Flying Delhi Vancouver Delhi with Air Canada

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Air Canada Aircraft - Vancouver International Airport
Air Canada Aircraft – Vancouver International Airport

So, my visit to Canada was confirmed. The next logical step was to choose a flight or rather a set of flights. I am biased towards the flag carriers when visiting a destination as you get the essence of the destination as soon as you board the flight. So, for Canada, it had to be Air Canada. Having said that, this was not the primary reason I chose to fly with them.

Direct Flight between Delhi and Vancouver

Air Canada is the only airline that has a direct flight between Delhi and Vancouver with no stop of any kind. Delhi Vancouver flight takes less than 14 hours of flying time as it flies over the north pole. Yes, you do not fly east or west as most flights do, but you fly North over the north pole. It is fascinating to see the live flight map as you pass over the North Pole and through regions that are, just names for you.

For more details on Air Canada Flights, check out their website.

Flying Delhi-Vancouver Air Canada – Premium Economy

It was a day full of smog in Delhi. The visibility was pretty low, though the flight operations were more or less normal.

As I walked towards the boarding gate, I could see the red maple leaf on the tail of the aircraft standing out in the rather grey surroundings.

Air Canada - Premium Economy Seats
Air Canada – Premium Economy Seats

Premium Economy segment of the aircraft is sandwiched between the long rows of economy class and the plush business class. In the Air Canada in-flight scheme of things, Premium Economy has nice pushback seats. I got the aisle seat next to a window seat. I could have a hazy view outside. However, I did not regret not getting the window seat much as it was hazy or dark outside most of the time.

A small pouch containing a toothbrush, toothpaste, a pair of socks and an eye pad waited on the seat along with a light blanket and a soft pillow. The water bottle was in the seat pocket. I arranged the items below the seat, in the seat pocket to make a seat for myself. As I sat on the seat, I knew that next 14 hours would be comfortable.

Live interactive map - Air Canada
Live interactive map – Air Canada

Air Canada TV

Once the flight took off, I fiddled with the TV Screen in front of me. Live map, as I mentioned earlier was simply fascinating. The interactive map allows you to zoom in and zoom out and display the map on various parameters. You could see the slices of the map with day and night moving along. You could see the altitude, time, temperature, speed and cities or regions beneath you. I simply loved playing with it.

The movies selection was wide if you consider them across languages. I have never seen a Punjabi film so I decided to watch one. Incidentally, the film was totally based in Canada, though not in British Columbia where I was headed. The film was fine but I enjoyed listening to the Punjabi language. Living in Goa, it is not very often that I get to hear Punjabi.

Once I was done with the film, it was time to play a Trivia quiz – my selection from a platter of games on board.

Vegetarian Food – Air Canada

Vegetarian Food - Premium Economy - Air Canada
Vegetarian Food – Premium Economy – Air Canada

I had requested for an Asian Vegetarian Meal but the crew member still passed me the menu cards. I was surprised to see the menu in Hindi and English along with French. In retrospect, I wonder should it not be Punjabi as well. I know I am being ‘demanding’. Is that not what a good service does – it inspires you to ask for more. The meal was pre-decided for me, what I looked forward to was the snack that the menu card promised.

Hindi Menu - Air Canada
Hindi Menu – Air Canada

Somewhere in the unknown time zone, we received a silver foil pack that was too hot to hold. I cautiously opened it to see two mid-sized piping hot Samosas. I could not have been happier. And then I requested a hot cup of tea and it felt like a college-era party.

A had a little nap before the light breakfast of Matar Paranthas came up just before we were ready to touchdown at Vancouver.

Here is a review of Air Canada Australia Brisbane-Vancouver Flight.

Flying Vancouver –  Delhi Air Canada – Business Class

On my way back, I was absolutely tired. Just as my body was getting aligned to the Vancouver time zone, it was time to head back and return to my original time zone.

