Kate Carey flies aboard Air Canada's flight AC776 from San Francisco to Montreal.

The plane:

A Boeing 737 MAX 8.

Class: Economy.


Price: We booked our whole itinerary at once so I can't see the exact price we paid. A little peek online has the route placed around the $450-$500 mark.

Flight time: The flight was scheduled for 10.50pm, with an estimated flight time of 5hr, 20m. The doors closed at 10.50pm on the dot but due to a never-really-elaborated-upon "gate issue" we sat on the tarmac for 50 minutes. We got to Montreal only 20 minutes late.

My seat: 22A, right next to the window. The seat felt quite roomy for Economy and I was able to sit with a leg tucked up without my knee jabbing into my partner Ryan's side.

Fellow passengers: I flew with Ryan and his sister, Jenna. We didn't pay the additional fee to choose our seats but Ryan and I lucked out and were next to each other. Jenna was one row behind — perfect for in-flight selfies and magazine passing.

How full: Fully full.

Entertainment: The system had clever features like a section that let you see shows and movies you could finish in your remaining flight time. I was surprised there were no free headphones (they cost $3.50 for a basic set and $7.95 for a noise-reducing set) and at the massive amount of ads that played before every selection. I decided to give RuPaul's Drag Race a try and ended up binge-watching it for the entire flight. I think I'm hooked.

The service: Attentive, with announcements in French, then English.

The crew offered water five times during the flight which was awesome. I saw a small child drop their toy in the aisle. A crew member scurried over and retrieved the toy so fast the child didn't even have the chance to wake his sleeping mother.


Food and drink: Air Canada doesn't include meals on their "trans-border" flights, and because we departed after 10pm the hot section of their paid menu was unavailable. That said, the portion of the menu that was available was very inclusive, with multiple options for people on restrictive diets. Keep a debit card in your hand luggage if you're a fan of the food trolley — the staff weren't accepting cash.

The toilets: Two at the back for Economy passengers and one at the front for Business Class. Because of the long wait on the tarmac, I was there the second the seatbelt sign went off and they were pristine. When I made another trip just before landing they were slightly less tidy, with hand paper towels almost overflowing from the little bin.

Luggage: One checked-in bag up to 23kg, a carry-on bag and a personal item per passenger.

The airport experience: SFO has all the amenities a long-haul flier needs and was easy to navigate. We had a 10-hour layover so we caught the BART from the airport and explored Fisherman's Wharf (30 minutes away), then headed back and found a quiet corner to have a nap.

The bottom line: This was my first flight with Air Canada and I'd definitely fly with them again.