Air, only sold with Land component

As a Travel Agent who is also a Travel Professional, one of the things which is often researched is the pricing of flights. The airlines have various fares available on the same plane, so the seat in front of you may have cost $200 less than the one you are sitting in and the one behind you, may have been $150 more.

Besides the Airlines desire to make as much money as possible, by updating their systems and adjusting the prices continuously to reflect the demand and availability, there is a reason why some people can pay less than others on flights and it’s something that a true Travel Professional will look at, when researching your flight options to a specific destination.

This widely known trade secret is something called “Packaged airfares”.  What is a “Packaged Airfare?” This is when an Airline provider negotiates a contract between themselves and  car rental company’s or  hotel suppliers to increase their sales volume. This means the cost of those flights, when sold with a car rental or with a hotel stay of any duration, will be at a less expensive rate than what you can buy the flight for by itself.

Think of it as the partner the Airline is working with, as subsidizing the cost of the flight and the client being able to take advantage of the negotiated rates, which generally don’t fluctuate as much as airfare does alone. Many times a package which includes car rentals or hotel accommodations, when sold together with this required ‘land component’, may include a heavily discounted airfare that is not available separately.

This is why an actual Travel Professional with experience, will always check “Air only sold with Land component” air fares, when researching flights for their clients, as it may actually be a better value to book their flights that way.plane-in-flight

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Cruise Cuba

There are several cruise lines which already include Havana Cuba as a port of call, such as Fred Olsen Cruises, Noble Caledonia ,Star Clippers, Thomson Cruises and Variety Cruises. But there are many more which are planning on Cuban itineraries, with several ports of call to the country and some which will circumnavigate it.

With such a high interest from millennials wanting to travel to the country, before it becomes commercialized (44%), cruising is a great option for many who might want to experience Cuba with a series of day trips via various port locations, using the cruise ship to travel in comfort and luxury, around the country, instead of trying to see it all from land and transportation between communities.

If you are looking to Cruise Cuba, there are multiple Cruise lines to choose from, depending on your style of travel and budget.

  1. Carnival Fathom (Carnival Cruise Lines or CCL), which offers sailings every other week
  2. Celestyal Cruises, will be home ported in Havana, effective November 2016
  3. MSC Opera (Mediterranean Shipping Company or MSC), who is home ported in Havana through 2016
  4. Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) has plans on sailings to Cuba beginning in January 2017.
  5. Oceania Regatta  and Oceania Marina (Norwegian Cruise Lines or NCL) are applying to include sailings to Cuba at the beginning of January 2017
  6. Ponant, has plans on sailings to Cuba beginning in January 2017.

 

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Cruise Rules for use of Swim Diapers

With the popularity and affordability of cruising, many families are taking advantage of the amazing pricing and spending their vacations at sea, sailing to various Island ports. It is truly a vacation which can accommodate all of the needs a large variety of age groups from toddlers, teens, adults and seniors.

All of the large Ocean going vessels have multiple pools and or hot tubs for the use of their guests. Depending on its size or even the company, some of them also have splash pads or water parks for various age demographics. The one thing that all parents should be aware of, is that all the regulations of every cruise line towards children who are NOT potty trained, using or having access to their on-board pools, is posted on their websites and they all state the same thing:

United States Public Health Department Policy (USPH) prohibits persons who are not toilet trained or use diapers, pull-ups or swimmers from using pools or whirlpools.

It is also important to note that the many of the cruise lines actually offer pull ups and water diapers for sale at their commissary shops. Just check with your specific line before you sail. This is not giving parents permission to use them on-board, but as a convenience to those parents who use them for facilities where they are allowed or for use at the various ports of call.

Carnival Cruise Line
Children who are not toilet trained (and those in diapers or swim diapers) are not allowed in any of the water facilities onboard, as per United States Public Health Services. Toilet trained children should be taken on frequent bathroom breaks. Water facilities include kiddies’ pools, swimming pools, spray parks, WaterWorks, slides and whirlpools.

Celebrity Cruise Line
United States Public Health Department Policy (USPH) prohibits persons who are not toilet trained or use diapers, pull-ups or swimmers from using pools or whirlpools.

Disney Cruise Line
The U.S. Public Health Service requires that only children who are toilet trained are permitted to enter swimming pools and spas aboard cruise ships.

