Having recently come back from a trip to Dubai- I think that I have just had the experience of two airlines at the opposite end of the spectrum of airline experiences. One of them was one of the best experiences I have had and one was one of the worst. The airlines in question are Air Canada and Emirates.
Lets do a head-to-head comparison
Air Canada has a very efficient self check-in process and bag drop off at Dorval airport.
Emirates: self check-in did not work so had to wait in line
Advantage: Air Canada
Air Canada does not make you enter the gate area prior to boarding (which is quite small).
Emirates does make you enter the gate area, however, it is a huge area with enough capacity for double the number of passengers.
Air Canada: Aging Boeing 767
Emirates: New Boeing 777
- Air Canada transatlantic flights have one choice- you can watch the movie on the screens the middle. Or not.
- Emirates- Selection of several hundred movies on your own personal entertainment screen.
- Air Canada- 8 channels to choose from.
- Emirates- Selection of several hundred music and video channels from your own personal entertainment screen.
- Air Canada- none
- Emirates- Selection of 20 games from the personal entertainment screen.
Internet Access onboard
- Air Canada- none
- Emirates- available for a fee
- Air Canada- 2 choices- beef or chicken
- Emirates- also 2 choices, but the quality of the food is significantly better
The Emirates experience contrasted so much with the Air Canada experience that it mades me ashamed that Air Canada is my national carrier. I was discussing this recently with a good friend of mine who said that he will only fly British Airways to and from Europe, because he is equally disgusted with Air Canada.
Air Canada really needs to update their long haul aircraft. If I have a long flight to take, they will not be on my list of chosen airlines.