Monday, December 5, 2011

KLM increases Amsterdam flights to daily service for Summer 2012

According to our usual source Airline Route Updates, KLM will finally serve Calgary on a daily basis starting in June 2012. The increased schedule will take effect on June 2, 2012 and is a further enhancement to the previously announced increase to 6x flights per week for the Summer 2012 season.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Air Canada increasing Calgary-Tokyo service

OK, I admit, once again I am late with this news, I bookmarked it on November 10th to post here as soon as I could and somehow I missed posting it. Well, anyways here is the good news:

Air Canada will be increasing their summer service between Calgary and Tokyo to 5 flights per week in 2012 and they continue to state that they are working on getting the approvals to make the service year round.

The Calgary-Tokyo flights will operate on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, departing Calgary at 12:45 p.m. and arriving in Tokyo the following day at 2:25 p.m. Flights will depart Tokyo on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays at 4:00 p.m., arriving Calgary same day at 10:40 a.m.

Soruce: Air Canada

Monday, November 21, 2011

August & September Passenger Statistics (and updated July stats)

Once again playing catch up on YYC news, this time on the passenger statistics front. I have not updated these since YYC posted the July stats and now they have the August, September and revised July numbers out.

First lets revisit July, when I originally posted the stats as released by YYC the overall numbers were lower then 2010, but the revised numbers show July 2011 growing by 1.1% over July 2010 to 1,232,978. Broken down the numbers look like this

July 2011
Domestic 894,422
Transborder 217,651
International 120,905

The positive growth in the overall passenger numbers continued in August and September with growth at 2.7% and 1.8% respectively. In total, August saw 1,247,359 passengers while 1,071,835 people passed through the airport in September.

August 2011
Domestic 913,177
Transborder 219,000
International 115,182

September 2011
Domestic 777,108
Transborder 191,168
International 103,559

In the above numbers both Domestic and Transborder saw positive gains over 2010 while International continued into its four month of negative numbers.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Aeroplan Fall Flight Bonus Mile Offers

I posted the British Airways promo awhile back and Air Canada has matched the London offering from BA (and AA, CO, UA, AFKLM, DL etc.) but Air Canada also has some other flight promotions for this fall season. All offers run until Dec 15:

Earn up to 105,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles in Executive First® (Lowest and Flexible fare options) or in Economy Class (Latitude fare option), on scheduled non-stop flights operated by Air Canada between Canada and London, England.
- 1st round-trip = 25,000 bonus miles
- 2nd round-trip = 35,000 bonus miles
- 3rd round-trip = 45,000 bonus miles
Register online (Registration is required)

5,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles for every eligible round-trip, or two one-way flight segments in Economy Class (Tango Plus fare option), on scheduled non-stop flights operated by Air Canada between Canada and London, England. Register online (Registration is required)

Double Aeroplan Miles for every eligible round-trip, or two one-way flight segments in Executive Class, on eligible scheduled non-stop flights operated by Air Canada between Canada and Florida, Las Vegas, Phoenix or the Caribbean Register online (Registration is required)

7,500 Bonus Aeroplan Miles for every eligible round-trip or two one-way flight segments in Economy Class (Tango Plus fare option), on non-stop flights operated by Air Canada between Toronto or Vancouver and Hong Kong, Beijing or Shanghai
Register online (Registration is required)

Copied off of my Rewards Canada Aeroplan page

WestJet & Delta apply for codeshare service

Despite being announced before the WS/AA tie up which progressed quickly, the much slower partnership between WestJet and Delta appears to be moving forward now as they have applied to the US DOT to codeshare on many routes to/from Canada. The following routes out of Calgary are included

WestJet operated by DELTA

Minneapolis – Calgary
Salt Lake City – Calgary

DELTA operated by WestJet

Los Angeles – Calgary

Source: Airline Route Updates

Monday, November 7, 2011

Air Transat increasing service to Frankfurt and London Gatwick

A couple weeks late on this but Air Transat's initial summer schedule for 2012 sees them increasing service from Calgary to Frankfurt from once weekly to twice weekly and London Gatwick increases to 3 flights per week from 2.

Source: Airline Route Updates

Friday, November 4, 2011

Lufthansa ending Calgary service in February 2012

According to Airline Route Updates Lufthansa will be cancelling their Calgary-Frankfurt service as of February 5th. It does appear that Air Canada will replace their 767 on the route with an A330 to capture some of the reduced capacity. This is unfortunate for YYC as many travellers liked the earlier LH departure (and early arrival into FRA) and the fact that when you redeemed Aeroplan miles for the LH flight you avoid the extra fuel surcharge that Aeroplan charges on AC metal.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Rewards Canada 10th Anniversary Contest

I would like to invite all IFlyCalgary readers to come enter Rewards Canada's 10th Anniversary Contest! Many of you have been great supporters of the website and without you guys Rewards Canada would not be where it is today. The prizes we lined up are pretty awesome so be sure the check it out and enter today

Grand Prize: 125,000 Aeroplan Miles
2nd Prize:100,000 Starpoints + 10,000 Etihad Guest Miles
3rd Prize: 50,000 Aeroplan Miles
4th Prize: $200 American Express Gift Card+ 10,000 Etihad Guest Miles

Plus prizes of 3ea 10,000 Etihad Guest Miles and 3ea Sheraton Bath Robes to be awarded via our newsletter, Twitter and Facebook pages.

Friday, September 23, 2011

American and WestJet continue to expand codeshares

From Airline Route Updates, American and WestJet have further expanded the routes they code share on:

American Airlines operated by WestJet
Calgary – Edmonton
Calgary – Phoenix
Calgary – San Diego
Edmonton – Phoenix (eff 01OCT11)

WestJet operated by American Airlines
Los Angeles – Fresno
Miami – Jacksonville FL
Miami – Key West
Miami – Nashville
Miami – New Orleans
Miami – Pensacola
Toronto – Boston

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Air Canada increases service to Maui again

Further to my post in June on Air Canada increasing service to Maui to 5x weekly, it appears they are further increasing it to 6x weekly. Although not finalized, the latest version of Air Canada's winter schedule shows the flight operating everyday except Sundays.

