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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.
Christmas Travel / Holiday Travel / WestJet / Canada Travel / Flashmobs / YYC / → All Tags
Airlines and airport love flashmobs. Why? Well, it could have something to do with the fact there's always a large enough captive audience to view, record and social media share the spectacle, but there's also the fact that travelers during the holiday season aren't exactly the happiest bunch and maybe need a little positive boost before boarding that plane. Whatever the reason, travel flashmobs go hand-in-hand with holidays now, and WestJet is first out of the gate for 2012.
On December 4, WestJet organized one of their aircraft to "arrive" from the North Pole to Calgary International and, at 11:30pm before a packed red-eye flight to Toronto, gift those passengers with stockings full of goodies (including Apple iPod Shuffles).
We'll keep other spoilers to ourselves, but do watch the video below and be on the look-out over the next couple weeks as more airports and airlines are, without a doubt, entering final rehearsal for their own flashmobs.
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It’s been a couple months since we were blabbing on and on about WestJet and their plans for smaller planes and propeller power. Well it looks like officials at the airlines have figured out a little more regarding their regional carrier, and they’ve even picked a name.
That new name is going to be WestJet Encore—yea, we were expecting something a little more fun too—and Encore will take to the air during the second part of 2013.
Travel Contests / LCCs / Facebook / Air Canada / Airlines / Airline News / New Routes / Canada Travel / → All Tags
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.
Photo Gallery / Canada Travel / Air Canada / Business Class Travel / Winnipeg Travel / Airline Lounges / Aeroplan / YWG / Star Alliance / → All Tags
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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We haven’t even visited Edmonton International Airport, but their baggage claim area is now one of our favorites.
As part of a larger renovation of the airport, officials have just added three different sports-themed baggage carousels. The suitcase chutes and conveyor belts now feature graphics, logos, and colors from the city’s local sports teams. The Edmonton Oilers, Edmonton Oil Kings, and the Edmonton Eskimos (they’re part of the Canadian Football league) are all well represented.
Televisions feature highlights and team history, although, we’re optimistic that they’ll beam live coverage of the games sooner than later. There’s even some oversized players doing their thing while the suitcases rotate around them.
It's that time of the year again, when your body is, like, chemically engineered to crave apple cider donuts and adventures in corn mazes. For now, we'll address the latter as farms mow down the crops to make some extra bucks. And, for 2012, the Guinness World Records title of "World's Largest Cornmaze" hops the border and heads to Canada.
The maze at Kraay Family Farm in Lacombe, Canada (that's in the province of Alberta, btw) measures a beastly 309,000 square feet and, in a nod to what's hot with the kids these days (yeah right), takes the shape of a functioning QR code.
If, for some reason, you decide to fly up to Edmonton, rent a car and then rent a plane or helicopter to get high and check this baby out, then manage to capture it, the QR code just directs you to the official maze website, which is right here. Look, we saved you all that trouble!
[Photo: Kraay Farm]
France Travel / Historical Travel / Normandy Travel / Canada Travel / War Travel / Photo Gallery / → All Tags
Utah, Omaha, Juno, Gold, Sword...fifty miles of the Normandy coastline in northern France that changed the world forever as the British, Canadian and American armed forces invaded Europe on D-Day: June 6th, 1944.
Driving the entire length of these beaches on our recent stay in Normandy, we find it's a seriously bizarre mix of post-war seaside houses, golden sandy beaches, concrete bunkers and war memorials.
Of all the World War II heritage sites in this historic area, we found the Canadian Juno Beach Centre, just to the west of Courseulles-sur-Mer, the most informative of the lot.
In-Flight WiFi / Canada Travel / Airline News / WiFi / Travel Tech / Gogo / → All Tags
From maple leaves and Mounties to all those Tim Hortons with free WiFi—it’s clear that Canada pretty much has it all. However, it’s going to get a little bit better in the next year or so, as Gogo is set to invade Canadian airspace with their high-speed, high-altitude internet access.
Just the other day Industry Canada issued Gogo the needed license for the country’s air-to-ground radio frequency spectrum, which will allow Gogo to provide their in-flight magic to plenty of passengers traveling the friendly skies to, through, and above Canada.
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We knew that WestJet was adding more space to certain seats, but now it looks like they’re into adding some brand new planes as well. We won’t get into the industry this-and-that over the decision, but basically it looks as though WestJet wants to compete head-to-head with Air Canada on shorter trips. These smaller routes require some smaller planes, so WestJet just made a call over to Bombardier to add some propeller power to their fleet.
WestJet may be really good at flying Boeing 737s, and in fact that’s all they’ve been flying for quite some time. However, now that they’re planning a little bit of a more regional operation the plan is to add plenty of Bombardier Q400s. The initial order was for around 20 or so aircraft, and if things go well they might just order up an additional 25 planes. Things are still in the planning stages as of right now, but the plan is to get those babies up in the air at some point in 2013.
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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.
Seats / Canada Travel / Airlines / Airline News / Economy Class Travel / Airline Seats / Airplane Seats / WestJet / Premium Economy / → All Tags
It seems like everyone wants a little more space nowadays, and airlines are certainly aware that passengers are willing to pay for it. Carriers like Virgin America, United, Delta, and JetBlue all have different flavors of their extra legroom seats, and now there’s one more airline looking to help you stretch out a little bit.
WestJet is looking for more profit (and to lure more business travelers away from Air Canada), so they’re now offering up their own version of premium economy seating for those willing to pay for the privilege. Planes are heading into the hangar starting this month, as four rows of seats will now be enjoying around 36 inches of pitch.
WestJet is upgrading and updating their entire fleet of Boeing 737s, so this is going to be quite the undertaking; however, they obviously feel that moving and shifting all the seats is more than worth it.