Long Haul Flight Tips
- Sinead Mitchard
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Founded in 1937, Air Canada is the national flag carrier for Canada with its headquarters in Montreal, Quebec and global hub at Toronto Pearson Airport (YYZ). It is a founding Star Alliance member.
By fleet size, Air Canada is the largest passenger airline in Canada and 9th in the world - servicing 1,300 airports in 191 countries and offering over 1,600 flights each day.
• Air Canada has won ‘Best North American Airline 2018’ from The Skytrax World Airline Awards, an accolade it has dominated for 7 out of the 9 past years.
• It has given the world of aviation a number of firsts, including the first computerized reservation system ‘Reservec’ (1963), and the first airline to offer exclusively smoke-free flights between North America and Europe (1991).
• Their 300 mainline and regional aircrafts are being re-designed in a bold black and white design to highlight Canada’s vastness, contrasting seasons, wildlife, and First Nations heritage. The iconic red maple leaf will also make a return to the tail after 24 years.
Air Canada currently offers a miles-based status program called Altitude, which was previously the name of the elite tier on their comprehensive rewards program. Up until last year the full program was called Aeroplan, and as a supplement to Altitude had its own status levels and schemes.
Aeroplan was bought in 2005 by Aimia inc. and has recently dissolved plans for future partnership with Air Canada, leaving customers wondering what their points (‘miles’) will be worth in the future.
Currently, Aeroplan members are still able collect and use miles, and the airline is in an active bidding war to buy back the brand and streamline their programs.
Air Canada offers codesharing with 32 airlines both inside and outside the Star Alliance. Look for designator code ‘AC’ for codesharing partners, and numerical designations next to the airline logo to find Interline Partners.
When booking with a codesharing partner, you will experience differences in baggage fees, optional services, other charges, and policies from partner airlines on your trip.
Air Canada’s International Business Class has been recently re-named ‘Signature Service’.
Dedicated check-in counters
Maple Leaf Lounge access
Exclusive boarding lanes
Executive or classic pods with lumbar support and massage function
Quilted mattress pads, blush duvets and pillows
Dine on Demand, express light meals, and extensive wine lists
BMW Valet Service
This class is typically offered for international destinations, but has recently expanded to include select flights within Canada. In the premium economy cabin you’ll get a variety of airport priority services, more room to stretch out and relax, and your own 11” personal touch TV.
Priority boarding, check-in, and baggage handling
Two free checked bags
Personal touch TV screen, in-seat power, USB charging port, ambient mood lighting and individual reading light, audio jack and complimentary earphones
Greater recline and larger seat compared to Economy Class
Complimentary wine, spirits, premium cuisine and hot towel with every meal throughout North America
Economy cabin guests flying internationally can enjoy complimentary wine, spirits and meals. All economy flights also boast over 600 hours of on-demand entertainment options.
Personal 8.9” touch screen TV
In-seat power, USB charging port, ambient mood lighting and individual reading light, audio jack and complimentary earphones
Adjustable, foldable headrest, pillow and blanket