August 11, 2003 -- Hey Canadians! We love you. Sure, we're based in New York, but we've always admired your friendly people, your peaceful society and gorgeous landscapes.
So we want to make sure you know about two great sales going on for fall travel from Canada to Europe, on Air Canada (www.aircanada.ca) and Air Transat (www.airtransat.ca). Air Transat is a charter airline with a sideline in selling scheduled flights directly to travelers who want to save a few C-notes over Air Canada's prices. Our Canadian friend Donna McSherry, a travel agent in Toronto and editor of the fabulous www.sleepinginairports.net, says the prices on this Air Transat sale are "excellent," and we agree.
(These sales aren't just for Canadians, either. If you live near Buffalo, Burlington, Detroit or Seattle, you may find these prices worth the drive.)
Air Transat has its downsides. Sparse schedules mean there's a poor choice of flights. (They fly one flight a week from Vancouver to Amsterdam, for instance, on Wednesdays.) And McSherry says their flights are often less than reliable. "No one is happy with the service and time changes, and everyone swears they will never fly that airline again. I've done it myself, but am lured by the rock bottom prices," she wrote to us. So you'll have to be flexible to get these low fares. All fares are in Canadian Dollars.
This sale is ending right around now, so you have to buy your tickets today or tomorrow (August 12). There's no minimum stay, a 21-day maximum stay, and open-jaw trips are allowed without extra charge. Prices below are round trips before tax.
- Toronto to Amsterdam, Birmingham, Dublin, Edinburgh, London, Glasgow or Shannon: $499
- Toronto to Berlin (Sept. only), Cardiff (Sept. only), Exeter (UK), Manchester, Paris, Frankfurt or Warsaw (Sept. only): $599
- Montreal to Brussels or Paris: $599
- Calgary to Glasgow:$599
- Calgary to Amsterdam or Manchester: $699 (Sept.), $599 (Oct.)
- Calgary to Frankfurt or London: $799 (Sept.), $699 (Oct.)
- Vancouver to Amsterdam, London, Glasgow or Manchester: $599
- Vancouver to Frankfurt: $699
If you're interested, buy online at www.airtransat.ca.
A Sale from Old Reliable
Most of Air Canada's sale fares are higher than Air Transat's. But if you want frequent flier miles, you're comforted by the convenience of traveling on a world-class airline, or you're trying to book on a route whereAir Transat is running out of cheap seats, this sale from everybody's favorite mega-airline can come in handy. Routes on which we feel they could pip Transat include (fares are roundtrip, without taxes but with a $10 discount for booking online). Again, prices are in Canadian Dollars:
- Toronto to Paris: $608
- Toronto to Frankfurt: $618
- Calgary to London or Glasgow: $818
- Calgary to Paris: $828
- Montreal to London or Frankfurt: $618
- Montreal to Vienna: $628
Air Canada's sale also allows departures from many smaller Canadian cities - places like Victoria, Halifax and Moncton. Purchase by August 18 for departures between Sept. 8 and December 4, returning to Canada by December 11 to get these fares. Go to www.aircanada.ca to buy tickets.