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Hey look! There's fun new airline stuff happening up in the Canada, too! Today, Air Canada makes the announcement that they're proceeding with the launch of a low-cost carrier little brother airline, to be called Air Canada rouge, a name decided through a Facebook contest. Yes, that "R" is lowercase, but we're going to uppercase it from here on out to save our sanity.
Beginning July 1, 2013, Air Canada Rouge will jet from Toronto to a variety of international destinations, some never before serviced by Air Canada itself. We're talking Venice, Edinburgh and Athens from $949 roundtrip, Cuba from $538 (roundtrip) and Jamaica, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic from $269 (one-way). These are the introductory, yay-we-will-fly-soon fares to get you all hot and bothered, and they're good for booking on aircanada.com and aircanadavacations.com until December 25, 2011.
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Sometimes it’s hard to stay on top of all the new route announcements that come our way, so we’ve complied a little bit of a rundown below. As long as you can afford the fares, this should definitely help add to your passport stamp collection.
· US Airways:
If there’s one international destination easily accessible from the United States it’s got to be London, and it’s soon going to be even easier thanks to US Airways. The carrier is getting ready to link Charlotte with London-Heathrow, and the flying fun will be done thanks to some of the airline’s Airbus A330s.
US Airways already flies nonstop between Charlotte and London, but the flights are less convenient for some as the flights land over at London-Gatwick. We kind of have a hunch that the Gatwick flights will eventually be dropped in favor of the new Heathrow options, but for now it sounds like nothing has become official. The new flights between Charlotte and London-Heathrow are set to start this spring.
Southwest isn’t quite yet ready to head south of the border, but thanks to their buddies over at AirTran they’re one step closer. It sounds like Southwest—through AirTran—has their eyes set on another international destination, and this time they’re planning to connect Denver with Los Cabos.
Nothing is official as of yet, but the airline has sent an email over to Uncle Sam asking for permission to start linking the two cities. The thing is that only a certain amount of flights can head back and forth—and they’re already at the limit. However, Southwest is kind of mad that Frontier and Republic are hogging one too many of the options, so they’re ready to add their blue-bellied planes into the mix.
Now that you've hopefully gone and followed all those airlines on instagram, it's time to shake it up. Though we're not one to participate in hashtags on any social media platform, one on Instagram immediately had us hooked. Ladies and gentleman, #kicksonaplane.
For those who don't know what "kicks" are, what are you doing on Instagram? Ha--kidding (kinda). Kicks is another term for shoes, specifically sneakers or other rubber/gum soles, though it can be broadened to include all footwear. Instagrams tagged with #kicksonaplane depict the person's shoes as they are, seated and ready for takeoff on a flight.
It's like a visual representation of "I'm here, ready to go, let's do this," with the necessary little bit of showing off that touches on the personal vanity of the user and the sweet envy of the viewer, both key components in the success of Instagram.
Everything is going fine and dandy as you get ready for the last little bit of your long-haul flight over to Australia; however, all of a sudden you see something odd down in the waters off the coast out your window. Something like this actually happened for some passengers aboard an Air Canada flight on its way down under, as the pilot and crew helped rescue a stranded sailor.
The flight from Vancouver to Sydney took a temporary detour as it hoped to gain a glimpse of a solo sailor who activated an emergency beacon after some bad luck and bad weather left him stranded at sea. The Air Canada plane—a Boeing 777—dropped to about 5,000 feet as the crew asked passengers to help check out the scene out the window. Sure enough, thanks to some passenger-supplied binoculars, the crew spotted the distressed sailor and they were able to radio back the coordinates and other helpful tidbits of location information.
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If you’ve already packed it in at the workplace today, then you definitely have plenty of availability to spend some time on an airline contest. Air Canada needs your help—and they’ll award you handsomely—as the carrier is looking for a little assistance when it comes to naming their new spinoff low cost carrier.
We’ve mentioned that Air Canada was thinking about getting into the cheapo carrier business, and now it looks like it’s going to happen sooner rather than later. However, they definitely need a name before they can start selling tickets, so that’s where you come into the picture.
All you need to do is head over to their Facebook page and throw your idea to the masses. Everyone who enters—even those with awful suggestions—will be able to score a chance at one of three Air Canada Vacations gift certificates valued at $1,500.
