Review of Air Canada flight Toronto Tel Aviv in Premium Eco

Airline Air Canada
Flight AC84
Class Premium Eco
Seat 14A
Aircraft Boeing 787-8
Flight time 09:45
Take-off 16 Nov 14, 18:30
Arrival at 17 Nov 14, 11:15
AC   #50 out of 112 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 215 reviews
jollygiant
By 16384
Published on 1st December 2014
In my previous flight report (http://flight-report.com/en/report-8639.html), I flew from Los Angeles to Toronto. In this report, I took my first-ever Dreamliner flight with Air Canada (from Toronto to Tel Aviv) and I experienced Air Canada's brand new Premium Economy class service!

Once I arrived in Toronto, I was whisked away to Canadian Customs, and then to Air Canada's International Maple Leaf Lounge, with the very capable and professional assistance of Marie Ramirez-Reyes who is one of Air Canada's Concierges. As I travel throughout the globe, and and I fly Air Canada, I have found that Air Canada's Concierge service is one which I wish every airline offered. These miracle-makers are eager to graciously assist Air Canada passengers with their travel arrangements to learn more about this great service, please visit here: http://www.aircanada.com/en/travelinfo/airport/concierge.html

There's always a bounty of tasty treats in Air Canada's International Maple Leaf Lounge! Where most airlines continue to cut on food services in the lounge, Air Canada does the opposite and they continue to provide a great service to passengers. I'm certain that Air Canada would be the favorite airline of George Bernard Shaw who aptly stated once upon a time: There is no sincerer love than the love of food. This sentiment is especially true for Air Canada's inflight dining experience - more on that in a moment…..

photo 20141116_201244961_iOS

About 45 minutes prior to departure, I headed to the departure gate - and after going through a pre-flight security screening, I was escorted on-board the aircraft by another professional Air Canada Concierge, Seth Hilarice, who then introduced me to one of the flight's pilots who gave me a brief tour of the flight deck! Truly, there is no better new smell than that of a new flight deck! I was able to see the great HUD (Heads-Up Display) for the first time; This device helps pilots land the Dreamliner safely and smoothly in the most unappealing weather conditions. After my flight deck visit, I was then introduced to the flight's lovely Service Director, Carrol Strachan who proceeded to fill me in with some of the Dreamliner's amenities. During our chat, Carrol mentioned that being a crew member aboard the Dreamliner is a true joy and, as a passenger, I was in for a very wonderfully unique experience for my first time flying Air Canada's Dreemliner. Based on what I witnessed within the first 15 minutes after boarding the aircraft, I could tell that Carrol and her team were genuinely excited to have the passengers aboard - and they couldn't have been more pleasant to each passenger that set foot on this brand new aircraft.

photo Blur

To this day, I am still overwhelmed with the newness of the Dreamliner! Truly, the boarding experience is unlike anything I have experienced on any other aircraft as my immediate thoughts were: atmosphere & space. After making an immediate right turn, I was greeted with pleasant view of thoughtfully designed contemporary cabin with seats which was replete with plenty of legroom (especially with me being 6'4) and amenities which rival that of First Class cabins on most U.S. airlines! As you can see, this cabin only has 3 rows and is really like an exclusive club of sorts. Although these seats are not lie-flat, the seats are very comfortable and the recline is more than adequate for a long flight. The adjustable headrest is most welcome, as well as the upgraded blanket and pillow for Premium Economy passengers. The retractable footrest is also a wonderful and much appreciated touch for Air Canada's intermediate cabin. Also, there are individuals power outlets for each passenger!



Air Canada's next generation High Definition enRoute in-flight entertainment (IFE) system is the most advanced in the skies right now (plus, it's quite fast!). It's a gate-to-gate system, so from the moment you sit down after boarding, you can begin to watch the movie or video of your choice! One particular perk I like about Air Canada's new IFE system is that passengers no longer required to sit through a repetitive sequence of commercials prior to each movie (or video) being shown. You simply select your movie and then scroll to the part of the movie that piques your interest (which is quite handy when your flight arrives mid-movie; You simply scroll to the scene where you left off during your next flight - no commercials either!). You can see more on this in my video at the end of this report. Another thoughtful design detail that Air Canada provides as part of this advanced IFE system is a USB power port and 2 earphone jacks: One in the monitor (which illuminates when the screen is touched) and one in the armrest (under the mini-drink tray). Personally, the earphone jack in the armrest is better suited for those who travel with their own headsets - as well as those who have an aisle seat (just in case you have a window seatmate who needs to get up, you won't run the risk of your headset cable being damaged if you forget to remove it).

