Air Canada is the country's largest and oldest airline - and a hugely popular choice for both domestic and international flights. Owned by a combination of the Canadian state and private investors, the airline is part of the global Star Alliance, meaning that it enjoys a huge number of code-sharing relationships. It has been Canada's primary carrier since being founded in 1936 and continues to expand its reach worldwide.
Operating out of its major hub in Toronto, the company also has centers in Montreal and Vancouver. From those hubs, it serves 195 countries, including 62 domestic airports, 53 in the USA, and 101 destinations elsewhere in the world - including Europe, Africa, and Asian countries. Every year, the company flies 51 million passengers, putting it in the top echelon of global carriers.
Air Canada also runs a modern fleet, including state of the art Airbus A220-300 jets, Boeing 787 MAX models, as well as 787 Dreamliners for long haul journeys. It offers a frequent flier program called Altitude, which delivers perks like free upgrades and miles, both for standard services, low-cost Air Canada Express flights, and Rouge services - which run to popular tourist destinations.
In terms of safety, the airline is among the best global performers, with an AirlineRatings score of 7/7 and virtually mo major accidents during its operating history. Additionally, the airline regularly scoops Business Traveler Awards for service, reflecting its all-round commitment to passenger satisfaction.
Air Canada ranks as a premium airline, although low-cost fares are available via the Express service. Generally, travellers can choose between Signature, Business, Premium Economy, Full Economy, and Discount Economy classes - although the exact mix varies depending on the planes involved.
Air Canada Business Class
Business Class travellers with Air Canada enjoy a seat pitch of between 70-78-inches, specially curated wine lists, and an enhanced menu. There's more legroom for every seat, and passengers can choose private booths as part of the Signature Class if they desire extra privacy. Signature also comes with concierge benefits at both ends of flights, which makes it a genuine luxury option.
Air Canada Economy
Air Canada offers Premium, Full Economy, and Discount Economy classes. Premium comes with more legroom and a 38-inch seat pitch, as well as USB charging ports, and priority boarding. Lower down the scale, seats are smaller with lower pitches, but the full entertainment selection is available, as well as power sockets and complimentary meals.
Entertainment and Lounges
Every passenger with the airline has access to a touch screen measuring at least 9-inch, as well as 1,000s of movies and TV shows, sporting videos, and live music concerts. In-flight Wi-Fi is available on most flights, and can be booked before flying or when passengers are in the air (for a slightly higher fee). Back on the ground, Maple Leaf Lounges provide a comfy place to relax and can be found at 17 airports. Business and Signature-class passengers, Star Alliance Gold members, and members of the airline's frequent flier scheme are all eligible for entry.
Check-in for domestic flights ends 45 minutes before departure and passengers are advised to arrive 90 minutes prior to flying. International flight check-ins end 60 minutes before flights leave, and travellers should arrive 2 hours before flying.
Business Class passengers can check-in 2 free items of baggage. Each one must weigh no more than 32kg (70lbs).
Travellers in Business Class can also take on board a single standard bag or case and a "personal item". No weight limits apply.
Premium Economy travellers can check in 2 bags, and each one must weigh less than 23kg (50lbs). Standard Economy travellers have no free checked bags, and the same weight limit applies.
Economy travellers can also take on board a single case or bag, as well as a personal item. Again, there are no weight limits.
In Business Class and Economy Class, checked items must have total dimensions of less than 158cm (62 inches).
Carry-on bags or cases must measure less than 55 x 23 x 40cm (21.5 x 9 x 15.5 inches).
Personal items must measure less than 33 x 16 x 43cm (13 x 6 x 17 inches).
As usual, excess baggage fees apply if passengers exceed the limits associated with their ticket class. There are also special rules for certain items. For instance, golf bags and clubs weighing less than 23kg (50lbs) qualify as a standard luggage item, but are classed as excess baggage above that point.
Parents can take children aged 7 days and older on Air Canada flights, and tickets are only required for children when they reach the age of 2. Lap infants also qualify for an extra item of carry-on luggage containing toys and accessories. Collapsible strollers measuring less than 25.5 x 92cm (10 x 36 inches) can also be taken on board.
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