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Everything posted by em-sk

  1. TSA Precheck is not not a thing in Canada. That said even without Global Entry, You should still be ok with noon.
  2. Air Canada/United are partners. WestJet/Delta are partners. Alaska Airlines/American would be the third best option. You can try direct on the alrline websites or some of the travel sites. The other option if you have a lot of time is the train. Amtrak operates train service from Reno to San Francisco. There is also a train from San Francisco to Seattle or Portland. There is a train service from Portland or Seattle to Vancouver. This option will take longer and only makes sense if you want to spend some time in one of more of these cities.
  3. Being based in Victoria I frequently connect in Vancouver to the US. Your bags should be cleared all the way through. You do not re-collect them in Vancouver as they are automatically transferred. You follow signs for International/US transfers. You will encounter some electronic gates. You scan you boarding pass or show your connecting boarding pass/booking to the agent. That lets you into the international terminal area. If your going to the US you keep following the signs and there is an area for passengers connecting to the US. You show your boarding pass and passport and your in. US has different screening rules that Canada. You need to remove your shoes. So you need to go through security screening again.
  4. Which is interesting.. My experience is the Q400 and CRJ are the worse aircraft with the smallest bins. AC flies the CRJ. All three fly the Q400. Pacific Costal also operates some of the Saab aircraft for WestJet, those have extremely small bins, your not getting a wheeled bag into one of those. Recently AC started contracting PAL to operate some of the flights in Atlantic Canada. The Q400 that PAL operates have extremely tight bins. I was recently on one of their flight and virtually none of the bags with wheels on them made it into the bins. Flying out of Victoria frequently my first flight is on a Q400 and sometimes the Airbus. The gate agent have a target for the number of passengers with checked bags based on the aircraft type. