My husband and I have visited Toronto on SATA business class various times in the past and were quite satisfied with the level of comfort for a 6.5 hour flight over and 5.5 hour return. The new planes being used now, leave much to be desired in terms of comfort!
I will start with the positive aspects of our latest experience on Dec 21, 2018:
- Check in was quick and easy.
- The flight had a one hour delay (no big deal considering the time of year)
- boarding went smoothly and quickly, full plane boarded in less than 30 minutes.
- Crew was excellent! Attentive, polite, pleasant and professional.
- Once business was all seated the crew proceeded to distribute the blankets and pillows as well as serve a drink and snacks.
- Each seat is equipped with usb ports so you can charge your phone, tablet or laptop
- Although the business class seats on the "new planes" A321 do offer more room than economy seats - a 2 - 2 configuration as opposed to the 3-3 in economy, the seats DO NOT fully recline as the seats on the older planes ! They recline about as much as an economy seat which is clearly insufficient for a 6.5 hour flight at business class rates! They do have a foot rest that doesn't offer much rest for your legs at all.
- There is NO, NONE, ZERO on board entertainment! No music, no movies...Nothing! Before your flight you have to download their app SATA Onboard which you can only open once your on board but when you do, it requests a plug-in that you can't download because the wi fi is strictly on board. Although one of the crew members was kind enough to override that for me, it was still useless because the movies and music offered in that app were older than SATA itself :(
- On our previous business class trips we received complimentary pouches with toothbrush, toothpaste, hand cream, lip balm, socks and eye mask...Those amenities are now "gone with the wind"...but that wind has also upped the cost of flying business.
On our return flight of January 4, 2019, we had all of the above "cons" with the added displeasure of a crew that seemed to want to be anywhere else but there! I cannot say they were rude, but they certainly were not pleasant or very welcoming or even very professional!
Boarding was chaotic! Over 1 hour to board with passengers standing in the aisle for quite a long time, waiting to be seated and the crew seemed like they didn't have a clue as to how to get everyone settled in.
No welcome drink or snack for business class on this flight! No pleasant smiles, mostly sour faces and a very bumpy flight for the better part of the 5.5 hours.
Based on a very bad past flight experience that has made me become overly anxious with turbulence, we normally opt to fly business on this route as well as to Boston. Usually the extra space, fully reclining seats and being in the front, seems to lessen my anxiety. NOT on this plane! The lack of fully reclining seats makes a big difference in comfort.
You pay twice as much as economy for the benefit of sitting in the front of the plane, a bit more seating space, having your meals served in dishes, and extra luggage weight allowance. That's it.
I suppose you can call it a MINIMUM FRILLS business class at high end business class prices. Disappointing and expensive.