Air Canada business class
Business & Premium Classes

The Complete Guide to Air Canada Business Class

Kaitlyn McInnis

Kaitlyn McInnis

August 9, 2023

8 min read

Table of Contents

Air Canada is the largest domestic and international airline in Canada, serving more than 210 airports across six continents. The Air Canada business class experience reflects the airline’s status as Canada’s most prominent airline and is well-worth the cost for travelers looking for a more streamlined and comfortable experience—both at the airport and on-board. 

That being said—not all Air Canada business class cabins are created equal. You’ll want to watch out for the specific aircraft and time of day that you’re opting to fly to ensure you’re getting the best business class experience for your money.

Here’s everything you’ll want to keep in mind when considering flying business with Air Canada—from in-flight meals and alcohol options to exactly which aircrafts offer the best business configuration:

What to know about Air Canada business class

Air Canada offers its signature business class experience on international flights and select domestic routes depending on time of day and availability. The experience starts the moment you arrive at the designated business check-in counter and ends as you pick up your luggage—which will be the first off the baggage carousel.

The best business class cabins are found on longer haul flights on the Boeing 777, Boeing 787, and A330-300 aircrafts (referred to Signature Service to distinguish it from shorter haul business class). Air Canada also offers business class seats on its A220-300 but you won’t experience the privacy of a pod or lie-flat bed.

Examples of deals Going has found in Air Canada business class from the US

  • Calgary for $353 roundtrip
  • London for $1,941 roundtrip
  • Mumbai for $2,421 roundtrip
  • Tokyo for $2,758 roundtrip

The Air Canada business class experience at the airport 

The Air Canada business class experience makes the entire time spent at the airport much more efficient and comfortable. Air Canada business class passengers can enjoy priority check in and security clearance and access to any ​​Star Alliance member airline’s business class lounge.

Air Canada business class lounge access

Air Canada signature lounge.

Air Canada operates three different types of lounges: the Air Canada Signature Suite, Air Canada Café, and Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge. All business class tickets and Aeroplan Elite members have lounge access.

The Air Canada Signature Suite is located at Toronto Pearson International Airport and Vancouver International Airport and feature complimentary à la carte dining with dishes created by Air Canada’s award-winning chef, David Hawksworth, as well as a bar menu that includes Moët & Chandon champagne personalized concierge service and Molton Brown care products.

The Air Canada Café at Toronto Pearson International Airport and is conveniently located steps away from Air Canada's domestic gates. The space offers a variety of fresh and healthy snacks with Lavazza coffee.

The standard Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges are the most popular lounge across Canada and international with 23 lounges across 16 airports. The pre-flight retreats include an open bar with wine, beer, and cocktails, fresh and packaged snacks, and small meals.

Air Canada business class check-in

Air Canada business class check-in.

Air Canada business class passengers have access to exclusive lanes at major airports that offer expedited access to security screenings for Air Canada Signature Class, Business Class and Premium Rouge customers (Canada, the United States and select Sun destinations) and eligible Air Canada Elite members. Super Elite members and Air Canada Signature Class customers also receive a personalized and dedicated concierge service in 33 airports around the world.

Air Canada baggage allowance

Travelers flying in business class can check up to two 50-pound bags free of charge. Business class tickets also include priority baggage services that make checking in—and collecting luggage—much more streamlined. Priority bags are marked with special tags so they’ll be the first to arrive on the carousel for Air Canada Signature Class, Business Class, Premium Economy Class, Premium Rouge customers and eligible Air Canada Elite members

The Air Canada business class experience in the air

Air Canada business class seats

Air Canada business class seats.
  • Boeing 777: All Boeing 777 business class flights feature a total of 40 seats with lie-flat beds, adjustable pneumatic cushions, adjustable headrests with head and neck massage, lumbar support with a massage function, a large slide-away table, and a touch-screen entertainment system with included noise-canceling headphones.The 1-2-1 configuration ensures everyone has an aisle seat.
  • Boeing 787: The Boeing 787 fleet features a nearly identical business class experience as the 777 down to the convenient 1-2-1 configuration. However, this aircraft only has a total of 30 seats.
  • A330-300: The A330-300 features a total of 27 business class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration. The configuration includes a moveable privacy divider between adjoining business class seats that can be convenient for travelers flying with a partner.
  • A220-300: The A220-300 does not feature lie-flat beds or pods but rather twelve generous sized recliner seats arranged across three rows in a 2-2 configuration. This aircraft mainly services regional and short haul flights across Canada.

Air Canada business class benefits

Air Canada business class benefits include a myriad of upgrades that make flying much more enjoyable. ​​Stand out benefits include larger seats with more recline and extra legroom, a personal touch-screen TV with hundreds of hours of in-flight entertainment, individual power supply for electronic devices, guaranteed window or aisle access, adjustable head and footrests, and more. Business class travelers will also receive an amenity kit upon boarding that contains socks, an Air Canada-branded eye mask, ear plugs, a toothbrush and toothpaste, and a variety of COVID safety products, including a fresh face mask and a variety of sanitizing products.

Air Canada business class meals

Air Canada business class meal.

