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Old 02-22-2021, 04:57 PM
NM_Trout NM_Trout is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 79
Default Is there a best practice to buying airfare to Canada?

So last year, I had this nifty trip planned to go to the Yukon to catch fish with my daughter.

Then covid hit, and of course all the crap hit the fan.

Air Canada cancelled our flights, which were a mess anyway. We had a combined 13 legs or so to get up there and back. Some airfare purchased on Travelocity, some on Priceline, and some direct with Air Canada.

Air Canada was a huge pain to deal with even before covid. It seemed like every 5 or 8 days I would get a notice that my flight times had changed, and it caused us to lose the ability to make connecting flights at one point.

EVERYBODY pushed back on giving a refund, even though it was Air Canada cancelling flights.

I found that Air Canada simply did not care. They were completely apathetic throughout the whole process.
So my deposit on my trip got pushed forward a year, and now I am eyeballing getting reservations made again for August flights.

Once Air Canada starts booking flights, any suggestions on how to not get screwed by them again? Is there an insurance that can be purchased that covers pandemic related cancellations?
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Old 02-23-2021, 07:06 AM
jbb1069 jbb1069 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 22

Most of my family and other canadians I know fly WestJet and only fly Air Canada as a last resort
AC is famous for cancelling flights with out notice and their general pathetic customer service

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Old 02-23-2021, 07:43 AM
spoonchucker spoonchucker is offline
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: bufalo ny
Posts: 62

Where are you starting from? We have booked annual trips to Northern Canada and when able we avoid Air Canada and Toronto airport if possible. You should consider booking through United since they are in alliance with Air Canada and entered into a new agreement just last October so that almost all the same routes and flights can be booked through United even though they are Air Canada flights. I just have always had good service with United people calling the shots.
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Old 02-23-2021, 08:02 AM
bthomas3333 bthomas3333 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Las Vegas NV
Posts: 331

My job has me on a plane almost every week. I've flown 3M base miles over the last 29 years. I've worked for the better part of 3 years in Canada traveling back and forth every week.

These are of course strictly my opinion but take it for what it is worth.

As mentioned above avoid Air Canada. But, if you have to fly Air Canada I suggest you book direct. The reason being is price. I've seen the price for a United ticket on Air Canada metal being as much as get 35% more. The one time I might book on United vs AC for the same plane is when using Frequent Flier miles. It seems sometimes AC allocates a certain number of seats to United to sell and you might find a free seat more readily on United.

Also as mentioned above I try like heck to stick with West Jet. I have seen more than a dozen times where the WestJet plane sitting right next to the AC plane goes and the AC plane sits. Sometimes the WJ pilot is willing to fly in rough weather. Sometimes it is the fact the WJ plane is functional and the AC plane is not. More often than not it is because the AC plane isn't sitting there at all bc it was delayed upstream somewhere. Then add in the fact that when things go sideways which they can do with anyone WJ does a MUCH better job of trying to help you get where you need to go.

Given the world we live it right now I wouldnt even try to book or fix flights. (I get it what if they get crazy expensive or worse yet there is no availability) The problem is there is virtually no supply of seats so the airlines can't really help you fix your flights even if they want to. If the border opens we will see the supply come online and then you can find decent times/connections/etc. JMHO

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Old 02-27-2021, 08:28 PM
dvl2700 dvl2700 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Kalamazoo Michigan
Posts: 307

Depending on the expense of the trip, you could purchase separate trip insurance. We had a trip scheduled to Alaska last summer. Cruise was cancelled. Could have cancelled the trip, but Alaska Airways and Delta refunded our money and the Cruise line gave us a postponement through 2021.
Rescheduled most everything and bought trip insurance again. Mother in Law is elderly and frail, don' want to get cancelled and loose everything. Cost of insurance depends on the cost of trip. We went with Travel X
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