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Posts posted by em-sk

  1. On 6/5/2024 at 3:54 PM, Wetmib said:


    Bags were checked thru from raleigh to vancouver via air canada. Small customs lines in toronto- maybe because of time of day? 



    And. Lol,, no problem making next flight.  It was delayed over 3 hours..after 2 hour scheduled wait. 

    Oh well. We got there, our bags got there.


    If your arrival time was over 3 hours you may qualify for compensation depending on the cause.  It is around $400 CDN per person.  Here is the link to put in a claim.







    • Thanks 1
  2. Nice hotel and nice area.  I think you make a good choice.


    As an aside, Howard Hughes and his entourage ended up taking over the top two floors for six months less one day.  He would have stayed longer but over six months the Canadian government would want to start to tax him.    

  3. Looks of excellent hotels in downtown Vancouver.  


    All the standard high end brands are in downtown Vancouver. There are some very nice hotels within a block of the cruise ship terminal.


    The Sandman hotel chain is a Canadian chain based out of Vancouver with two downtown hotels.  Not close to the terminal but still very convenient.  (If you stay with them sing up for the loyalty program, if you have a high end Visa you can automatically get their upgraded status).


    martincat has some great suggestions for some of the independents.  


    If your looking for a "low cost" hotel, the Days Inn on West Pender tends to have relatively low cost rooms.  It is a 100+ year old hotel, so no parking, the view can be marginal and the rooms small.  The complimentary breakfast is what you expect from the brand.   Low cost is subjective in Vancouver.


  4. 4 hours ago, ksmetamaid said:

    May 2025:  We hope to fly into Victoria B.C. on a Friday, allow 3-4 hours to visit Butchart Gardens on Saturday, then ferry across to Vancouver that day around 4-5:00.  We board our cruise Sunday.


    1.  On a FB thread where I posted that itinerary preceding a related question, a few people were very vocal that that was a risky plans because sometimes seas are rough and ferries get canceled (although I think some of them misunderstood and thought our plan was to leave Sunday for Vancouver).  I had been thinking that the ferries later that night or early the next morning might still be okay for backup, but how do people reading this post feel about that timing?  Is it doable?  Reasonable?


    2.  What are the best tips for checking in at Vancouver?  Sounds like it's a mess.


    Thanks in advance.


    It is double.  


    The Victoria Airport to Butchart Gardens is an 18 minute uber/taxi drive.  The reception desk at the gardens will hold bags/luggage for visitors while your touring the garden.  It is a 20 minute uber/taxi drive from the Garden to the ferry terminal.  


    Option 1:  You have a few choices on how to get on the ferry.  There is an intercity bus called BC Connector, you can take an uber from the gardens to the bus stop at the intersection of Patt Bay Hwy and Mt Newton Road.   You bags go into the luggage compartment under the bus and the bus will drive into the ferry and on the other side take you to Pacific Central (train/bus stations in Vancouver) on one of several downtown hotels in Vancouver. 


    Option 2: You take a taxi/uber to the BC Ferries terminal at Swartz Bay.  You meet up with the BC Connector bus on the ship.  You will need to hang on to your bags while on the ferry and load them onto the bus when you board just before docking on the Vancouver side.


    Option 3: You take a taxi/uber to the BC Ferries terminal and take regular city public transit (Translink) into Vancouver.  Just outside the ferry terminal is a bus that will take you to the Canada line.  From there there it is a short subway ride into downtown.     


    Option 1 and 2 only work for some sailing.  Not all sailings have the BC Connector bus.  I think it is only the 5 and 7 PM sailings that offer hotel drop off.  You should check for your sailing,  https://bcfconnector.com/bc-ferries-connector-schedules/


    If you pre-book the BC Connector, for option 1 where you join at the highway it would also include the ferry costs.  If you join the BC Connector bus on the ship, then obviously you pay for the ferry separately.


    BC Ferries if you have a car you need to pre-book, if your just walking on it is extremely rare that they sell out, however if you want to pre-book you can.  


