Canada has been high up on our bucket list for years. I was delighted that we finally took the plunge and locked it in as the first destination on our family gap year. From emerald green lakes with stunning mountain backdrops, to incredible wildlife, bears, moose, whales and orcas to name a few, who wouldn’t want to visit? Being a travel enthusiast, I love trying out new airlines, so I was excited to be adding Air Canada to my list. Here is our review of flying Premium Economy with Air Canada.
Flying Premium Economy with Air Canada
Check-in & Baggage
The lead up to our flight was completely hectic, especially as we had been packing our lives up and renting the house out for a year. We really needed it to be an easy check-in process with the kids, for our sanity, we were totally exhausted when we arrived at the airport. Luckily, premium economy passengers can check in at the Super Elite desk in Heathrow. There was no queue and the Air Canada concierge could see we had lots of luggage and two kids so they were incredibly helpful. That immediately made us feel relaxed after a crazy morning.
We already knew our seats since they were allocated at the time of purchase. Air Canada have a generous baggage allowance of 23kg per seated passenger. I am not sure if that was a good or a bad thing for us, we probably needed to be more ruthless with our packing since we were leaving for a year. On the plus side, it was great not to worry about having overweight baggage.
After gliding through Heathrow security and into the lounge where we spent some time unwinding, it was time to board. By this time the wheels were starting to fall off the toddler who had been up since 6am. The staff at the desk boarded us quickly and helped settle us into our premium economy seat for the next eight hours from London to Calgary.
We were incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to meet the captain and check out the cockpit for a few minutes before departing. We were so pleased and grateful to the staff for allowing us to to do so. Those kind of photographs are gold to travel enthusiasts like us!
I was really impressed with Air Canada. The experience is to a much higher standard then other premium economy services. There was heaps of legroom space, two giant arm rests and a nice recline on the chair.
The entertainment console had loads of movies and the kiddies corner was perfect with games, movies and nursery songs. I was so grateful to have something to keep the three year old entertained for the flight. The attendant also gave Esme the Air Canada kids pack which helped pass some time.
We were lucky enough to have a bassinet for our newborn in the bulkhead seats. It can hold babies up to 12kg and is also long enough for the tall ones. More often than not, bassinets are not long enough on planes. It made for an easier flight not having a baby in my arms the entire way.
As soon as we were getting ready to set off, an attendant came and gave me a detailed safety brief on flying with a baby. I was quite impressed since on most other airlines we get handed a belt and asked if we know how to use it.
The attendant also said it would be no problem if we needed milk heated or anything for the kids. The staff were so attentive to our needs as a family. One of them almost wanted Quinn to cry so she could take him for a walk. She told me it’s often her favourite thing to do on a flight which I found so sweet.
Meals and refreshments
Once we were in the air, we were given those amazing hot towels. Don’t they just feel lovely when you put them on your face? The menu for lunch had two main options. I chose the spinach and ricotta stuffed ravioli, whist hubby had the parmesan and leek filled chicken breast. I think the food in premium economy on Air Canada is really what sets it apart from others. It was so tasty and fresh which I feel many other airlines don’t get right.
We pre-ordered a child’s meal for our daughter. The main was the same, stuffed ravioli whist she had some different sides such as freshly chopped fruit and some chocolate for dessert. Esme is incredibly fussy so it can only be a good sign If she was enjoying it. Light snacks were plentiful either side of our main meal. From pretzels and ice-cream to a warm meatball wrap, we definitely did not arrive hungry at our destination.
Being true to their home country, they had some great beverage choices, such as Canadian Club and Molson Canadian beer which I recommend trying. Once fed and watered, so to speak, they had a nice sleep pack with an eye mask, ear pugs, socks and toothpaste /toothbrush. I would love to say we put it to use but travelling with a toddler does not permit such pleasures.
Have you found Flying Premium Economy with Air Canada useful? I love to hear from you, leave a comment and I will get back to you.
With special thanks to Air Canada for having us as their guests onboard. They covered our air fare but we paid our own taxes which were approximately £400 GBP.