Coast to coast with Air Canada

In early September, I got an email from Air Canada announcing their Coast-to-Coast Flight Pass.

Apparently it was the first time this was being offered. On Flyer Talk, someone expressed their frustration having to buy a North America flight pass just to go from Toronto to Yellowknife. And browsing through the 44 regularly offered flight passes, I’d have to cobble together East West Connector + Maritimes to get myself to Halifax. Options for flying in Canada really is discouraging!

In celebration of Canada’s 150th year this Coast-to-Coast Flight Pass was offered with a bunch of strings. Like $287 is the price (including surcharges and taxes) for Aeroplan members based in provinces that have GST separate from PST (all provinces but the Altantic Provinces and Ontario) and the total flight pass cost is over $1,250 where the HST is 15%. And flight pass flights are restricted to Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday if you don’t want to pay an $87 surcharge. And travel is to take place between September 18 and December 21, 2017. You can’t do all of your holiday travel with it, but I guess you can get yourself out to somewhere for Christmas if you can go as early as on the 21st.

That being said, you can add one traveller – also an Aeroplan member – to your flight pass. So little E has an Aeroplan number now! And getting the flight pass meant I didn’t have to wait until the Vancouver-Halifax prices were $399 or slightly lower. Except for those flight dates/days restrictions. In any case, with an event to work on until November 21 and Black Friday on November 24, I wasn’t going anywhere until December. And traveling in early December means catching some of that holiday season feeling during travels while avoiding the holiday season travel crunch (and prices) at airports.

It was a trying hour getting my flights between Air Canada timing out on me and having to cross-reference aircraft seating plans.

On December 2, my firm is holding their children’s Christmas party and it was such a debacle last year that I really wanted to go this year. Perhaps if I took the $507 12:30 flight, we could be at the Christmas part from 9:00 a.m. until 10:30 and arrive at the airport at 11, 90 minutes before the flight. But as I looked at the aircraft used for the $355 11:30 flight (A330) with 2-4-2 seats versus the aircraft used for the 11:30 flight (A320) with 3-3 seats, I couldn’t in good conscience take the later flight. Maybe we’ll drop by the party for half an hour … ?

We are returning 10 days later on December 12 and I contemplated the $369 1:55 p.m. flight with the 2.5-hour layover in Toronto. But if MY can’t meet up, it is a long and unnecessary layover so I ended up booking on the $369 3:30 flight and will spend more time in Halifax with my mum. Trying to figure out if one flight is better for nap time or not is a total crapshoot. Who knows to what extent E will have adjusted to the time, which time zone he’s in on the 12th!

Total savings (i.e., flight prices the day I booked)…. a mere $300! But I’m still glad for the Coast-to-Coast Flight Pass for giving us the opportunity to visit my parents (E’s grandparents) when I might have stayed in Vancouver instead – and gotten steamed for continuing to be grounded!

On this day..