Friday, May 29, 2009

Earn up to 40,000 Bonus Aeroplan miles on dozens of flights out of Calgary

Air Canada today launched their summer Aeroplan bonus mile promotion for tons of flights within North America and it includes many out of Calgary.

The promotion requires registration (see link below) and offers bonuses as follows:
* Fly 4 one-way flights - earn 3,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles
* Fly 8 one-way flights - earn 4,000 additional Bonus Aeroplan Miles, a cumulative total of 7,000
* Fly 12 one way flights - earn 8,000 additional Bonus Aeroplan Miles, for a cumulative total of 15,000.
* Fly 16 one way flights - earn 25,000 additional Bonus Aeroplan Miles, for a cumulative total of 40,000.

The following direct routes out of Calgary are eligible for the bonus mile offer:
Rest of Canada
Los Angeles
San Diego
San Francisco

There are also many more routes in this promotin out of cities like Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver that you can connect to on flights from Calgary.

For more details on this promo and the registration link visit the Aeroplan page on Rewards Canada.

Air Transat/Thomas Cook: Calgary - London $552 all in

A not bad last minute charter fare (well the base fare is excellent but like any flight to the UK it comes with hefty fees and taxes) of $109 round trip pretax ($552 all in) departing Calgary on June 11 and returning June 18 on Thomas Cook.

Bookable on Expedia.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

WestJet and Southwest Codesharing delayed

Due to tough economic times and three quarters of losses, Southwest Airlines has delayed the implementation of the much anticipated code-sharing service between them and WestJet. Southwest states at this time they are going to focus on increasing revenues this year but will remain committed to the partnership with WestJet.

No timeline has been set as to when the code-sharing may be implemented but WestJet says they are on track to have their new reservation system that will allow code-sharing/interlining with airlines up and runnung by the fourth quarter of 2009. Once the system is up and running WestJet should be launching their own frequent flyer program (initially scheduled for Q2 of this year) and be implementing the previously announced code-sharing/interline agreement with Air France/KLM.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

YYC Passenger numbers drop 7.7% for March

A continuing sign of the times, Calgary International Airport saw another drop in passenger numbers for March. Overall 7.7% less passengers travelled through YYC in March 2009 versus March 2008 although the number was still over 1 million. Hopefully the numbers will start trending upward for the typically busier summer season.

Passenger Stats for March 09 by the numbers:
Overall 1,015,060 (-7.7%)
Domestic 691,789 (-7.9%)
Transborder 212,526 (-7.3%)
International 110,745 (-7.2%)

Year to date YYC is just over 2.9 million passengers, a figure that is 5.2% less then what is was for the same period last year.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Air Canada: Calgary - Tokyo for $694 all in

A very decent fare that can be used for a mileage run since their is no minimum stay and the fare books into Tango+ which means 100% Aeroplan Status Miles. Total before tax for round trip is $548 and $694 with all taxes and fees in. Works on May 18 - 20 and many other various dates throughout May and June. Book online at

Thanks to VoodooYYC for the heads up in this FlyerTalk post

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I Fly Calgary to Victoria: Clive Beddoe, Broken Luggage, Power Outage

This past weekend, my wife, kids and I were off to Victoria for a quick weekend getaway and as a surprise to the kids, one of the main reasons to go was for them to see the "Walking With Dinosaurs" show and I highly recommend it now that I have seen it. They were so excited when we pulled into Park N Jet and realized we were flying somewhere. The shuttle ride over to the terminal was painless as was check in with WestJet for dropping our bags off (we had checked in online the previous day)

Our flight, on a Boeing 737-700 Registration C-GVWJ (that's as detailed as I get in my trip reports, no timing of the take off run, how many seats were left empty etc. like some trip reports have), left from gate D40 on time at 8am and the flight was smooth and carefree until arrival. About three quarters of the way into the flight, a man that was not cabin crew grabbed the intercom and starting speaking to everyone on the flight, it was Clive Beddoe, one of the founding members of WestJet. He thanked everyone for supporting WestJet and helping them grow from 3 planes to over 70 and asked for continued support so they could pay for more of the $40 million dollar 737-700's that we were flying on today. A we were disembarking from the airplane, a quick handshake, introduction and handing over my business card to Clive was all that time could afford (Who said networking had to be graceful?)

Once off the plane, it did not take long for our luggage to arrive and I guess you can call me lucky, that in all my years of travelling I have never had my luggage damaged in anyway, delayed yes, damaged no. Low and behold, the car seats come out with no issues, then our first suitcase, what's this? A wheel is broken off? Then the next piece comes out, a zipper pull broken? As I said before this has never happened to me or my family, so I go up to the WestJet rep and mention this (I have never gone through the procedure before) but she advised us that wheels and zippers are not covered. Fair enough, but what were the WestJet baggage handlers doing that two pieces of our luggage came out damaged? I could see one, but both of them? Obviously someone was being rough with the luggage. It took a little getting used to but by twisting on the handle of the luggage with the broken wheel I could get the luggage to run on the one remaining wheel without the other corner dragging on the floor.

