Air Canada Rouge Premium Rouge Cabin Review

April 6, 2016

Air Canada Rouge, a wholly owned Air Canada subsidiary, markets itself as the stylishly affordable new leisure airline from Air Canada. Carrying passengers since 2013, Air Canada Rouge primarily services international destinations from major Canadian cities e.g. Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal, and Toronto.

I recently flew from Vancouver (YVR) to Los Angeles (LAX) in the Air Canada Rouge Premium Rouge cabin, the Rouge equivalent of business class. Here are all of the details.

Check-in & Boarding

Air Canada Rouge Premium Rouge passengers qualify for priority check-in and boarding – always appreciated!

Fleet & Seat

The exterior components of the Boeing 767-300 aircraft appeared to be older than expected. Upon further research, I discovered that most of the Rouge aircraft were part of the Air Canada fleet before being restyled with Rouge’s retro decor and logo.

The Premium Rouge seat on the Boeing 767-300 was comfortable for the two-hour and 50-minute daytime flight from Vancouver to Los Angeles and included a pillow and packaged blanket. Seats in the Premium Rouge 767-300 cabin are 18.5″ wide, with either a 37″ or 42″ pitch, and a recline of 5″ or 7″ depending on the aircraft.

Air Canada Rouge Premium Rouge seats

Although Rouge airplanes lack the seat-back entertainment system offered on most of Air Canada’s flights, you can use the Rouge Player app to stream movies, etc. to your personal device or rent an iPad onboard (complimentary in Premium Rouge and $10 for Rouge passengers). Read more about the Player app here.

Onboard Service

The friendly, efficient, and attentive service in the Air Canada Rouge Premium Rouge cabin was some of the best I have experienced on a North American carrier.

Eat & Drink

Complimentary breakfast was either an omelette or oatmeal with fruit and yoghurt accompanied by a choice of hot and cold beverages. Premium Rouge passengers were offered cashews and drinks after the meal service.

Breakfast with eggs & fruit Premium Rouge cabin


Complimentary lounge access is available for Premium Rouge passengers flying to or from Canadian, U.S. or Rouge designated Sun destinations.

Will I fly in Air Canada’s Rouge Premium Rouge cabin again?

As much as I enjoyed the service and retro decor, the older equipment makes it unlikely that I will seek out a flight on Air Canada Rouge. How about you?  Have you flown Air Canada Rouge?

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  • Reply Eve April 7, 2016 at 7:36 am

    Thanks for asking Nancy. I have flown on Rouge and was not impressed at all. I wanted to fly Premium to Europe but they don’t offer that option. In fact Rouge is replacing Air Canada regular on many flights to Europe so the options are very limited. I agree that the planes are noticeably older. The legroom dismal, the washrooms smelly and horrible and generally felt like flying in a rickety tin can for 9 hours. The only bright lights were the crew who tried to make the best of things without letting their own frustration show. They struggled with that. In my opinion, Rouge is fine for domestic, but for 7+ hours of travel, Air Canada regular is far better.

    • Reply LuxeTravelFamily April 7, 2016 at 9:52 pm

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Eve. It sounds like a nightmare, apart from the crew. I agree that Rouge is ok for domestic travel but tough on a longer flight. I find jet-lag is much worse on older aircraft, so I look for modern airplanes like the 747-8i or 787 Dreamliner when I fly overseas.

  • Reply Peter November 16, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    I flew from Tampa to Toronto in rouge premium recently and had a decent experience their entire in flight entertainment was out, but it wasn’t bad since the flight was just a hair over 2 hours

    • Reply LuxeTravelFamily November 23, 2016 at 10:44 am

      Thanks you for the feedback, Peter! It seems like Air Canada is adding new Rouge routes on a regular basis e.g. Vancouver – Maui.

  • Reply Ted Polci November 19, 2016 at 6:53 am

    Hi Nancy, we booked our passes to Florida this year on faith that A/Can would deliver. Terrible experience. So far, 3 flights all delayed (5hrs, 4hrs and 1hr), 2 canceled – one (a 767)after the emergency shoot opened when door closed. Next day they flew the same plane home with 70 passengers but no one allowed in the forward cabin. Happy I took an earlier flight. Many passengers I spoke with are concerned about safety in general. Too many seats jammed together, eqpmt is old and max discomfort. When seat ahead went back, I couldn’t open my laptop. Heard from a crew member that the genius at A/Can who designed this profitable strategy excluded his personal sun destination from Rouge. This is a one year profit for A/Can – next year everyone I know is flying Westjet to Florida.

    • Reply LuxeTravelFamily November 23, 2016 at 10:51 am

      Thank you for sharing your experiences, Ted. It sounds like a nightmare! We are so fortunate to have WestJet as an alternative. That being said, I just flew London (LHR) to Vancouver in Business Class on an Air Canada Dreamliner and the service and equipment were excellent. Unfortunately, this is an anamoly and it shouldn’t be. Safe travels, Nancy

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