Hat tip to Johnny Aussie on SSP

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Earn up to 105,000+ Bonus BA Miles between YYC and LHR (or beyond)

British Airways is running a new promo for their Executive Club members in North America which of course includes us here in YYC. The offer although limited to Full Fare tickets is definitely worth taking advantage of you or your employer buys these type of fares. The offer is as follows (as taken from my Rewards Canada site)

British Airways Executive Club
Earn up to 105,000 (and more) Bonus Avios Points/BA Miles when you fly on a full-fare, transatlantic round-trip ticket for travel beginning and ending in North America. Valid for flights that are operated and/or marketed by American Airlines, British Airways or Iberia Airlines in the following booking classes: First (booking classes F, A), Business Class (booking classes J, C, D, R, I) World Traveller Plus Premium Economy (booking classes W, E, T) and Economy (booking classes Y, B, H)
- 25,000 bonus Avios points/BA Miles for first round-trip purchased and flown as an Executive Club member in a qualifying full-fare
- 35,000 bonus Avios points/BA Miles for second round-trip purchased and flown as an Executive Club member in a qualifying full-fare
- 45,000 bonus Avios points/BA Miles for third (and each additional) round-trip purchased and flown as an Executive Club member in a qualifying full-fare
Full Details, Online Registration & Booking (Registration is required) Until Dec 31, 11
Valid for residents of U.S. and Canada only

Monday, September 19, 2011

WestJet and El Al sign interline agreement

On September 12th WestJet signed an interline agreement with Israel's El Al Airlines. The agreement will allow consumers to purchase one ticket for flights from Israel to Toronto on El Al and connect to WestJet flights within Canada (including Calgary of course) and to Florida and the Caribbean.

To celebrate El Al Matmid Club members can earn 20% bonus Matmid points on the WestJet portion of their flights during the month of December.

Source: Shalom Life

Thursday, September 15, 2011

July 2011 Passenger Statistics

The slight increase in passenger growth seen at YYC in June has been negated with a decrease in July traffic when compared to 2010. Overall July 2011 saw a decrease of 0.9% from the same month last year.

Broken down domestic and International traffic were the sectors driving the decrease with a drop of 0.8% and 7.4% respectively while Transborder traffic increased by 2.9%. This has been a tough year for international numbers at YYC with the year to date numbers running 1.4% below 2010 and the huge drop in July is surprising given that it is summer holidays and the Stampede was taking place.

July 2011
Domestic: 869,246
Transborder: 221,480
International: 118,164


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Air Canada reducing some capacity out of YYC

First off let me apologize to the readers of this blog, it has been over a month since I posted anything. A busy work schedule has kept me away from this 'fun blog' of mine as my focus has been on all my Loyalty sites and consulting. This does not mean that I have forgotten about Iflycalgary or YYC in general. My love of travel and passion for flying out of YYC has not diminished and I know I am not the only one. In fact, I would recommend visiting the "Calgary International Airport" thread over on Skyscraper pages. the news in that thread is as current as it can get because you have a group of guys (and probably some girls) who are just as passionate or more passionate then I am about YYC. I really should just stop lurking there and start to participate in the dialogue. In fact, today's news comes from one of the posters in that thread:

Although not huge, "Johnny Aussie" posted that Air Canada is cutting flights to London, ON and San Francisco plus there are are reductions to Saskatoon and Castlegar. Saskatoon is going to 6 flights per day from 7 and Castlegar is losing service on weekends (weekday flights remain). According to the post Air Canada has dropped 17 frequencies per week out of YYC for this upcoming winter season compared to last winter.

Friday, August 12, 2011

KLM 5 Day Sale

KLM is offering some pretty decent fares out of Calgary with their current 5 day KLM Flash Fare sale:

Copenhagen from $ 895
Istanbul from $ 895
Moscow from $ 895
Warsaw from $ 895
Berlin from $ 995
Munich from $ 995

Book online at

All fares departing from Calgary,  incl. taxes and surcharges. Book by August 16, 2011. Travel from September 11 to December 10, 2011. 1 free stop over in Amsterdam. Weekend departure, add $30 each way.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

June 2011 Passenger Statistics

The passenger growth seen at YYC over the past few months nearly came to an end in June with only a slight increase in traffic over 2010. Overall June saw an increase of 0.2% over the same month last year.

Broken down domestic and transborder traffic were the only sectors to see increases of 0.4% and 1.2% respectively while International traffic dropped by 2.9%.

June  2011
Domestic: 775,621
Transborder: 188,736
International: 104,303


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

KLM set to increase flights between YYC & AMS for Summer 2012

KLM has updated their summer 2012 schedule (per Airline Route Updates) and it looks like KLM is inching its way closer to daily service on the Calgary-Amsterdam route as the schedule shows service 6 times weekly up from 5 seen this summer. The extra flight takes effect on July 6, 2012. The schedule also shows that the service reverts back to an A330-200 which replaces the MD-11 being used currently. Please note that this increased service may change seeing that it is nearly a year away and is definitely not set in stone (KLM has done this in previous years)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

WestJet Winter Schedule Update for YYC

I am a little late with this news but I guess its better late than never. WestJet released their winter schedule changes for the 2011/12 season which includes a new city to their roster, San Juan Puerto Rico, however the service is from Toronto not Calgary. Anyways per Airline Route Updates here are the new routes or changes for WestJet's winter flying schedule out of Calgary:

Calgary – Cancun Increase from 6 weekly in W10 to 8 weekly in W11
Calgary – Las Vegas Increase from 14 to 17 weekly
Calgary – Palm Springs Increase from 9 to 14 weekly
Calgary – Phoenix Increase from 14 to 16 weekly
Calgary – Puerto Vallarta Increase from 5 to 7 weekly
Calgary – San Diego Increase from 3 weekly to 4 weekly (Winter operation changes)
Calgary – San Jose/Los Cabos Increase from 4 to 5 weekly
Calgary – Montego Bay Canceled
Calgary – Montreal Winter service increase from 1 to 2 Daily

Thursday, July 28, 2011

American expands codeshares on WestJet flights out of YYC

This month American AAdvantage added their flight numbers on the following WestJet routes out of Calgary:
Calgary-Los Angeles

Source: Airline Route Updates

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

May 2011 Passenger Statistics

YYC continued to see improved passenger numbers in May 2011 albeit not with not as great of growth as seen in April. Overall May saw increase of 1.6% over the same month last year.

