Monday, December 21, 2009

Air Canada announces service to Copenhagen from Toronto

Air Canada announced today it will launch service between Toronto and Copenhagen on Jun 24, 2010. The non stop daily flights will be operated with a Boeing 767-300ER with the new interiors.

Flight timings as follows:
Toronto-Copenhagen Dep 1715 Arr 0655+1
Copenhagen-Toronto Dep 1220 Arr 1450

Source: Air Canada

Friday, December 18, 2009

Air Canada relaunches seasonal service between St. Johns and London UK

Air Canada has announced that the will reintroduce direct non-stop service between St. John's Newfoundland and London Heathrow for the summer 2010 season. The flight this time around is better timed for connections in London and St. John's. The service will run daily between May 27 and Sep 26, 10

Flight Timings
St. John's - London Dep 2155 Arr 0625+1
London - St. John's Dep 1235 Arr 1435

Source Air Canada Press Release

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Air Canada 2010 Top Tier Program Details

Air Canada and Aeroplan released the details of their 2010 Top Tier program today. For the first time in many years, it seems it is being met with cheers rather then jeers from some of Air Canada's Top Flyers. It appears that Air Canada has listened to them and made changes to some of the issues the Top Tier members had with the program. Here are some highlights:

- The 30% premium on IKK redemption (Super Elite Special Access to Aeroplan Reward Seats/J Priority Rewards) will be removed. This was put in place for 2009 and received a lot of negative feedback from Super Elites.

- Super Elites will be able to designate immediate family members who will be able to travel, unaccompanied by the member, on any international J Priority Rewards. Previously the member had to travel on the same reservation

- The J Priority Rewards are subject to capacity controls. According to Air Canada this will only affect a small number of flights typically during peak travel periods.

- Top Tier Upgrade remain relatively unchanged including the ability to upgrade from Tango Plus M and U fare classes.

- Electronic Upgrades are being developed so that paper certificates will not have to be carried. Not set date yet though.

- Air Canada/Aeroplan are evaluating a potential lifetime status program. Details will be communicated to those who qualify.

- Tier bonuses remain the same except now you can also earn them on United and Continental as of Jan 1, 2010, for example 100% (Super Elite), 50% (Elite), and 25% (Prestige) bonus

- seat selection privileges and 2011 re-qualification all remain the same.

You can find all the details on the 2010 Aeroplan Top Tier Program on the Aeroplan Website

The new Starwood Credit Card is an American Express

Although you can't sign up for it yet, SPG has announced that they have partnered with American Express to issue their new credit card in Canada after the termination of their partnership with MBNA Canada.

Few details are available yet but the card will earn 1 Starpoint per C$1 spent and will come with a 10,000 Starpoint sign up bonus. It will also offer some sort of accelerated point earning feature.

So far it does not look too bad although the 10,000 Starpoint Sign up bonus is a little on the low side compared to the U.S. equivelant or some of the higher end cards in Canada but that could be negated if the benefits and accelerated point earning are worthwhile.

More details can be found here

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

WestJet adds new routes, expands service on 19 others

CALGARY, Dec. 16 /CNW/ - WestJet today unveiled its flight schedule for
the summer of 2010, featuring five new routes and expanded service on 19
trans-border and international routes.
The summer schedule also includes new non-stop service between Vancouver
and Kitchener-Waterloo, Vancouver and San Francisco, Edmonton and Kamloops,
Edmonton and San Francisco, and Toronto and Puerto Vallarta.
Five Canadian cities will see seasonal routes become year-round, including:

- Vancouver to Los Angeles, Puerto Vallarta and Cancun
- Edmonton to Cancun
- Calgary to Phoenix, Palm Springs and Cancun
- Toronto to Atlantic City, Miami, Puerto Plata, Bridgetown, Cayo Coco,
Varadero, Turks and Caicos, St. Maarten, St. Lucia and Cancun
- Montreal to Las Vegas and Cancun

Full details on the WestJet Press Release

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Delta cuts Montreal - Cincinnati route

As part of the shrinking of their Cincinnati hub, Delta will be cutting service between Montreal and Cincinnati as of Feb 11, 10

Source: Airline Route Updates

Ethiopian Airlines to join Star Alliance in 2010

Following the successful integration of a partnership with Star Alliance founding member Lufthansa, Ethiopian is now setting it sights to get full membership in the Star Alliance. No exact date has been set but according to this article it states that the airline is set to join early next year.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Continental Announces New OnePass Elite Benefits

This was received this an email from Continental last week. The following new benefits are being offered for Elite levels in Continental's OnePass program:

System-wide Upgrades
Platinum Elite members who earn at least 100,000 Elite Qualification Miles (EQMs) or 120 Elite Qualification Points (EQPs) will earn four, one-way electronic System-wide Upgrade certificates. These certificates can be used in conjunction with any published fare on Continental, Continental Micronesia or Copa Airlines flights and are not subject to additional fees.