I had a great time at the Vancouver Airport. First I picked up the Inukshuk souvenir that I was trying to find all over Victoria and Vancouver. Then, I finally got to hear Punjabi at the airport. Almost everyone in the Air Canada crew was seen speaking in Punjabi. Though no one spoke to me in Punjabi, I hardly look like one, but it was a pleasure to hear it – it almost took me back to my childhood days in Punjab.

Air Canada - Business Class
Air Canada – Business Class

There were a lot of senior citizens flying on this Air Canada Vancouver – New Delhi flight. There was a long queue of people seeking wheelchair support. A crew member mentioned sometimes they have as many as 150 people using wheelchairs. It seems it is a flight that many take, to stay in touch with their roots.

I landed on my seat to find the following things neatly arranged on the seat:

  • A pair of slippers
    A soft duvet
    A pillow
    A toiletries pouch with a lip balm
    Headphones

Air Canada Business Class Seat

Air Canada Business Class Seat Control Panel
Air Canada Business Class Seat Control Panel

This was the best part of my return journey. I could sit with my legs stretched out while eating or while enjoying the in-flight entertainment system. I could make it flat to sleep comfortably. There were light controls to light up parts of the sitting area rather than the whole seat.

Air Canada In Flight Poetry
Haiku in the Air

This time I watched another Punjabi Film – just to hear the language one more time. I watched another English film on the social media obsession, played some Trivia, listened to some podcasts. I was surprised to see some Haiku recitations in their audio section. How lovely to listen to someone recite poetry while you are mid-air, high above the earth, with no distractions of any kind on a really long flight. I wish they had poetry in other languages as well.

Drinks & Snacks
Drinks & Snacks

Food

In Air Canada Business Class, the food came in courses. We began with a drink and my preferred drink on board is always Tomato Juice. It came with a snack of roasted nuts. Then came the salads followed by main course and fruits. Then there was chocolate cake with Maple Syrup.

Appetizers - Air Canada Business Class
Appetizers – Air Canada Business Class

The menu promised the hot Samosas again, but my body chose sleep over food. I slept comfortably for 8 hours. That says something about how easy it is to sleep in Air Canada Business Class seats. Woke up just before landing in Delhi and was ready to go on the mini road trip the very next day.

When you travel business class, a certain level of comfort is taken for granted. What I liked about Air Canada is their crew – they were extremely pleasant in dealing with the guests. Besides taking care of our mundane traveling needs, they made conversations, made us feel comfortable. All with a big smile on their face.

Will I choose to fly Air Canada again – Absolutely, Yes!

30 COMMENTS

  1. I have never flown with Air Canada, but it sounds like a great experience. Piping hot samosas? Yes please!

    The Business Class looks extraordinarily comfortable, as does the Premium Economy. Almost inspires one to splurge next time they fly!

  2. I’ve never really had the chance to fly Air Canada, so it was nice to see such a thorough review! The food definitely looks way better than many Italian companies, I’ll check them out if I get the chance!

  3. Nice review! Love the food you had in the flight. I am dying to see Delhi smog free. Even in this thick cold, I can feel the air different from Chandigarh where I spent over a week.

  4. I’ve flown Air Canad on a couple of occasions, as they’re a Star Alliance partner, and I had pleasant experiences, too. As for the food, sometimes I pre-select the vegetarian option when I’m flying to/from an Asian country. It’s usually a better option than the regular choices. Your food sounded and looked good. I guess I’ll be doing that next time I’m on a long-haul flight on Air Canada.

    • Leah, I am a vegetarian, so I always choose vegetarian option no matter what sector, but I have heard this from almost everyone that on flight vegetarian food is a better option. I had a wonderful flight with Air Canada – exactly what you need on a long haul flight.

  5. 14 hours flight, wow! I often wonder if I’d rather take a long 14-hour flight to a destination or break it into two, although the total journey time is longer that way. The longest I’ve been on was an 11 hour flight and since I love sitting at the window seat (I know people say take the aisle seat during long flights, but I cannot give up my window seat), it was excruciating! I do not like long haul flights 🙁 But good to know that at least there’s an option for people who don’t mind it, from Delhi. Imagine the views flying over the North Pole!