All three sectors saw growth over 2010 with domestic traffic growing by 1.6%, transborder by 0.9% and International by 2.4%.

May  2011
Domestic: 747,609
Transborder: 2196,644
International: 103,356


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Air Canada cutting Calgary-Punta Cana but Thomas Cook is adding it

From Airline Route Updates, it appears that Air Canada's winter service to Punta Cana is being canceled. According to this post on SSP, Thomas Cook Canada (operated by Jazz) will introduce the route for the upcoming winter season. Thomas Cook is also adding service between Calgary and Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Molson Brewhouse opens at Calgary International

Just caught this on the YYC website as I have not been in Concourse D for a little while. Looks like we have another option for food/drinks when past security with the opening of the Molson Brewhouse. Apparently the place will showcase Molson's beers (but of course!) and feature pub favorites such as Beer Battered Fish n’ Chips, Mac n’ Cheese Dark, and Sausage with Peppers & Onions. It looks like it is also open for breakfast according to the press release.

If any of our readers have tried it out please feel free to comment below on the food, drinks and service!

Source: YYC

Monday, June 27, 2011

Diners Club Cardholders gain access to YYC Servisair Lounges

Back in March I had mentioned on Rewards Canada that Diners Club had expanded their lounge access program (this is the program where you use your Diners Club card not the Priority Pass that also comes with the card) and now they have expanded it even further. In March the total number of lounges you could access with your Diners Club card was just 350 and that has now grown to over 400. Of particular interest to us Canadians is the expansion of the program to include more lounges in Canada. After the first expansion only the KLM Crown Lounge in Toronto was participating but now there is access to lounges in Calgary (2),  Montreal, Quebec City and Winnipeg. A quick glance at the list of lounges shows a large increase in the  amount of lounges one can access south of the border.

This card keeps getting stronger after a bit of a lull when it was being pawned off by Citibank and we here at Rewards Canada can only anxiously await its return to the general public. Meanwhile us current cardholders can sit back and relax..... in one of the many more lounges now available. And I may just have to get supplementary cards for my kids to avoid the guest fee seeing we would be using the lounges enough to make it worthwhile.

Here are the specifics on the Calgary lounges that are participating, for a list of all the lounges please see here:

Calgary International Airport – Calgary, Canada
Lounge NameChinook Lounge
Lounge LocationConcourse D
Telephone403 221 1506
Hours Open6:00 am - 9:00 pm daily
Closed : Dec 25, Jan 01 & 02
Languages SpokenEnglish
Entry ConditionsCardmembers must present their Diners Club card. Maximum 3 hour stay. Dress code applies (no shorts, baseball caps or football shirts allowed). Non-smoking.
Amenities OfferedAir conditioning, Disabled access, Flight monitor, Newspapers, Magazines, Conference facilities, Internet, Wi-Fi, Telephone, TV, Snacks, Soft Drinks and Alcoholic beverages.
FeesCardmembers please check with your issuer for terms and conditions of lounge access. Children under 2 years are admitted free. Guest fee - US $27.
Calgary International Airport – Calgary, Canada
Lounge NameRocky Mountain Lounge
Lounge LocationConcourse C
Telephone403 221 1534
Hours Open6:00 am - 9:00 pm daily
Closed : Dec 25, Jan 01 & 02
Languages SpokenEnglish
Entry ConditionsCardmembers must present their Diners Club card. Maximum 3 hour stay. Dress code applies (no shorts, baseball caps or football shirts allowed). Non-smoking.
Amenities OfferedAir conditioning, Disabled access, Flight monitor, Newspapers, Magazines, Conference facilities, Internet, Wi-Fi, Telephone, TV, Snacks, Soft Drinks and Alcoholic beverages.
FeesCardmembers please check with your issuer for terms and conditions of lounge access. Children under 2 years are admitted free. Guest fee - US $27.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Fast Track to Delta Elite Status

Alright Delta flyers in YYC, here are couple of fast track to Elite Status offers that I have up on the sites. Note that these are targeted offers so they may or may not work for you. You can try to register and it will let you know if the promotion works for you or not. Both offers run until December 31, 11

Offer #1
Earn Platinum Medallion Status when you fly just three paid round-trip domestic flights or two paid round-trip international flights on Delta. Register Online (Registration is required)

Offer #2
Earn Gold Medallion Status when you fly just two paid round-trip domestic flights or one paid round-trip international flight on Delta. Register Online (Registration is required)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Air North increases YYC service for the summer season

Recently Air North increase their service between Calgary and Whitehorse from four to six flights per week for the summer season. The current schedule of increased flights will run until September 9.

Source: Airline Route Updates

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

British Airways Business Class Sale to London

British Airways is currently running a sale on Business Class fares from Calgary to London for the summer season. Fares start at $3298r/t (+taxes &fees) for travel Jun 28 - Sep 3 and need to be booked by Jun 16. . You can book this fare at*

* Full disclosure: This is a commissioned link, I Fly Calgary will receive a commission if you book a flight via this link to British Airways

April 2011 Passenger Statistics

April 2011 saw the 2 month slide in passenger numbers at YYC end with a decent sized increase of 2.2% over the previous year.

