Review of Air Canada flight Montreal Paris in Economy

Airline Air Canada
Flight AC870
Class Economy
Seat 28G
Aircraft Boeing 777-300ER
Flight time 06:40
Take-off 06 Sep 15, 20:55
Arrival at 07 Sep 15, 09:35
AC   #53 out of 139 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 290 reviews
oriolgutierrez
Published on 9th September 2015
BCN - BRU SN3696 Y / AIRBUS A319-100 - 21/08/2015: http://flight-report.com/en/report-11517.html
BRU - JFK SN501 Y / AIRBUS A330-300 - 22/08/2015: http://flight-report.com/en/report-11519.html
YUL - CDG AC870 Y / BOEING 777-300ER - 06/09/2015: HERE
CDG - BCN VY8247 Y / AIRBUS A320-200 - 07/09/2014:

Preface: We decided to take a trip to the US as we wanted to visit some relatives in Connecticut and the city of Boston. We then found a nice one-week one-way Canada & New England cruise from Boston to Montreal and decided to add the cruise to the trip to CT and Boston to make the most of our trip to America.
I started looking for flight good deals from Barcelona but prices were extremely expensive and decided to look for flights out of other European cities. It turned out that Brussels was one of the cities where the cheapest flights departed from so I looked for BRU-JFK/BOS and YUL-BRU. BRU-BOS required a layover and coming from BCN, two layovers would be too much so decided to fly to New York and book a transfer to Connecticut. It all came down then to BRU-JFK and YUL-BRU, the cheapest option was to layover in Paris returning from Montreal and I looked for the same flights in a multi-flight ticket, it turned out to be as cheap as with the layover in Brussels and the CDG-BRU leg was not the day after we landed in Paris. We then would not have to go stop in Paris and Brussels on our way back to Barcelona as the CDG-YUL leg would not be used. After finding and booking the two long-haul legs (BRU-JFK YUL-CDG) I then started looking into options to get to Brussels and return from Paris. Getting to Brussels was pretty easy on Brussels Airlines as they were the cheapest option available, even cheaper than Vueling or Ryanair so it was a no-brainer for us even if flying them required us to overnight in Brussels. On our way back from Paris, we could fly Air France, EasyJet, Vueling or take the train, we decided to fly back from CDG as it was the airport from which our flight from YUL arrived, Air France was too expensive and not worth it in my opinion for a 1:30 flight and by booking with Vueling I could reduce the fare using some Avios I had.
Finally we had our routing done (BCN-BRU-JFK YUL-CDG-BCN).

I tried to select our seats for this flight through Expedia and I couldn't do so, then I accessed this booking through Air Canada intending to reserve our seats and I was told that because I hadn't booked my flight directly through Air Canada's website, I wouldn't be able to select my seats until 24 hours before the flight departure time so I waited until the day before. On the day before the flight, I found out I had been allocated seats in row 58 (practically the end of the aircraft) and I called Air Canada to see if they had other available seats. They told me they had an aisle seat in row 42 so I decided to change my previous seat in row 58 for this one in row 42.

