This past November, I was invited by Air Canada to try its new “Signature Class” flights and services, taking the international direct flight from Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) to Haneda International Airport (HND) in Tokyo, Japan. I was experiencing this Signature Class products and services from the ground up at the airport all the way up in the air on the plane.
As the Air Canada official website states, “Air Canada Signature Service is our new end-to-end premium travel experience featuring the Air Canada Signature Class cabin, formerly known as International Business Class. It is offered exclusively when flying to and from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and South America on board our mainline Boeing 787, 777 and 767 aircraft and our Airbus A330 aircraft.”
Air Canada Signature Service ensures a seamless airport experience with dedicated check-in counters, expedited security clearance, lounge access, exclusive boarding lanes, priority baggage handling and more. On board, Air Canada Signature Class customers are treated to exclusive service and amenities.”
As everyone knows how much I love to eat and drink, so in this segment, let me show you the Air Canada Signature Suite. The Air Canada Signature Suite is located inside the Terminal 1 of Toronto Pearson International Airport. It features complimentary breakfast buffet plus à la carte dining with dishes created by award-winning chef, David Hawksworth. It also features a thoughtfully curated bar menu that includes Moët & Chandon champagne and signature cocktails featuring Diageo spirits.
Air Canada Signature Suite is only available for a specific group of Air Canada passengers who meets its criteria and requirements, thus, making this experience more exclusive and prestige. For example, qualified passengers must be travelling on Air Canada’s international flight and they have to pay the signature class flight in full fare. Any upgrades, discounts or reward redeemed flights will not be eligible. I highly recommend you to check the Air Canada official website or make a call to determine if your flight is eligible to access the Signature Suite.
Here is my experience when I visited the Signature Suite:
1.- Once you passed the sliding entrance glass door, you will be greeted by the friendly Air Canada team, show them your boarding pass as it will indicate whether or not your flight is eligible to use the Signature Suite.
2.- The staff will put your coat and any carry on you may have in a closet. Grab the coat check receipt so you can grab your belongings when you are about to board your flight.
3.- You can sit anywhere you like inside the Signature Suite. There are so many spots for you to sit. It really depends on your preference. You can sit at the semi-circular booth right near the entrance of the Signature Suite or you can sit along the booths near the beautiful mural art piece. Perhaps you want to sit near the bar area and chat with the bartender. Or you can sit in another more private area and read a book or do some work. If you are planning to order à la carte on the food menu, perhaps you can sit at the back section of the area and enjoy the top notch service and the food. For Air Canada executives or VIPs, they can opt to dine in the special VIP room.
4.- Breakfast buffet opens early in the morning. They provide a good selection of breakfast items from scrambled eggs, sausages, vegetables, fruits and other food items. If you like latte, I highly recommend you to order one as they make cool animated design on your latte. It’s definitely social media worthy!
Starting at 11:00 am, the bar is open and you can order any champagne, special cocktails or beer or non-alcoholic beverages. Also, at 11:00 am, you can start ordering à la carte food items off the menu curated by the award winning chef, David Hawksworth.
5.- There are gender neutral washrooms within the Signature Suite. And I know most people may not care, but they provide Molton Brown hand care products. Awesome!
6.- Throughout the entire space, there are lots of power outlets for you to recharge your laptops, cameras or Smartphones, this is very thoughtful and much needed especially for people like myself who consistently use my Smartphones.
Below are MoVernie TIPs that will help you maximize your experience when you visit the Signature Suite:
MoVernie TIP #1: The Signature Suite is definitely worth your time to check it out. If you are planning to fly overseas from Toronto, perhaps consider buying an Air Canada International Signature Class flight. Or if you live in other parts of Canada or USA in particular and plan to fly to Europe or Asia. Perhaps you consider purchasing a flight that will fly you to the Toronto Pearson International Airport first, as a layover or connecting flight, experience the Signature Suite and then take the Air Canada Signature Class flight and fly to your final destination.
For example, if I am flying from Los Angeles, USA to London, United Kingdom. Perhaps I may want to fly from Los Angeles to Toronto, either stay for a few days to check out Toronto as a layover or have a connecting flight at the Toronto Pearson International Airport, then hop on the next Air Canada international flight from Toronto to London. For me, checking out the Signature Suite and experience the Signature services are definitely worthwhile especially I am a foodie and love cocktails.
MoVernie TIP #2: The Signature Suite is definitely worth a visit, so if you are eligible and have access to the Signature Suite, I recommend you to give yourself at least 2 to 3 hours there. So that you can sip a few cocktails (drink responsibly), really pace yourself in a calm and relaxing mood to enjoy the appetizers, main courses and the desserts at the suite. Although the food comes out in a timely fashion, but if you have more time, you are not as rush and can really enjoy the experience better.
MoVernie TIP #3: There are a number of great signature cocktails available at the Signature Suite. However, there are certain cocktails also available on your Signature Class flight. I highly recommend you to ask your server and order cocktails that are solely only available at the Signature Suite. For example, my server told me the “Gate E77” and “Blackberry Royal” are only available at the suite, thus, I ordered both of them. Meanwhile, I can always order cocktail such as the “Signature Cocktail” during my flight to Tokyo.
MoVernie TIP #4: Did you know…..any Signature Suite passengers can also have access to the Maple Leaf International Lounge? Although you can’t bring your guests to the Signature Suite, since you have access to both lounges, you can walk over to the Maple Leaf Lounge and see your friends and family.
For example, my brother and his girlfriend have access to the Maple Leaf International Lounge as they were also flying to Tokyo, so after I had enjoyed a nice cocktail and the breakfast buffet at the Signature Suite, I decided to walk over to the Maple Leaf International lounge to chill with them for a bit. The Maple Leaf International Lounge has a good variety of beer, wine (alcohol available starting at 11:00 am) and food as well. After chilling with them for a while, I walked back to the Signature Suite and ordered a number of à la carte food items and then I re-connect my family upon boarding at the gate.
MoVernie TIP #5: Did you also know…..any Signature Suite passengers can access some of the amenities available at the Maple Leaf International Lounge? For example, there are shower facilities. So, if you need to take a shower, you can walk over to the Maple Leaf International Lounge if you need to.
MoVernie TIP #6: Although all the food and drinks are complimentary at the Signature Suite, please don’t overly order the food, order what you can consume, there are many hungry people on this planet who are dying from hunger. And also drink responsibly, drink what you can handle. Remember, you can still order food and drinks while you are on the flight so you don’t have to go crazy at the suite.
Overall, I had a wonderful experience at the Air Canada Signature Suite. It’s definitely worth your time to dine and drink here, so please kindly make sure to give yourself enough time, I say at least 2 to 3 hours minimum to enjoy this special space. Personally, I really enjoy the mural art, it feels very comforting, relaxing and feels cozy, it feels like home! The Signature Suite brand is something Air Canada is proud and passionate about and it definitely elevates the overall impression of the quality of the brand. I think there is a need and an opportunity for the customers who are looking for, and are willing to pay for the premium services during their travel and I think Air Canada has successfully fulfilled this need and achieve this goal.
I am wishing Air Canada all the best in the foreseeable future to continue to grow, improve and expand this “Signature Suite” concept to other airports in Canada, USA and other parts of the world.
The Signature Class flights & services from Toronto, Canada to Tokyo, Japan were provided by Air Canada. However, as always, the opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own.