photo 20141116_225130844_iOS

Once we began our nighttime departure from Toronto's Pearson International Airport, I was anxious to see the natural wing bend as the Dreamliner lifted off of the ground. Well, before that occurred, this beautiful Dreamliner lined up with the runway and then the engines spun up for takeoff - but it wasn't a loud or deafening sound that I heard from these engines…..it was simply a nice, quiet whirring sound! Anyway, as we proceeded down the runway, the moment I had been waiting for occurred simultaneously: The Dreamliner's wing bent upward slightly, the aircraft then rotated and lifted off! (I really wish Boeing could put a live moment like this to music….)! Unfortunately, I was unable to properly capture this moment since it was dark outside. Don't fret, you'll get to see this for yourself in grand style in my next flight report (my departure with that flight occurred during the day).

I always base Premium Economy services as Business Class on International flights. Having this expectation is not unusual for a premium carrier such as Air Canada, given the value that passengers receive. Of course, a pre-flight beverage (water or juice) is served before departure - however, Air Canada's greatest strength for their Premium Economy cabin is their meal service. As you can see, the portions of the food are quite nice and the quality trumps ANYTHING I have experienced during transcontinental First Class flights here in the U.S. I'll expound on this since impressive food service deserves great detail:

First, the salad consisted of very fresh organic greens and tomatoes which were very crisp and flavorful for a flight. The salad was accompanied by a robust balsamic olive oil dressing, warm rolls and butter.

photo 20141117_010502595_iOS

Normally, I steer clear of beef dishes on flights since they tend to be gamey, flavorless and overcooked. However, I figured that I would put all of the Air Canada newness to the test. That said, for my main course, I selected the Grilled Alberta AAA Beef Tenderloin with Truffle & Porcini sauce, Potatoes au Gratin, Carrots and Green Beans. Suffice it to say, I was MORE than pleased with how this dish turned out! What a great selection! Firstly, I am familiar with AAA Alberta beef and it is truly the best grade of beef in North America (lots of flavor & perfect amount of marbling) - so, my expectations were extremely high when I selected this dish. The beef was served Medium and each bite melted in my mouth! For a moment, I thought I was having a great cut of beef from The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge's Moose's Nook Chophouse! But alas, I was 40K feet in the air and somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean! The Truffle & Porcini sauce was pleasantly savory and complimented the beef perfectly! The Potatoes au Gratin were very delicious (the cheese used for the gratin sauce must have originated in Switzerland - there was a richness about the cheese which I haven't enjoyed since I visited Switzerland a few months ago!). The carrots and green beans were crisp (most unexpected for a flight) and were lightly flavored with butter. And the Apple Blackberry crumble was a perfect way to end the meal: Nice & light. Anything heavier than this would have been a bit much (I am SOOOOO glad that whipped cream or ice cream wasn't added to this dessert).

And yes - I had white wine with beef. I know that this is considered verboten by most gourmands and food purists, but guess what? I was in the moment and I wanted white at the time - not red. Plus, IF I were to enjoy a red with beef, I tend to go for a Malbec (most Merlots, Syrahs, etc. tend to be too bold - for my tastes at least - which ends up completely destroying a great meal). Surprisingly enough, I was quite impressed with how the 2013 Les Tannes Chardonnay - Grenache Blanc paired with the entire meal.

One thing I should note: I believe the built-in lower flight pressurization and greater cabin humidity of the Dreamliner (which lessens jet lag) had a MAJOR impact on my ability to savor the flavors of the meal that I enjoyed. I'm not sure if this is the case - but, never before have I enjoyed an inflight meal as I did with this flight. Research has proven that taste buds are weakened during flights, so maybe Boeing has tapped in on additional benefits with this new technology.

photo Beef

One of the Premium Economy flight attendants (Aya Levy) was kind enough to show me the secondary entree offering: Risotto with Kale, Tomatoes and Parmesan. I was VERY tempted to partake of this dish - but I was quite full and satisfied with my beef entree.

photo Veggie

During my 9 hour and 35 minute journey, I watched a few sitcoms and a movie - the rest of the time, I rested. The quality of sleep was quite great and I didn't experience restlessness. When I did wake up, I was very happy with the ambient mood lighting and the pleasant daytime cabin glow which was provided by the dimmed windows (which does not affect your ability to sleep restfully). Take a look at these untouched images…..

photo 20141117_071545217_iOSphoto 20141117_071553106_iOS

About an hour before my arrival in Tel Aviv, a flavorful breakfast was served:

- Omelette Savoyarde with Lyonnaise Potatoes
- Seasonal fruit
- Yogurt
- Orange juice
- Fresh roll with butter

photo Breakfast

The flight approach & landing in Tel Aviv couldn't have been better! It was a truly a Heavenly experience and I am so happy that I was able to film the landing (you can see this in the video below). Special thanks to Carrol's deputy Service Director for giving me a special advance heads-up regarding the Tel Aviv flight approach views - it was epic! (Apologies for not having that individual's name presently - I will update this report with his name as soon as I am able to track it down).