We were staying at the Hyatt Regency Montreal so we just walked one block to the 747 bus station that would bring us to the airport. It was a 30-45 minute ride to the airport on a very old bus without air conditioning so the ride was not too comfy as it was extremely hot that day in Montreal. We arrived at the airport at around 4 PM. We were dropped off in the arrivals area so we had to take an elevator to the departures floor.
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I then used the check-in machines to try to see if there were any window seats available but unfortunately there weren't. I was able though to choose a seat in row 28 which would be my final seat for today's flight.
It was then time to go to the baggage drop-off line, it was practically empty so we waited for less than 5 minutes.
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We were told that one of our bags exceeded the maximum baggage weight by 3 Kg but I thought that as we were only checking in three bags when we were allowed to check four bags it wouldn't be a problem. It turned out to be a problem as Air Canada's policy determines that each bag cannot weigh more than 23 Kg so we had to put some heavy items in other suitcases. Finally we managed to reduce the weight of our heaviest bag and we then went to clear security controls. It was quite crowded but very well-organized so the waiting time wasn't too bad.
Views of Montréal airport.
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We sat next to the sockets area in order to charge my phone, from that area we had a wonderful view of airplanes taxiing towards the runway.
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Time for some spotting.
Air Canada Jazz Canadair CRJ-200 for Boston Logan.
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Air Canada Boeing 767-300 for Paris CDG.
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Air Canada Express De Havilland Canada DHC-8-400 for Toronto Billy Bishop Airport.
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SWISS Airbus A330-300 for Geneva.
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American Eagle Embraer ERJ-135 for New York JFK.
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Air Canada Airbus A320-200 for Toronto.
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Lufthansa Airbus A340-300 for Frankfurt.
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The plane we would be flying in the next hours, Air Canada Boeing 777-300ER coming from London Heathrow.
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Air Transat Airbus A310-300 taking off for Nice and Air Transat Boeing 737-800 for Quebec City.
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After some spotting, I went to the departures screen to see if my flight was scheduled to be on time.
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Even though a non-stop flight exists between Montreal and Barcelona, I wouldn't be taking it this time, it was supposed to depart 5 minutes before my flight to Paris.
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Time for a walk around the duty-free and some shops at the airport.
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A look at a more modern departures screen right next to the duty free area.
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KLM Airbus A330-300 for Amsterdam.
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Air Canada Jetz Airbus A320-200 for Toronto.
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US Airways Express Canadair CRJ-200ER for Philadelphia.
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Air Canada Jazz Canadair CRJ-200LR for Newark.
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Air Canada Rouge Airbus A319-100 for Orlando.
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WestJet Boeing 737-700 for Vancouver.
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Air Canada Jazz Bombardier Dash 8 Q300 for Bathurst.
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Air Canada Express Embraer ERJ-175 for St. John's.
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Last views of Montreal Airport before going to the gate.
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At around 20:15 we walked to gate 51 where our flight AC870 for Paris CDG would be boarding from.
The gate was really crowded and when we got there, passengers were already boarding.
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Here is a picture of our last view of the airplane, not a great picture as it was already dark. Our aircraft today was going to be C-FNNU a 1.8 year old practically new Boeing 777-300ER with Air Canada's 77W high density configuration 3-4-3.
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The IFE looked great, latest generation.
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No window seat this time so no pictures of take off.
Views of the 77W cabin (3-4-3) in mood lighting.
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Time for a tour of the IFE. Latest generation and excellent choice of movies, music and documentaries.
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Some movies.
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TV shows.
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Some short documentaries of Air Canada's Dreamliner.
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The music selection on this IFE.
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There was a survey section where you could answer to some questions about this flight, I did it and it was a nice way to spend some time onboard.
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There was a kids mode with specially selected movies and music for the young ones.
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The map section was great. Many different map modes and very interactive. Well done Air Canada!

After about an hour of flight the first service started. We were offered pasta or chicken, I opted for the chicken.
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The meal was much worse than on our BRU-JFK flight. The chicken was bland and tasteless, lack of spice and seasoning and the vegetables were undercooked. The dessert was fine but nothing spectacular. I expected a better meal on Air Canada, they didn't meet my expectations. My family had the pasta which was overcooked and bland too.
Time for a short tour around this Boeing 777-300ER.
High density 3-4-3 economy configuration. It was way too cramped to feel comfy for passengers, very tight legroom, 10 seats across is too crowded and on a 6:30h flight it's okay but I wouldn't want to imagine myself on a 10+ hour flight on this plane. 3-3-3 should be this 77W's economy configuration.
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Business class' 2-2-2 configuration.
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I slept for an hour approximately and I watched a movie. About 1 hour and a half before arriving to Paris, the second service started, it was a piece of cake which was fine and a drink.
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The flight was pretty turbulent, no strong turbulence at all but mild turbulence very repeatedly for the greatest part of our flight. Flying over Ireland.
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Starting our approach after 6 hours of flight.
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View of the cabin while descending.
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Cabin crew seats for landing.
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Landed in Paris 10 minutes before our scheduled arrival time. Again great on-time performance!
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Last views of the cabin while disembarking.
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I asked the flight attendant if I could go inside the cockpit to take some pictures and she agreed. Very beautiful cockpit! I love Boeing!
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I was shocked to find out we were going to use a bus to disembark the plane, never could have imagined this on an airport like Paris CDG. Fortunately I didn't have to wait too long and was allowed to go on the first bus. Bye C-FNNU!

View of Paris CDG Airport.
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Finally inside the terminal.
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Waiting for our suitcases, we didn't wait for too long as our bags were among the first to come out.
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Next up: CDG-BCN on Vueling's Airbus 320-200.







