Tried & Tested
777-300ER Business Class Vancouver (YVR) — London Heathrow (LHR)
AirCanada 777-300ER Business Class, Vancouver-London, Westin Peachtree Plaza-Atlanta
CHECK-IN I checked in online for my 1830 return journey on AC854. I was connecting at Vancouver from a short flight departing Victoria airport on Vancouver Island, where my luggage had already been through-checked to Heathrow.
THE LOUNGE The international business lounge was a five-minute walk from the gate, D64.
It was peaceful, with plenty of seats, two self-service bars with a range of spirits, beer and wine, and a buffet of pasta, soup, salads and sushi.
BOARDING This began at 1745. I got there at 1800, joined the priority lane, and used the business class airbridge.
An attendant gave me a menu and a card to order my breakfast, and offered me Drappier Carte d’Or Brut champagne or juice. Drinks were decanted into plastic cups for those who hadn’t finished before take-off.
THE SEAT Air Canada has three business class products but by the second half of next year, all 777s will offer the same seating (Executive Pod) as on the new 787-8.
The seat on board this 777300ER – the Studio Pod – is itself quite new, having arrived only in spring last year. (The Classic Pod is the oldest.)
The Studio Pods are in a forward-facing 1-2-1/2-2-2 layout across rows one to seven (A-C, D-G, H-K/A, D-G, K), with rows two, four and six configured 1-2-1.
I was in solo seat 6A. In gray tweed, they recline fully flat into a cushioned footwell and are very comfortable, extending to over 6 feet in length with a width of up to 22.5 inches, lumbar support and an adjustable mattress and headrest.
There are pockets for magazines, holders for cups, a compartment for shoes, in-seat power and USB ports.
I liked the expansive surfaces either side for laptops and books (these are slightly smaller for pairs of seats, with the central surface shared). There are no privacy dividers but once you are reclined, the shell surround provides some shielding. Tray tables pop out of the side panel and were fine for working on, but fiddly to put back.
The IFE system is the same in all classes but with larger 15.4-inch screens in business. Noise-canceling headphones were available. WHICH SEAT TO
CHOOSE? Solo seats A and K are best if you are alone as they offer the most privacy and space. All have the same amount of legroom. Paired window seats do not offer direct aisle access.
Those in front seats are served and disembark first, but aisle seats in row one may suffer from a bit of noise and light from the galley.
THE FLIGHT We took off on time. At 1915, hot towels and aperitifs were offered.
There was a choice of four dishes for dinner, which each came with a salad and bread: grilled Alberta AAA beef tenderloin with morel mushroom sauce; chicken tikka with broccoli and rice; roasted halibut with chickpeas and eggplant confit; and vegetable and cheese ravioli with Alfredo sauce (delicious).
Wines included a Giesen Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand, and a De Gras Carmenere from Chile’s Colchagua Valley. Cheese and chocolate brownies came next.
Dinner finished at 2130 and, at 2200, the lights went out.