Review of Air Canada flight Toronto Seoul in Business

Airline Air Canada
Flight AC61
Class Business
Seat 3A
Aircraft Boeing 787-9
Flight time 13:34
Take-off 06 Sep 18, 13:57
Arrival at 06 Sep 18, 16:31
AC   #50 out of 131 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 266 reviews
atco
By SILVER 2579
Published on 13th January 2019

How I booked


Routing

  • AC61 - Business - Toronto -> Seoul Incheon - Boeing 787-9 You are here
  • OZ741 - Business - Seoul Incheon -> Bangkok Suvarnabhumi - Airbus A380-800 Past
  • CX717 - Business - Bangkok Suvarnabhumi -> Singapore - Airbus A330-300 Coming soon
  • SQ116 - Business - Singapore -> Kuala Lumpur - Airbus A330-300 Coming soon
  • MI325 - Business - Kuala Lumpur -> Singapore - Boeing 737-800 Coming soon
  • KL835 - Business - Singapore -> Denpasar Bali - Boeing 777-300ER Coming soon
  • GA407 - Business - Denpasar Bali -> Jakarta - Airbus A330-300 Coming soon
  • MH720 - Business - Jakarta -> Kuala Lumpur - Boeing 737-800 Coming soon
  • MH2606 - Business - Kuala Lumpur -> Kota Kinabalu - Boeing 737-800 Coming soon
  • MH2613 - Business - Kota Kinabalu -> Kuala Lumpur - Boeing 737-800 Coming soon
  • BR228 - Business - Kuala Lumpur -> Taipei Taoyuan - Airbus A330-300 Coming soon
  • BR36 - Business - Taipei Taoyuan -> Toronto - Boeing 777-300ER Coming soon

photo asia_2018

After my first experience of flying Business last November, I had got the taste for this whole Premium Cabin thing.

Strangely enough it was a chance comment from a friend that was the opening to the rabbit hole. He mentioned about how he was taking his dad from London to LAX in BA First using Avios.
Now honestly I'd never really had a clue about miles, points etc and how the whole thing worked. Boy did I ever waste a lot of years! I'd always wondered how so many people could afford to pay the insane prices airlines charged for F and J. Little did I realise that many of those people were there for pennies on the dollar.
After diving into the whole scene full blooded I'd unlocked the key to do this on a big scale. So less than a year after starting I was able to put together a trip around Asia all in Business.

The YYZ-ICN-BKK flights cost 75,000 Aeroplan miles. The TPE-YYZ flight also cost 75,000 Aeroplan miles and for reasons I'm not entirely sure I understand I wasn't able to make my multi-city itinerary accept my return flight KUL-TPE-YYZ so I had to book KUL-TPE as a separate leg. This was highly annoying however the blow was softened by a 30% transfer bonus on my SPG points, so that effectively made the flight free in the end.
I used 15,000 BA Avios for the BKK-SIN leg on Cathay which is a crazy good value.
However my terrible luck bit me again on this flight which frankly I booked because it was on the A350-900 and I was yet to fly on one and with the rave reviews it was getting was to be a highlight of the trip for me.
Of course about 2 months before we left ExpertFlyer delivered the brutal news that there had been an aircraft change to an A330-300.
I was gutted especially when I checked EF and found that of the 30 days in September the A330 was operating on only 2 of them. The day after I travelled it was an A350-1000 which would have been even better. I thought long and hard about changing plans to fly a day later but it was just too much hassle. While my wife is nice and understanding  even she has limits on how much she will accommodate my avgeekness!

The rest of the flights were cash bookings.
The most expensive flights was the SIN-KUL return on SQ. I originally booked in Y as the cost difference between Y and J was too much. However not flying in J was eating away at me and I started to wonder about how often I would get the chance to fly SQ J again and I buckled and upgraded the flights. It was crazy for a 50 minute flight, but our travel decisions are not always made with the head are they?
It ended up about $775 return.

KLM was about $390 for SIN-DPS, Garuda was about $260, Malaysian CGK-KUL-BKI was $330 and BKI-KUL was $190
*All prices per person in CAD


check in and lounge


photo 20180908_165548aaa

We spent the previous night at what is now my favourite hotel at YYZ, the Doubletree. The top floor room we had came with fantastic views over the airport and afforded me the chance to get some photos in.
Our flight was scheduled for a 1345 departure and as usual we planned to get to the airport 3 hours before.
We had a really nice breakfast at the Doubletree and spent a leisurely morning before taking the airport shuttle around 1020.