Even if your child isn’t toilet trained, he or she is welcome to enjoy the water play areas on board each ship while wearing a swim diaper. These areas include Nemo’s Reef on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, Nephews’ Splash Zone aboard the Disney Magic and Mickey’s Splash Zone aboard the Disney Wonder.

Please note: swim diapers are not permitted in hot tubs, spas or any Disney Cruise Line pools or waterslides, including the AquaDuck, AquaDunk and AquaLab.

Holland America Cruise Line
Children wearing any type of diaper, including swimming diapers, or who are not toilet trained are not allowed into the swimming pool and whirlpool areas.

MSC
This is the only Cruise line who does NOT post their policy online. They read it to you when you call them directly; The U.S. Public Health Service requires that only children who are toilet trained are permitted to enter swimming pools and spas aboard cruise ships.In regards to their children programs, the Diaper changing and feeding must be provided by parents.

Norwegian Cruise Line
Guests must be fully toilet trained to enter the pools or hot tubs. Therefore, guests in diapers, pull-ups or swimmers may not use the pools or hot tubs, even if accompanied by a parent or adult guardian.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line
Due to public health regulations, children in diapers, swim diapers, pull-ups or who are not COMPLETELY toilet trained are not allowed in the pools, whirlpools or H2O zone. Children in diapers or who are not toilet trained may use the Baby Splash Zone specially designated for them on the Freedom of the Seas®, Liberty of the Seas®, Independence of the Seas®, Oasis of the Seas®, and Allure of the Seas®.

I have included some of the most family frequented Cruise Lines for quick reference, but to find details about your specific Ship and cruise line, you can either visit their web site directly or visit “All things Cruise” as they have a majority of them covered as well. Remember than policies change so the most up to date information will be found on the companies web site.

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Asking for Professional Travel Advice

 

“It’s that time of year again! We are looking at getting some more of your advice so we can plan our next vacation…”

“Can I ask you why you needed to ask a Travel agent your question?”
“Because it’s your job, so you should have experience with this kind of thing.” “You’re right, it IS my job and I love doing it. I’m always willing to share the benefits of my experience with my clients. Are you willing to book your trip this time using my Professional Travel Services as I noticed when I helped you last year, you ended up booking the trip online, yourself?”
“Well, no, I wanted to do it myself again to save money.”
“I understand. Many people have a widely held misconception that booking it online is less expensive than booking through a Professional Agent, when in fact the pricing is the same, yet you get far more value. Let me know if you ever DO want my assistance.”
“Well, I just DID ask for assistance. I asked you to help me plan this year’s vacation.”
“Oh, I’m sorry, I may have misunderstood. I thought you asked for my professional services for free, as you wanted to book it yourself online. I’m glad you’ve decided to work with me and become a client. Did you want to put your transferable research fee onto a Mastercard or Visa?”
“I don’t want to pay a research fee. I just wanted you to give me some basic information, so I can do it myself.”
“I see. Unfortunately, giving away my experience and services is not something I am comfortable with doing, though you did benefit from that last year. I am SURE you understand that working for free takes time away from clients who DO want to work with me and have me available to answer their questions.”
“So you can’t tell me if this is a good deal?”
“I book thousands of vacations annually for clients, so I certainly have the experience to know if something is a good deal or not, it’s one of the many things I am educated on.  Do you want to work with me? I’d be happy to answer your questions at that point.”
“Well, if you didn’t want to help me, you could have just said so and not wasted my time.”
“I would love to help you. But why do you feel you can have both my time and experience and not compensate me for it?”
“I didn’t think it was that big a deal. It was a simple question.”
“Then let me give you a simple answer. I work solely on commission and get paid for research I do for clients by the companies the clients decide to use for their travel plans; it costs the client nothing, other than a commitment to book their trip through my company, once I give them my research time and answer their questions. I have access to anything any client can find for themselves, online and can usually find it faster; I can normally provide added perks and value for them, both in transit and in destination. The value of getting personalized service and access to an experienced Travel Agent to provide them with the type of information you are looking for, most of my clients find invaluable, which is why most of my business is generated through client referrals. I LOVE what I do. I just can’t afford to do it for free.”

Asking for professional services you have no intention of paying for, is a social mistake that some people inadvertently make and occurs all to frequently to professionals who are part of the service industry. People make assumptions about asking for advice, while in a social situation, which can become awkward as the professional tries to balance educating the person asking the question, against alienating them for not providing answers to their questions.

