Air Canada Premium Rouge vs Air Canada Premium Economy:
I often get asked the difference between Air Canada Premium Rouge and Air Canada Premium Economy. I have flown them both before, but it was nice to fly both on this trip to get an up to date comparison.
On our flight from Toronto to Budapest we flew direct with Air Canada Premium Rouge. Rouge planes are older, but the Premium Rouge seats up front are quite roomy and similar to the old style Air Canada Business class. The seats have quite a lot of leg room, good recline, foot rests and access to the business class bathroom at the front of the plane. There was a hot meal service shortly after take-off, drink service throughout and a simple breakfast of banana bread and coffee or juice before landing. They gave us a comfort kit, blanket and pillow when we got on. The comfort kit has an eye mask, ear plugs, socks toothbrush and toothpaste. There are no seat back TVs on Rouge. You can either use your own tablet to connect to the AC app for movies etc., or if you are in Premium Rouge, they give you a tablet pre-loaded with entertainment, free of charge.
On our flight from Vienna to Toronto, we flew Premium Economy on one of the new Dreamliners. It was my second time flying back from Europe on this aircraft and there is a noticeable difference in the air quality/humidity levels from older aircraft and the dimming lights and windows make for a nicer ambiance and atmosphere. Being a newer plane, the seats are quite a bit more comfortable. Otherwise, the leg room, seat recline, foot rests, comfort kits, blankets and pillow are almost identical from Premium Rouge to Premium Economy. Air Canada Premium Economy has seat back TVs with a wide selection of movies and entertainment. We received a hot meal shortly after take-off, drink service throughout and a warm pastry snack before landing. The food was perhaps a small bit better in Premium Economy on mainline Air Canada, but let’s face it – it’s all airplane food. Whether it’s a 6 out of 10 or a 7 out of 10, it’s not going to be fine dining.
All in all, both services were good. If I had a choice, I would opt for Premium Economy on mainline Air Canada every time – mainly for the more comfortable seats and newer aircraft. That being said, if it was a choice between a direct flight on Rouge and a connection on Mainline AC, I would opt for the more direct flight and forego a small difference in comfort for the convenience and time saving of a non-stop flight.
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