As a Canadian, I had surprisingly never tried Air Canada’s Business Class product. So when I needed to find a way home using my Aeroplan miles, I jumped on the opportunity.
Since my flight to Vancouver was leaving later in the evening, I decided to head to the Airport Express station in Kowloon for their in-town check-in service. What’s great about the Airport Express is that you can actually check-in for your flight here and drop off your luggage, all while still in the heart of Hong Kong.
Then, you can conveniently take the 25-min Airport Express train journey directly to the departure level of Hong Kong airport, from where it is a quick walk to the immigration and security area. I was able to take advantage of this service to get my boarding passes early, so that I would have some time to check out the lounges at Hong Kong airport.
United Club Lounge
After going through security, I decided to first check out the United Club that was located one stop away on the APM (automated people mover) near gate 61. After alighting the APM, plenty of signage directed me to the lounge, which was located a floor above the terminal level, alongside other lounges such as the Plaza Premium Lounge and the AMEX Centurion Lounge.
My first impression of the United Club was how open and airy the space was. The lounge wasn’t crowded at all, with only a few other passengers sharing the lounge and plenty of seating available (I was there around noon).
There was a self-serve food station near the entrance of the lounge that had a small selection of finger sandwiches, salad, fruits, pastries, and a couple of hot dishes. I decided to try the chicken curry, which was surprisingly tasty.
One of the best thing about this lounge is the view of the nearby gates and apron activities. Overall the United Club is a good option and provides a good place to get a bite and relax, but I wouldn’t come to the airport early just for this lounge.
Since I had three more hours to go before my flight, I decided to do some gate-spotting around the terminal as I headed towards another Star Alliance lounge, the SilverKris Lounge by Singapore Airlines. The SilverKris Lounge is located by gate 14 and is on the same level as departure.
Upon showing my Air Canada boarding pass, I was quickly welcomed inside by their friendly receptionist.
The lounge doesn’t have any windows and the ceiling wasn’t very high, so the whole lounge felt a little crowded. There is a bar near the entrance of the lounge. To the left is the entrance to the first class section of the lounge.
The lounge is one big rectangular space with the food stations and dining area near the entrance and additional lounge seating further inside.
There were several private seats at the very back of the lounge if you want to have some quiet space to do some work.
I wanted to eat a light meal before boarding my flight, so I had a look around the food spread. Surprisingly, they offered tofu pudding, which is my favorite dessert, so I had to get it. I also ordered the signature laksa dish from the lounge attendants since it was made-to-order. The laksa was delicious and was definitely a highlight of this lounge.
I headed to the gate slightly earlier than the scheduled boarding time and managed to secure a rather nice lounge chair facing my plane. The lounge chairs on the departure floor were surprisingly comfortable, and I would actually prefer this over the seating inside the airline lounges given the view of the apron activities here.
Boarding started almost an hour early around 6:50pm. As I boarded, I was greeted at the door by the in-flight service manager Marcus, who directed me to my seat 6A.
Air Canada uses the reverse herringbone seats from B/E Aerospace in a 1-2-1 configuration, giving each passenger direct aisle access.
Mattress cover, duvet, pillow and slippers were already placed on each seat, along with an amenity kit, headphones and a bottle of water on the side table.
Once I settled into my seat, a flight attendant came by and offered a pre-departure beverage with a choice of juice, champagne, or water.
Menus were also distributed and meal orders were taken prior to push-back. I wanted to try the Halibut dish but unfortunately that was no longer available, so I opted for the tenderloin instead.
Going over the seat features, the first thing that comes to mind is the rather large side table and the single large storage compartment which stores the IFE controller, electrical outlet, USB ports, and headphone jack.
The height of the arm rest can be adjusted and there is a mini storage space under the arm rest to store a water bottle.
There is also a mini LED control panel by the side table to adjust the seat angle, lumbar support and ambient lighting around the seat.
The tray table is stowed under the TV screen and can be extended by pulling on the lever. However, I found the locking mechanism would get loose easily and occasionally the tray table would slide out. Noise cancelling headphones were also provided, but I did notice that the straps were a little tighter than usual even after fully extending the straps.
We pushed back right on time at 7:50pm with a pretty full Business Class cabin. After a quick taxi to runway 07R, we took off bound for Vancouver.
Once the seatbelt signs were turned off during the climb, hot towels were distributed in preparation for meal service.
Warm nuts and beverages were served right after and I opted for the Laurent-Perrier Champagne Brut to start.
For the appetizer, pork rillettes were served in a dried apricot chutney, which I found to be quite refreshing and tasty.
The entree was the beef tenderloin dish, which looks better than it tasted. The beef was just slightly warm and too dry for my liking.
Fruit and cheese were also offered afterwards and I opted for both.
Last but not least, dessert included the blueberry cheesecake which was a nice finishing touch to the meal.
As I was wrapping up my meal, I noticed my seat was slightly deflated and I could actually feel a metal plate underneath the seat cushion. Thankfully, I was aware of this common problem based on other’s experiences on Flyertalk. Once my meal was done, I asked the flight attendants to see if they could fix it for me. Fortunately, the flight attendants were aware of this issue and went through a series of steps in the seat control panel to reset the inflation.
Aside from that, the mattress cover was really appreciated and the seat was overall comfortable when it was fully inflated. The duvet was light and airy but I only used it for the first ten minutes since the cabin was a bit warmer than usual.
I had a good four hours of sleep, and once I awoke I decided to check out the amenity kit. The amenity kit was supplied by WANT Les Essentiels and includes a pair of socks, eye shades, ear plugs, glass cloth, dental kit, and Vitruvi hand cream and lip balm.
It was also a good time to check out the in-flight snacks available. I ended up getting some packaged snacks including chips, chocolate, and roasted almonds. There were also some whole fruits available but I decided to pass on those.
I also ordered an Air Canada signature cocktail, which consists of a mix of cranberry juice and Crown Royal Canadian Whisky.
The second meal service was served prior to arrival with a choice of dim sum or omelette. I opted for the dim sum with a side croissant and assorted fruits.
Prior to our descent into Vancouver, the captain informed us of an issue with one of the nose wheel’s tire pressure and that procedures were in place to have the wheels inspected right after landing. The flight attendants came by each passenger to give reassurances that this wasn’t a serious situation and that our landing would proceed normally with just one nose wheel.
Sure enough, we had a pretty straight-forward landing into Vancouver, and only had a slight delay for the maintenance crew to service the nose wheel before taxiing to the gate.
Arrival at Vancouver International Airport
Take a look in the video below for the full review as well as the landing.
Air Canada offers a decent product across the Pacific and features a really competitive reverse herringbone seat in their business class. The only downside is the random seat deflation which can be a little frustrating, but can be easily resolved with a seat reset from the flight attendants. Overall I think the service was attentive, professional and very friendly. The meal and in-flight snacks were good but nothing really stood out with any kind of wow-factor.
For a more visual experience, why not check out our YouTube trip report for this flight?
Have you flown with Air Canada? If so, what did you think of it? Leave your comments below! Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter for instant updates when we release a new post! Also head over to our YouTube channel for our video trip reports. Thanks for reading!
Peterson is always looking for places to go and spends most of his time reading anything travel related. He is also an aviation geek and will not hesitate to fly complex routing in order to try different airlines.