Review: Air Canada Rouge Economy 767-300ER Montreal to Rome

Review: Air Canada Economy A319-100 Los Angeles to Montreal
Review: Air Canada Rouge Economy 767-300ER Montreal to Rome
Review: Air France Economy A321-200 Nice to Paris Orly
Trip to Italy, Vatican City, Monaco, and France
Review: Air Canada Economy 767-300 Paris CDG to Montreal
Review: Air Canada Economy A319-100 Montreal to Los Angeles

YOUTUBE: Air Canada: Los Angeles to Montreal
YOUTUBE: Air Canada Rouge: Montreal to Rome
YOUTUBE: Air France: Nice to Paris Orly
YOUTUBE: Air Canada: Paris CDG to Montreal
YOUTUBE: Air Canada: Montreal to Los Angeles


Hello Everyone, and welcome back to this next, quite pleasant, segment on Air Canada’s low-cost airline: Air Canada Rouge. This flight was from Montreal Trudeau to Rome. One thing to keep in mind if you are trying to fly this flight is that at the time when I flew on this route (July 2015), it was operated by an Air Canada Rouge 767-300ER. This route was seasonal. However, I guess it became more popular, so the route has been moved to the main airline Air Canada’s A330-300. But now to the report:

We had just landed in Montreal from a not-so-good flight from Los Angeles. After transiting through security to the international side (The most exciting of the terminals), I began to spot some before eating:

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Swiss International Airlines A330-300 to Zurich
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Lufthansa A330-300 to Frankfurt Main
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Retro-livery Air Canada Airbus A319-100 to no idea where
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Air Canada Boeing 777-300ER to London Heathrow

There were plenty more planes, but I could not get good photos of them. But anyways, we walked around and explored the terminal. I quite liked the liveliness, the variety of restaurants, and just the general vibe of the terminal.

Oh, just to note regarding lounges at the international side and who gets access:

  1. Maple Leaf Lounge
    1.  Air Canada Business Class passengers
    2. Star Alliance Business/First Class Passengers
    3. Star Alliance Gold Members with valid boarding pass of same day flight
    4. AC Aeroplan Super Elite 100K, Elite 75K, and Elite 50K with valid boarding pass of same day flight
    5. American Express Aeroplan Reserve, Platinum, or Corporate Platinum Card Holders with same day flight
    6. Air Canada Maple Leaf Club Members
    7. Access by Purchase of lounge access for passengers on AC latitude/Flex fare
  2. National Bank World Mastercard Lounge
    1. National Bank (World/Elite World) Mastercard holder
    2. Access by purchase (not 100% sure on this one)
  3. Desjardins Odyssey Lounge
    1. Odyssey® Line credit card holder
    2. access by purchase

I had Star Alliance Gold for this flight, but there were 4 of us, so I could only bring ONE other person, so we didn’t go to the Maple Leafe lounge. Instead, we ate better food:

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Sausage Pizza

This Chicken Sausage Pizza with sauteed Caramel Onions was delicious and guaranteed better than anything that could have been found in the Maple Leaf Lounge. Soon, we decided to head to our gate, which I’m guessing was in an older part of the international terminal because the jetway for our gate was a much older design and appeared more used than the other gates. While we waited, our plane was towed in, and my God was it gorgeous. I won’t put the full video here, though that can be seen for the youtube video of the flight, here are some pictures:

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Air Canada 767-300ER
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Air Canada Rouge Boeing 767-300ER

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Gate 1 huh? Go Figure why I thought this was an older part of the terminal. Boarding began with all Premium Rouge Passengers ( the business class equivalent of US domestic first). We were Star Alliance Gold so we boarded next and soon on the plane:

Air Canada Rouge

YUL-FCO Boeing 767-300ER

Initially, upon boarding the plane, it was very hot. My guess was that after this plane’s arrival in the early afternoon hours, passengers deplaned, and it was not connected to a GPU source, so the plane basically became a heat accumulating tube. About half-way through boarding, after I finally asked one of the flight attendants, the AC was switched on.

Now to the seat itself: It was pretty standard, it was soft enough for an 8-hour flight, though definitely not for anything longer, such as the return flight from Rome.

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The width was alright, though if you are a “wider one”, you and/or the passenger next to you might become a little uncomfortable during the flight. But, the legroom was more than enough for me at least (5′ 10″). Do take note that there is no individual TV at each seat.