We went to the Air Canada Business check in, which is photographed in my previous trip report and again had no wait before an agent called us up to take our bags.
The staff here were incredibly helpful. My elderly mother was travelling back to the UK later that day with an 1830 departure, so the plan was to guest her into the lounge. The only problem was the AC usually won't check bags before 3 hours prior.
We kindly asked the agent if my mum could check in and she was incredibly helpful. After radioing down to the baggage room they took my mum's bag and checked her in. Five Star service from AC, we were so relieved and we headed off for the fast track security.

With no wait at all we were through and off to the AC Maple Leaf Lounge, this time the International one.

Unfortunately as I was tending to my mum and spending our last few hours with her before we went our separate ways I forgot to take any pictures in the lounge. Which is a shame because it was a nice lounge and had a nice lunch spread. I shall give myself 50 lashes for my negligence!
I enquired about a shower and after about a 20 minute wait I exchanged my boarding pass for a shower key.

The shower room was quite spacious and kept immaculately clean. I had a wonderful and refreshing shower and yes once again I neglected to take any photos of the shower room. I shall add another 25 lashes!

Once the bar opened I helped myself to a beer or two (although the beer taps were awful - For the life of me I could not get anything like a decent pour, it was nothing but froth and foam and I found the whole system to be deeply irritating). After getting fed up with battling the beer tap I had a glass of wine and took in some lunch.
The lunch spread was surprisingly good, blowing away my very low expectations.

After a satisfying few hours in the lounge my wife and I headed off to our gate and bid farewell to my mum for another year.


AC61 YYZ-ICN


photo ac61_faphoto ac61_fr24

Our flight today was due to be operated by C-FRTW which had arrived earlier in the day from Madrid. AC61 had consistently been operated by the Madrid aircraft for the last week, and sure enough FR24 showed FRTW on our flight all morning.

When we got to the gate however it was to be C-FGFZ waiting for us, a slightly older airframe but otherwise of course identical (save for the older AC livery!)

As a rookie flight reporter, I've yet to master the art of taking enough cabin shots. I'll give myself another 50 lashes for that and promise to do better. When I board I tend to get so concentrated on getting all my stuff in place and getting my bag away that I forget to take shots and then the cabin fills up and I feel a bit self conscious taking photos with random strangers in them. I've got a plan for the future though although most of the reports in this series will be very light on cabin shots, so if you like them feel free to curse at me for my foolishness :)

Flight Details:
Airline: Air Canada
Flight Number: AC61
Departure: Toronto YYZ
Departure Time: 1357
Arrival: Seoul Incheon ICN
Arrival Time: 1634
Flight Time: 13:34
Travel Date: Thursday 6 September 2018 / Arrived Friday 7th
Class: Signature Business International
Seat: 3A
Aircraft: Boeing 787-9
Registration: C-FGFZ


photo 20180906_132025photo 20180906_131428

Seat 3A and my monitor confirms that I'm on the right airplane!

We boarded via door L2 at Gate E78 at YYZ's Terminal 1. The priority boarding was well enforced not only with clearly marked lanes but verbal announcements. That didn't stop a lady who was in Group 5 (Seriously!) from joining the line behind us and trying to get on with group 1. The walk of shame must have been a painful one for her as by this time the Group 5 line was huge!

This was to be my first flight in International Business and my excitement level was high. At almost 14 hours this wouldn't quite be the longest flight of my life (KUL-LHR in a MAS 744 - in Y) but it would certainly be my most comfortable!

The reverse-herringbone seats are well known and loved and with good reason. I love the layout of the Air Canada seats. The large monitor sits in front of you meaning its available gate to gate and never has to be stowed. The large table slides out from under the monitor and is handily adjustable and sturdy.
There is plenty of seat storage, with a covered cubby that contains USB and power ports and the jack to connect the headphones.
There was a reading light to the upper left of my seat and below it was a cubby under the footstool where I could keep my shoes and on the side a literature pocket containing the usual safety card, sick bag, in flight magazine and duty free shopping catalogue.

Waiting for me at my seat was some fabulous bedding, some comfy slippers and a sharp looking amenity kit.

The crew soon came around headed by a lovely purser whose name sadly I can't remember but she was just lovely and provided impeccable service for the whole flight. I was given a menu and welcomed on board by name. I was asked if I would like a drink and moments later a rather lovely glass of Laurent Perrier was delivered to me.
I was beginning to feel that I could quite easily grow accustomed to this!


photo 20180906_131844photo 20180906_132039

The menu read as follows:
PS: Sorry for the rookie mistake again, taking the shots in portrait mode rather than landscape. I'll have to add them individually rather than as a gallery otherwise lots of the info will be lost. I'll get the hang of this eventually!

