Kay was seated, appropriately, in 3K
I hate flying. I just do. Hurtling along at 600mph while encased in a steel tube has absolutely no appeal. So when MailOnline Travel suggested an assignment that would involve five flights in just four days my heart sank.
I was also due to travel with Air Canada, an airline I’d never flown with before.
Fear of the aviation unknown made me almost wimp out, but the offer of a visit to Canada’s Fogo Island, one of the four corners of the flat Earth, along with Hydra in Greece, Papua New Guinea and the Bermuda Triangle, proved just too much of a pull.
And for the first time, ever, my flying experience has been an enjoyable part of the journey.
OK, the build-up and take-off were still gruelling but the Air Canada team had it covered. The luxury of the lounge and then the business class pods onboard made for the perfect antidote to tearful tensions and sweaty palms.
To reach Fogo Island I first had to travel to Montreal, with my flight there departing from Terminal 2 at London Heathrow.
It’s an age since I’ve flown from that terminal so I wasn’t really prepared for the schlep from security to the Air Canada lounge. Be prepared for a good 15-minute walk and finding it challengingly tucked away – next to Dixons.
Kay Burley meets the flight crew aboard her Air Canada Dreamliner service from London Heathrow to Montreal
High life: Kay describes Air Canada’s business class pods as being ‘rather swish’
Kay writes that one of the best features of the pod is the ability to change her cocoon from natural light to a gentle blue glow at the touch of a button
Prawn to be wild: One of the seafood dished Kay was served
However, once inside and after a warm welcome from the reception team, who had been forewarned of my flying fear, I was guided to a quieter corner of the rather swish lounge that offers comfortable seating for plane-watchers along with terminals for business travellers and a restaurant for those who would rather be ‘nil by mouth’ once on board.
I indulged in some alcohol along with self-soothing and breathing techniques.
When it was time to board I was escorted from the lounge and straight onto the aircraft, after another good walk, where Capt Comeau and First Officer Garceau welcomed me into the cockpit of their Dreamliner. They were charming and even made laugh.
The pod controls, writes Kay, are completely intuitive. They control the seat position and the ambiance
Each pod comes with an entertainment screen. Kay said that she arrived in Montreal feeling relaxed and refreshed
Many carriers are bringing the Dreamliner on-stream as air quality onboard means less chance of jet lag, I’m told.
As the pilots said goodbye and prepared for take-off the Air Canada cabin services director gently guided me to a rather swish business class pod.
Cocooned from other passengers, I discovered the seat and in-flight entertainment controls are completely intuitive. I was particularly enthralled by the controls for the window ‘blinds’. The press of a button saw my cocoon go from sunlight to a gentle blue glow. Nice.
Kay is pictured here at the Air Canada business class lounge at Heathrow, sipping a G&T. She enjoyed it, but said that it was quite a walk from the security area
Yeswecanada: Kay flew with Air Canada while on assignment for MailOnline Travel to Fogo Island
But the coup de grace for me was the food. I dined on prawns, steak and chocolate cake, accompanied by chilled Champagne and a sensational Sauvignon Blanc before reclining to a fully-flat bed. And some sleep.
Arriving in Montreal and with two more flights before my final destination, I felt remarkably relaxed and refreshed.
My fear of flying may have become just that little bit easier.
Watch this space for Kay’s review of the stunning Fogo Island Inn.
Return fares from London to Montreal start from £564.91 (economy) and £2,098.91 (business class) per person (all fares are inclusive of taxes and subject to change). Find out more at www.aircanada.com or call 00 800 6699 2222.
For more on all that Canada has to offer, visit www.destinationcanada.com.