Upon my arrival in Tel Aviv, the first Israeli person I met was another wonderful Air Canada Concierge named Yardenna. Even in Israel, Air Canada's consistency doesn't fail. They hire the very best to represent the customer-centric vision of their airline. Yardenna escorted me through the Customs process and once I claimed my bags and I headed to my ground transportation, she provided me her Concierge contact details just in case I ran into any difficulty while I was in Israel.

My next flight report will highlight my return flight on the Dreamliner from Tel Aviv to Toronto…..and the flight experience will be even more impressive than what you have just read! In the meantime, please view the following video on my flight…..



…..and you can catch a glimpse of my visit to Israel by viewing the following video.



Special thanks to Akib Rubaiyat for his permission for me to use his photo for my cover page - as this is the actual aircraft which I flew and featured in this report. Please view Akib's Planespotter page here: http://www.planespotters.net/Member/akibmr92/photo.search
See more

Verdict

Air Canada

10.0/10
Cabin10.0
Cabin crew10.0
Entertainment10.0
Meal/catering10.0

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge International

10.0/10
Comfort10.0
Meal/catering10.0
Entertainment10.0
Services10.0

Toronto - YYZ

10.0/10
Efficiency10.0
Access10.0
Services10.0
Cleanliness10.0

Tel Aviv - TLV

10.0/10
Efficiency10.0
Access10.0
Services10.0
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

If you have never flown on the Dreamliner, I strongly recommend that your maiden voyage be with Air Canada! The inflight service is amazing and the flight crew is genuinely Canadian: Very friendly and pleasant!

As a very tall person, comfort is key when flying. I cannot stress enough that Air Canada has mastered the art of comfort with their Premium Economy cabin. It is by far THE template which every airline should work with when planning to have such an intermediate service (and I'm certain it will be tough to beat what Air Canada is offering in this service class).

Flying on the Dreamliner is a joy and I am very happy that my first time flying this aircraft was with Air Canada. The key thing that I tell everyone is that just because an aircraft is fantastic, it doesn't necessarily mean that every airline flying that aircraft will have an impressive inflight product. Fortunately for me, I know that Air Canada's premium inflight product is always superior and I have never been disappointed.

One last thing: Air Canada recently announced that they will expand Dreamliner flight services to Delhi and Dubai November 2015. Please review Air Canada's official Dreamliner page to keep track of the destinations that this great aircraft with Air Canada's services will visit: https://787.aircanada.com/en/

Related

16 Comments

  • Comment 124602 by
    02022001 3769 Comments

    Thank you for this Flight-report !
    Pictures are fine and writing too. The air canada concierge service looks very interesting and the premium economy cabine too !
    I look forward to hearing you in a other story ;)

      0
  • Comment 124635 by
    SKYTEAMCHC 4778 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this report with us.
    The premium cabin looks very elegant and comfortable : I really like it.
    Great food too although breakfast could have been better presented it looks good.
    Your crew also looks wonderful
    I have never seen such good grades ! 10 on all items is quite exceptional ! Air Canada is going to be happy with this review !

      0
    • Comment 306949 by
      jollygiant AUTHOR 51 Comments

      Absolutely! I'm glad that you enjoyed my report on this flight!

      You're absolutely right - the Premium Economy cabin looks elegant & comfortable and it actually IS both elegant & comfortable. Honestly, before I boarded the aircraft, I was expecting the Premium Economy cabin to be a nice coach cabin with plenty of legroom. So imagine my shock once I saw the cabin and then sat in seat 14A! It is truly a great value and I HIGHLY recommend it!

      That 10 grade is genuine (as you can tell with some of my previous ratings, my expectations are high and I'm not merciful if the services aren't on-point). For this journey, I think the facilities component was one of the most impressive that I have experienced from a gate-to-gate perspective (which is rare). Air Canada's Toronto terminal is new and kept up with a great deal of care (keep in mind, it opened in 2007 - and most places would show a great deal of wear & tear). And arrival in TLV was just as nice. The terminal was older than what I experienced in YYZ but it's definitely well maintained!

      Fingers crossed! I hope Air Canada sees this report and that they enjoy it as much as you did. :-)

        0
    • Comment 306951 by
      jollygiant AUTHOR 51 Comments

      I'm glad that you enjoyed it!

