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airlines

Travel Tip of the Week

BYOF: bring your own food. These days, you’re lucky to get a miniscule bag of roasted peanuts on a flight, and prices for soggy sandwiches in airport terminals are sky high. Do yourself a favour and pack snacks and/or a meal. (This applies to train and bus travel as well.) At the very least, you’ll make your seat mates jealous.

Give us your tips! Add a comment below or let us know on Twitter @wherecanada: #wherecanadatips.

New Law Proposed To Prevent Airlines from Separating Families on Flights

By SHANNON KELLY

Photo: James Emery

Back in May we told you about a so-called “family travel tax“: new policies that some United States airlines are adopting that threaten to break up people travelling together on planes, including possibly separating parents from their children. In response to these family-unfriendly practices, a New York State Congress member has proposed a federal law in the U.S. that would prevent families from being separated on commercial airlines.

The legislation, proposed by Congressman Jerrold Nadler, is called the Families Flying Together Act of 2012, and would require airlines to keep families together on flights—without forcing them to pay extra for premium or guaranteed seats—and to make this policy plainly visible to everyone booking a flight.

The proposed law doesn’t have provisions for couples or anyone else travelling together.

Pay 30% Less on WestJet than Air Canada with New Routes in 2013

By SHANNON KELLY

WestJet’s new regional routes will utilize Bombardier Q400 turboprop planes

WestJet announced on Tuesday that its new short-haul flights will cost about a third less than the same Air Canada flights for last-minute trips. And this, WestJet CEO Gregg Saretsky told Reuters, is “at a minimum”. Prices could be even lower.

The airline plans to start the regional services in the second half of 2013, but hasn’t announced the details of where flights will start, saying only that they’ll begin either the west or east coast and will expand to the opposite coast the following year. WestJet will increase its workforce by 22%, adding 1,800 employees to accommodate the new routes.

WestJet has placed a conditional order for 45 Bombardier Q400 turboprop planes that accommodation 70 to 80 passengers each.

Read more at BNN.

Are Airlines Skimping on Quality to Force Us Out of Coach?

By SHANNON KELLY

Porter Airlines lounge, which all passengers have access to (Photo: Mike Gifford)

Are we getting less for our money in economy class on airlines to make business- and first-class travel more attractive? In a New York Times article this week, columnist Joe Sharkey seems to suggest as much, saying that “most airlines are quietly hoping that poor conditions in standard coach…will motivate more business travelers to buy their way out of the sardine can.” (more…)

Air Canada Takes Off on First Biofuel Flight Today

By SHANNON KELLY

Air Canada will make its first biofuel-powered flight on an Airbus A319 (Photo: caribb)

A 50-50 mix of cooking oil and jet fuel will propel an Air Canada flight to Mexico City today, the first international flight to use the biofuel in North America. (more…)

Air Canada Beats U.S. Competitors in Satisfaction Study—WestJet Not So Much

By SHANNON KELLY

Photo: Matt Thorpe

A study just released by marketing firm J.D. Power and Associates indicates an overall decrease in customer satisfaction with “traditional” airlines in the past year and, among other data, reveals that travellers hate first-checked-bag fees and love mobile check-in. (more…)

Air Travel Just Got Cuter: Hello Kitty Jets

By SHANNON KELLY

EVA Air's Hello Kitty jet (Photo: Benson!!)

Taiwan-based EVA Air is expanding its Hello Kitty–themed jets, launched last year, with even cuter planes and new routes this month. (more…)

25 Surprising Items Allowed on Planes

By SHANNON KELLY

It’s a no-brainer that certain items are strictly prohibited on flights: dynamite, hand grenades…you know, stuff that could blow up the plane. But we were shocked at some of the things that aren’t prohibited.

(more…)

Air Canada Strike Strands Passengers

By SHANNON KELLY

Photo: Matheiu Marquer

More than two dozen flights have been cancelled at Pearson International Airport in Toronto and more have been delayed following a “wildcat” strike last night by ground crew, affecting passengers heading to Canada and U.S. destinations. Toronto’s CP24 reported on Twitter (@CP24) that some flights are also cancelled and delayed at Montreal’s Trudeau Airport. (more…)

Air Canada Plagued By Labour Disputes and Aveos Bankruptcy

By SHANNON KELLY

Photo: OZinOH

Air Canada is getting, and giving, no love lately.

The unions representing its machinists and pilots both threatened to strike in the past month, and were only prevented from doing so by federal back-to-work legislation. The airline accused pilots of calling in sick en masse last weekend to cause problems during the busy March break period, which the pilots union denied.
(more…)

The Many Costs of In-Flight Comfort

By SHANNON KELLY

What money can buy—or not—in-flight. Photos: Brian Hansen (L), ATIS547 (R)

Airlines are charging for everything but the lavatory sink these days. We’re used to some of the fees: for in-flight movies and alcoholic drinks, for example. But now you’ll also pay for conveniences that were once givens for even coach passengers, like pillows and exit-row seating.

(more…)

Air Canada Strike Just in Time for March Break?

By SHANNON KELLY

Photo: Matheiu Marquer

A union that represents 8,600 mechanics, baggage handlers and cargo agents at Air Canada has issued a March 12 strike notice to the airline. (more…)