    If you are doing option 2 and 3 and want to pre-book BC Ferries you can do that at: https://www.bcferries.com/  .  The terminal on the Victoria side is called Swartz Bay. and on the Vancouver side it is Tsawwassen Terminal.  





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    Yes, one hour is sufficient to make this connection if it is Air Canada to Ari Canada.  You take an escalator up to a transit hallway, Someone scans your boarding pass and off you are into the international departures concourse. 


    If your transferring from Air Canada to a different airline more than likely its involves a terminal change. with a short train ride and security.  That will easily eat up the 1 hour.   


    Make certain it is on one ticket.  That means if you miss the connection it is the airlines responsibility to re-accommodate you on another flight. 


    The issue is not going to be the transfer time, but as other stated it is going to be the possibility of delays on the oncoming flight. You don't have much buffer for that. 

  6. 12 hours ago, SelectSys said:

    Better that than some discount travel agent.  The example above is one reason why I always book direct with an airline.


    In this example Iberia is an airline. Likely this was a booking that involved AA and Iberia on the same ticket.

    • Like 1
  7. 4 hours ago, GabbyRose said:

      I booked the flights through Iberia Air which partners with American Air. I tried calling American Air. I had no luck as the wait time is over "8 hours" to talk to an agent. Also I booked a non-refundable flight. Should I be worried? Please no negative comments. I'm worried enough. Thank you!


    Don't worry about it be non-refundable.  This is the kind of thing the airline will fix for free as it was caused by a schedule change and your under the minimum connection time.


    When you say purchased it from Iberia, was it on the Iberia website?  Did you buy through an online travel site, travel agent or the cruise line.  If it was purchased through a third party, your expected to call the third party. They should be able to fix this for you, if they can't they will put you on hold and contact Iberia on your behalf.   If you booked directly with Iberia then yes give them a call.  


    When you book through a third party, the airlines takes over control of the reservation around 24 hours before departure.  While they can take over control of the reservation before then, they try to avoid doing it and encourage you to go back to your travel agent.





    • Like 1
  8. 10 hours ago, gvgseg said:

    Our flight from LAX to YVR is scheduled to arrive at 11:50pm on a Saturday night for our Sunday morning sailing. I'm planning to just stay near the airport that night since the hotel prices are significantly lower and we'll only be in the room about 8 or 9 hours. The cheapest that I am seeing for anything in the Downtown area is around $400.


    I can get a Priceline Express deal for about $210 at the Abercorn. Reviews seem pretty questionable though. Anyone have any experience with this hotel?


    What would be your recommendations for getting from the airport area up to Canada Place on Sunday morning? I just figured taking a Lyft, but is there anything better?


    If it were me and I did not have a lot of bags I would walk to the skytrain station and take the train.  Bridgeport is under 10 minutes walk.  Quick train ride to waterfront station. Walk across the street towards the Costco, keep going past the Costco along Great Canadian Way for about two blocks.


    The train is $3.15 CDN per person.  Just tap your credit card on the faregate.  Tap the same card when you leave at Waterfront.


    Uber and Lyft both operate in the Vancouver area.  That option will work.


    Generally traffic will be lighter going into downtown on a Sunday morning.  




  9. The CDN-US dollar exchange rate varies.  It tends to not be dramatic but is guaranteed to be different a year from now.   Pre-paying now locks the rate in.  Guaranteeing with a card and paying at the time of your stay means you will get the exchange that is at play on day your charged.   


    It is possible for a merchant to run the transaction through in a different currency (non-local currency).  Looks like the Pan Pacific and Fairmount website are setup to build a reservation in US dollars.   If you ask google, "How much is $234 CDN in USD" it will give you an approximation.   I just had a look at the rates they use look to be close to what the banks would use.  


    I think it comes down do you want to lock in your conversation at todays prices or willing to see it ride.   


    Do sign up for the loyalty program before booking at you get a discount.  The Fairmount Waterfront is just across the street and equally nice.  Yes, Vancouver has expensive hotel prices during the summer season.  We are talking about two of the premium hotels in the city.    