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Late last year Winnipeg’s new airport opened (re-named the rather exceptionally long “Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport”) and, with it, came a brand spanking new Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge.
We’ve always liked Air Canada’s lounges, with their streamlined design, plentiful snackies, and generous self-serve bars. And, heading through Winnipeg's lounge on our last trip through the airport, we found that it has all of the same goodies we've come to expect from Maple Leaf Lounges at larger airports: a comfy sitting area, a dining area, a place to park it in front of the TV, and a business center with complimentary WiFi. Winnipeg's Maple Leaf Lounge also has a space with a bar-like atmosphere.
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If you're anything like us, you probably think that the in-flight duty-free shopping catalog can eat up a good chunk of time on long-haul international flights and provide a few giggles or unique gift ideas. This week, we'll dive into the pages of some favorite airline shopping magazines and highlight our picks for the just-can't-live-without items.
Most airlines have a thorough understanding that including some exclusive merchandise in their duty-free catalog will prompt passengers to hand over their cards in exchange for the unique products. In our travels, we have come across a number of items that we had to take a second to think if we actually needed it or had enough room in our carry on. Here are some highlights from our mile high shopping.
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It’s been a couple of months since we last heard from Air Canada regarding their plans for a low-cost carrier, but it looks like things are still moving full speed ahead. There’s still plenty of this and that to work out, but officials with the airline seem pretty darn confident that their plan will get off the ground—literally—sooner rather than later.
The airline needs to get the pilots on board with whatever they have up their sleeve, and the labor situation shouldn’t really get in the way at this point. That's definitely good news, as contracts and agreements are always a little tricky.
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Every year we do the hard work for you, so that you’ll know where to find the best in in-flight entertainment. Each time we’re a little surprised at how extensive the offerings from Air Canada are, as we often forget that they’re pretty much the leaders when it comes to up in the air entertainment above the skies of North America—and beyond. It looks like they’re not sitting around as other carriers continue to improve their services, as the airline has again just upped the ante on their own options.
Air Canada claims that they’ve just doubled the options offered at 35,000 feet, adding a whole bunch of movies to their in-flight catalog. Now they’ve got at least 150 different movies from which to choose on international flights, and over North America the screens will be loaded up with around 63 different options. It’s not just blockbuster options either; the airline is promising plenty of classics in addition to some of those artsy pictures as well.
It’s now the law up in Canada to be really nice to your passengers if you’re running an airline.
The Canadian Transportation Agency has ordered some of the country’s biggest carriers to increase compensation for passengers who suffer from screwed up travel plans. That means airlines like WestJet and Air Canada need to raise the amount of money offered up to passengers with delayed or canceled flights. It’s the same thing for those who are forced into a later flight by getting bumped from their original itinerary.
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When it comes to low-cost carriers it seems that everybody and their brother is looking to cash in on the low fare and low frills craze. We heard that Air Canada was discussing this idea up in their corporate boardroom, but now there’s a little bit more information about what they’re thinking to do and where they're doing it.
Air Canada has their eyes on Asia, and if all goes according to plan they’ll be connecting plenty of Canadians to the East while saving them plenty of Loonies. It sounds like the base of the new airline could be in Vancouver, which kind of makes sense, as the city is a whole lot closer to spots in Japan and China than Montreal or Toronto.
As competition becomes fierce in the skies, airlines are getting creative with their frequent flier rewards.
IdeaWorks recently released a list of the top 40 "weird, wild and wonderful” rewards. Some give frequent fliers unique experiences, like AirBaltic's dog sled adventure (13,754 airline points) and American Airlines' beer-tasting tour in Brussels (14,700 points).
Others give passengers an opportunity to own items money just can't buy, like Lufthansa's “sockscription," which provides a delivery of three pairs of socks immediately and two more deliveries every four months (21,000 points). And, passengers who collect 650 miles with Icelandair can get a traditional Icelandic oatmeal and rhubarb cake, called a “Happy Marriage Cake.”
But, the most buzzed about item on their list seems to be a leather vest signed by George Clooney which Air Canada is giving away for a mere 177,000 miles. It's a small price to pay for a lifetime of "Up in the Air" roleplay. *wink*