Saturday, April 22, 2017

Earn 2,000 Bonus Rewards Points for stays at the Calgary Airport Marriott In-Terminal Hotel

One of our favourite hometown hotels is offering bonus points to stay there! Right now you can earn 2,000 bonus Marriott Rewards points for stays at the Calgary Airport Marriott In-Terminal Hotel. We checked to see if this was one of those boost the rate and offer bonus points type of promotions but it is not. The bonus points rate is the same as the best flexible rate. You can get cheaper rates but those are the advance purchase non-refundable rates that many of us tend not to book unless we are 100% sure that we are completing that stay.  You can read a complete review of our stay at the Calgary Airport Marriott In-Terminal Hotel here!

Offer details:
2,000 Bonus Rewards Points for stays at the Calgary Airport Marriott In-Terminal Hotel. Full Details and online Booking Until Jun 24, 17

Find the best list of Marriott Rewards bonus offers here.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Flight Review: Air Canada AC901 Calgary - Kahului, Maui (YYC-OGG) Business Class

We like to enjoy our time with family when travelling so I only review our odd hotel stay or even less frequently review a flight. One such flight where I did take just a couple of pics and felt was worth reviewing was from our Family Day vacation trip to Maui. I think a review is worthy since it is the only flight between Canada and Hawaii that has a true international business class. Air Canada's other flights from Vancouver and Toronto are on Rouge aircraft and WestJet's are 737's out of Vancouver with their regular Plus seats while some of their Alberta-Hawaii flights are 767's which have the larger Plus seats but aren't considered a true business class. The reason why Air Canada's Maui flights are utilizing an internationally configured Air Canada 767 is that it is the same plane being used for the Calgary-Tokyo flights, which of course would not be utilizing a Rouge aircraft. So as we mentioned in our podcast a few weeks ago, if you are flying to Maui and want to travel in style without connecting via the U.S. you'll want to connect via Calgary.

The flight was schedule to depart at 5:30pm but ended up being delayed by a mechanical issue. Just as most people had boarded the plane the power went out from the APU. Within a minute or so power came back on but of course they wanted and needed to check it out.  You don't want to be stuck in Kahului with a malfunctioning APU but rather make sure whatever the issue was that it was corrected in Calgary. The resulting delay was about an hour as we waited for AC maintenance to diagnose and fix the issue. The flight ended up departing around 6:40pm and thanks to a bit of shorter flight time then scheduled we arrived about 45 minutes late into OGG.

We did a one way Aeroplan mile redemption for our entire family for the business class flights to Maui. On the way back availability was scarce for the number of seats we needed as it was during the Alberta Family Day break so the return flight was in Economy. Still I'll take Air Canada International Economy over Rouge. Not to mention the flight back is overnight and typically under six hours so you don't get to enjoy the business class as much except (and this is a big exception) the lie flat seat for sleeping.  

For the flight to Kahului I had seat 6F which is in the middle on the right hand side of the aircraft:

The menu for this flight:

I went for the BBQ Chicken with Grits and it was pretty good.... good enough that I also got it on my LAX-YYC flight a week ago!

and finally Rewards Canada being featured in the American Express ad on Air Canada's in flight entertainment

That's it in a nutshell! We can rarely say there is an advantage of flying out of Calgary but this is definitely one of them!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Fly British Airways to London for as little as $626 all in!

British Airways is offering some amazing economy class fares between Calgary and London. Fares start as low as $623 all in round trip!  Find out more and book here.

For example Sep 26 - Oct 3 is at the lowest price of $626 for travel on BA's Boeing 787. Premium Economy fares are pricing out pretty decent as well with the same dates pricing out at about $1,300.

WestJet announces intent to launch ultra-low-cost carrier

In what probably can been seen as another strike at ultra low cost carrier newleaf, WestJet surprised many today with their announcement that they intend to launch a new ultra low cost airline!
WestJet today announced its intention to launch a new, ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC) in Canada subject to agreement with its pilots and any required regulatory approvals. Service is expected to start in late 2017 with an initial fleet of 10 high-density Boeing 737-800s designed by the airline that first brought low-cost air travel to Canada in 1996. The ULCC will provide Canadians with no-frills, lower-cost travel options.
"We have built WestJet from its low-cost, regional roots into a renowned, international airline with service to 21 countries and today it's all about disrupting at the price-sensitive end of the market," said Clive Beddoe, co-founder of WestJet and Chair of the Board of the Directors. "Launching a ULCC will broaden WestJet's growth opportunities and open new market segments by offering more choice to those Canadians looking for lower fares."