Food Options:


photo 20180906_131901photo 20180906_131908

Drink Options:


photo 20180906_131916photo 20180906_131931

Takeoff


We pushed back from E78 a little over 10 mins late and what is close to the longest taxi possible at YYZ all the way up to Runway 05.
Our aircraft was heavy and would require the longest runway.
We had a short wait for a landing Westjet 737 and then it was a rolling take off, using a good chunk of runway before finally getting airborne just at the intersection with 15L/33R

We had a slow climb up to the North East as we headed for Hudson Bay, Baffin Island and then North up through Baffin Bay with our filed route taking us all the way up to 87 degrees North, close to the Magnetic Pole. We would clip the Western edge of Greenland before crossing the Arctic Sea and making landfall again over Siberia before heading South to the North Eastern corner of China.



signature service


Now I frequently read that Air Canada has some really miserable crew comparable to the worst of the big US3.
I know that my sample size is minuscule (as in 2 flights) but the crew on both my AC Business flights have been absolutely superb.
I mentioned that the purser (is it purser at AC or CSM or some other fancy title?) was incredible. We were happy to be on her side of the aisle because she did everything you could possibly want from a crew member. Easy, gentle conversation, proactive refills on emptying glasses, constantly checking that all was well or if anything was needed. She was just a gem and her whole crew reflected the same impeccable service level. Quite honestly the service on board was flawless, I could not have been more impressed and if this is the effort AC can put forward consistently then the US3 don't have a chance.
Thank you to the crew on AC61 on 06 Sept 2018, you were first class in every way.

Air Canada during the latter stages of 2018 upgraded its Business Class service to what it titled Signature Service with a few new features especially if you are on a paid J ticket. The highlight of which is probably the Signature Suite, a new a la carte restaurant lounge. Sadly on an Aeroplan redemption I was not able to go in. They did however upgrade some other concepts, like new drinks, food items, bedding and amenity kits on board.
Air Canada also offers dine on demand should you wish to eat at a different time to the scheduled meal service.

After takeoff a ramekin of warm nuts was served and my glass of LP was topped up. Fortunately the lovely purser had noticed that the LP was being consumed quite easily by my good self and ensured that my glass was in no danger of running dry!

Shortly after the dinner service started and I was presented with the smoked duck starter. Having never had smoked duck before I wasn't sure what to expect but it was delicious and I made short work of it, accompanied by my old friend LP and a glass of the very nice French Chardonnay.
I seem to be the only person in the flight reviewing World that likes airplane steak/beef, probably because I like my steak well done anyway (gasp!). So the AAA Grilled Beef Tenderloin was an easy choice for me, and it was again a superb dish. The meat was perfect and the asparagus and mashed potatoes complimented it perfectly. Again the rebel in me stuck with the white wine with the beef. I can almost hear the tutting from here! (I'm not a big fan of red wine!)

The dessert I chose was the Lemon Cheescake and due to getting caught up in this whole other World of flying in style I of course forgot to snap a photo of it. Either that or the LP/Chardonnay combo was taking its toll :)



Sadly AC doesn't do pyjamas in Business, which is too bad because that is yet another way they could completely differentiate from the rest of the Trans-Atlantic J market and also blow the US3 out of sight.
Anyway I brought my beloved comfy pants and T-shirt out of my carryon and went to get changed in the spacious lav.
No pics as a) I forgot again and b) Most of my effort was spent ensuring I didn't fall while changing

I returned to my seat, fortunately still in one piece and put the matress pad onto my now inviting looking seat/bed. AC has some really great bedding I feel. The quilt was big, puffy and ridiculously comfy.
I spent some time watching Deadpool 2 again, even though I'd already seen it and couldn't help but wonder as I sat there at the marvel of this whole thing. I was flying over the Arctic sipping champagne after downing a lovely steak dinner, watching an awesome movie while reclined in a half seat half bed all wrapped up in a cocoon of delightful bedding. I almost had to pinch myself to make sure this wasn't a dream. How the hell does someone as average as me end up living like this? The wonder of what miles and points can bring.

After a bit I tried to get some sleep. Being a mid-afternoon departure this would not be easy as it was now only around 4 hours in and my body was telling me it was only 6pm. I wanted to get some rest because we had a 4 hour layover in Seoul before our flight to Bangkok which was due to arrive around 1am local time. With almost 24 hours of travel I knew we would be absolutely exhausted.

Once I'd reclined flat I popped the eye mask on and in the calm, dark cabin I managed to sleep fairly well for almost 6 hours. Far more than I was expecting, although I did wake a couple of times and have to change position but overall I was delighted at how much rest I had got.