New Elite level — OnePass Presidential Platinum Elite
Presidential Platinum is a new invitation-only Elite tier designed to reward Continental’s top Platinum Elite members with some exciting new benefits. Members who achieve this level will be given all the benefits of a Platinum Elite member, plus top priority in Elite Upgrade recognition and flight standby, a dedicated VIP phone line and 25,000 bonus miles.

The initial spending qualification will be $30,000*, and Elite members will be able to track their eligible spending at starting mid-year 2010.

*$30,000 is the inaugural spend threshold for 2010. In subsequent years, this threshold may change in order to preserve the exclusivity of this program.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Rewards Canada on Newstalk 1010 tonight

If you live in the Toronto area or anywhere where you can listen online I am scheduled to be on Ryan Doyle's show tonight on Newstalk 1010 around 8:35EST. Be sure to listen if you can. No specific topic of yet just a general overview of Rewards Canada and what we do.

Air Canada 10% off flights to the U.S. when using a Visa card

Travel from January 6 to March 31, 2010! To get your exclusive discount, simply enter this promotion code when booking and pay with your VISA card: 4N6JQRV1

Offer ends December 31, 2009. Valid on published Tango Plus, Latitude, Executive Class fares

View the complete offer on

Cathay Pacific increase Toronto flights for summer 2010

Beginning March 28, 2010, Cathay Pacific will increase service between Toronto and Hong Kong to 10 flights a week from the current 7.

Source: Airline Route Updates

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Air France to reduce Canada flights for Summer 2010

According to Airline Route Updates, Air France will only operate 3 flights per day between Montreal and Paris as compared to the 4 per day this past summer. As well Toronto will not see the seasonal up gauge to a 747-400 as the route will continue to be flown with an A340-300.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

First details of WestJet RBC MasterCard revealed

The first few details of the new WestJet RBC MasterCards have been revealed on the RBC website. Without knowing all the details yet it is hard to give a full judgement on the cards but from the earning standpoint on the cards they seem to be about average.

There are two offerings from RBC, the first is the WestJet RBC World MasterCard which offers 1.5% in WestJet dollars on everyday spending and assuming that WestJet dollars are 1 for 1 in redemption means this card offes a 1.5% return. This 1.5% falls below cards like the Capital One Miles Plus and Diners Club MasterCards but is equal to cards like the TD Travel Visas. Chances are this card will have an annual fee as it will have enhanced travel insurances and the higher earning rate of the 1.5%

The second offering is called the WestJet RBC MasterCard and it offers 1% back in WestJet dollars. We can assume this card will either have no annual fee or a low one like the CIBC AeroClassic Visa. Once again assuming a 1:1 redemption ratio this card falls in line with such cards at the ScotiaGold Passport Visa, Capital One Miles MasterCard and the majority of the credit union/small bank reward cards.

Since this card will be part of a significant rewards program in Canada you will soon see it on our comparison charts to see how it stacks up against other Canadian Travel Rewards credit cards.

As always you can find our main comparison chart here

To see the WestJet cards on RBC click here

Monday, December 7, 2009

Priority Club Quarter 1 2010 Promo, you saw it here first! Earn up 20,000 bonus points or 4,000 miles

Earn 1,000 Bonus Priority Club points or 200 Bonus Airlines Miles will be awarded on every qualifying night at InterContinental®, Crowne Plaza®, Hotel Indigo®, Holiday Inn®, Holiday Inn Express®, Express by Holiday Inn™, Staybridge Suites® and Candlewood Suites® hotels worldwide. Earn up to a maximum of 20,000 points or 4,000 miles.
Full Details, Online Registration and Booking (Registration is required)