So how do you entertain yourself on Air Canada Rouge? All the entertainment is on the Air Canada app. So this is very important. Do be sure to download the Air Canada app prior to boarding so you can access the in-flight entertainment. However, if you forget, they do have iPads for use during the flight. They cost $10 for rouge (Economy) and rouge plus (Economy plus) passengers, and are complimentary for Premium Rouge (Business) passengers.

I personally go about all my flights enjoying the views and watching the in-flight tracker, not watching TV shows or movies. I feel those are for non-av enthusiasts (if watched in large quantities, of course).

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Wing view seat 36K

Eventually, boarding was finished and we were on our way. The safety briefing was done manually by the crew. Speaking of which, I did note that all the members of the cabin crew were young. ALL were young. So I guess it seems that the older Air Canada crew are on the mainline while some of the younger ones are here. I’m not quite sure how that works out. If you are an applicant below a certain age, do you have to work on Rouge? Do you get to chose between Rouge and mainline Air Canada? I don’t know those details.

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Taxing to runway 24L

Back to the flight, our departure was from runway 24L, the same runway number as one of LAX’s main departure runways. Our climb was initially choppy, but it gradually became smoother as time went on. IMG_0474

One thing, if you haven’t noticed yet, is that the window was incredibly dirty. So all the resulting photos had a lot of glare.

As the sun started to set, the views became nice outside, except for the dirt on the window:

At the same time, snack service began which consisted of peanuts and a complimentary non-alcoholic beverage. I went to use the bathroom after the snack service and managed to catch a picture of the dinner cart: IMG_0476

Dinner was served immediately after:

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Dinner boxed
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Dinner un-boxed

Ok, so keep in mind this is technically supposed to be a low-cost carrier, so everything is a cheap version of what it would be on the main airline. So starting with the main course, it was good for what it was. The chicken had a light taste to it, but that’s perfectly fine for a leisure airline. The couscous was actually tastier, but I’m not a big fan of it, so I liked the chicken more. To the left was a potato salad which was tasteless. It was actually tasteless. I put it in my mouth, and I could feel the texture, but I could not taste anything. It was a cold salad too, so I could only feel the salad, and taste the temperature, but not the actual salad itself. The brownie was tasty and chewy, which I liked very much.

One thing good about Air Canada all across the board is that you will never be dehydrated. You get a bottle of water with every meal, but also, they also walk around with a tray full of water frequently. I take full advantage of that because I’m the kind of person who consumes a lot of water. Soon after the meal I slept for a couple hours and woke up to these views:

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Early Morning
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Early Morning

Once again, the dirty window made it hard to take a proper picture.

Soon, daytime arrived, and breakfast service began. We got one slice of Banana bread and a choice of drink. My sister was not hungry, so she gave me her bread. So Apple juice and 2 slices of Banana bread it was. The bread was quite good actually. There were no chocolate chips, but the bread was sweet, soft, and the edges were extra tasty, so I enjoyed that. Of course, that took the taste out of my apple juice, but I consumed water to clear my palette of the banana bread before drinking apple juice.

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The rest of the flight was full of amazing views after amazing views. Below is a video of flying over the French alps. We flew over many more nice places, but all those clips are on the video for this flight.

Eventually, we began our descent into Rome. The landscape was interesting as we were arriving into Rome.

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Descending into Rome

The final approach was GORGEOUS. ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! You have to see the YouTube video if you haven’t. I feel so bad I didn’t actually take pictures, but rather just filmed. But the sights were lovely of the coast. The touchdown was very smooth and on time, and our taxi to the gate was just a couple of minutes.

There was some interesting traffic parked next to us as we taxied to our parking spot.

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Skyteam Colors Alitalia 777-200
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Qatar 787-8
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Parked

What a fun little party it was: Star Alliance parked next to One world who was parked next to SkyTeam.

We deplaned through the back door. Now keep in mind we are deep in summer at the time of this flight (July 2015). The second I stepped out, I was inundated with heat and humidity. My god, it was so hot and so humid. So do be sure to wear light clothes because the heat will make you get warm quickly and the humidity will swelter you. But despite that, this was about to be a fantastic trip across 2 countries (4 if you count Vatican City and Monaco as their own countries). So do be sure to check out the next post for the trip photos.

