AC307 Domestic Business Class and Maple Leaf Lounge – a case of downgraded bird

My flight from Montreal to Vancouver was initially booked on AC 309 which was scheduled to fly on an Airbus A330.  The A330 features the classic pod (which I have reviewed here) in a 1-1-1 configuration, similar to that of the 767.  Few months before my flight, I was switched to AC 307.  Although the flight timing is better (5pm instead of 7pm), I got downgraded to an A320.  The A320 uses the domestic recliner seat instead of the full flat seat.  I tried to change my flight to AC 311 which uses a Dreamliner but I had no luck even up to 1 week before travel.

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The Dreamliner that I wanted to take, but not available

 

As usual, there is a priority check in line for Business Class passengers (and also a separate security queue).  Being a domestic flight, there is no need to go through any immigration counter.  After passing the security check, we went to the Maple Leaf Lounge.  The domestic Maple Leaf Lounge (I am not sure if there is another one for International departure) is much smaller than the one I been to in Pearson.  Food option is extremely limited (the only hot food available was soup).  There are more beverages option than food in this lounge.  I would give this lounge an average rating, but as what I always say – any lounge is better than no lounge!

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Priority Check in (and Security Line) is available

 

 

As the flight was slightly delayed, the passengers were still queuing when I got to the gate.  Soon, boarding announcement was made and we boarded first under Zone 1 boarding.  The seats in A320 is similar to that of A319 and A321 (in 2-2 configuration).  The seat pitch is a little small and there is no leg rest.  One advantage of seats 2A/2C is the extra storage space on the floor (not available for 1D/1F).  The TV in Business Class is mediocre at best (it is the same one as Economy Class) with the screen being completely washed out under bright lights.  There is no noise cancellation headphone and screen content is extremely limited!  At $100 per seat, I guess I can’t complain much and this is definitely better than Economy (which I shall review later).  Thankfully, I have my own noise cancellation headphone (which you can use without the need of an adapter).

Soon after settling down, we were offered pre-departure drinks.  The plane left the gate promptly once boarding has been completed and despite a short delay, the plane was expected to arrive early in to Vancouver (thankfully)!

 

Dinner was served soon after take-off and here are the pictures of the menu and the food:

 

I wouldn’t say the food is bad, it is passable but definitely not great.  Warmed nuts and beverages were topped up generously throughout the flight and after 4 hours, the plane was approaching Vancouver and we landed ahead of schedule.

 

As mentioned in my previous posts, North American transcontinental Business Class represents a good redemption deal as it cost only 20,000 miles (and the tax is not exorbitant).  I paid only about $100 per person for these tickets (which would otherwise cost almost CAD $1,800 per person!).  Despite its shortcomings, I won’t hesitate to use my Krisflyer miles on this flight.  I, however will not pay $1,800 for this flight!

 

If you are doing redemption, try to look for flights using 767, A330, 777 and 787.

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