"The worldview on low-cost airlines has changed since the launch of WestJet in 1996 and we are responding," commented Gregg Saretsky, WestJet President and CEO. "The complete unbundling of services and products in order to lower fares for the price-sensitive traveller has created the ULCC category and our new airline will provide Canadians a pro-competitive, cheap and cheerful flying experience from a company with a proven track record."
I really don't know what to say but if history in the Canadian airline marketplace is any indication then WestJet will have an uphill battle with this one. Remember Air Canada's Tango? Air Canada Zip? JetsGo? CanJet, Greyhound Air? They all were attempting something similar, although at the time it would have been only called low cost carriers (LCC) which WestJet was and still calls themselves but in reality they are now a full fledged regular airline.

There are still lots of questions to be answered and we'll get those when they release more details but are newleaf and Air Canada's Rouge really having that much of an impact on WestJet that they need to go this route? Are they being proactive about Jetlines? Do they want to lower labour costs (ie move certain flights/routes over to the new ULCC) Other questions will be can you earn and redeem WestJet dollars on the new ULCC (the smart move would be yes, but probably at a lower earn rate), will you be able to interline between the ULCC and WestJet (probably not as that adds costs) and many more!

Read the whole press release here.

What are all your thoughts on today's announcement from WestJet?

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

YYC Celebrates National Pet Day

(Calgary, AB) - YYC Calgary International Airport is celebrating the one-year anniversary of the Pre-Board Pals Program with an in-terminal celebration and opening of its first post-security pet relief area. The Pre-Board Pals program, introduced last year in partnership with the Pet Access League Society (PALS) has been embraced by both passengers and YYC employees. In less than a year, the pack of furry friends has grown from 12 to 36 and have provided over 1,200 hours of comfort to visitors, travellers and guests.

“The Pre-Board Pals program has brought a lot of smiles to our passengers and we’ve received fantastic feedback from guests, staff and travellers alike since introducing the program,” said Peggy Blacklock, Manager, Airport Community Engagement for The Calgary Airport Authority.

Today, pooches from the program will celebrate the anniversary with a ‘Pooch Parade’ through the airport terminal, showing off 26 pups — some dressed for show in aviation-themed costumes — with their volunteer sidekicks in tow. The parade will begin in the Domestic Terminal at 6 p.m. as they wag their tails throughout the Arrivals Level until they reach the International Terminal.

With a focus on improving the travel experience for all passengers, including those travelling with pets, the airport also unveiled its first post-security pet relief area today. The in-terminal pet relief area makes it more convenient for passengers with pets to take their furry travelling companions and/or service dogs for a bio-break, without having to leave the post-secure area.

“We serve a large and diverse passenger mix at YYC and are always looking for ways to make the experience through our terminal even better for our passengers – that, of course, includes our furry friends and their owners,” said Debbie Stahl, Director of Passenger Experience for The Calgary Airport Authority.

Complete with turf intended to mimic fresh cut grass and a scented fire hydrant, the pet relief area sits next to Gate B34 in the Domestic Terminal Building.


The Calgary Airport Authority is a not-for-profit, non-share capital organization, incorporated under the Alberta Regional Airports Authorities Act, and is responsible for the safe, secure and efficient management of the YYC Calgary International Airport (YYC) and Springbank Airport (YBW) under long-term lease from the Government of Canada. YYC's mandate is to advance economic and community development by providing improved airline and transportation services for the benefit of the public. The Authority has invested over $4 billion into the continued development of YYC, opening Canada's longest runway in 2014 and a new International Terminal in 2016. YYC is a key economic driver for Calgary and Alberta, generating more than $8 billion in economic activity annually and creating 48,000 jobs.