Being heavy Aeroplan users, my family typically flies Air Canada for our local and international flights.
I have always wanted to learn some additional tips that could help our readers learn some more strategies about saving on their flights (often the most expensive part of the trip).
1. 24-Hour Cancellation Policy.
You can cancel an Air Canada flight within 24 hours of booking and receive a full refund.
So read that itinerary they e-mail you carefully. If you made a mistake, this is your window to fix it.
2. Best Price Guarantee with Air Canada Vacations.
Book your Air Canada Vacations package and if you find a lower price elsewhere within 24 hours of your initial reservation, they’ll refund you the difference, up to a maximum of $400 per booking.
3. Flight Guarantees with Air Canada Vacations.
When you book Air & Cruise with Air Canada Vacations they guarantee that you’ll get there, no matter what. In the unlikely event that a delayed flight causes you to miss your cruise, you will be rebooked on the next available flight to catch up with it.
No hassles, no extra cost. They even guarantee your return flight, so if the ship is late, they’ll book you on the next available flight home.
4. Extra seating for passengers with special needs
Air Canada makes available extra seating free of charge to passengers travelling within Canada who require additional space due to their disabilities, including obesity, or to accommodate an attendant.
The policy meets the “One Passenger, One Fare” requirements of the Canadian Transportation Agency.
Passengers requesting extra seating will require a doctor’s certificate of their disability or need for an attendant when travelling, as well as medical approval for travel. If the passenger’s special requirement is limited to extra seating due only to obesity, the authorisation will be valid for two years in order to facilitate repeat travel.
Eligible customers requiring additional space for their own use will be assigned a single reservation and ticket. Their seats will be assigned in advance of their flight by the Air Canada Medical Services desk so that their disabilities can be best accommodated. Additionally, such passengers should be aware that extra seating is not available on Beech aircraft and in Executive Class, and may be restricted on CRJ regional jet and Embraer aircraft.
For more information customers should consult the Air Canada website at http://www.aircanada.com/en/travelinfo/before/specialneeds.html or contact Air Canada Reservations or their travel agent. Air Canada will require 48 hours’ notice in advance of travel (in certain situations 72 hours’ notice) but will make every reasonable effort to accommodate bookings made within that time period. No advance seat selection is permitted when requesting extra seating.
For flights to and from the United States, Air Canada offers a 50 per cent discount off certain fares for attendants.
5. Unaccompanied minors service
The Unaccompanied Minor (UM) service can be purchased only on non-stop flights operated by:
- Air Canada and Air Canada rouge
- Air Canada Express (flights operated by Jazz, Sky Regional, Air Georgian GX – Flight series 7350-7499, and Exploits Valley Air 8K – Flight series 7615-7649).
Important: The service cannot be purchased for connecting flights or codeshare flights.
|Under age 8||Not available|
|8 to 11 years|
|12 to 17 years||Optional|
How to request the Unaccompanied Minor service
Contact Air Canada Reservations or your travel agent to let them know your child will be travelling alone.
You will be given details about our special services and what procedures are involved when a child is travelling unaccompanied. Please remember to advise us if your child has a medical condition.
A service fee of $100 CAD/USD each way per child per flight applies, regardless of fare you select.
(And check if the fare dropped overnight. If you find a lower price on another website, Air Canada will credit you the difference plus $50.) On Air Canada Vacations, you have until the end of the business day (9 p.m. on weekdays; 5 p.m. on weekends) to cancel without penalty.
Here is a link to this service.
6. The Air Canada Stopover
Have you heard about the Air Canada Stopover?
Is your connection time longer than 6 hours?
The new Air Canada Stopover travel option allows you to make the most of two consecutive flights and enhance your journey – and at no cost or for a flat price.
If you’re travelling with Air Canada, in addition to ease of travel, you now have the unique opportunity to sample and explore exciting Canadian cities en route to your destination.
Break your journey in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, North America’s most convenient hubs, and stay one night in Canada. You can even opt for a second Canadian stopover on your return flight.
For connections over 6 hours, the Air Canada Stopover option includes one-night hotel accommodation and applicable taxes for one low price. The Canadian break comes at no additional airfare and your hotel is free with a Business Class, Premium Economy or Latitude and for a minimal fee with a Flex or Tango fare.