Many professionals move into being a Travel Agent as a second career. For some, after years of being tied down to a 9-5 job, the freedom of working when you want and where you want is a joyous change that brings about the advantage of choosing how you want to conduct your own business. People who end up migrating into the Travel Industry as second careers have done so, primarily as they love travelling. It’s not unusual for them to have spent years helping others plan vacations while involved in other careers, simply for the joy of helping others.

Experience about travel related issues, years of resolving multiple problems, knowledge about pricing, value and services all accumulate so that the combination of our education and experience provides an invaluable resource to our clients. When it comes to travel related questions, people truly do not know what they don’t know and Travel agents have the opportunity to educate you on properties and locations, so your vacation experience is exactly what you envisioned.

In all service industries, there is the expectation of a reciprocal exchange between the professional and the client. In the Travel Industry, Agents are not paid by a client. They are paid by the company the client chooses to book their travel through. This is a commissioned based exchange which enables suppliers of travel to only pay Agents once their products and services are sold to a client. The supplier of the Travel product conveniently directs them back to the Travel Agent if issues arise, which allows the Supplier to keep a lower overhead by not keeping full time travel agents on staff that they have to pay a salary and benefits to.

The benefits for a client to use a Travel Agent are numerous. First, it costs them nothing more than booking a trip directly themselves, yet they get personalized services from someone they can reach almost immediately for questions, as opposed to going through a call center and reaching whomever answers during regular business hours. Secondly, by using a Travel Agent a client is supporting a small family based business where your satisfaction is extremely important to them. Travel agents often monitor their clients vacation, check weather, check flight times, they worry if they are having a good time or if you are getting new beach towels delivered daily. It feels like they have family traveling and that is not something you get when you are an anonymous booking number on a multi national call center data base.

Online booking engines care about the bottom line and protect their financial interest, especially when it comes to being responsible for any issues that arise during travel. As a client of a Travel Agent, your interest comes before that of the supplier to us. We care about your experience and we advocate on your behalf because we want you to be happy with our services, so that you trust us and recommend us to your friends and family. Your referrals are not just a matter of business, but one of deep pride and heartfelt gratitude; which is why we work so hard to make sure the faith you place in us, remains.

As much as we love what we do, we still have to earn a living. If you’ve ever been around and listened to a group of Travel agents chatting, you will hear them talking constantly about properties, destinations, issues they’ve resolved, asking for peer advice on how to handle difficult situations with various components of a clients travel plans. We love educating people on how to Travel smartly, which ensures that you get the most value from your vacation dollar. It can be difficult for the Travel Agent at times, in balancing this love of educating people and earning a living, especially when people want to take advantage of that passion we have, for their own personal gain.

When people want your professional advice, when people ask for your time, experience and education and have no intention of using your services, they are in effect asking you to give them charity or to make an exception for them, in regards to expecting payment. If you make a choice to book online yourself, after asking for and receiving the professional counselling of a Travel Agent, which will result in the agent not getting paid, it creates tension in the social relationship between you as acquaintances, as well as ensuring that the Travel Agent no longer assists you or anyone with similar requests, in the future.

People make assumptions about asking ‘simple questions’ because they do not understand the implications of the answer being given. Often times, there is no such thing as a simple question; not when it comes to complex travel itineraries or even basic All Inclusive vacations. Taking advantage of a friendship or expecting a family to support you by giving free professional services, when you have not supported their business, is hypocritical.

Once people make the statement that they can book online themselves, or they can find pricing cheaper by booking direct, then it opens up a discussion about understanding pricing versus value. If your existing career allows for the hours of research required determining if a specific property or cruise, will match with the needs and expectations of the style of trip you are seeking, then you do not need confirmation or validation from a Travel Agent.

If you are comparing your one or two annual consumer experiences with a Travel Professionals experience in booking thousands of trips yearly, it is not an accurate measurement of comparable ability or skill level. Can you book it yourself? Of course you can. Should you? It depends. Oftentimes, you simply do not have the experience required to understand or know the difference, as it’s not your field of expertise. A professional Travel agent who you have developed a relationship with, is happy to assist you in understanding the difference and when it is advantageous for you book directly.

