Canada Travel Guide
As a major Air Canada hub, Toronto-Pearson International Airport (YYZ) is well outfitted with lounges for the airline's premium travelers. Aside from a Maple Leaf lounge for domestic Canadian flights and another dedicated to Transborder (Canada-USA) travel, YYZ boasts a spacious International Maple Leaf Lounge located in Terminal 1, Concourse F.
Elite Air Canada flyers and those holding Business Class tickets are privy to the free WiFi, modern and comfortable seating, complimentary hot food, snacks, beverages, and alcohol (including all the ingredients for a great Bloody Mary), plus private shower rooms.
Since Air Canada is proud of their status as one of the founding members of the Star Alliance, you can also bet that elite travelers on other Star Alliance international flights (and holders of Star Alliance Gold status) will be welcomed into the classy digs.
The budget carrier of Air Canada—known as Air Canada Rouge—seems to already be rethinking their original plan, as now there are rumors that they won’t just be sending planes and people outside of the country.
Money wise the carrier seems to be doing well, as Air Canada just recently announced some of their biggest quarterly numbers ever. Apparently Air Canada Rouge is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to strong earnings.
Flight Reviews / Air Canada / AC 787 / Boeing 787 Dreamliner / Boeing / Boeing 787 / 787 / Star Alliance / 787 Dreamliner / Photo Gallery / Dreamliner / Tokyo Travel / HND / Japan Travel / Toronto Travel / YYZ / Premium Economy / Economy Class Travel / Seats / In-Flight Entertainment / New Airplanes / → All Tags
[Also check out Part 1, Business Class]
Premium Economy is so hot right now.
Or, rather, the class between Economy and Business has been a popular addition to aircraft for many years now, every since Virgin Atlantic introduced it way, way back in 1992(!!), but some airlines have held off and, in turn, benefitted from the wait by introducing Premium Economy classes with all the latest bells and whistles.
Flying AC00611 hours back from Tokyo-Haneda to Toronto-Pearsonwe settled into a window seat and experienced what this new class for Air Canada was all about.
Flight Reviews / Air Canada / AC 787 / Boeing 787 Dreamliner / Boeing / Boeing 787 / 787 / Star Alliance / 787 Dreamliner / Photo Gallery / Dreamliner / Tokyo Travel / HND / Japan Travel / Toronto Travel / YYZ / Business Class Travel / Seats / In-Flight Entertainment / New Airplanes / → All Tags
[Also check out Part 2, Premium Economy and Economy]
"Whoever said man wasn't meant to fly didn't see this coming."
These were the words printed on a banner welcoming passengers to gate 172 at Toronto's Pearson International Airport on July 15, 2014.
Outside the windows was one of Air Canada's airplanes, sitting chill in her ice blue livery and scarlet maple leaf logo while a flurry of ground vehicles prepared her for a 12-hour flight to Tokyo. Passengers waiting to board forwent selfies and instead pointed their cameras outside, at this aircraft which stars in the celebration of a new era for Canadian aviation.
But, um, hasn't Air Canada been flying from Toronto to Tokyo for, like, decades? Yes, yes they have, but never before to the Japanese capital's other, very recently updated and better located airport of Haneda, and never before with a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Flight AC005 is non-stop from YYZ to HND, a lengthy trip which gives the benefits of the 787the greater cabin humidity, lower altitude level, improved personal space, and fuel efficiencya chance to strut their stuff. It was, in fact, the longest flight we've ever done in a 787, and absolutely one of the best in our own travel log.
Now, let's delve into the delicious details:
Inside the Amenity Kit / Amenity Kits / Business Class Travel / Air Canada / Premium Economy / In-Flight Comfort / 787 / Air Canada 787 / → All Tags
We come across some downright awesome airline amenity kits in our travels, and the surprises of each zippered pouch can often make or break comfort on a premium flight. With this in mind, here's to our new series: Inside the Amenity Kit, wherein we unzip, unwrap, and expose the loot inside:
When flight AC 5 left Toronto Pearson International Airport on July 15, it was more than the start of a routine 11.5-hour stretch from Toronto to Tokyo-Haneda; that particular flight meant the official inaugural of Air Canada's first Boeing 787 Dreamliner and her brand-spanking-new interiors which included a revamped Business Class and completely fresh Premium Economy.