    If you book on the hotel website you may have the option of a rate that can or cant be cancelled up to a few days before checkin.  I would grab that now at a cancelable rate.   If you notice a sale between now and then you can always redo the the booking and cancel the old one.



  10. Very odd story.  


    The 777-300 is a widebody with large bins.  It is unusual to ask to gate checking bags on that type of aircraft.   They tend to gate check on older aircraft with smaller bins.


    I could see she forgot her bag in the gate area perhaps.   


    As for turning around.  Well they can't take off if passengers are not seated and strapped in.  I think it is clear she decided she did not want to fly that day and they had little choice but to return to the gate.  Thankfully it did not cause the pilots to time out and force the flight to cancel.   




  11. On 5/18/2024 at 6:18 PM, Generator515 said:

    Wondering if anyone has any insight to Canadian car seats laws?


    Will be traveling with my petite 5 year old and leaving from Vancouver. At home she qualifies for a booster seat due to age but looking at British Columbia and the Yukon seems it is purely weight (40lbs in BC and 48lbs in Yukon). She is currently 37lbs and the booster we were going to travel with is qualified for 30-80lbs. 

    Anything to worry about as we Uber to the port and then rent a car in Skagway to drive through BC and Yukon?


    Public transit (including taxi and uber) are exempt from car seat regulations in British Columbia.  So you are not going to breaking any laws.


    There is also a special exemption for cars registered outside of BC.  You must have a seat, but it does not need to BC regulations as long as it is compliant with the regulations of the jurisdiction where the car is licensed.  







  12. On 4/30/2024 at 8:03 AM, yolotraveler said:

    Looking to book flights for our Sept. cruise out of Vancouver. Many options are given for flights on WESTJET. We have no knowledge of or experience with this airline. Any advice or information would be greatly appreciated. 



    The two major airlines in Canada are Air Canada and WestJet.   Air Canada partners with United in the US.  WestJet partners with Delta in the US.  Air Canada is quite a bit bigger and has a vast international network with major hubs in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.   


    WestJet is a bit smaller, focused more in Western Canada with its main hub in Calgary.  Domestically and to the US they fly mostly Boeing 737 aircraft or Q400.  For flights to Europe, Japan and South Korea they fly mostly Boeing 787.  


    Economy is about the same as what you would be use to on United, Delta, American.  Thy have a small premium cabin on the 737 that is similar to what the US airlines would call first.  The 787 that mostly goes overseas has economy a premium economy and international business.   


    Domestic/US economy there will be a drink service and bag of pretzels or cookies.  Some buy on board options.   If you want entertainment download their app ahead of time and there is streaming movies.      


    I think you will find them comparable to mainstream airlines in the US.

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  13. On 5/15/2024 at 5:33 AM, elsplace2 said:

    We are coming back from our cruise (Anthem of the Sea) on a Friday, July 13 in Southampton.  We are taking the Stonehenge excursion with the ship and will be getting dropped off at  Heathrow, around 1:30p - 2:00p.   Our flight isn't until 8:00 pm. 


    I assume we can't check our luggage 6 hours early......or can we?  If we can't, any suggestions of where we can go with our luggage until we can check them in?

    Sorry if this has been asked before...I couldn't find anything on it.


    Thanks in Advance!



    British airways operates from Terminal 3 and Terminal 5 at Heathrow.  Do you know which terminal your flying from? 


    There are shops, restraints and coffee shops before check-in.  







  14. On 4/28/2024 at 9:20 AM, bingobunny14 said:

    we are going to the Auberge in vancouver do we take the sky train to waterfront



    You best bet is Waterfront station.   When you get off the train, there are two exits, one towards the front of the train and one towards the back.  You want to go the one towards that back it is about a block closer to the hotel.


    Either one will work.  It is fairly close to the hotel.

    • Thanks 1
  15. On 4/26/2024 at 10:26 AM, CDNPolar said:



    We are now looking at a potential Air Canada to Delhi and then Air India from Delhi to Bangkok, and then on the way home LOT from Mumbai to Warsaw to Toronto.  On this we can get business class all but the Air India Delhi to Bangkok.