If you are seeking out information about your travel plans because you can not come to the conclusions yourself, then asking for assistance without expecting to pay for it, is not just unreasonable, it’s disrespectful; the only thing worse than this, is going to a Travel Agent to resolve your Travel problems, after you have booked online yourself. The reality of your situation is that if you book online, then you need to contact the online company you booked with for assistance.

Any Travel Agent you ask to help you resolve your problems simply can not help as they have no access to your information or booking details and they are not insured against errors and omissions coverage in the event of a mistake, in the case they give you information that is not applicable to your situation. Our inability to assist you is not in retaliation for not booking through us, it’s a lack of access to relevant information and legalities about distributing professional advice on a topic we have no direct information on. If you book your trip yourself, then you are responsible for fixing any issues which arise from it.

Being a Travel Agent is a vocation for most of the people involved in the industry. Quite often it is a second career for people who have the financial stability to move into an industry they love, over being in one that pays the bills. If a Travel Agent is not employed in a call center or in a retail brick and mortar location, with scheduled hours, then we are on call virtually 24 hours a day, especially when we have clients in transit or in destination. We are available ‘in case’ an issue arises, so we can fix it as quickly as possible.

An online booking engine can not compare with that amount of availability. Travel Agents work during Holidays as they have clients travelling. They answer emails, texts and Facebook chats at 11:30 PM or during a child’s hockey game, even if it’s just to say they will research what you are asking about and reply when they have the information. This level of service is impossible to achieve with any online booking engine.

Travel Agents love sharing their knowledge and often provide detailed advice to clients, even if they occasionally book elsewhere. They want you to get the most value from your money and they do not mind sharing with you when it would be more cost effective to book something directly as opposed to using their services, like in redeeming Air Miles or as part of a Group Travel for Wedding attendance. Once you become a client, a Professional Agent is invested in your Travel plans and want to make your trip as perfect as it can be considering all of the moving parts, and potential for errors, a vacation plan may entail.

Your happy posts about your trip and destination on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, give us validation that all our behind the scene planning, the hours we spent researching and in educating ourselves on the product various companies provide for guests, was all worth the time we invested because it helped us to impact a couple or a family in a positive way, where they created happy memories which they’ll have over a lifetime.

A Travel Agent is someone who travels with you on your trip, who looks out for your best interest, who resolves potential problems before they become an issue, who fights on your behalf, who acts as an intermediary to make sure that you can focus on the experience of the trip, as opposed to the details. We are your personal concierge who need and expect more than a simple monetary transaction with you. We are your protection detail making sure things like flights are rescheduled and hotel rooms are booked, while you are still on a flight in transit and are unaware of the storm delays at your connecting airport.

Reserving your vacation is in fact, just the beginning of your interaction with us. The majority of Travel Agents want a lasting relationship to develop and lifelong friendships to be created. We rely heavily on referral business and we value your trusting our expert advice. Most Travel Agents do not want you to be a customer; we want you to be a valued client we work with and for. We are team players with high attention to detail. We are on your side, always.

You don’t get that kind of personal investment from ‘1-800-cheap deals’ or ‘give us your money.com’ sites. In a world full of choices, deciding to work with someone to help plan your vacation, will let you enjoy the experience instead of worrying about what you may have forgotten or finding out that you overlooked a critical piece of information simply because you had never been educated about it. Travel agents are not perfect. But we try as hard as possible to make sure your travel details, are.

 

 

 

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Iberostar Daiquiri and Iberostar Mojito

2 Cuba Resort Comparisons

All information and pricing was effective as of January, 2016 and is subject to change. The 2 resorts are 37.2km or a 30 minute drive, apart and roughly 6-6.5hrs from Havana.  The Mojito is to the East on Cayo Coco and is listed as a 3.5* yet it consistently has  higher ratings than the Daiquiri, which is a 4* and is located to the West on Cayo Guillermo.

IberostarMojito-CayoCoco-Aerialview_en

Depending on your check out time at either resort, consider paying the $18 pesos for the VIP lounge before your flight back home. They serve drinks, food and snacks available, which it is cheaper than purchasing them at the airport vendors. When you are doing your airport check in, ask the counter attendant if the lounge is available.

When in Cuba, you will need a voltage converter to reduce the voltage down from 220 volts to 110 volts. There normally is a 110 volt socket in the bathroom to use for low wattage items like shavers or battery chargers. If you try and use it for appliances that generate heat, like hairdryers, curling irons and flat irons, even though you can plug them into the sockets, the difference in the voltage means it WILL fry the appliance and render it ruined.