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Air Canada Rouge tail logo
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Air Canada Rouge plane fuselage

Overall, I was pleased by this flight. The food was good for a low-cost carrier, and it was almost full service too. All of the crew members were very nice, the views were nice, the seats were decent for this flight. I’d definitely be ok traveling on Air Canada Rouge on a Transatlantic route if I needed to from Canada. Now it’s time for some lovely trip photos. See the top of this report for the rest of this trip. Thanks for sticking around, hope this review helped.

15 thoughts on “Review: Air Canada Rouge Economy 767-300ER Montreal to Rome”

  1. Thank you for this report. I just booked my parents for a trip to Croatia and they will be flying from NY to Toronto then Toronto to Zagreb, they will be staying for a few months so the return trip will be wit Lufthansa. Anyway, I was a bit apprehensive about Air Canada rouge but, I figured for them its better that there is a direct flight there from Toronto but most important while the other fares were just as cheap the problem was that the connecting flights either had a short connection or a long one and that’s is something that worried me, especially since my parents are in their late 70’s. One of the airlines had an hour and a half layover but the problem is, an hour and a half layover on a flight from NY could be problematic because of there is any delay in New York that could mean they miss the connecting flight or will have to get there quickly. Others had 6 hour layovers which isn’t good either. So, this one was perfect for them as the layover in Toronto is about 2:30 and the layover coming home in Munich is around 2 hours…just right. I was a bit worried about taking Rouge because it seems the reviews haven’t been great but, look at your video and your write up here, it seems like its ok. My dad is 5-9 and my mom is 5-5 and both are of average build so it sounds like the seats will be ok for them.

    1. Hi Stevie, thanks for your comment! I believe your parents will be comfortable in the seats given their heights and builds. And its good that Rouge uses 767s so that they can have a row to themselves with the 2-4-2 configuration on the 767s. Be sure to get a window and an aisle seat for them if you havent already. If you have any other questions, please ask and I would love to answer them for you. Cheers!

      1. Thank you so much. Glad that it seems like things will be comfortable for them. they fly out on August 1st and I ordered the tickets online but with no seat assignments. I emailed the company I ordered the ticket with and they told me that I can get seats at the check-in or I can contact Air Canada directly but if I do that there will be a nominal charge for a seat assignment. So, I’m not sure if I should do it now and pay a fee or wait and get the assigned seats at check-in.

        My parents are simple in that they don’t need all the bells and whistles like movies and a monitor behind the seat but for me, its most important that they are fairly comfortable in the seats but it sounds like it will be ok. The one thing, even in the negative reviews they all say the flight itself was good and the pilots did a great job flying the plane. obviously you can’t do much about turbulence.

      2. I would agree with that the flight is overall fun. An important note for you is that if you want them to have something to watch later on or just in case they want some form of entertainment, just be sure they have the air Canada app downloaded on a smart device that they may or may not have prior to boarding the flight and they will be all set.

  2. Oh, one more question, since many of the reviews for the Rouge flights to Europe are all a bit older, has Air Canada Rouge made any improvements to their 767 fleet? I read that the mainline Air Canada has given some more of their 767 fleet to AC Rouge, so I was wondering if there are some improvements?

    1. Nothing has changed significantly from the time of my flight to what you’d expect today. Only thing is more of the 767s will have power ports than before but I expect your flight from Toronto to Zagreb to have a power port shared between the seats. For the sake of your parents’ flight, expect exactly, or nearly exactly what you saw in the review above. Hope this helps! Please let me know if you have any other questions 🙂

      1. Thank you..and I will definitely ask more questions if I have any. I purchased an iPad for them for Christmas so they will be bringing it along with them on the trip so that we can talk while they are there. I will download the air Canada app for them so they have it on the iPad. You’ve been a great help and I feel more at ease with AC Rouge not only with the review but also these answers that you gave. As I said, for them, its really only going there that they will take Rouge as the flights stop in October and they will be there until December and will take Lufthansa back.

      2. No worries! Anytime glad to be of help. You just might have a better experience with AC Rouge rather than LH. Let me know how it goes and please ask anytime if you have any other questions about any other flights or any other related help. Cheers!

  3. One final question…outside of the bells and whistles that you will get on the mainline Air Canada flights, is there a difference in terms of the seats on the mainline Air Canada 767-300 and the AC Rouge 767-300er in the economy section?