The month saw all three sectors increase over 2010 with domestic traffic growing by 1.1%, transborder by 2.2% and International by 8.6%. It also appears that YYC has corrected the March numbers for domestic passenger counts by nearly 15,000 which means March only had a drop of 0.8% from March 2010 as compared to the original -2.2% first reported.

April 2011
Domestic: 693,407
Transborder: 219,540
International: 119,267


Thursday, June 9, 2011

American expands code-shares on WestJet flights out of Calgary

Further to last weeks post on WestJet beginning to code-share on AA's YYC-DFW flights, American is now putting their flight number on the following WestJet routes :
Calgary – Abbotsford
Calgary – Kelowna
Calgary – Regina
Calgary – Winnipeg

Source: Airline Route Updates

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Air Canada increases service to Maui from YYC

Air Canada updated their winter schedules today and it sure looks like one of my favorite destinations is also a favorite of many other Calgarians. According to Airline Route Updates service between Calgary and Kahului will increase to 5x weekly from the previous winter season's 4x weekly service. Honolulu will remain at 2x weekly. This is the second year in a row that AC has increased Maui service as when they first introduced the route for the 2009/10 winter season it was only flown 3x weekly.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

WestJet now code-sharing on AA's YYC-DFW flights

WestJet is continuing to expand its actual code-shares on American Airlines fights. When it was first announced, both airlines released all the routes they planned to code-share on and slowly many of those routes are being implemented. As of May 21st, American Airlines flights between Calgary and Dallas/Ft. Worth carry a WestJet flight number.

Source: FlyerTalk

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Vote for Canada's Top Travel Rewards Credit Card

For the third year in a row Rewards Canada will be ranking Canada's Top Travel Rewards Credit Cards but this year we are also having Canada vote for their favourites. Canada's Rankings will be listed alongside of Rewards Canada's on July 18th.

To vote please visit

Monday, May 30, 2011

Airport Tunnel gets the go-ahead


Calgary, AB. – Following years of discussions, and after careful consideration, The Calgary Airport Authority has agreed to move forward with completion of a final legal Agreement based on the proposal presented by City Council on May 20, 2011. The City and the Authority have established a target date of June 13th for final completion of the Agreement.

Following successful finalization of the Agreement, the City and Airport Authority will move quickly to begin integration of the tunnel construction into the Authority’s $2 billion Airport Development Program, to ensure that the expansion underway at Calgary International Airport will continue on schedule and without interruption.

The Airport Authority appreciates the effort that was put forward by all parties throughout the discussions and will continue to work closely with the City of Calgary as we move forward.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

March 2011 Passenger Stats

The slide seen in February continued on to March with a further decrease in passenger numbers over the same month in 2010.

March 2011 saw passenger numbers drop by a total 2.2% in comparison to March 2010. Compared to February however, all sectors did not decline as positive growth was seen for Transborder numbers but those gains could not overcome the sharp drops in Domestic and International numbers. Domestic travel decreased by 3.4%, Transborder gained 2.6% and International went down by 4.4%. Overall, 1,053,396 passengers used the airport in March.

For the year to date (Q1) YYC has seen total passenger numbers drop by 0.5% from the same period a year ago.

March 2011
Domestic: 694,978
Transborder: 235,196
International: 123,222


Monday, May 16, 2011

TACA to codeshare on select Air Canada routes out of Calgary

As TACA (and joint venture partner Avianca) approach their entry into the Star Alliance, we are starting to see the two Latin American carries expand their codeshare services with partners of the alliance. Of course, with Air Canada being one of the founding members of the Star Alliance, TACA recently began codesharing on some of Air Canada's routes and includes the following from YYC:

To - From TACA Flight # AC Flight #

Los Angeles – Calgary TA4001 AC573
Calgary – Los Angeles TA4000 AC572
Calgary – Edmonton TA4024 AC8162
Edmonton – Calgary TA4023 AC8167

It does not appear that these flights are bookable yet on the TACA website (well YYC-YEG will not be of course, but YYC-Latin America via LAX should be). As we have mentioned in the past this opens up more pricing options for flights out of Calgary as TACA may sell their codeshare flights cheaper then AC.

Source: Airline Route Updates

Friday, May 6, 2011

I Fly Calgary to Ottawa & Edmonton: Wallet Makeover Media Tour continued...

This is part two of my trip report for the Air Miles Wallet Makeover media tour that took place early in March. (Part 1 can be found here).

After spending less then 48 hours with my family over the weekend, the tour had me scheduled for Ottawa on Monday March 14, Edmonton on March 15 and one more spot in Calgary on March 16. I arrive at YYC for my suppertime flight to Ottawa on Air Canada with ample time and breeze through security. The flight is listed as being on time and after grabbing some Starbucks I take a seat at gate A18 where I await my flight. The Starbucks runs through me fast so I figure I should hit the washroom before the flight. As I am exiting the washrooms nearest A18 a whole throng of people are walking by in a line with some complaining "Air Canada always does this" and I figure their flight is delayed. I get back to get A18 and see what they are talking about. The E190 that was to be used for the Ottawa flight has now been switched to the London, ON flight! I move away to go find a FIDS display to see what has happened to my flight. Departure is now delayed by nearly an hour and half and the gate has been changed to B20. Here's what I was thinking: "Couldn't they have delayed the London flight instead of mine?" Now I won't be in my bed in Ottawa until 1:30am or so and have to be up before 6am. Oh well, I've done many nights with short sleeps one more won't kill me. Off to Chili's for a beer and some dry ribs. Once at the gate I await the arrival of the new E190 that will be flying the route to Ottawa. It does not take too long for it to arrive at the gate and the Air Canada employees ensure a quick turnaround and off to Ottawa we go. The flight itself is quite uneventful and relatively smooth. I enjoy the selection on AC's IFE as I watch the runaway train movie Unstoppable and follow this up with a bunch of the Canadian short's from Movieola. The last time I flew into Ottawa (Oct 2010) it was pretty much a straight in approach but this time round as the flight approached Ottawa it conducted a right turn of over 90 degrees so that we were backtracked slightly and then a 180 deg turn to line up with and land smoothly on runway 07. Not sure why this happened but I'm thinking they may have changed the active runway as we approached Ottawa, or maybe one of my readers can tell me if this somewhat of a regular procedure at YOW?

