Tried & Tested

777-300ER Busi­ness Class Van­cou­ver (YVR) — Lon­don Heathrow (LHR)

Business Traveler (USA) - - INSIDE -

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.

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