Most of the newer personal electronic items like; digital camera, camcorder battery chargers and laptops will work on both voltages, but you have to check the writing on the plug adapter. If it says: Input: AC 110V-240V; 50Hz/60Hz it will work in the 220 volt socket.

Surprisingly, a lot of electronic and electric devices in Canada and the USA dual voltage, but if the plug on it is polarized, with one pin wider than the other, you will still need an adapter in Cuba as their electrical wall sockets are NOT well grounded. Some of the newer Cuban resorts or ones which have undergone major renovations have been changing their hairdryers in the rooms and removing the shaver outlet because of guest misuse.

It is best to exchange your money at the reception desk or resort currency exchange desk at the resort for a slightly better deal than doing it at the airport.

Iberostar Mojito

Iberostar-Mojito-resortviewCayo-coco-Arial-jpg

Book the Superior Ocean view or Superior Sea view rooms as there is normally very little difference in price and a big difference in value. This resort is rated #3 of 11 in Cayo Coco on trip adviser. It is listed as a 3.5* but it has the highest ratings for resorts less than a under 5*.

Internet is available in 2016 for $5 CUPS for 60 minutes and has a relatively fast connection fast for Cuba

The resort is older but clean. It has great pools. It is NOT directly on the beach. It is a 2-4 minute walk along a series of boardwalks over a small lagoon, that while does not smell, does have green algae blooms depending on the time of year. The ambiance at the resort is quite laid back. The sand on the Mojito beach is the best of all nearby resorts. There are NO bathrooms within easy walking distance of the beach

Plan to visit the Cigar Lounge for it’s ambience and amazing guitar player who starts at 9:30 PM

Iberostar Daiquiri

Iberostar-DaiquiriArielBeach

It is listed as a 4* and a step up from Mojito. It has large rooms, is more compact and has had recent renovations to the Superior and Seaview rooms. The rooms in the lobby area have not been renovated.

The food can be mediocre, as it is in most of Cuba.  It is prepared well, there is lots available though it will be repetitive. The buffet tends to be better than the a la carte Mexican and Italian restaurants. Lobby bar serve fantastic espresso in the AM

Wifi available in Lobby only and costs 3 pesos ( $5.00 ) for 1 hour. Late check out can be arranged the day before you leave and costs $5 pesos an hour. The SAFE for a regular room is $12 pesos and included with a superior room.

The beach is very nice but also narrow. High tide will reach the front beach palapas. Wind is strong enough to support an active Kite surfing program with 20 new boards. There is a launch pad on the right side of the beach towards the Cojimar. Do NOT use the marina Kite vendors that will charge 20 USD as they are scam clients.

The Superior Room comes with 2 Twin beds and the Superior Oceanview room will have a King bed. Varadero Buiding is closet to beach and pool. Baracoa much quieter as it is furthest from pool activities. Camaguey building, close to everything and newly renovated. Trinidad block is right across from the theatre bar which does not close until 1 am. Holguin building is renovated.

NORMAL CUBAN RESORT ISSUES AT EITHER

Sand fleas are highly active after rainy season and through December. It changes with the season and weather; bring bug repellent with Deet. Beds will be very firm and not overly comfortable and do not improve with changing resorts. Limited Hot water supplies are common as is low water pressure, toilets are slow to flush, limited toilet paper. Resorts have an inability to provide condiments, limited laundry availability means beach or room towels may not be replaced often. Slow to repair damaged items at the resort depending on tools, material required. Red meats are often highly salted. Drinking water not regularly brought to your room and can be found in the restaurant or in the bars. Bring your empty water bottles for re-filling.

 NEARBY EXCURSIONS

Take the opportunity to do a half day tour to the local town of Moron as an excursion which departs every Tuesday and Thursday. They provide non-alcoholic or alcoholic drinks and a Cuban lunch. If you visit on your own, then you could stop at Pozo de Los Deseos, which is a little restaurant just on the outskirts of Moron and serves lobster at an amazing price.

The 2 1/2 hours, double decker bus ride, costs $5CUC to Pilar beach, which is a stunning. As it is only a few kilometres from the resort, you could opt for a van which departs at your convenience and for 7 people will cost roughly $35.00 CUCs and they will pick you up at your pre-arranged time. The beach loungers cost $2.00 per person.