See more

Verdict

Air Canada

5.9/10
Cabin3.5
Cabin crew6.0
Entertainment/wifi9.0
Meal/catering5.0

Montreal - YUL

7.6/10
Efficiency9.0
Access6.5
Services8.0
Cleanliness7.0

Paris - CDG

6.8/10
Efficiency9.0
Access6.0
Services6.0
Cleanliness6.0

Conclusion

10 across seat configuration on a Boeing 777-300ER is way too crowded, it was fine for a 6h 30 minutes flight but on I wouldn't want to be on this plane for a 10 hours or longer flight. The IFE is amazing, latest generation and great selection of entertainment and the plane is brand new so the mood lighting looks great. Crew were efficient although not too friendly and the meal was pretty bad in comparison to Brussels' BRU-JFK, tasteless and without seasoning, I think Air Canada should really improve its catering.
In a glimpse: brand new airplane with excellent in-flight entertainment, uncomfortable seats due to too many seats on this plane resulting in an uncomfortable ride for even a 6h 30 minutes flight.
I'll try to avoid Air Canada's high density Boeing 777-300ER and look forward to see if their 787 or 767 are more comfortable and spacious.

Information on the route Montreal (YUL) Paris (CDG)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 73 reviews of 4 airlines on the route Montreal (YUL) → Paris (CDG).


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The airline with the best average rating is Qatar Airways with 8.3/10.

The average flight time is 6 hours and 37 minutes.

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8 Comments

  • Comment 146006 by
    KL651 TEAM 4479 Comments

    Thanks for this FR.
    AC's meals are really disapointing, I've always had better catering on UA.

    The 787 might offer a slightly wider seat but not as good as a 3-3-3 configured 777.

    I agree that the new IFE is really the (only?) strong point of AC's new planes.

    • Comment 324629 by
      oriolgutierrez AUTHOR 20 Comments

      Yes, Air Canada's meal was terribly disappointing.
      I believe even Norwegian's Dreamliners which are theoretically configured for a low-cost carrier were more spacious than this AC's B77W.
      I agree with you that the IFE is the only strong aspect of this new AC plane, everything else including meals and legroom is not what one expects from a carrier like Air Canada.

      Thanks for reading my FR.

  • Comment 146170 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5138 Comments

    Another great report! Nice planespotting in Montreal. For a sardine can, the 3-4-3 cabin does not look so bad...but I know it's VERY uncomfortable from the two times I've flow on a 3-4-3 configured 777. At least the good IFE is there to keep your mind of the pain from being squeezed in so tight. It is not that uncommon to be parked at a stand at CDG. It used to be very common before the Terminal E Satellites were built. The good thing about deplaning on the tarmac is the great shots of your plane that you can get.
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Comment 324770 by
      oriolgutierrez AUTHOR 20 Comments

      Nice to hear that you liked my FR!
      Yes the 3-4-3 configuration on the 77W is excessive, on this flight it wasn't too bad as the flight duration was a little bit over 6 hours but I wouldn't want to imagine myself on this plane for on a 10+ hour flight. The only positive aspect of this plane is perhaps the IFE.
      That's true that you can take great shots of the plane although when taking a picture of our plane, I was told Please no pictures by an employee at the airport, fortunately I had already taken a couple of pictures of our plane.
      Thanks for reading my FR.

    • Comment 324840 by
      oriolgutierrez AUTHOR 20 Comments

      I celebrate that you liked the pictures.
      I expected AC to deliver a much better overall product and I was truly disappointed. Definitely not the Best Airline in North America.
      It is a pity that legacy carriers like AC have downgraded their 777W to high-density 3-4-3 configuration in Economy as even though it is just adding a seat per row, it makes a real difference regarding the passengers' comfort.

      Thanks for reading my FR.

  • Comment 146252 by
    pititom GOLD 10492 Comments

    Hi and thank you for this report. Very nice pictures and nothing is missing. A real pleasure to go through it.

    The catering is underwhelming, especially the second service. AC used to pride itself of his Best Airline of North America award, but I can't see the difference with the others now.

    Many companies also entered in a race for a better cabin on long-hauls. But AC downgraded its 77W from 3-3-3 to 3-4-3 in Economy and from a 1-2-1 herringbone to this 2-2-2 cabin in Business. It's anachronical in today's competition over the Atlantic.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Comment 146466 by
    Benoit75008 GOLD 7509 Comments

    Thanks for your report,

    Catering is a real joke for north american airlines^^
    And i guess it's better not to mention breakfast.

    Unfortunately AF is also using high density B777W for some destinations.
    I don't know how they got this Skytrax award (as Pititom told you also)

    • Comment 325036 by
      oriolgutierrez AUTHOR 20 Comments

      Catering was terrible in this flight especially after having one of the best meals I've ever had on a flight with SN.
      You are certainly right that what we were served cannot be called breakfast but that's how AC called it. :D

      It is a pity that so many airlines are using this high density 777W as it is a plane I love but I would try to avoid flying on triple-sevens in case they have a 3-4-3 configuration.
      Thanks for reading my FR.

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