I was one who couldn't sleep on airplanes while in Economy, I just can't sleep upright as I am a front sleeper normally. To say that I'd had my eyes opened to one of the biggest advantages of Business Class would be an understatement. I would never have got so much sleep in Y, more than likely would have got nothing at all, so this really sealed the deal that any long haul flights in future were going to have to be at least in J with a flat bed.

To my eternal shame I forgot to take any pictures at all of the second meal service. Unforgivable I know and I'm not exactly sure how I managed to forget.
I had the Ginger Lime Chicken and I do remember it being a bit meh. It wasn't terrible but when it said comes with grains on the menu I didn't expect it to be mostly grains with some bits of chicken. It was OK but nothing I would be eager to have again.
I had a couple of cups of tea and soon after we would be starting our descent into ICN.

I remember commenting to my wife after we landed that I'd never known 14 hours to go by so quickly.
It really was a very enjoyable flight with memorable service. Quality catering and some very nice drinks together with a tremendous seat and bedding made for a great experience. As someone who had always been skeptical of Air Canada I have to say all my preconceptions have been blown out of the water with my experience of flying them Domestic and International in Business. Not only would I not actively avoid AC I might actually seek them out because they do a lot of things very well indeed and if you have a great crew its the icing on a rather marvellous cake.


landing


Our arrival into ICN took us down the Eastern side of China over Harbin and towards the Yellow Sea and away from North Korean airspace. Seemed like a wise move :)
We landed on Runway 34 at ICN with a beautifully smooth touchdown, before exiting the runway and making our way past the new Terminal 2 at ICN which was clearly the kingdom of Korean Air



We passed an AirAsia X A330 and I cursed at only having my phone for a camera and not my Canon and 100-400 lens which were in my carryon above my head as this would have made for a decent shot


photo 20180907_032907

We finally reached our stand after a lengthy taxi and pulled up next to an Air China 737-800


photo 20180907_033040

We exited from Door L1 which gave us a chance to make a good head start on the journey to the transfer area.

I was hugely disappointed in ICN airport overall. It wasn't difficult to get around although everything seemed to be a long walk, the transfer area security was ridiculously pedantic (I had to take a used tissue out of my pants pocket and have it x-rayed for Gods sake!) and every single person ended up having to either take something out of a pocket or their bag to be x-rayed. Needless to say it was painfully slow and frankly a bit ridiculous.
Once we were through that, we made our way to the Asiana transfer desk to get our gate information and lounge invites, we were also issued new Asiana boarding passes much to my delight.
I'm not really sure what it is we saw on our way up to the desk other than huge amounts of people and massive bags of things, much of which looked like garbage strewn all over the place. You had to weave your way through the mess and it just made the place look like a massive dump.

All in all ICN was a letdown but the rest of it was most definitely not. Great job once again by Air Canada, their Signature Class is something they should rightfully be proud of.

See more

Verdict

Air Canada

8.8/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Meal/catering9.0

Toronto - YYZ

8.5/10
Efficiency9.0
Access8.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness9.0

Seoul - ICN

5.2/10
Efficiency5.0
Access6.0
Services6.0
Cleanliness4.0

Conclusion

Air Canada has a very competitive Business Class product that features outstanding seats (not the 767 or A330 currently - although the A330s will be getting the 777/787 seats in a refit in the next year or so), excellent food and drink, quality entertainment and some bedding that is so comfy I would happily use it at home.
A great crew really made this flight special. It went by in what seemed like half the time and Air Canada would be very high on my list of choices for anywhere I was looking to go on their route network.
It's hard to believe this is the same airline of 10 or so years ago. I've been converted into a big Air Canada fan recently and its good to see at least one North American airline making an effort to stand out and provide a high quality customer experience.
If you've never thought about Air Canada before I'd certainly recommend giving them a try.

Related

12 Comments

  • Comment 483852 by
    YGeorgeW SILVER 81 Comments

    Welcome ATCO and thanks for the report!

    “This was to be my first flight in International Business and my excitement level was high.”
    -I’m quite excited for you already. Air Canada’s product is a great way to start.

    “I started to wonder about how often I would get the chance to fly SQ J again and I buckled and upgraded the flights.”
    -I think patience is the key to the game (though, not going to lie, if they announce they’re retiring the Residence, I honestly might blow $10k on a ticket with some creative routing).

    “Quite honestly the service on board was flawless, I could not have been more impressed and if this is the effort AC can put forward consistently then the US3 don't have a chance.”
    -I almost flew AC for my most recent trip and knew it would have been a great product if I had. I think the gap is narrowing as United and Delta have introduced new seats, but service on the US carriers are always rather inconsistent. In their defense, you can get some really phenomenal crews. One of my favorite flights was actually in United’s old GlobalFirst product – mainly because the crew was outstanding.