Getting off the plane is quick and easy and I am in cab in under 10 minutes off to the Courtyard by Marriott which is just around the corner from A-Channel Ottawa where my first interview is taking place later that morning. A quick 4.5 hour sleep and I am off to the studio for a live on camera interview with Kurt Stoodley. Those of you who have been in YYC for more then 10 years should recognize that name as he used to be on A-Channel here. The media spot goes well and off to the Rogers Ottawa studio I go for a lunchtime spot on their daytime variety show (and an taped radio interview in between). Another successful interview and I have some time to kill before catching a late afternoon flight to YYZ and then connecting onto YEG. Seeing that my Uncle lives in Ottawa, I invite him to lunch as I don't see him too often and I'd rather be having a nice big lunch rather then some fast food junk at the airport.

My Uncle is nice enough to drop me off at the airport and seeing as I already have my boarding pass go straight through to security and off to my gate to await the short flight to Toronto. When I checked in for my flight the day before the schedule had it being operated with another E190 but as I find out when I hand more boarding pass to gate agent to board the plane my seat is no longer there.... turns out the flight has been switched to the smaller E175 and my original seat near the back of plane does not exist on the E175. The gate agent finds me a new window seat near the back and I am off to YYZ. The flight left YOW early and arrived into YYZ even earlier. Enough time to walk around YYZ for a little bit and grab a small snack and drink from Starbucks. The flight is to Edmonton is delayed of course but only by a  half hour or so as the plane is late getting in from Atlantic Canada. Once boarded, the plane is absolutely packed and only a couple of minutes before the closing of the door one passenger decided that did not want to take the flight and either did not board or got off the plane. Of course they were travelling with luggage so we had another delay of almost half an hour so that the luggage could be found and offloaded. Now I am not superstitious, love flying (if that is not obvious, don't think I'd have this blog if I didn't) but when something like this happens you go back and think about those stories where people had a feeling about a flight, don't board and that plane goes on to crash and wonder if this person felt the same thing. Well, I put that at the back of my head as I know the flight will be just fine. The flight goes off without a hitch and I arrive into YEG and am at the Delta Center Suite Hotel around 10pm allowing for a bit of longer sleep as I have to be at City TV Edmonton around 7:00am for a spot on Breakfast television. I must say, the rooms at Delta Center Suite Hotel are in a serious need of an update to get out of the 1970s and 80s. It must say it was not worth the $270 that my client paid for the room. That brings me back to the Courtyard in Ottawa, another hotel that needs some updating! The lobby was being renovated so hopefully the rooms will follow.

Up at 6am to get ready for the BT spot with Ryan (this guy is a great host and interviewer) and by 8am I am all done. My client had me booked for a mid afternoon flight from YEG to YYC just in case some last minute media request came in. It did not look like anymore were going to bite on their press release so after a quick bite to eat and a long cab ride to the Leduc International Airport (sorry to the Edmonton readers, had to poke some fun here) I arrive at 9am. I am not up for waiting in YEG for 6 hours so I change my flight to the 10am Dash 8 patented tarmac to tarmac service between Alberta's main cities. I advise my client I am taking the early flight. Of course, just as I am about to board the flight my phone rings and they have lined up another interview, luckily it is a radio spot that can be done by phone but the radio station wants it right away. So I delay boarding as long as I can as I await a call from 660 News in Calgary. The phone call comes and I start my interview in the terminal and finish it in my seat at the very rear of the Dash 8-300. Talk about cutting it close. The Dash 9 is full and I am seated next to a couple of Edmonton based Air Canada Jazz pilots who are deadheading to Calgary. Always nice to chat flying and airlines with the pilots who were off to Victoria and Saskatoon that day. The flight is an uneventful one, a quick juice service from the flight attendant and then we are landing on runway 16 and I am back home.

The travelling part of the Wallet Makeover media tour was over but I still had another 2 TV appearances in YYC and some print interviews for some newspapers down east.

I hope you enjoyed my latest trip report and I look forward to writing about more of my trips out of YYC.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Air Canada updates Calgary-Tokyo schedule

Back in March Air Canada reduced their entire flying schedule to Japan due to the earthquake and tsunami disaster. The YYC-NRT flight was reduced to 3 flights per week but the good news is that the service is going up to 4 flights per week for the summer season between July 3 and September 4th. Air Canada had announced that the service was going to increase to 5 flights per week as of March 26th but this was prior to the disaster that struck Japan.

Source: Airline Route Updates

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

February 2011 Passenger Stats

We knew the passenger number growth at YYC could not continue forever and after 14 months of continuous growth Calgary International finally faltered.

Compared to February 2010, the same month in 2011 saw passenger numbers decrease by an overall amount of 1.2%. All sectors saw declines with the sharpest drop coming from International passengers. Domestic travel decreased by 0.4%, Transborder by 1.7% and International went down by 4.5%. Overall, 942,172 passengers used the airport in February.

As a side note, YYC has corrected January's numbers and the month actually saw a 1.9% increase (vs. the 0.6% initially reported) which means the so far 2011 is 0.4% ahead of 2010.