After a great weekend in Victoria where the weather cooperated, some fun sightseeing, eating way too much and relaxing on our hotel balcony looking over the harbour it was time to head home.

The flight back was once again on a WestJet 737-700, regsitered C-GQWJ. It pretty much left on time at 5:45pm and encountered a little turbulence for the first 5 minutes or so but once we were above the clouds the flight was smooth. Coming into Calgary, the first officer flew the plane around some small thunderstorms and landed on runway 10. As we approached the terminal one of the cabin crew came on the intercom announcing we would have a bit of a wait as the main terminal had no power due to it being knocked out by a thunderstorm that had passed through prior to our arrival. It did not take too long however before some airstairs were brought to the plane and we got to go down those onto the tarmac and back up the side stairs to the jetbridge to get into the terminal. The terminal was darker then usual with only essential lighting running off of YYC's back up power. The baggage carousels were running off that back up power as well and it took a short while longer then normal for the luggage to arrive. Considering the circumstances with the power and that I have had to wait longer for luggage when no problems exist, there were no complaints here for the slight delay. Oh and the luggage came out with no more damage then what they went in with in Victoria.

All in all we had decent flights with WestJet, we have flown them in past and will fly them again in the future and of course we enjoyed flying in and out of our hometown airport again.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Earn Double Mileage Plan Miles for all Alaska / Horizon Flights (includes double towards MVP/Gold Status)

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan is celebrating their Freddie award for best Frequent Flyer program by offering double Elite Qualifying Miles and Redeemable Miles on all Alaska / Horizon flights which of course includes Horizon's flights from Calgary to or connecting via Seattle. The offer is valid on Bargain, Value, Full Flex and First Class fares until June 30, 09.

The offer requires registration, see Rewards Canada's Mileage Plan page for full details and the registration link.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Use Lufthansa's Mobile Boarding Pass when flying out of YYC

Lufthansa has introduced their Mobile Boarding Pass for use from their four main gateways in Canada: Calgary, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. Similar to what Air Canada and WestJet already utilize, the Mobile Boarding Pass allows you to go completely paperless by having your boarding pass SMS-Linked or emailed right to your cell phone.

Canada is the first country outside of Europe to offer LH's Mobile Boarding Pass option.

More details (on Lufty's website)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

KLM's Return to Calgary

Welcome back KLM!

Today, Sunday May 3 marked the return of KLM to Calgary. The A330 from Amsterdam arrived shortly after 4pm local time to a pretty decent spring day for Calgary.

The inaugural flight came in early with a nice landing on runway 16. The KLM flight was then met with a water cannon salute at the terminal.

Inside the terminal the festivities included local fiddlers and tulips for the arriving crew and dignitaries. Meeting the plane were YYC management, Delta/Northwest, Air France-KLM representatives as well as the Alberta Minister of Tourism Cindy Ady and representatives of Travel Alberta and Tourism Calgary.

The KLM flight will run 4x weekly until the end of May at which time it increase to 5x weekly in June. The hope is to have it move to daily service if the response to the flight is good . With the current economic slowdown this may be a while. However, to fly to or via Amsterdam tends to be cheaper then the U.K. or Germany due to lower taxes and it won't take long for travellers to figure this out.

The bottom three photos are some more photo captures from video of the A330 coming in today (the first three photos however were taken by my 6 year old daughter with a Nikon D80!)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Community Stakeholders call for inclusion of Airport Trail Tunnel

Business owners, community associations and residents of NE Calgary have formed a committee called the Airport Trail Access Committee (ATAC) to promote public awareness about the current plans of not including the proposed tunnel under the new N-S Runway planned by the Calgary Aiport. ATAC ultimately want to ensure that the plans by the Airport Authority and all levels of government have a commitment to include the tunnel when the runway is built

Excerpt from the ATAC press release:
"Grant Galpin, spokesperson for the Airport Trail Access Committee notes, “The loss of Barlow Trail as an access route along with no plans for a tunnel off of Airport Trail will mean that all traffic is forced to approach the airport from Deerfoot Trail. This cuts off multiple access points to the airport from all of the hotels, restaurants, businesses, planned housing developments in NE Calgary, not to mention the airport employees who live in the region.” Galpin highlighted the economic impact by further stating, “It will mean a loss of millions of dollars of revenue for businesses dependent upon the largest economic generator and employer (the airport) in the region, and create a very significant potential loss of regional employment as businesses potentially choose to move out of NE Calgary. This tunnel is a necessity for the continued economic health of the area.” "

The group have launched a website at to further the exposure on this issue.