 

 

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New Leaf Airline

Canada has a new budget airline. New Leaf is a privately held company, headquartered in Winnipeg, Manitoba using aircraft operated by Flair Airlines, which has been operating since 2003 with a fleet of Boeing 737-400.

NewLeaf cannot guarantee that food served on board will free from peanuts, peanut by-products. They do NOT have vegan or gluten free snack options. They are a discount carrier with limited options or on-board services. If you do travel and need assistance, then they can be reached at their Special Needs Department in Winnipeg at (204) 888-HELP (4357)

Children
Ages between 12 and 18 are allowed to travel by themselves without a parent or guardian

Ages between 8 and 11 can travel as an unaccompanied minor mandatory fee of $110 for this service, which includes a drink and a snack. It is not a service available to children with disabilities or children who could otherwise NOT successfully travel without a parent. Because an unaccompanied minor service must be booked by calling the Customer Service Department, there is an additional booking fee of $15, totaling $125.00 per unaccompanied child.

FREE
Personal Bag (under seat) – Items such as ID, travel documents, jewelry, keys, medication and mobile communications devices and must fit into the size device at the check in and departure counters which measure 16cm x 33cm x 43cm (6 in x 13 in x 17 in) 10kg (22 lb)

Children under age two at the time of departure are considered to be infants and may travel on a parents lap for free.

FEE

CARRY ON BAG FEE
MUST be placed in the overhead storage as the  personal item must be placed below the seat in front of you. You can check up to 3 (three) bags maximum IN ADDITION TO your carry on baggage. The size limits are: 23 cm x 40 cm x 55 cm (9 in x 15.5 in x 21.5 in)  and 10 kg (22 lb) per bag. There is a large price difference between checking the carry on bag option online and advising the counter attendant that you have a carry on bag when you check in.

WEBSITE BOOKING  $25 FEE + 13%tax
AIRPORT CHECK-IN $35 FEE + 13%tax
AT THE GATE             $80 FEE + 13%tax

SEAT SELECTION FEE
If no seat is selected in advance, a seat will be assigned at check-in

Selecting a seat in front half of the aircraft:    Rows 1 – 11
FEE $15 on WEBSITE SELF CHECK IN + 13%tax
FEE $20 at AIRPORT CHECK-IN + 13%tax

Selecting a seat in rear half of the aircraft:    Rows 14 – 26
FEE $10 on WEBSITE SELF CHECK IN + 13%tax
FEE $15 at AIRPORT CHECK-IN + 13%tax

Selecting An EXIT ROW seat:                      Rows 12 & 13
FEE $25 on WEBSITE SELF CHECK IN + 13%tax
FEE $30 at AIRPORT CHECK-IN + 13%tax

PRIORITY BOARDING FEE
FEE $10 on WEBSITE SELF CHECK IN + 13%tax
FEE $15 at AIRPORT CHECK-IN + 13%tax

BOARDING PASS FEE
FEE $10 when boarding pass is printed at AIRPORT CHECK-IN + 13%tax

PETS FEE
Up to four (total for each aircraft) small pets that are not considered dangerous and are secured in a suitable pet carrier can be housed in the cabin
FEE $75 + 13%tax

FLIGHT CHANGES FEE
Add TravelFLEX FEE of $20 (plus applicable GST/HST) per person per segment and must be paid at the time of your initial booking on their website, which will incur no additional fee. If you phone the call centre there will be an additional FEE of $15 + 13%tax, for booking through the Call Centre.

The flex fee can be used ONCE to change flight date, destination or Travellers name, or any 1 or 2 of the total, at the same time. The new flight date must be within 90 days of the original booking flight date. Fare price differences are in addition to the change fee.

FEE of $75 + 13%tax for each separate time you make a change to the reservation up to three hours of the flight departure.

FEE of $100 + 13%tax if you make a change at the airport check-in counter up until 45 minutes prior to flight departure.