    “I seem to be the only person in the flight reviewing World that likes airplane steak/beef, probably because I like my steak well done anyway (gasp!).”
    -I’m pretty sure this is blasphemy.

    “Again the rebel in me stuck with the white wine with the beef. I can almost hear the tutting from here! (I'm not a big fan of red wine!)”
    -Oh the horror! What do you have with fish?

    “I would never have got so much sleep in Y, more than likely would have got nothing at all, so this really sealed the deal that any long haul flights in future were going to have to be at least in J with a flat bed.”
    -Once you start, you can’t go back ?

    “I returned to my seat, fortunately still in one piece and put the matress pad onto my now inviting looking seat/bed. AC has some really great bedding I feel.”
    -Does AC offer a turndown service or is the mattress pad just sitting at your seat and you put it on at your leisure?

    Overall, looks like a great flight.

    • Comment 483961 by
      atco SILVER AUTHOR 109 Comments

      Greetings YGeorgeW,
      Thank you for reading my report and leaving a comment.

      "I think patience is the key to the game (though, not going to lie, if they announce they’re retiring the Residence, I honestly might blow $10k on a ticket with some creative routing)"
      - Haha, I'm screwed then because patience is not my strong point! Not quite the Residence but we are doing the Etihad Apartments SYD-AUH-LHR in June and I'm beyond excited for that. I felt I had to get in and do them this year because I'm not sure how much longer Etihad are going to be around and I wanted to use my AAdvantage miles for them. Also want to do Q-Suites though.........so many premium cabins not enough annual leave!

      "I almost flew AC for my most recent trip and knew it would have been a great product if I had. I think the gap is narrowing as United and Delta have introduced new seats, but service on the US carriers are always rather inconsistent. In their defense, you can get some really phenomenal crews. One of my favorite flights was actually in United’s old GlobalFirst product – mainly because the crew was outstanding."
      - Agreed of course the crew can make or break almost any flight and I've certainly seen some stories about less than stellar AC crews. luckily that's not what I've encountered so far, and their hard product is very good.
      UAL have a chance to close the gap but my goodness their rollout of Polaris is slower than any rollout in aviation history I think. If you actually had much chance of flying the actual Polaris product I think people would be a lot higher on them. The Delta One Suites do look superb and I'll for sure be looking for a chance to try that out at some point. If nothing else it'll get me on an A350 after Cathay ripped my heart out :D

      "I’m pretty sure this is blasphemy"
      - Yes I know! I've always disliked pink meat. What can I say I'm in ATC, none of us are normal :D

      "Oh the horror! What do you have with fish?"
      - White wine of course! I also have white wine with burgers, sandwiches, cheesecake, potato chips, curry. I'm not there isn't any food group that white wine won't go with! I'm just a food and wine Philistine I guess!
      You can all laugh along with me in June as I fly in F for the first time and try to get to grips with caviar. I'm sure I'll make a complete fool of myself!

      "Once you start, you can’t go back"
      - Everyone told me that and I laughed at them. Then I felt stupid because its the truest thing I've ever been told :D

      "Does AC offer a turndown service or is the mattress pad just sitting at your seat and you put it on at your leisure?"
      - No turndown service, the mattress pad comes with your pillow and blanket on the seat at the start of the flight.

      "Overall, looks like a great flight"
      - It was for sure, and I even forgot to mention the numerous hot towel service that we got. I think it was at least 4. I'm very high on AC, I think they compare very favourably to a lot of the well regarded airlines

      • Comment 484040 by
        YGeorgeW SILVER 81 Comments

        “Not quite the Residence but we are doing the Etihad Apartments SYD-AUH-LHR in June and I'm beyond excited for that. I felt I had to get in and do them this year because I'm not sure how much longer Etihad are going to be around and I wanted to use my AAdvantage miles for them. Also want to do Q-Suites though.........so many premium cabins not enough annual leave!”
        -These are perfectly fine uses – I was just referring to spending $700 for an upgrade to SQ J on their oldest product on a 50 minute flight. You’ll have plenty of chances if you’re ever looking to get to South Asia. In fact, probably best to earn and burn since who knows when the values may change. In fact, I’ve been meaning to look into OneWorld at some point (partially because I am worried about the future of Etihad as well), just never got around to it.

        “UAL have a chance to close the gap but my goodness their rollout of Polaris is slower than any rollout in aviation history I think.”
        -Yes, I was really excited about Polaris when they first announced it. As of today, the only real Polaris experience I’ve had is their lounge in Chicago (which I have to say I’m decently impressed by).