    If it was me I would go with that.  Better to have economy for 4 hours with the rest of the trip in a Air Canada pod vrs and angled product.

    • Like 1
  16. On 4/24/2024 at 2:28 PM, Jcol5786 said:

    Thanks so much for all the helpful replies. I think we will go with the Sky Train.


    Good choice.


    When you get on the station at the airport, your basically getting on an empty train and have a good selection of seats.  Then Waterfront is the last station on the line for you so everyone else is also getting off.  That makes it easy.


    There is also space under the seats for bags.


    I find skyrain much faster and easer than the O-train in Ottawa.



  17. On 4/24/2024 at 3:24 PM, 6burghcruiser said:

    Thanks. I too prefer to us the currency of the country I’m in. But will only be in Canada overnite so hoping to not have to get CAD. Thanks again


    In BC in June minimum wage goes up to $17.10/hour.  So no one is living on tips alone.  That said Vancouver is an expensive city and certain it is appreciated in either US or CDN. No one is going to be offended getting a tip in US dollars.


    Canadian banks have no issue working with US dollars in branch.  Fairly easy to deposit in person.





    • Like 1
  18. If your set on spending time in China then its the major US, Canadian and Asian airlines with the associated pricing.


    Zipair is the low cost operator between Canada/US and Japan.  You may be able to get some reasonably priced business class seats there.  Spend some time in Japan then travel a much shorted flight into/from China on someone else.


    WestJet sometimes have decent business class, however that is going to be a two stop route with both a connection in Calgary and then again in Japan or South Korea. 

  19. On 4/3/2024 at 7:16 AM, blackfly said:

    Considering booking airfare to Iceland using Celebrity Cruise Air.  Have always booked flights independently in the past.  We plan to spend several days in Reykjavik before the cruise.  Can to book airfare through Celebrity if you plan to fly 5 days before your cruise starts.


    In addition to Icelandic year round service, you also have Air Canada, WestJet, Delta and United that fly into Iceland during the summer.  Lots of direct options as well.

  20. On 1/22/2024 at 3:49 PM, FlaMariner said:


    We are flying to Singapore in October from ATL.......(one way flight...cruising back to USA on Carnival)




    Air Canada just started a Vancouver-Singapore route today.   When airlines do this they normally have introductory sales.  No idea if it works for you with connections or price vrs the other options.


  21. 19 hours ago, CDNPolar said:

    The reason we did not want to list her as "needing assistance" is my husband does not want the "pusher", he wants to take care of this himself.  I do suppose however that there are likely some liability issues for the airport if you are doing this on your own.



    Your making things more difficult for everyone involved.   


    Given what you describe, at the Canadian airports you likely will be offered a ride on a golf cart for the long stretches instead of a wheelchair.  That said, if you ask the airline for the chair instead they will likely accommodate.  If you indicate you want to do the pushing they likely will be more than happy to leave you to it.


    In Asia there is a different service culture. They will be much more enthusiastic to go above and beyond even if its not exactly what you wanted.  


    If you call the airline and describe what you are after they likely will make a note on the reservation and have everything ready for you.



  22. On 3/20/2024 at 5:49 AM, debfed65 said:

    We are flying AC Vancouver-Sydney for a TP on Celebrity. We are flying on a 777-200 and have chosen a pair of seats at the back for just the 2 of us so we get the window & aisle. There are four rows of just two seats on each side of the plane.   Anyone have experience sitting in these seats? 


    Those are good.  The aircraft narrows towards the back and front.  So those seats are typically in an area where there is not enough room for 3 seats but still more space between the two seats and the wall. 


    The only disadvantage is your are at the tail or the aircraft so on arrival you end up having to wait for everyone to get off.


    On the domestic narrow body aircraft, the last row is usually blocked for cabin crew rest.  However on the widebody aircraft (like the 777), the crew have a private cabin upstairs so not a worry. 


    Some people may complain about lineup for the washrooms, however I don't think that is a big issue on a widebody like that.




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