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Here's How to Use Air Canada to Stop in Toronto for Free on Your Way to Europe or Asia


The Canadian dollar has been dramatically sagging against the U.S. dollar—if you're carrying greenbacks, it can feel like the entire country is having a liquidation sale since everything is 40% off what it would cost you back home. So it's a perfect moment to fly to a major Canadian city for free.

Wisely seizing the moment, Air Canada just extended its promotion that allows anyone flying on the airline from America to stop over for free in Toronto, which allows you to stop there for a few days without increasing the cost of a normal round-trip ticket to your final destination or paying extra for the right to leave the airport for a few days mid-journey.

The free-stopover deal was put in place last fall, but popular demand has extended its life until this spring, and I'm hearing rumblings that it might soon become a standard offering.

Here's how to use it: When you book a ticket on, use the multi-city option. Fly anywhere in the United States to anywhere in Europe or Asia with a lingering stop in Toronto using one of these three airlines: Air Canada, Air Canada Express, or Air Canada Rouge. Make sure your class of carriage is Flexible Economy (Flex, Latitude, or Premium Economy) or Business Class—in other words, nearly every seat on the plane.

(As always, also test the cost of the same trip with a rival carrier or website to make sure you're getting the best deal.)

Right now, the Toronto Stopover Program is supposedly only valid if you book your ticket (to fly anytime) by March 31, 2016.

We hear that since the promotion has already been extended once, there's a good chance it may become a lot more regular, but for now, it's only guaranteed on purchases made through March. We'll see. If Air Canada does decide to make this permanent, it would join a roster of airlines that are helping to boost tourism at home by offering free stopover deals—click here for a current list of all the airlines that offer them.

Stop in Toronto and stay there for nearly half the price a Canadian would pay? Yes, please. 

Click here for Frommer's' coverage of what to do in Toronto, and don't forget that Toronto is just a day trip away from Niagara Falls.


Photo credit: Jamie in Bytown/Flickr