February 2011
Domestic: 627,393
Transborder: 206,651
International: 108,128


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Flying LH to Abu Dhabi or Dubai? Earn Double Miles & More miles

I know that I have a few readers of the IflyCalgary blog who are in the Oil & Gas Industry and perhaps some of you utilize LH's to go to the Middle East via Frankfurt. If you do so and your final destination is Abu Dhabi or Dubai, LH's Miles & More program is offering Double miles on the non-stop flights from Germany (and Austria/Switzerland on OS/LX) to those cities. The valid flight numbers to earn the extra miles on are LH 618, LH 619, LH 630, LH 631, LH 638, LH 639, LX 242, LX 243, OS 839, OS 840. To earn the miles you must register first which can be done so here and the offer is good for up to 8 segments until May 31, 11.

If this offer doesn't work for you I list many more Miles & More offers on on this page including their newest offer where you name a route within Europe to earn up to triple miles on for the rest of the year.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I Fly Calgary to Toronto: Wallet Makeover Media Tour

These flights were taken back towards the beginning of March with the outbound flight the first of many over 6 days for the Air Miles Wallet Makeover media tour. The first stop of the media tour was Southern Ontario and since my schedule had to keep me in Calgary until late on 9th I was stuck on Air Canada's red eye to Toronto to make an 8:40am live appearance on Canada AM. It has been ages since I flew out of concourse B (always seems to be A, C transborder, D) and I didn't realize that the security area for B is being renovated, so it was off the concourse A to clear security and then make my way over to B via the glass walled walkway connecting the two.

The flight on an AC A321 was scheduled to leave at 12:10am but following what seems to be the norm for this flight we didn't take off until 1:00am. I figured I could get 3 or so hours of sleep on the flight so I that I could pretend to be rested for the early TV spot but turbulence along most of the route made sure I didn't get more then a half hour or so of sleep in one shot. Arrival into rainy Toronto was uneventful with the plane getting to gate at about 6:30am Toronto time. As I only had carry on luggage it took me less then 10 minutes to get to my ride that was waiting to take me over the CTV studios. In fact, if I can recall correctly we got to the studios a little after 7am.

The Canada AM interview went smoothly, then I was off for to CTV Kitchener for a noon newshour live appearance on CTV Southerwestern Ontario, once that was complete, it was off to CTS Studios in Burlington for a taped spot on their Real Life program which aired March 25. Once all the media spots were done I was able to check in into the Residence Inn Toronto Downtown/Entertainment District. I received a room on the 17th with a view of the CN Tower (well supposed to be a view but the rain and fog only let me see the bottom third or so). There was no rest yet as after I checked in it was time to go over to the Loyalty One/Air Miles offices for a tour and to meet some of their brass. Off to dinner with them and then back to the hotel for 9pm or so and I crashed hard after nearly being up since 5am Calgary time the day before!

Friday saw an early morning as I was picked up at 6:30 for the drive to CHCH Studios in Hamilton for a live spot on their morning news show. The spot was delayed slightly due to the Japan Earthquake hitting that morning but went off without any hitches. With that done and no other live appearances needed I was dropped off at YYZ by 10:30am and the WestJet flight they booked for me was not until 5:00pm as they wanted to leave room just in case other media outlets requested spots. However with only a phone interview for a newspaper around lunchtime I went straight to the WestJet counters to see if I could get on the 3:15pm flight so I could get back home sooner (and not wait so long in YYZ). 10 minutes later and $50+tax I was confirmed on the 3:15pm flight. That still gave me quite a bit of time to kill in Terminal 3, so after finding some Toronto branded gifts for my kids, I went through security and was off the KLM Crown Lounge to relax and not be stuck out in the mess that YYZ was, you see this was the Friday March 11th, the start of Ontario's spring break so there were throngs of people everywhere going away for the week. Now, I am not an elite Flying Blue member but one of the perks of having a Diners Club credit card is lounge access to over 350 lounges worldwide and the KLM lounge in YYZ is one of them. Just before entering the lounge I check the departure screens for my flight and much to my disliking it is now delayed by nearly an hour! So much for getting home that much sooner. Oh well, a quick swipe of my card at the KLM lounge and then I spent the next 3 hours or so, relaxing, checking email, enjoying Heineken on tap and eating the various food offerings.

It was a bit of a trek from the KLM lounge to the other side of Terminal 3 but it was nice to stretch the legs after sitting in the lounge and before boarding the flight home. The gate area was packed like the rest of the airport so I could only assume the flight would be packed. I was not wrong, since I was in row 4 and decided to board late there was no more room in the overhead bins so I had to gate check one of my two carry-on bags. The WestJet plane had the newer seats with the somewhat larger TV screens and I must admit I had yet to fly on one of these, I always had the fortune of flying with the older interiors. Now, I'm not sure if it was just me or if this is actual fact, but these new seats seem skinnier then the old ones. I am not a big guy and neither was the guy next to me but we sure were rubbing shoulders and elbows a lot. Plus, the seats are definitely not as cushy as the old ones or so my lower back told me upon arrival.  I don't fly WestJet very often so again this may only be me but has anyone else noticed that a good 1/3 of the satellite channels never seem to be available? I noticed on this flight, my flights to California, and quick ones to Edmonton last year always had numerous channels stating "satellite unavailable"  or something like that. I wanted to watch YYC's early news at 5pm on the flight but could not since the channels were out.

Anyways, the flight arrived into YYC just after 6pm and after a short wait for my gate checked bag I was off to home to see my family and get some rest before jetting out on Sunday for the remainder of the tour.

To be continued

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

V Australia applies to code-share on Delta's YYC-SLC route

Recently Australia's V Australia was approved to code-share directly on flights between Canada and Australia however they are not partnered with Air Canada (the only airline offering direct flights) so it is unknown whether V will act upon this approval anytime soon. That being said, they were also approved to code-share on Delta flights between Canada and the U.S. and this is where V Australia is taking action. The airline applied to the U.S. DOT to code-share directly on DL's flights between Calgary (and Vancouver) and Salt Lake City. If approved it could mean that us flyers here in Calgary could book a single V Australia ticket from YYC to the land down under although it would mean 2 stops (SLC and LAX). For some further analysis (and predictions) on this news please see the source for our post:

Friday, March 25, 2011

January 2011 Passenger Stats

The growth in passengers at YYC continued in January 2011 although like the previous month it was minuscule.