We flew both during the cause of one roundtrip on the route (which is relatively new itself), and stay tuned for the full report next week. For now, a peek into the swag flyers are handed to improve in-flight comfort:
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It’s a little late to enter this year’s contest, well that and the fact that it’s only open to the kiddos. However, we still think it’s worth mentioning, as it’s not everyday that they host a paper airplane contest at a major international airport.
Things are part of Vancouver International Airport’s YVR Take-Off Fridays, and this is the second annual occurrence of this little airplane contest and celebration.
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The people over at WestJet have been offering budget flights around Canada and beyond since 1996, but now it sounds like they’re thinking about switching up their fleet to include more airplanes for more passengers, for more routes. Right now they are pretty much only utilizing different versions and flavors of the Boeing 737, but the future may bring wide-bodies.
It sounds like they’re thinking about scooping up as many as four larger planes, as they look to boost capacity—and profit—with more seats. Right now the focus seems to be Hawaii, as the carrier plans to utilize these new planes as soon as the fall of 2015.
When it rains, it pours. This is especially true for our friends in Canada, since the aviation game up there is rife with low-cost carriers this year. It began with Air Canada Rouge earlier this year and, just Monday, we brought you the news of Jet Naked; now we announce the dreams of a start-up named Jetlines
Similar to that "airline in the buff," Jetlines is planning to bring a bare bones approach to air travel in Canada. With fares 40% less than the two dominant carriers, the airline plans charge for carry-ons, food, drink, seat selection, and any other extras. It also plans to offer specialized in-flight services such as nannies and iPad rental, obviously both at a premium cost.
Just For Laughs is returning to Toronto on September 19-28 with 42 acts selected by fans, along with headliners Seth Meyers, Lena Dunham, Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes, Joe Rogan, and Nick Offerman.
This year fans can choose from three unique ticket packages, all of which are on sale now.
There's some potentially exciting budget news coming from north of the border, thanks to Canada's newest low-cost airline and its super cheeky name. Jet Naked Airlines plans to take to the skies soon, saving Canucks a few 'loonies' along the way.
The airline is actually considered an ultra-low-cost carrier as, just like Spirit and Frontier, it will charge for every little thing you might need to take a flight, including carry-on baggage. Boeing 737s will do zipping between provinces, and Jet Naked is promising ticket prices about 40% less than Air Canada or WestJet.
Just over a week ago, we gave you 11 benefits that train travel still has over the airline experience. Right on time, VIA Rail, Canada's national rail network, revealed the results of a $1 billion government investment in the form of a new "Prestige Class" on the Canadian, one of the network's flagship trains that runs between Toronto and Vancouver.
As the name would suggest, the highlights of the new Prestige Class provide passengers with a luxury experience, including personalized service, a cabin with 50% more space and bigger windows compared to the Sleeper Plus class, private bathroom with shower, flat-screen TV with on-demand, and a minibar. We're assuming that meals are also included in the rate (as they are for the Sleeper Plus Class), but those details have yet to come out. The first two photos in this post show the bedroom and sitting area of the new cabins, and you can take a virtual tour here.
Porter Airlines / Canada Travel / Airlines / Airline News / Checked Baggage / Checked Baggage Fees / → All Tags
Now and then we have shared some praise for the planes and people over at Porter Airlines, but today we’ve got a little bit of bad news. Plenty of the in-flight freebies and customer service are still there, but it looks like bringing that bag along is going to cost you—and it’s a first for carriers up in Canada.
Baggage fees have crossed the border, and Porter Airlines is the first carrier to start implementing them on routes within Canada. Domestic travelers will have to shell out $25 for the right to check their first bag, but fortunately it does look like carry-on bags will continue to be complimentary.