered. I passed on the port this time.

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And finally, dessert, which was simple and tasty. Accompanied by some Baileys.

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My movie ended shortly after lunch was over. I didn’t think I was feeling particularly tired, but decided to put my seat into bed mode and hunker down anyways and see what happens.

When I woke up, the cabin lights were on, which surprised me. I figured we were probably out somewhere over the Atlantic. So I checked the moving map to see where we were.

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What? Wow. I basically slept the whole flight away! We’re over Quebec, with less than an hour left to go in the flight. So I guess I was tired. And the bed is pretty comfy.

But given how close we are to Toronto, I wonder if I’ve missed the pre-arrival “light meal”? Nope… turns out I have not, as a hot towel is offered a few minutes after I became awake enough to be aware of my surroundings.

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The meal was offered all at once — and is quite simple. The chocolates were good, the orange segments were orange segments, and the main was very enjoyable — I quite enjoed getting a little bit of everything on a fork, and giving it a little bit of pesto. Certainly, not a heavy meal, but I quite enjoyed it.

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By the time the meal was over, we were into our descent into Pearson.

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Here’s the airport as we fly by it, headed westbound to turn around and land towards the east.

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Making a big turn over Halton region to get lined up.

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Highway 410.

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Dixie Road.

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And touchdown!

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After a short and uneventful taxi, we arrived into Terminal 1 next to this AC 787-9.

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From there, it was the usual Pearson international arrival — a looooong walk back to arrivals, but getting through passport control and customs was quick enough thanks to my Nexus card.
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Verdict

Air Canada

7.9/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew7.5
Entertainment8.0
meal/catering8.0

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge - Terminal 2A

6.0/10
Comfort5.5
meal/catering3.5
Entertainment8.0
Services7.0

Paris - CDG

7.4/10
Efficiency6.0
Access7.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.5

Toronto - YYZ

8.3/10
Efficiency7.5
Access8.5
Services8.0
Cleanliness9.0

Conclusion

A pretty good business class TATL flight with AC -- one which I was quite surprised to sleep through, especially coming off a pretty good sleep on the SQ flight to Paris. Because this was a daytime flight, I had considered booking this in Premium Economy, but with the way it turned out, I was glad to have the flat bed.

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1 Comments

  • Comment 364465 by
    KévinDC TEAM 3939 Comments

    Thanks for another great FR! That airside bus from T1 is convenient and it's always nice to have such good tarmac views.

    "On the upside, there was literally no one at the security point"
    - That's rare at CDG! So it made the lack of an Acces no 1 line ok.

    "Allow me to introduce the other side of the coin. The MLL at CDG is almost certainly the worst in the system"
    - I'm really surprised about that tbh. It's the opposite for U.S. carriers--lounges suck in the States, but the same airline's lounges overseas are on par with other international carriers. For example, DL's best Sky Club is at NRT, UA has a great new lounge in LHR, and AA has good Admirals Clubs in LHR, CDG, and many other cities.

    So with the 3-4-3 configuration in Y, is this a former "High Density 77W" or are they all going to 3-4-3 with the new cabins B/E Aerospace J seats being installed?

    "The starter was decent. I’m not a big fan of foie gras"
    - GASP! I am shocked and appalled. Have lost all respect for you :-)
    That is a nice big piece of foie gras. AC is definitely generous with the serving

    "But given how close we are to Toronto, I wonder if I’ve missed the pre-arrival “light meal”? "
    - I also have a gift for sleeping during a whole flight and waking up just in time for a meal service. That pre-arrival meal, though light, is definitely more generous that what you get on Euro carriers like BA or AF on the short TATL flights.

    Thanks for a great round-the-world series!

      0

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