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travel news

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


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.

How to Stay Safe for Hot Weather Travel


Photo: Paulo Otávio

The heat wave that has swept much of North America in the past few weeks is having some serious consequences for travellers. (more…)

TravelAvenue: Like Pinterest, but Exclusively for Travel


Screenshot, TravelAvenue.com

New online photo-sharing site TravelAvenue calls itself a “virtual personal travel notebook”.  If you’ve used Pinterest, you’ll find it easy to get the hang of TravelAvenue, but the site has aspirations beyond just photo sharing. In an interview with Tnooz, TravelAvenue president Loic Dupont said that the company wants to “radically change the way [travellers] organize their research online”. (more…)

Stampede Mania: the Calgary Stampede Preview Round-Up

Photo: Sunny Goel


Cowtown’s annual western extravaganza, the so-called Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, which kicks off tomorrow, is in its 100th year and hotter than ever.

Here’s a roundup of our favourite Calgary Stampede features leading up to the event:

  • Fashion Magazine tells us how to be cowboy au courant, from what to wear to which events not to miss, including a peek at a Stampede gown made entirely of pancake breakfast supplies. (Yup, we’re talking plates and napkins!)
  • From the Food Network, a slideshow of top Stampede treats: fried Kool-Aid, jalapeño corn dogs, and Jack Daniels whiskey fudge—yeehaw!
  • Just what is the deal with those white cowboy hats? The Globe and Mail interviews Bryce Nimmo, president of Smithbilt Hats, to find out.
  • Doing the Stampede with little cowpokes in tow? The Calgary Herald has some great tips on where to take the kids.
  • We love Canadian Geographic‘s colourful, interactive Stampede map.
  • And, of course, it wouldn’t be an event without an app. The Calgary Stampede’s official iPhone and iPad app has maps, event descriptions and a schedule-building tool.

New Hotel Openings Across Canada


Photo: courtesy of Design Hotels

Good news for travellers: Several new hotels are opening their doors in Canadian cities in the next few months, and some have just opened their doors for the summer. Here’s what’s new and fabulous for the latter half of 2012. (more…)

Canada’s First Plane-Spotting Park in Montreal


At Montreal’s new Jacques de Lesseps Park, aviation enthusiasts have one of the best seats in the city to view planes landing and taking off from the Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport. The 975-square-metre (10,500-square-foot) park, which opened on May 25, is the only official plane-spotting park in the country.

While plane-spotters previously had to make due with an empty field, at Jacques de Lesseps Park there are benches and five-tier bleachers, plus the lawn itself has had a makeover with new sod, trees and shrubs. Newbies will appreciate the signs that point out the airport’s many runways at the airport and the best places to see the planes.

The creation of the park is part of the airport’s 70th birthday celebrations and is named after Jacques de Lesseps, the man who piloted the first airplane to fly over Montreal back in 1910. The park, which faces runways 24-L and 06-R, is on Aéroports de Montréal–owned land at the intersection of Halpern and Jenkins avenues in Dorval.

VIA Rail’s Massive Layoffs: Track to the Future?


Photo: Canadian Pacific Railway

Let’s be real. In Canada, no one takes the train to get somewhere fast—or for the best price. A July weekend flight from Edmonton to Vancouver costs around $400 round-trip and takes 90 minutes. The same trip by train costs almost $100 more over 26 hours. (more…)

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


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…)

Google Chooses Three Canadian Sites as World Wonders


Google counts Ottawa

As part of its new World Wonders Project, Google has chosen three Canadian heritage sites to share the spotlight with Versailles, the ancient temples of Kyoto in Japan and Yellowstone National Park in the U.S. as some of the top heritage sites around the globe worth seeing—virtually, at least. (more…)

Travellers Would Rather Lose Wedding Ring than Mobile Device


Photo: DG Jones

In a new poll by Intel, more than 50 per cent of those surveyed said they’d feel anxious travelling without their mobile devices and more than 75 per cent said they’d rather lose their wedding ring than their laptop or tablet. (more…)

TripAdvisor’s New Local Picks Facebook App


Local Picks screenshot

Facebook and TripAdvisor have teamed up to launch a Facebook-hosted restaurant app called Local Picks. The app is meant to highlight neighbourhood favourites as rated and reviewed on TripAdvisor by locals from the area you’re searching and covers more than 850,000 restaurants worldwide. (more…)

Destination Weddings Account for Nearly 25 Per Cent of All Nuptials


Photo: Todd Webber

Are you travelling to an exotic destination for a wedding this year? If you are, you’re not alone. A study from TheKnot.com, one of the top wedding Web sites in the world, reveals that 24 per cent of all 2012 weddings are destination weddings, a 4 per cent increase from 2009. (more…)