Are you sure this is business class?

Air Canada does not offer first class, but even the most discerning of travelers would hardly notice. The airlines newly announced business class amenities may potentially rival the greatest first class experiences, with guaranteed tarmac transfers, private chef lounge dining facilities and outstanding wine menus. Oh – and of course, they’ll have mattress pads and upgraded linens on board as well. Air Canada has just announced details of their new “Signature” long haul business class experience, and it looks extraordinary.

New “Signature” Branded Business Class

Air Canada has released marketing materials behind the newly coined “Signature” business class experience. The “new” product picks up on recent efforts from Air Canada to enter the most elite airline ranks by adding amenities and conveniences generally afforded to first class passengers.

Guaranteed “Signature” BMW Tarmac Transfers

Customers transiting from a domestic to international flight at Toronto Pearson will be guaranteed a BMW tarmac transfer to the lounge or next flight. This service is exclusively for paying customers (sorry, points peeps) but does not restrict lower priced business fares. This makes Air Canada the first North American airline to guarantee a tarmac transfers for business class customers.

Exclusive “Signature” Pre Flight Dining Lounge

Earlier this year Air Canada announced the new “Signature Suite” at Toronto Pearson Airport. The suite, exclusive to paying business class customers (again, sorry points people) offers cocktails, Moet Champagne, Molton Brown skin products and award winning a la carte food from celebrity chef David Hawksworth, which would be a treat outside of an airport, let alone in one. It’s easily one of the best lounges in North America.

Executive Pod “Signature” Bedding And Amenities…

Air Canada is upgrading the very elements which make business class totally worth it. An enhanced quilted mattress pad, pillow and luxury duvet will bring in flight comfort to enhanced standards. WANT Les Essentiels amenity kits with Vetruvi skin products will also become standard. Air Canada’s very best business class seats can be found on the Boeing 787 and 777 aircraft, respectively.

Upgraded Wines, Spirits And Meal Service On Board

Air Canada is investing heavily in premium wines and spirits both on the ground at their Signature Suite, and in the skies. Customers can now preview the beverage selection for future flights at this page, giving a nice overview of the new and steadily improving offers. In addition, dine on demand and “express” meal options will expand to more and more “Signature” flights.

A “Signature” Concierge Service

All “Signature” business class customers will be eligible to use the Air Canada Concierge service. The concierge service is available in more than 40 international cities, including Amsterdam, Tokyo, Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Brisbane and Vancouver and can assist with everything from theatre tickets and hotel reservations to troublesome rebooking. It certainly doesn’t hurt!

Our Take

These changes sound truly phenomenal. It’s great to see an airline further raising the bar and creating customer efficiencies at every travel juncture. Reverse engineering a service to offer a fully customizable experience for each passenger is no easy feat, but it seems like Air Canada is coming pretty darn close with “Signature”. This just climbed way up on the to do list.

What do you make of these new “Signature” changes?

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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10 Comments

  1. Tarmac transfers are from domestic to international only, *not* vice versa. This is because all arriving international passengers must clear customs and immigration then go through security, which would preclude a tarmac transfer.

  2. Its great news. My husbabd and I r seniors and need wheel chair transportstion. Due to injuries we cannot carry or lift our suitcases. We tried to do pre checking in of our luggage and were told Air Cda does not offer this service any more. We r travelling from Zurich to Toronto and r Canadian citizens.
    The Swiss train stations offered this service wt a fee of course previously but now only offer it if one flies with Swiss airlines. Could anything be done to reinstate this service? I called the Swiss rep for Air Cda andvtgey said it would be possible to checkminnthe luggage only 2 hrs before.

  3. If they want these amenities fly private instead of taking up.space that could profitably fit in more passengers. Pre flight dining. Part of the trip enjoyment is in flight dining. After eating in preboard dining do you have any room left in your tummy for more? Part of the joy of travel is the journey itself even with a bit of discomfort. Again I say fly private.

  4. I look forward to the transfer service and any amenity improvements. I applaud the staff who deliver and maintain the programs, excellent on-board care I have received in the past, and even more pluses in the future.

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