Compared to January 2010, the first month of 2011 saw passenger numbers increase by an overall amount of 0.6%. All three sectors carved out small increases with domestic travel increasing 0.6%, Transborder 0.9% and International 0.5%. Overall, 964,189 passengers used the airport in January.

January 2011
Domestic: 637,036
Transborder: 205,947
International: 121,206


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Air Canada cuts Calgary to Chicago, London, ON and San Francisco flights

According to a news release from Air Canada, the airline will be cutting three Calgary routes as of May 1. The routes being cut are Calgary to London Ontario, Chicago and San Francisco. Air Canada says it can no longer operate the routes profitably due to high fuel costs.

Source: Air Canada

Thursday, March 3, 2011

December + Full Year Passenger stats

Despite being one of the slowest months in 2010, the December passenger numbers for YYC were still positive a helped contribute to a record year of 12,630,695 passengers! If you have been cooped up then this will be news to you otherwise you will have seen it on or in the news for the past couple of days. I, unfortunately left this in my in-box for a couple days and now it is relatively old news but here it goes anyways:

With only April 2010 showing smaller growth then December, the month just barely carved out a positive growth number of 0.4% over December 2009. Domestic traffic saw a 0.7% growth while Transborder numbers saw the biggest gain of 1.2%. For International numbers, December was the first month to see a negative amount with a 2.5% drop in passengers from 2009. Overall the month saw 1,035,474 passengers go through YYC.

December 2010
Domestic: 720,808
Transborder: 210,594
International: 104,072

2010 Totals (% Change)
Domestic: 8,844,080  (2.3%)
Transborder: 2,462,295 (4.4%)
International: 1,324,320 (12.9%)


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Westjet, American Airlines expand relationship with code share agreement

Cross-post from my blog

Following an earlier interlining announcement in October 2010, WestJet and American Airlines have announced a new code share agreement between the two airlines. The agreement will allow each airline to place their codes on the other airlines flights. At this point this means American customers will be able to connect to up to 20 cities in Canada that AA or American Eagle does not serve while WestJet customers will be able to fly on WestJet coded American Airlines flights from Canada to Boston and Chicago. Future arrangements should see the WestJet place their codes on American flights to more cities.

For our readers, the biggest perk here is the reciprocal frequent flyer benefits in the agreement. This means members of either airlines frequent flyer programs will be able to earn AAdvantage miles or WestJet dollars on the code share flights. What is unknown at this time is whether you have to fly a connecting flight on your actual airline to earn miles/dollars or if you will be able to earn those miles for the code share flight only. In most other agreements as long as the flight has your main airline's code then you get the miles/dollars but on some occasions some programs have made it more restrictive that you have to connect to/from a flight flown with your airlines own metal. Hopefully  that will not be the case here as they may attract a few more business customers to the WestJet frequent guest program primarily out east with the numerous flights that AA has from Eastern Canada to Boston and Chicago.

Source: WestJet

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

One Day Only: Save 20% on AC flights from Calgary to Asia

Straight from Air Canada:

Calgary special discount code.

Save 20 % on Tango Plus fares from Calgary to Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai and Tokyo.
To get your exclusive discount, simply enter this promotion code when booking right here at
Promotion code
  • Book by February 23, 2011, midnight, from city of departure.
  • Valid for departures from February 23 to May 31, 2011.
  • All travel must be completed by May 31, 2011.
  • Valid only on Air Canada operated flights (codeshare flights are excluded).
Visit Air Canada to book.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Earn bonus Aeroplan miles on select Air Canada flights out of Calgary

On January 26th Air Canada launched their latest Aeroplan flight bonus promotion and we Calgarians can take advantage of all of the offers if you connect to other AC flights. In this post however I only wanted to highlight the direct routes out of YYC that you can earn the bonus Aeroplan miles on:

Calgary - Vancouver
Earn Double Aeroplan Miles for every eligible round trip, or two one-way flight segments, on scheduled flights operated by Air Canada and Jazz

Calgary - Tokyo
7,500 Bonus Aeroplan Miles when you complete two eligible round trips, or four one-way flight segments, on the scheduled flights operated by Air Canada. Plus, you earn an extra 7,500 Bonus Aeroplan Miles for every additional eligible round trip or two one-way flight segments

Calgary - London/Frankfurt
5,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles when you complete two eligible round trips, or four one-way flight segments, on scheduled flights operated by Air Canada. Plus, you earn an extra 5,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles for every additional eligible round trip or two one-way flight segments.

All of the offers run until April 30, 2011 and require registration prior to flying. For full details and registration links for all of the Aeroplan flight offers please visit Rewards Canada's Aeroplan page

Friday, February 11, 2011

Lufthansa Summer 2011 schedule for YYC

Lufthansa will be decreasing capacity on its YYC-FRA route for summer 2011 in comparison to summer 2010. The flight will be reduced to 6x weekly service although this is an increase from the 5x weekly for the current winter season.Luf

Source: Airline Route Updates

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I Fly Calgary to Kahului, Maui: 'The Three Amigos'

Wow, I can't believe it has been well over a year since I wrote my last I Fly Calgary trip report. In fact I haven't been posting as much as I would like to in general on I Fly Calgary as the travel rewards and oil & gas industries have been keeping me very busy. I am going to make a conscious effort to try to do more on I Fly Calgary even though 2011 is shaping up to be even busier then 2010.