      I'm not sure if these are the same seats which BA uses in their World Traveller Plus cabin - they may very well be (they do look similar from what I've just seen online). Although, I have been told that the BA World Traveller Plus seats are a tad narrow - so that would be a problem for me (given my size). However, the Air Canada Premium Economy seats are nice & spacious. Who knows? BA & AC may use the same supplier for these seats, but there's likely a disconnect in terms of seat width and such which both airlines customize in conjunction with the seat manufacturer.

      Regarding the meal presentation: Given this is an intermediate cabin, I think the Premium meal comes at the top half of the flight and the Economy meal comes at the bottom half of the flight :-). Irrespective of that, both meals were flavored quite nicely.

        0
  • Comment 124643 by
    jetsetpanda 2164 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this report. It looks like you had an exceptional flight with AC.

    The cabin is very elegant and I like the colors. Aren't those seats the same that are used by BA in their new Y+ version?

    What a contrast between your first and second meals.

      0
  • Comment 124648 by
    KévinDC TEAM 3915 Comments

    All I can say is OMG...awesome report on AC's new Premium Economy. It really is, as you describe, a truly Premium experience. From the lounge access, to the almost business-class dinner, to the nice seat...this is what a premium economy experience should be like. I think the only airline that can beat this is TK, but sadly their Premium Economy is going away :-(

    How did you manage to get such great shots of the cabin with noone around? Did you board earlier? In my experience, that's probably the hardest part of flight-reporting...making sure you're as close to the beginning of the boarding queue as possible to get some good shots. However you did it, good job, the pics are AMAZING!

    Not only is it cool you got to fly on a 787, but the flight experience in this new cabin seems just as exciting as the equipment itself. And btw, there's nothing wrong with white wine with red meat...people are doing it more and more :-)

    Thanks so much for sharing this great report!

      0
    • Comment 306952 by
      jollygiant AUTHOR 51 Comments

      What a great comment! :-) Many thanks!

      Truly AC has a great Premium Economy product and the value is phenomenal! I had no idea that TK's Premium Economy is going away! WOW!

      Regarding the shots and such..... This much I'll say: It helps to have Air Canada Concierge access. They are truly Miracle-Makers. :-)

      Indeed, the flight experience is amazing. No one will go wrong flying Air Canada's Dreamliners!

      I'm so glad to hear that you agree with my white wine with red meat perspective :-) I was certain that someone was going to leave a biting comment about that. It's nice that you are in my corner :-)

      Looking forward to sharing more goodness soon. My return flight on the Dreamliner is even more amazing and I'm sure that you'll love what you see! :-)

        0
  • Comment 124658 by
    lagentsecret 8424 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this FR

    The cabin is pleasant and the seat looks great : it's not a coach space with more legroom like US companies' or LH's Y+.

    The first meal with chinaware is appealing but not the breakfast (all in plastic boxes)

    Your US companies' benchmarks and maybe low expectations are explaining the high grades

    See you soon for your inbound flights

      0
  • Comment 124738 by
    Esteban 3023 Comments

    Thank you for sharing. Awesome pictures from the cabin. That's a great report.

    I would not be that happy with the meal, salad is not a first course for me even if it comes with the best dressing ever. Specially not when it is only greens with half a baby tomato ^^

    No cheese is a pitty for a premium economy product. The main meal looks very good and the presentation is really nice. I would have choosen the kale risotto as I could kill for kale ;)

      0
  • Comment 124839 by
    pititom 8579 Comments

    Wow, this really looks like a Premium Economy, and not just an Economy Plus or Comfort. It's a cabin on its own with a real feeling of space and extra touches. This looks perfect for us, French, as Canada destinations (but Vancouver) are just 6 or 7 hours flights.

    Thanks for sharing !

      0
    • Comment 307359 by
      jollygiant AUTHOR 51 Comments

      You are very welcome!

      Indeed, Air Canada's Premium Economy is quite exclusive - none of the blended seating which is common with many other airlines. Honestly, it felt like a traditional Business Class cabin :-)

      Hopefully Air Canada will soon fly their Dreamliner on their Montreal or Paris routes so you can experience the goodness!

        0
  • Comment 389823 by
    lor74 1 Comments

    Hi Jolly,

    If you are still monitoring this thread, can you tell me which of the 3 PE rows you would recommend. I am 6'3''
    Thanks for the review.

      0
    • Comment 389836 by
      jollygiant AUTHOR 51 Comments

      Hi Lor74 -
      Great meeting someone over 6 feet as well :-)
      Actually, all of the rows in Air Canada's 787 PE are great! However, I'm not a fan of the PE bulkhead seat since legroom is impacted by the wall (negatively impacts leg stretching).
      Looking forward to your thoughts and feedback from your upcoming flight!

        0

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