    My parents have flown with Lufthansa in the past as have I and I thought it was ok but, IMO I thought Austrian Airlines was more comfortable and had better food than Lufthansa did. My parents also flew with British Airways in the past as well and the said it was one of the more comfortable flights they’ve been on but their complaint was Heathrow Airport which is massive and if you have to hurry to catch a connecting flight it becomes difficult to do.

    1. I would say the seats are a little more padded and cushioned on main line air canada but with that accounted for, that’s pretty much the only difference in seats. I don’t think Rouge’s seats are anything your parents would find too uncomfy but just not as nice as Air Canada’s seats.

  4. I just flew Toronto to Berlin on AC Rouge economy, and I will never fly Rouge again! No padding on the seat, seatback pockets threadbare and falling apart, tiny non-alcoholic drinks offered twice (tiny cups of water 3 times), loud engine noise, dirty, basically the worst ever. The plane seemed very old, and the lighting was yellow from age. My return on Lufthansa economy was luxury in comparison, and just what I expect from overseas flights.

    1. I agree it probably is one of the worser ways to fly across the Atlantic. I was unhappy to be stuck in it that one time but just glad to be able to share the review so others know what to expect

  5. So, here is the run down from my mom as they just arrived in Croatia today after taking the Air Canada Rouge and its pretty much what’s been written already. But, here is here observation:

    1. The flight itself was great, no turbulence and a smooth flight from Toronto to Zagreb.

    2. The plane itself…she said that it was what it was, it was discount flight and you definitely felt that it was just that. The plane wasn’t very clean and the seats were extremely cramped and they were in the first row where economy begins where there is allegedly more leg room but the reality is there really wasn’t. In terms of sitting the seats ok but in terms of comfort they weren’t because of the lack of leg room.
    Also, as reported there was nothing there for entertainment other than either renting a tablet or having your own tablet where you downloaded the air Canada app. They don’t even have a monitor which maps out where you are at any particular moment on the flight.

    3. Service. Not the greatest of service. My mom joked the flight attendants were either people training and new on the job or they were on the job too long and are sick of it. lol. My parents understand what the flight is and they knew the food wouldn’t be as good as on a regular Air Canada flight but they said the food was terrible, I didn’t ask them what they had but they both said it was not very good.

    4. Because my parents are staying in Croatia until December, they will be taking Lufthansa back as Air Canada Rouge stops the direct flight to Croatia in October but as my mom said, “thank God.” The overall impression was this: While they do have to fly from New York to Toronto, the fact that its a direct flight to Zagreb helps but that’s really the only good thing about it is the convenience of flying directly to Croatia. Outside of that, they said that once is enough and they will never take Air Canada Rouge again.

    I asked them on a scale of 1-10 what would you give the experience as and my mom said that you have to give it a 5 and that’s only because the flight itself was smooth but if you take that away, it would be a 4 at best.

    1. All of this pretty much sounds like AC Rouge. I hope your parents enjoy their return journey on LH as I’m sure that will be better.

      1. Yep, they usually take Lufthansa or British Airways when they travel to Croatia but, the idea of a direct flight to Toronto intrigued them so, I got them tickets. The funny part was that for some reason, this summer the round trip tickets were not expensive. The tickets for this flight were $771 US each, but Lufthansa was around $980, British was $860 Virgin Atlantic was around $820 and Iberian Airlines was $735. Usually summer fares are a lot more money than that and the only issue was the connecting flights, some had very short connections, for example Iberian had a One hour and twenty minute connection to Zagreb in Madrid going there but a 4 hour wait time coming back…Virgin had an almost 10 hour wait time in London for Zagreb and around 3 hours coming back. The problem with the short connecting flights is the worry that any delay here could cause a missed connection. The real long connections like with Virgin aren’t fun either because who wants to sit in an airport that long.

        Overall, as my mom had told me, once was more than enough on the Air Canada Rouge and they will never fly with it again, just not worth it even with the savings and from what she had said, all the people she spoke with on the flight said pretty much the same thing that it will be their first and last time with Rouge. Here’s the thing, while I do get the reasons for some of these discount airlines, IMO for short flights or domestic flights you can deal with it but for long haul flights, they should try and make it as comfortable as possible, yes you need to cut back on certain things but things like comfort you shouldn’t cut corners with.

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