Air Canada has just announced a new agreement with luxury vehicle supplier Porsche, who will now be the exclusive fleet provider for Air Canada’s reintroduced chauffeur service.
Let’s have a look at the chauffeur service and how it can be accessed, including on some Aeroplan redemptions.
What Is Air Canada’s Chauffeur Service?
Air Canada relaunched its chauffeur service alongside the recent reopening of the Signature Suite, which closed due to COVID-19. This reintroduction marks another step towards resuming regular operations in its premium end-to-end Signature Class experience.
As a reminder, the Signature Suite is a premium lounge offered exclusively to those flying Signature Class, Air Canada’s premium business class product.
The Signature Class product provides an all-around refined airport experience for its passengers, including exclusive access to the Signature Suite and a host of priority airport services, such as concierge assistance, premium food and beverage offerings, and of course, chauffeur service.
The revamped chauffeur service, which used to be in a partnership with BMW prior to the pandemic, adds flair to the ground experience for passengers transiting from a domestic to an international Signature Class flight.
In the new partnership with Porsche, the fleet of chauffeur vehicles will be either all electric or plug-in hybrid models, including the Cayenne, Panamera, and Taycan.
At the beginning, three vehicles will be stationed at Toronto Pearson International Airport to offer the chauffeur service, but that will scale up to six as the service ramps up to full capacity.
Air Canada is the only North American airline to offer chauffeur services to eligible business class passengers. Other airlines have this service, but it’s usually reserved for top-tier invitation-only clients only.
What Does the Chauffeur Service Offer?
Air Canada’s chauffeur service offers a ground transfer for eligible passengers connecting from a domestic to an international flight in Air Canada Signature Class.
A member of the concierge team meets you at the arrival gate and escorts you down a staircase at the gate to the tarmac. There, a driver will be waiting in one of three Porsche models, and you will be driven over to the international departure terminal, where you will have direct access to the Air Canada Signature Suite.
Currently, the chauffeur service is only provided for transfers between airport terminals at Toronto Pearson International Airport; however, it’s expected to be available in Vancouver when the Signature Suite is expected to open later this spring.
How to Access the Chauffeur Service
There is currently no published criteria for getting the chauffeur service, and those eligible to access the Signature Suite will simply be chosen on a “surprise and delight” basis.
This means there’s no guarantee of getting selected, but my sense is that having a higher Aeroplan Elite Status will certainly help. Moreover, as an eligible business class passenger, putting in a dedicated request for the chauffeur service certainly can’t hurt either.
Eligibility for the Signature Suite, and therefore chauffeur service, is limited to those flying on international Signature Class flights under eligible booking classes.
For paid flights, this means that you must have a booking class of “J”, “C”, “D”, “Z”, or “P,” and your destination must be in Asia, Europe, or South America.
While Air Canada does offer Signature Class on select routes within North America, passengers will neither be eligible for chauffeur service nor Signature Suite access.
For those interested in unlocking access to the Signature Suite, and potentially the chauffeur service, using Aeroplan points, considering booking an Aeroplan flight reward in a Business Class (Flexible) or a First Class (Flexible) fare.
The difference between a Business Class (Lowest) and Business Class (Flexible) fare with Aeroplan typically runs around 10,000 points on a one-way booking.
So while Business Class (Flexible) would cost you more, it could also enhance your experience with access to the Signature Suite and potentially a chauffeured ground transfer in a Porsche prior to your long-haul international flight.
Alongside the reopening of the Air Canada Signature Suite Toronto, Air Canada has relaunched its airport chauffeur service with a new fleet of electric plug-in hybrid vehicles supplied exclusively by Porsche.
The service is reserved for eligible Signature Class passengers on a “surprise and delight” basis. Toronto is currently the only airport offering Air Canada’s airport chauffeur service, but it’s expected to become available at Vancouver International Airport later this year.
Now that Air Canada’s Signature Class offering is enhanced, I’d love to be lucky enough to catch a ride to the Signature Suite in a Porsche on my next connection through Toronto.