        “You can all laugh along with me in June as I fly in F for the first time and try to get to grips with caviar. I'm sure I'll make a complete fool of myself!”
        Just watch a video on YouTube – I did that before I ate caviar for the first time. Also, I’m glad to see Kevin shares my opinion of your dining choices ?

        • Comment 484128 by
          atco SILVER AUTHOR 109 Comments

          "Yes, I was really excited about Polaris when they first announced it. As of today, the only real Polaris experience I’ve had is their lounge in Chicago (which I have to say I’m decently impressed by)."
          - Which is kind of the sad thing about all of this, because all I've read of the actual real Polaris service both on ground and in air seems very positive. I'm stunned they've dragged this roll out for so long

          "Just watch a video on YouTube – I did that before I ate caviar for the first time. Also, I’m glad to see Kevin shares my opinion of your dining choices ?"
          - I have done that and I'll watch a few more. Had to also find out how to pronounce Krug.
          I think the entire rest of the human race is on yours and Kevin's side about my horrendous dining choices ? I'm still not changing though so get used to seeing well done steaks with white wine in many more reports ? It will be my signature style!

          Safe travels, happy flying!

  • Comment 483910 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 4839 Comments

    Hi Atco, another nice report!

    Yet another data point confirming AC's high quality Intl J product. The cabin is beautiful, fresh, and modern on the Dreamliner.

    "Sorry for the rookie mistake again, taking the shots in portrait mode rather than landscape. I'll have to add them individually rather than as a gallery otherwise lots of the info will be lost. I'll get the hang of this eventually!"
    - Haha...the fact that you figured that out so quickly shows you'll be a top Flight-Reporter!
    Portrait mode pics definitely don't show up well in galleries (3 or more pics), but they are fine individually. Personally, I avoid portrait mode because of how it looks on the site, though it looks fine on the mobile site. And for some pics, like menus, portrait mode can make sense to show all the detail. Personally I like to do everything in landscape as I much prefer to read FRs on a computer where photos aren't on a tiny screen.

    "I seem to be the only person in the flight reviewing World that likes airplane steak/beef, probably because I like my steak well done anyway (gasp!)."
    - Oh Dear God! It hurts my soul to read that. Haha...you must be British ?
    I won't even get into the white wine and red meat combo, lol...my French sensibilities can't handle the thought ?

    "I remember commenting to my wife after we landed that I'd never known 14 hours to go by so quickly."
    - That's how you know it was a good flight! I've had 17 hour TPACs fly by in J (though the AvGeek in me wanted them to last longer).

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Comment 483964 by
      atco SILVER AUTHOR 109 Comments

      Thank you Kevin,
      Appreciate you taking the time to read and comment!

      Yeah unfortunately I've found the problem with the portrait/landscape shots after my trip so they are all going to be the same.
      My next trip in May/June I'll know better!
      I also prefer to read the reports on my computer, it just seems to do better justice to the full reports.

      "Oh Dear God! It hurts my soul to read that. Haha...you must be British
      I won't even get into the white wine and red meat combo, lol...my French sensibilities can't handle the thought"
      - Hahaha, how did you know! Yes I was born in the UK and moved to Canada 15 years ago.
      I'm a pretty typical Brit in that comfort food is more my thing than haute cuisine. I'm not really one for fancy things when it comes to food and drink which is why its going to be an absolute shambles when I fly in F later this year and try to get to grips with caviar and other "fancy" things I've never eaten before.
      I'm sure my humiliation will be spectacular.
      I've had to resort to watching youtube videos to find out how to eat caviar and pronounce Krug so I don't look like a complete tit :D

      "That's how you know it was a good flight! I've had 17 hour TPACs fly by in J (though the AvGeek in me wanted them to last longer)."
      - Ha, we must be cut from the same cloth (excluding the whole steak and wine thing!!). Our last flight in this trip was back home TPE-YYZ on EVA Air and I was really looking forward to that, because we all know how legendary EVA J Class is and of course as is typical of my luck the flight home was 12 hours and 38 minutes which was the fastest TPE-YYZ flight in all of 2018 according to FR24...........I was gutted, I expected at least another hour! :D
      I'll have a pretty extensive report of that one as I took a ton of photos from that flight and needless to say I loved every minute of BR - even though I was cheated out of an extra hour :D

      Thanks for all the kind (and barbed! but all in good fun!) comments so far, it's been lots of fun :)

      • Comment 484122 by
        KévinDC TEAM GOLD 4839 Comments

        Haha, yes, it's all in good fun!

        "Hahaha, how did you know! Yes I was born in the UK and moved to Canada 15 years ago."
        - The well-done steak is a big giveaway...that and I saw your passport in a pic in one of your reports ?