 

NEW LEAF SERVICES 7 CANADIAN CITIES

Abbotsford International Airport (YXX)
30440 Liberator Ave, Abbotsford, BC V2T 6H5 / (604) 855-1001

Kelowna International Airport (YLW)
5533 Airport Way, Kelowna, BC V1V 1S1 / (250) 765-5125

Saskatoon John G. Diefenbaker International Airport (YXE)
2625 Airport Dr, Saskatoon, SK S7L 7L1 / (306) 975-8900

Regina International Airport (YQR)
5201 Regina Ave, Regina, SK S4W 1B3 / (306) 761-7555

Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson  International Airport (YWG)
2000 Wellington Ave, Winnipeg, MB R3H 1C2 / (204) 987-9402

John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport (YHM)
9300 Airport W, Mount Hope, ON L0R 1W0 / (905) 679-1999

Halifax International Airport (YHZ)
1 Bell Blvd, Enfield, NS B2T 1K2 / (902) 873-4422

COMPARE PRICING
If you are going to compare pricing for the routes that New Leaf is going to fly, make sure that you add in the price of baggage plus their taxes, to the published fare as with Air Canada and West Jet, it is included inside the price structure.

I checked the pricing on 2 routes which New Leaf will service, against what is available with air Canada and West Jet. The posted price includes travel with 1 personal bag, 1 checked bag and 1 carry on bag and calling a reservation agent, then printing your boarding pass at the airport.

The dates chosen were based on New Leaf flight schedule. No Seat selection or priority boarding were chosen. The prices change with the major airlines on a daily basis, so my comparison is only good for the time I looked at it and is not to be used as anything other than a snapshot of what there prices could be.

 

Toronto (yyz) or Hamilton (yhm) to Halifax (yhz)

New Leaf (Hamilton/Halifax)  $442.48

Air Canada (Toronto/Halifax)  $467.47

West Jet     (Toronto/Halifax)   $245.14

 

Toronto (yyz) or Hamilton (yhm) to Winnipeg (ywg)

New Leaf (Hamilton/Winnipeg)   $374.55

Air Canada (Toronto/ Winnipeg)  $382.24

West Jet     (Toronto/ Winnipeg)   $194.90

 

Buyer Beware
Ultimately, as a consumer purchasing Air Fare, if you want to get the most value for your money it is up to you, to do the research. When an Airline carrier breaks down their fees into components, it is easy to miscalculate your needs and then overpay for the service when faced with check in before your departure and you have no choice but to accept the prices you are given, or risk losing your seat on the plane.

The New Leaf  BUDGET airline which offers minimal services and if you are travelling between destinations and simply need transportation and are not concerned with bringing anything besides a purse or a briefcase,  their prices will be competitive. Once you factor in the need for luggage or a carry on of some sort, then the fees climb enough to ensure the need to compare the flight against other airlines, so you can see which one makes the financial sense to use.

The other Canadian airlines will do the math on what New Leaf is offering and the hope is that competition will drive pricing lower, to the consumer. The problem with Capitalism is that if their model is successful and their fee structure generates more revenue than anticipated, you can see other airlines choosing to follow their lead as well. Or the big players could drop rates and force the new guy out of business, like they’ve done to all the other regional airlines in the past.

Travel Agents do not have access to book flights using this airline, as their business model is to deal directly with the public. If there are any questions about the carrier, a Travel Agent can not assist you with it for this reason. If you want to check published Airline Fares, then during business hours, you can visit my Website to see the current pricing.

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American Airline passenger of size policy

When people book airline tickets online and without the assistance of a Travel Agent or Airline personnel, then they have to accept that they may miss pertinent information which might have been relayed by a professional who has more experience than they do, in regards to traveling.

There was a recent news article posted in November 2015, about a Passenger of Size, flying with American Airlines, who was upset about being asked to remove himself from his seat because he was taking up space in the adjoining seat, which prevented that passenger from sitting comfortably.

He was upset and felt violated and wanted compensation from the airlines. Yet American Airlines, as well as every other airline, have their policies on Special Assistance clearly printed and available on their consumer web sites, which provide guidance as well as the procedures in place to procure additional spacing for people of size.

AA Customers that need extra space

For the safety and comfort of all customers, if a customer’s body extends more than 1 inch beyond the outermost edge of the armrest and a seat belt extension is needed, another seat is required. We encourage customers to address all seating needs when booking.

As the man obviously did not read the company policy about clients who require extra space, the entire situation on the plane could have been avoided by having the Agent performing the check in for the guest, explain to the man what his options were, before he boarded to prevent his embarrassment and let him make the financial choice to pay for the seating he required for the flight.

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