Valid Feb 1 - Apr 30, 10

Friday, December 4, 2009

Be one of the first the find out about SPG's new Canadian Credit Card

We have got many emails and people asking if there will be a replacement for the MBNA Starwood Preferred Guest MasterCard. The simply answer is Yes. However no details are out yet but Starwood has made a sign up page that will notify everyone when the new card is out. We posted this as a comment in one of our other posts but it does get missed so here it is again:

SPG Canada Credit Card Notification

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Air Canada adds second bag fee on U.S. and European flights

Wow I am little surprised by this move, I understand the need nowadays for ancillary revenue but one thing that has kept me and I am sure others on Air Canada and WestJet was the lack of baggage fees. Now Air Canada says they are matching U.S. and International Carriers with a second bag fee on flights to the U.S., Europe and Israel. Most U.S. airlines have first and second bag fees for U.S./Canada travel and along with most European carriers a second bag fee for transatlantic flights but this is were Air Canada had a chance to stay ahead of the game and not be a follower. Chances are WestJet will not add a second bag fee and will feed off this in their marketing campaigns as they did nearly two years ago when Air Canada added baggage fees for a short time period. Luckily when I travel alone I don't usually have checked luggage and with my family we keep to one bag a piece, so at this time we should be OK when we fly Air Canada, I'm sure though many travelers will be caught off guard at the airport on their trips to the U.S. or Europe.

The fees for second checked bags are
- For flights to/from the United States (including Hawaii, excluding Puerto Rico): CAD/USD $30.
- For flights to/from Europe and Israel: CAD/USD $50.

The only good thing is that Air Canada flights within Canada, to Sun Destinations outside the U.S., Asia and Australia will remain with no baggage fees. As well the fee for a second checked bag to/from the United States, Europe and Israel will not apply to Air Canada Prestige, Elite, Super Elite members or Star Alliance Silver and Gold members.

Source: Air Canada Press Release

British Airways/RBC Avion 50% bonus offer on transfers is back

It maybe a month later this year, but one of Canada's top bonus offers for credit cards is back again. The semi annual offer for RBC Visa Avion cardholders that offers 50% bonus BA Miles for transfers of RBC Rewards points to British Airways' Executive Club is now on until Jan 31, 2010.

This offer allows cardholders to receive a lot of BA miles and can offer cheaper point alternatives for redeeming for flights on British Airways. The only catch is the same as with any frequent flyer program and that is availability. As an example you can redeem 37,000 RBC Rewards points for 50,000 BA Miles, which gets you one free flight (taxes/fees extra of course) from Canada to the UK and select countries in Western Europe. Compare this to a regular RBC Avion redemption of at least 65,000 RBC Rewards points if you booked via RBC. So if you have the flexibility and think you can work around availability issues with BA's Executive Club you can be traveling a lot sooner by taking advantage of this promotion.

Find out the full details of the promo on BA's Canada Website

Bonus Page Updates Nov 23-27

Nov 27 - Air Berlin Top Bonus | Air France KLM Flying Blue | American AAdvantage | Mexicana Go | Miles & More | Priority Club | Starwood Preferred Guest
Nov 26 - Alitalia MilleMiglia | Emirates Skywards | JAL Mileage Bank
Nov 25 - Air China Phoenix Miles | Air India Flying Returns | Choice Privileges | Etihad Guest | Icelandair Saga Club | Sutton Place Prestige
Nov 24 - British Airways Executive Club | Delta SkyMiles
Nov 23 - Cathay Pacific Asia Miles | US Airways Dividend Miles

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Huge Alaska Airlines sale from Western Canada

Alaska Airlines has dropped fares from Western Canada to the U.S. for the first quarter of 2010. Book by Dec 7 for travel Mon-Thu and Sat between Jan 5 - Mar 10
Book online
Sample one way fares:
Calgary - Seattle $75
Calgary - Los Angeles $90
Calgary - Palm Springs $90
Calgary - Phoenix $93
Calgary - San Diego $93
Calgary - Las Vegas $98
Edmonton - Los Angeles $83
Edmonton - Palm Springs $83
Edmonton - Seattle $86
Edmonton - Phoenix $100
Edmonton - Las Vegas $108
Vancouver - Las Vegas $80
Vancouver - Seattle $75
Vancouver - Palm Springs $90
Vancouver - Los Angeles $98
Vancouver - Phoenix $98