With the Canadian border opening (allegedly, for real) in a few weeks, now seemed as good a time as any to finish this trip report. Pre-pandemic, Air Canada offered 4x daily nonstops between Toronto and Dallas on Air Canada Express. Air Canada offered cash Business Class fares of $444 on this route; while a bit steep, it also gave me a chance to review Air Canada E175 Business Class. And earn some Aeroplan miles to boot.
This post is part of my trip report series about my weekend trip to Canada in October, 2019. Click here for the trip report introduction and post index.
Air Canada (AC) Flight 7665
- Sunday, October 20, 2019
- Depart: Toronto – Lester B Pearson International Airport (YYZ), Terminal 1, Gate F53, 11:56, 4m early
- Arrive: DFW International Airport (DFW), Terminal E, 14:19, 6m late
- Duration: 3 hours 23 minutes
- Seat: 2A
- Equipment: Embraer 175
As an aside, as a Rush fan, I’ve long been obsessed with YYZ. I finally made it there in October, 2019, some 30 years after first hearing the song of the same name. Fun fact: the first 33 seconds of the song is YYZ in Morse code.
Check-In and Boarding
I checked in online, then headed to the Pre-Clearance facility to clear customs & immigration. On this Sunday morning, it took only a few minutes to get through the Global Entry line. One thing to watch out for – at Pearson, the line minder asked to see my Global Entry card. I didn’t have mine, but the lady accepted the TSA Precheck notation on my boarding pass. I’m not sure if this was a one-off or just a thing at Pearson, but something to keep in mind.
After a little time in the Maple Leaf Lounge, I made the long-ish trek to the gate. Although the incoming flight originally indicated a 30-minute delay, it made up some time en route. Boarding began about 10 minutes late, but proceeded quickly, and we actually buttoned up a few minutes early. Business Class passengers received priority boarding, and so I quickly reached my seat at the front of the cabin.
Air Canada E175 Business Class – Seating, Interior, and In-Flight Entertainment
Air Canada E175 Business Class consists of 12 seats in a 1-2 configuration. The standard E175 configuration, in other words. The cabin did seem a bit dated, though well-maintained. The cloth seats, featuring 38″ of pitch and measuring 20″ wide, were comfortable and spacious. I selected one of the single seats on the left side, my favorite aspect of the E175.
Legroom was especially plentiful, with room to stretch out fully.
For those traveling in coach, the cabin consists of 64 seats in a 2-2 configuration. These seats are 18″ wide and feature 31″ of pitch – not bad for the cheap seats.
All seats in Business Class include a USB port in the seatback screen.
There is also a 110V port at the bottom left of the seat, below the armrest. I don’t really like this placement, as it’s hard to find in a dark cabin; it also makes it easy to tangle a power cord in your feet. Air Canada earns a demerit for the grime in the corner, too.
Air Canada offers the same “enRoute” entertainment system as on the 787 I flew the day before. The only differences here are the smaller screen, and no in-seat messaging.
Air Canada offers WiFi even on its regional aircraft. Pricing is so-so, at CAD $6.95 for a 30-minute pass, or CAD $20.95 for a flight pass.
I didn’t pay for WiFi, but you can access a rather rudimentary flight map for free. It’s not much, but you can track your progress, at least.
Air Canada E175 Business Class – Food & Beverage
Just a reminder, as with my other flight reviews in this series, the service shown represents pre-pandemic levels. Where I can, I’ve noted changes in service levels when flying today.
While we weren’t offered pre-departure beverages, the flight attendant did hand out bottles of water upon boarding.
Currently, AC still offers the bottle of water before departure, along with a kit including hand sanitizer, wet wipes, and a mask.
During boarding, the FA distributed menus and took main course orders. I was pleasantly surprised to find hot meal options on this regional flight
About half an hour after takeoff, meal service commenced. The service began with a beverage service. I ordered a gin and tonic, for the obligatory G&T selfie.
I ordered the pasta, which the FA served about 30 minutes after beverages. Everything was served on a single tray, rather than in courses, though on real tableware.
Too much sauce on the pasta, perhaps, but I found the dish pretty tasty. While typically a “safe” choice, pasta on a plane frequently comes out too mushy for my tastes. This one wasn’t bad, though. The salad was fine, though instead of strawberry pieces and balsamic vinaigrette, a strawberry vinaigrette would have been more successful. I also enjoyed the maple mousse cake, and kudos for including something decidedly Canadian. Overall, I enjoyed the meal service, and found it especially good for a regional flight.
Current meal service isn’t actually all that much different. Air Canada’s service guide indicates a hot dish, salad, bread, and dessert on a single tray. In addition, bar service currently does NOT include spirits (beer and wine only).
After lunch, I ordered a hot tea to finish.
I found service on this flight pretty good. The Business Class FA was attentive without being overbearing. Food and drink service was reasonably efficient, and the FA came through several times to offer refills.
After a rainy morning in Vancouver the day before, we enjoyed a sunny morning departing Toronto this day. As we taxied to the runway, I spotted my favorite Air Canada livery, the “ice blue” Dreamliner.
Next door was Emirates’ flagship A380.
We first passed over the northern suburbs of Toronto as we took off to the east. The fall colors were in peak form on this mid-October morning.
Soon after, as we turned around to head southwest, we enjoyed a spectacular view of downtown Toronto.
Thanks to the clear morning, you could also see across Lake Ontario to upstate New York.
After lunch, we made a fly by just north of Indianapolis, with a full view of downtown.
A few minutes later, I enjoyed a cool view of the IND airfield.
And finally, a good view of downtown Dallas as we prepared to hook a U and approach DFW from the south.
Well, actually, there’s one more. Before leaving Terminal E to head home, I spied our E175 and snapped one last photo of my quick Canadian getaway.
Air Canada E175 Business Class – Final Thoughts
I enjoyed this flight on Air Canada Business Class. The E175 offered a comfortable seat and very decent food and service. But Business Class on this route represents a pretty steep premium over coach. Coach fares for this flight ran roughly $130. A $300+ difference is a bit much for a flight of this length.