    • Medha – I am also a window seat person, especially because it allows me to rest my head while sleeping. 14 hours looks long, but if you can sleep, it saves you a lot of time and all the hassles you go through in transit. Incidentally, North Pole comes at night, so you hardly get to see anything. But at least you can say – I flew over the North Pole.

  6. I hate long flights but reading of your comfortable experiences in Air Canada, I think I’m beginning to like long flights. Both economy premium and business class flights look like a luxury, and from your pictures, I bet it’s the best decision you made. And that part of haiku, it must feel dreamy listening to poems above the earth. I can imagine😊 My next flight is going to be in Air Canada.

    • Lydia – the only catch was Haiku was in Japanese. I wish they had English, Hindi or Punjabi poetry too so that I could enjoy. Yes, it is surreal to think of poetry hanging in the air. I had a lovely flight either way with Air Canada, would choose them again if I have to visit Canada again.

  7. If I ever fly with air Canada first class I would deeply hope that they have premium quality smoked salmon for me with a still warm croissant. 🙂 The coolest part must be flying over the North Pole!! Did you get to see out? What does it look like?

  8. I have travelled on Air Canada before, but only internal flights between destinations in Canada. I’m impressed they have a direct flight between Delhi and Vancouver – what a great route. I love watching the satellite flight path too – it’s quite mesmerising watching it for hours as it travels across continents! Airline food can either be really good or really bad, and yours looked delicious – a hot samosa snack would be a favourite of mine! I haven’t travelled on Business Class recently, but it looks amazing – having all that room to sleep properly!

    • Hannah – after a week-long walking across 3 cities, I slept like a baby on my return journey with Air Canada. Once I reached home, I was not tired, despite the long flight followed by another domestic flight.

  9. While a direct flight would have been too long, sometimes I must admit I would prefer that as you save a lot of time getting off, waiting and getting on to another flight mid-way somewhere. Obviously if such flights are in Business Class that is icing on the cake. I just love the food spread. 🙂 🙂 It makes me drool.

    • Nisha – 14 hours does look a stretch but if it reduces your travel time from 30 hours to 14 – it makes all the sense. Transits are not comfortable – going through all the security process again while your body is confused with time zones and airports are not really the best places to relax.

  10. You seem to had a comforatble round trip with both premium economy and business class. A menu in Hindi is really impressive and yes I liked your idea of putting it in Punjabi too because half of Punjab is in Canada. Great review and pictures.

    • Suruchi – All the Punjabis think half of Canada is Punjab but did not really feel so while I was in Vancouver. I met a rare Punjabi taxi driver except at the airport where it could have been Amritsar airport.

  11. It looks like you had a great trip. I fly mainly shorthaul economy, but I think when flying for 14 hours it is super important you are comfortable and looked after! It’s so cool that the menu is in Hindi, it’s special touches like that that make all the difference. I’ve never travelled business class – maybe one day!

    • Samantha – very true, for long-haul flights, the business class makes sense. It almost saves you next couple of days as your body is relaxed and you are well rested. You will soon fly Business Class – mark my words 🙂

  12. Great review! I have never flown with Air Canada before but would happily do so after reading this. It’s great that they catered to your dietary requirements. I hear so many stories these days of vegetarians not being able to eat anything because they forget.

    • Anita – I have personally had those times when I have starved because they forgot to carry my vegetarian food. I am thankful that at Air Canada they not only took care of my food but pampered me.

  13. HI,

    I have also booked the premium economy on Delhi – Vancouver flight in Air Canada
    Can you please let me know, which are the good seats to select beforehand ? I mean, 1st, 2nd or 3 rd Row? Also, Aisle or window? I am travelling alone, so middle seats are ruled out.

    • Vin – I always prefer a window seat, followed by aisle seat. Although in this flight, you can hardly see anything outside, I still like window seat as no one disturbs you and the window side acts as a headrest if you want to sleep.

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