For the third year in a row my family has decided to vacation on the beautiful beaches of Maui. Each year we have added one more day to vacation and this year was no exception. The biggest difference this year is that we got both the outbound and inbound flights on Air Canada's direct non-stop flights between YYC and OGG. 2010 saw us go via Vancouver on WestJet to Maui but we did grab the AC direct flight back. For our family of four (kids 7 and 5), getting non-stop flights is typically a priority even though connecting flights can mean more elite qualifying miles and segments (I should try to practice what I preach) and the lack of a new interior with IFE due to AC's use of 'The Three Amigos' on the route

If you are wondering what  'the Three Amigos' are, they are three Boeing 767-300s that Air Canada acquired and did not refurbish the interiors during their XM project that saw new interiors and seat back IFE installed on almost all of the AC fleet. 'The Three Amigos' moniker seems to stem from one of the planes originally being built for Spanair (Fin 687)

On our way to OGG!
As we awaited my family and I prayed to the substitution gods that one we would some how luck out and have one of the XMed 767 subbed in for our flight. As we board the aircraft luck would not be on our side, I see the old school business class seats and know we have one of 'The Three Amigos' The flight out to OGG left YYC pretty much on time with the wheels leaving the ground 15 minutes after the posted departure time and arriving at the gate in OGG six hours and thirty six minutes later.  The flight was uneventful with very little turbulence although it was quite cool to see another AC' 767 from YVR heading to Honolulu fly up to us, make a bit of a right turn and stay just ahead and a little below our aircraft for most of the route. Entertainment wise we had Flight Attendants apologizing for someone forgetting to load new movies onto to plane for the overhead projection system, so we were stuck watching 'One Fine Day' and 'The Matrix'. Overall service was good throughout the flight from the cabin crew, and is consistent with what I have experienced from AC over the past year.

Once on the island, we hopped into our minivan from Budget (my parents came along this year so we needed a vehicle my family loves to hate) and drove the forty minutes to the Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas. The Ocean Resort Villas are great for families as you have an awesome hotel resort style complex with condo type rooms that have kitchens and a washer/dryer. As much as I would like to book the resort through Starwood to earn Starpoints and get a commission, you just can't get rates as good as the third party booking company we used called Maui Hawaii Vacations.  If you choose to use them be sure to ask for Naomi if you book by phone.

Fast forward 9 days and a great vacation that included Snorkeling, Whale Watching, tons of food, pool and beach time was over. After dropping our rental off we get to AC's check in counters around 5:30pm (departure is 7:55pm) with a small line up ahead of us. Check in was almost a breeze except for one of our bags being 4lbs overweight, blame it on all the Honolulu Cookie Co. cookies and Maui Jelly Factory Jellies and Jams (oh and one mustard). Luckily we had enough room in our carry on luggage to move 4lbs out. The check-in agent said that normally he would let it go but they were being audited so he had to comply with AC's rules. Once again, we were blessed with one of 'The Three Amigos' for our flight home. This time the flight home was quite rough turbulence wise for a good portion of the flight that delayed the just about to start in-flight service for well over an hour. This meant that the hot items from the buy-on-board service were free as they sat in the ovens for the period of turbulence. This time for entertainment they had one new movie 'Life as We Know It' and once again 'The Matrix'. The flight arrived into Calgary 10 minutes late but with no other flights arriving from the U.S. or elsewhere at 5am customs was a breeze and we didn't have to wait too long to get our luggage.

Overall, the trip was great, the flights were good and once again YYC served me well. I have flown AC quite a bit over the past year and have no complaints as I like their service, and their planes (even 'The Three Amigos'). I look forward to my next flight out of YYC and telling you about it. Until then, its Adios Amigos!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

WestJet and Delta ink interline agreement

WestJet announced yesterday that they have signed an interline agreement with Atlanta based Delta Airlines. The agreement went into effect immediately allowing WestJet and Delta customers to purchase connecting flights on one ticket, receive boarding passes for all segments at their first check-in, and tag bags through to their final destination. Currently it will allow connections between WestJet and Delta in over 25 cities in Canada and the U.S.. At the moment passengers must book via Delta booking channels to get the interline flights on both airlines.

This move makes a lot of sense for WestJet even though they already have an agreement in place with American Airlines. Why? As we have stated in the past Delta serves the most cities in Canada after Air Canada and WestJet and Delta's SkyTeam alliance is the second largest alliance in Canada after Star Alliance (solely because of Air Canada) The majority of the Canadian cities covered by Delta are served by WestJet as well, more so then American Airlines and allows for many more connections to be made across Canada rather then only 4 or 5 major cities.

Source: WestJet Press Release

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Air Canada increases Calgary-Tokyo flights, plans year round service

Air Canada has announced that they will be increasing service on the non-stop Calgary-Tokyo route to 5x weekly as of March 26. There are also plans to make the route operate year round subject to approvals in Japan. According to Air Canada the demand has been strong for business and leisure travelers as well as for cargo. The flights will continue to be operated with a Boeing 767-300ER.

Source: Air Canada

WestJet adds Orange County flights from Calgary

WestJet announced today that they will offer direct non-stop flights between Calgary and Orange County, California. The summer seasonal service will be daily and is slated to start on June 13. WestJet will also be offering flights to Orange County from Vancouver. For those who are not aware, Orange County's John Wayne Airport is close to Anaheim (Disneyland), Knots Berry Farm and the beach cities of Southern California.

Flight timings
Calgary-Orange County Dep 930 Arr 1149
Orange County-Calgary Dep 1230 Arr 1635

Source: WestJet

Friday, January 7, 2011

November Passenger Stats

The positive growth continues at YYC as November 2010 was the best November ever for the airport

Percentage wise, November 2010 was the best month yet this past year for growth over 2009 with an overall increase of 7.8%. Domestic travel saw its best gains to date in 2010 with a 10.2% increase over 2009 while transborder traffic was the only sector that was down albeit only slightly, with a decrease of 0.9%. International traffic growth continued once again in November although unlike the previous six months it was only single digit growth at 8.1%. Overall, 963,943 passengers used the airport in November.

November 2010
Domestic: 697,271
Transborder: 183,051
International: 83,621