        So glad you're enjoying the site! Keep 'em coming!

        • Comment 484132 by
          atco SILVER AUTHOR 109 Comments

          "The well-done steak is a big giveaway...that and I saw your passport in a pic in one of your reports"
          - Us Brits and our tell tale horrible culinary tastes! I see the picture with part of my passport cover in it now. There was me giving you way too much credit ?

          Thanks again. This is a fantastic community

  • Comment 484119 by
    hometoyyz SILVER 498 Comments

    Hi Atco,

    Wow. You didn’t exactly just dip your toe into the world of miles and points, did you? Twelve segments marrying different award and cash deals… very impressive. I look forward to seeing how this series plays out.

    “The only problem was the AC usually won't check bags before 3 hours prior.”
    - Huh. I had no idea this was policy.

    “When I board I tend to get so concentrated on getting all my stuff in place and getting my bag away that I forget to take shots and then the cabin fills up and I feel a bit self conscious taking photos with random strangers in them.”
    - Oh man. This isn’t just a “rookie” thing. I’m north of 100 FRs now, I think, and I still feel like I’m forgetting to take the shots I want, and feeling self-conscious about taking the ones I do. It’s part of being Canadian, I guess. Terribly sorry about that.

    “I know that my sample size is minuscule (as in 2 flights) but the crew on both my AC Business flights have been absolutely superb.”
    - I’ve had far more gems than duds with AC, including some very memorable FAs on longhaul services.

    The menu looks good, although still some familiar items there. If you’re a fan of whatever type of meal he’s offering, I’d definitely recommend checking out the Hawksworth items if you get a chance. I had some very good ones in my AC times. And I’m fascinated to see that Hawksworth is capable of dessert that’s not a chocolate ganache. Lemon cheesecake sounds like a great option.

    It sounds like the upgrades, particularly the mattress pad, are very welcome, and might help with the… uhhh…. deflation problem that AC’s J seats sometimes suffer.

    Disappointing to hear that ICN was a bit of a letdown. I get the “too-much-walking” thing, but the garbage problem is very odd. It’s always seemed pristine when I’ve been there. Maybe KE does all the garbage pickup, and OZ just can’t be bothered?

    Thanks for sharing this, and I’m looking forward to your thoughts on the OZ A380.

    Cheers!

    • Comment 484131 by
      atco SILVER AUTHOR 109 Comments

      Hello Hometoyyz,

      "Wow. You didn’t exactly just dip your toe into the world of miles and points, did you? Twelve segments marrying different award and cash deals… very impressive. I look forward to seeing how this series plays out."
      - No, that's not my style. In for a penny in for a pound as they say. I spent months learning about the entire scene including some of the limitations of being in Canada, even now I have a daily list of sites I visit and check.
      I then found out that I really love travel planning, so much so that I'm not helping some others at work. I am not sure why but I love piecing together itineraries with multi-cities, multiple airlines and products and various hotels.

      "Oh man. This isn’t just a “rookie” thing. I’m north of 100 FRs now, I think, and I still feel like I’m forgetting to take the shots I want, and feeling self-conscious about taking the ones I do. It’s part of being Canadian, I guess. Terribly sorry about that."
      - Darn, I was hoping it would go away at some point!

      "And I’m fascinated to see that Hawksworth is capable of dessert that’s not a chocolate ganache. Lemon cheesecake sounds like a great option."
      - LOL, and as my waistline can confirm I've yet to meet a cheesecake that I don't love. God help me if there's ever NY style cheesecake on a flight, there could well be some kind of International incident. Damn it, I just made myself hungry!

      "It sounds like the upgrades, particularly the mattress pad, are very welcome, and might help with the… uhhh…. deflation problem that AC’s J seats sometimes suffer. "
      - Ah yes good old Deflategate. I've read that it seems AC is finally getting a fix for that, should be a welcome relief for frequent fliers.

      "Disappointing to hear that ICN was a bit of a letdown. I get the “too-much-walking” thing, but the garbage problem is very odd. It’s always seemed pristine when I’ve been there. Maybe KE does all the garbage pickup, and OZ just can’t be bothered? "
      - It's really hard to describe what was going on there, because I honestly have no idea what they were doing. But to be clear this was on an upstairs floor, a sort of mezzanine level and there were dozens of people with these massive bags that looked like they were filled with rubbish. It was quite bizarre, but they appeared to be passengers, although I wasn't paying a huge amount of attention as I was more focused on not tripping over one of these bags and landing in God knows what, they might well have been staff. I just wanted to be away from there as quickly as possible. It seems strange that Asiana would be OK with this right in front of their transfer desk.
      To be fair the main level was fine, but it really made a horrible impression.

