Air Canada reopens lounges with exclusive Porsche chauffeur service
The airline is skipping the red carpet and rolling out a fleet of luxury cars for business class guests.
Imagine stepping off your flight into a waiting Porsche and being whisked across the tarmac to the plush confines of an exclusive lounge with five-star dining.
That’s what some Air Canada business class travellers can now look forward to when arriving into Toronto-Pearson Airport, with Vancouver Airport soon to follow.
The Star Alliance airline will send a fleet of chauffeur-drive Porsche Taycan, Panamera and Cayenne EV and hybrid cars zipping across the tarmac as a “surprise and delight” perk, based on availability, for selected passengers on the Canadian flag-carrier’s international Signature Class business class flights from Asia, Europe and South America.
However, the Air Canada Chauffeur Service can’t be booked or even paid for – an airline spokeswoman tells Executive Traveller it is “just part of our ongoing plans to enhance our customer's journey with Air Canada. We believe it’s a terrific value-add for our premium customers to set us apart from the competition.”
Another part of that premium formula are the exclusive Signature Suite lounges, available only to the airline’s own business class passengers booked on a paid ticket.
(Everybody else – including top-tier frequent flyers and business class travellers on other Star Alliance airlines – is sent to Air Canada Maple Leaf lounge.)
Air Canada has now reopened its Signature Suite lounge at Toronto, and plans to unlock the doors of the Vancouver Signature Suite – with chauffeured Porsches at the ready – in the next two months.
A centrepiece of both lounges is the elegant restaurant, which more properly presents itself as a fine-dining establishment under the wing of feted Vancouver-born chef David Hawksworth, where high flyers can enjoy a three-course à la carte meal, accompanied by wine, Champagne or cocktails, before jetting off to a distant corner of the globe.
A Signature Suite lounge for Montreal is understood to still be several years way, pending extensions to Montreal’s international terminal.
Although the Porsche partnership is new, the Air Canada Chauffeur Service has existed since 2018, when a fleet of BMWs previously whisked high-flying passengers to the lounge.
Scott O’Leary, Vice President, Loyalty & Product at Air Canada, says: “As we continue to restart key international routes, we look forward to welcoming our customers at Toronto Pearson with this one-of-a-kind airport premium experience in Canada, in partnership with one of the world’s most iconic luxury car brands.”
Air Canada recently unveiled plans to ramp up its Sydney-Vancouver flights from a daily schedule as of May 1 to ten weekly return flights during the peak travel period of June 6 to September 5.
Additional reporting by David Flynn
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Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer
19 Aug 2011
Total posts 169
Shades of LH/LX First at FRA/MUC and ZRH
Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer
04 Nov 2011
Total posts 363
Indeed, looked forward to that experience once at FRA when flying LH F. However while I expected to get a Porsche or similar, ended up in a chippy van.😂
Etihad - Etihad Guest
21 Jul 2019
Total posts 149
Given the uninspiring cabin and lacklustre inflight service, it looks like Air Canada has its priorities wrong. Fix the basics up in the air before you go all fancy-pants on the ground.
25 Jun 2018
Total posts 33
Sunnybrae has hit the nail right on the head. Worst ever service from Air Canada a few years ago; accused of breaking a seat which wouldn’t recline, meal literally thrown at us and onto the tray. Rerouted because of a cancelled flight ( not many passengers), then refused assistance at Maple Leaf lounge because we weren’t Air Can. club members and finally 5 days delayed luggage.
05 Jul 2015
Total posts 1
Air Canada should consider refunding international travellers their airfares when Covid first hit before launching into these BS services. As a regular traveller, I have never encountered such a disgraceful airline in the manner that I and many other travellers were dealt with during covid times. This airline company cannot be trusted hence why they were hit with a well deserved 25.5 million fine.