Air Canada business class passengers can choose from a selection of seasonal dishes based on destination, including those by award-winning Canadian chefs, David Hawksworth, Jérôme Ferrer, Antonio Park and Vikram Vij. The three-course dinner comes all at once with standout meals including salmon tartare or lamb with grilled veggies and fresh salad.

Plant-based travelers or those with special meal requests should be sure to book their requests as soon as possible (at least 24 hours in advance) to ensure the preferred option will be available on board.

Air Canada business class alcohol

Whether you’re celebrating a big event or looking to relax with a nightcap, Air Canada business class will have you covered. Business class passengers have access to an impressive wine list from some of the world’s top vineyards—including the likes of Gerard Bertrand and Drappier Champagne House—on flights serving lunch or dinner. Passengers can also choose from a variety of domestic beer, hard liquor, or cocktails.

How to book Air Canada business class

How much does it cost for a business class ticket on Air Canada?

The price of Air Canada business class tickets will depend on the route, the seasonality, and how close to your departure date you end up booking. Most international business class flights will run between $3,000 to $5,000—but domestic flights and off-season dates will cost significantly less. Going often finds cheap flights for under $2,500 roundtrip for Elite members.

How to upgrade to business class of Air Canada for free

There’s no special trick to get a business class upgrade for free—but it’s certainly possible with a little extra legwork. The best way to get discounted and free business class upgrades is to become an Aeroplan member and work your way up to Elite status.

Air Canada Elite members receive an abundance of annual benefits that include free upgrades, discounts on business class flights, and lounge access even when flying economy. Members also have access to eUpgrade credits which can be used to upgrade from economy to business when space permits.

How much does it cost to upgrade to business class on Air Canada? 

The Air Canada Last Minute Upgrade Purchase is available online up to 24 hours prior to departure or at check in up to one hour prior to departure for most domestic and international flights. The cost to upgrade to business class will depend on the flight path and seasonality but you can expect to pay between $300 to $1,000.

How many miles to upgrade to Air Canada business class? 

Passengers looking to upgrade to Air Canada business class should anticipate spending between 15,000 to 50,000 Aeroplan Miles depending on the route. Note that you’ll need to purchase tickets in classes Y, B, or O to be eligible for upgrades.


Air Canada business class is by far the best business class option in Canada. You’re guaranteed aisle access and a comfortable seat, fresh and healthy meals both in the lounge and on-board, a variety of high-end wine and spirits, and a smooth check-in and baggage claim experience.

However, it can be disappointing to expect a lie-flat seat only to find out you’re flying on an A220-300. It’s worth taking the time to select flights on the Boeing 777, Boeing 787, or A330-300 when available to ensure an optimal business class experience.

More business class resources

Frequently asked questions about Air Canada business class

What does Air Canada business class include?
Qualifying Air Canada business class—both domestic and international—includes expedited access to security screenings, priority baggage, lounge access, lie-flat seats, guaranteed window or aisle access, hot meals, complimentary alcohol, an amenity kit, a massaging neck rest, and complimentary in-flight entertainment.
Do you get lounge access with Air Canada business class?
Air Canada business class passengers get lounge access with all business class tickets—including both domestic and international flights. There are a total of sixteen Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges across Canada and in Paris, Frankfurt, London, Los Angeles, and New York.
Do seats in Air Canada business class lie flat?
The entire Air Canada widebody fleet—namely Boeing 787-8, 787-9, 777-200, 777-300 and Airbus A330-300—offer lie-flat business class seats.
Is food served in business class on Air Canada?
Business class flights under two hours include a hot breakfast (except YYZ-YOW where a cold breakfast is served) in the morning or a cold snack in the evening. Flights after 8 p.m. include a premium snack basket with bar and beverage services. Flights over two hours include a pre-meal bar and beverage service with bar snacks and an all-inclusive meal tray with choice of hot meals. In addition, on flights over four hours a bar and beverage service with a premium snack basket will be offered prior to landing.
How many checked bags do you get in Air Canada business class?
Air Canada business class passengers generally get two free checked bags of up to 50 pounds each. Note that Air Canada Aeroplan Elite 35K, 50K, 75K, and Super Elite members can check a third bag for free.
What are the best seats in Air Canada business class?
All Air Canada widebody seats are virtually identical so it comes down to a matter of preference, for example whether one prefers the window or to be seated next to a companion. The A220-300—which mainly services regional flights—does not feature lie-flat beds but you can sometimes find domestic flights on the A330-300 should you want to ensure a lie-flat bed or the privacy of a pod on a shorter haul flight (like YUL to YYZ for example).
What does business (p) mean on Air Canada?
The Air Canada Business (P) refers to the fare type. The (P) specifically stands for the Business Class (flexible) fare which is slightly more expensive than the lowest business class fare and includes free cancellations.
Kaitlyn McInnis

Kaitlyn McInnis

Freelance Writer

Kaitlyn McInnis is a Montreal-based author writer who has been published in publications across five continents, including Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, South China Morning Post, CNN, The Points Guy, and more. She holds a Bachelor of Arts focused in English Literature and Irish Studies and is working toward a Master of Fine Arts from the University of King's College in Nova Scotia.

Published August 9, 2023

Last updated December 21, 2023

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