      Thanks again Hometoyyz, looking forward to your future reports. Hoping there is much to come!

  • Comment 486271 by
    socalnow GOLD 862 Comments

    Thank you very much for sharing this extensive series for J travel around my favorite part of the world! I'm so far behind...

    "After my first experience of flying Business last November, I had got the taste for this whole Premium Cabin thing."
    -That's an understatement! A 12-segment trip in premium cabins is an all in move.

    “We had a slow climb up to the North East as we headed for Hudson Bay, Baffin Island and then North up through Baffin Bay with our filed route taking us all the way up to 87 degrees North, close to the Magnetic Pole.”
    -Ah yes the old IKLEN2, TONNY, YYB, YVO move… 😉 I love the color, insight, and detail you can bring to the flight path. The flight aware screen is interesting showing a planned routing over “Europe” but a flown routing over North America? Is that what I’m seeing? Flightradar24 seems to only show the true “polar” route.

    The cabin, while plain and stark, has a nice crisp and clean look.

    The food and beverage menu looks promising with a nice Asian flare on the Hawksworth dishes. A large snack selection. I’ll have the signature cocktail, please. Soup would be a nice addition. Especially with that super skimpy appetizer.

    “The highlight of which is probably the Signature Suite, a new a la carte restaurant lounge. Sadly on an Aeroplan redemption I was not able to go in.”
    -Still scratching my head about that one.

    “I almost had to pinch myself to make sure this wasn't a dream. How the hell does someone as average as me end up living like this? The wonder of what miles and points can bring.”
    -You do a marvelous job of describing this emotion that I share when I’m in similar surrounds.

    “I remember commenting to my wife after we landed that I'd never known 14 hours to go by so quickly.”
    -Is Mrs. Atco a veteran of such posh flying?

    “I was hugely disappointed in ICN airport overall.”
    -Thank you! There is some odd infatuation about ICN being a great place to connect…I just don’t see it. The lounges are miserable and the whole experience is average at best. For North Asia Narita and Haneda are light years ahead.

    Thanks again for sharing this great flight Atco. Happy flying.

    • Comment 486467 by
      atco SILVER AUTHOR 109 Comments

      Good afternoon SCN, if I may call you that :)

      Many thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my trip reports.

      "A 12-segment trip in premium cabins is an all in move."
      - Yes I'm not one for messing around generally, if I'm going to do something, it's 110%. Once I started to read and learn I also found out that I really enjoyed it both in learning and also in putting together trips and working it all out. I love the challenge and at the end is a fairly large prize. I've almost got to the point where I need to have travel booked at some point in the future. I find it really gives me something to look forward to and motivation on those days like now where its brutally cold out and we are surrounded by 6ft snow banks!

      "The flight aware screen is interesting showing a planned routing over “Europe” but a flown routing over North America? Is that what I’m seeing? Flightradar24 seems to only show the true “polar” route."
      - I think flightaware is bugged slightly, the route was exactly as FR24 depicted, very Polar and into Northern China. I suspect FA might get a bit confused with the Polar tracks.

      "The cabin, while plain and stark, has a nice crisp and clean look."
      - It is, and I think this is one of those cases of less is more. I find it really sharp and elegant, and the AC logo on the wall adds a beautiful splash of bright red. I love the AC 787 cabin in all honesty.

      "The food and beverage menu looks promising with a nice Asian flare on the Hawksworth dishes. A large snack selection. I’ll have the signature cocktail, please. Soup would be a nice addition. Especially with that super skimpy appetizer."
      - Agreed and I think AC has an opportunity to really differentiate itself in the North Atlantic sector with some slight improvements. I think Soup would be a really nice touch and if they did pyjamas that would be really class leading. I suspect now that Ben Smith has left (much to my disappointment as I think he's a fantastically smart guy) we won't see these touches. I'm just desperately hoping that a beancounter doesn't start running the show at AC lest all the recent improvements get "enhanced"
      For the record along with "synergies", that might well be the word I hate most currently.

      "Still scratching my head about that one."
      - I kind of understand it. They want to keep it exclusive to paid J only. It is apparently quite small and exclusive and I guess AC wants to keep it that way.

      "Is Mrs. Atco a veteran of such posh flying?"
      - Haha, not at all. Neither of us travel for work so these were all first times for us both

      "Thank you! There is some odd infatuation about ICN being a great place to connect…I just don’t see it"
      - Glad I'm not going mad! Agree totally thought the whole place was just disappointing

      Thanks for the comments, all the best!

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