If you’re travelling with less time on your hands, and your connections are under six hours, you can enjoy the comforts ofMaple Leaf Lounge access at the airport.
Air Canada Stopover pricing
The new Air Canada Stopover option covers a great selection of hotels at major hubs, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.
7. Air Canada Bumping Policy.
Air Canada will have to compensate bumped passengers in cash for as much as $800, depending on the length of the delay, under new rules the Canadian Transportation Agency has handed down.
Rules require that passengers be compensated $200, $400 or $800 per passenger depending on whether the delay is less than two hours, between two and six hours, or more than six hours.
The compensation structure only applies to passengers who do not volunteer to get bumped from a flight.
The CTA also imposed strict conditions on the carrier offering travel vouchers instead of cash, including a one-to-three exchange rate — for example, $1 in cash is equal to $3 in travel vouchers. Passengers can now insist on receiving cash as compensation for being bumped from a flight.
8. Bring your instruments on board.
I didn’t know this but Air Canada lets you bring string instruments (e.g. guitars, violins and violas) on board as long as they fit in the overhead bin and there is space available in the cabin at time of boarding.
- When a stringed instrument is transported by air, it may be exposed to dramatic changes in temperature and pressure, which can cause the instrument’s headstocks to crack or snap off. To prevent possible damage, it is the customer’s responsibility to ensure that the strings are loosened so that the tension is reduced.
- Musical instruments should always be properly packaged in a rigid and/or hard shell container specifically designed for shipping such items.
Musical instruments as carry-on baggage:
- Musical instruments will be permitted as carry-on baggage provided:
- They meet the current Air Canada carry-on size requirements*, and
- They fit in the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you
- A musical instrument you take on board will count as part of your carry-on baggage allowance, as either a personal or standard article (depending on the size and dimensions of the instrument).
- Because of passenger loads, aircraft limitations and/or storage space available, we cannot guarantee that a musical instrument can be accommodated on board. It may need to be checked at the gate and transported as checked baggage if the airport agent or cabin crew determines that it cannot be safely stowed in the cabin. For this reason, musical instruments should always be properly packaged in a rigid and/or hard shell container specifically designed for shipping such items. Musical instruments checked at the gate must also be retrieved at the gate upon arrival at your destination.
Here is a link to this policy.
9. Air Canada Corporate Rewards
Air Canada Corporate Rewards is a comprehensive program designed to help companies save on business travel, earn rewards and enjoy exclusive member services every time they book with Air Canada and Lufthansa Group* carriers.
Even if you have a small business or a consulting you qualify for these nice discounts.
- Discounts on Air Canada and Lufthansa Group* flight bookings
- Complimentary eUpgrades credits, Maple Leaf™ Lounge access and Preferred seat selection
- Discounts on car rentals and Air Canada products and services
- One-time 15% flight booking discount
- Up to 10% discount on Maple Leaf Club memberships
- One-time complimentary Maple Leaf lounge access
- Five (5) prepaid Air Canada Café vouchers
10. Meetings and conventions discounts!
If you are planning a wedding or event this could be very handy.
Meetings and Conventions travel service offers discounted travel and other valuable benefits to groups of 10 or more meeting attendees.
When you register your event online, you’ll enjoy:
- Special discounted fares for your organization’s group of 10 or more delegates,
- Instant online registration for your organization to better manage event travel planning,
- An easy online reservation process for your attendees,
- Mileage accumulation with Aeroplan, United Airlines’ Mileage Plus, or any frequent flyer program of a Star Alliance™ member airline.
- A direct link to Conventions Plus: the Star Alliance service helps make organizing and attending international conferences easier with access to member airlines’ schedules and discounted fares.
- A direct link to Meetings Plus: make your corporate travel to meetings simpler and much more cost-effective. Star Alliance Meetings Plus offers worldwide discounts to simplify your travel arrangements to and from your meeting.
To qualify for Meeting and Conventions special fares, you’ll need a minimum of 10 delegates travelling from various origins to the same destination within Air Canada’s extensive North American and International network.
|Travel within Canada||Business Class (flexible)||10%|
|Business Class (lowest)||5%|
|Travel between Canada and the U.S.||Business Class (flexible)||12%|
|Business Class (lowest)||5%|
|Travel between North America and International destinations||Business Class (flexible)||12%|
|Business Class (lowest)*||12%|
Do you have any tips or secrets that I may have missed?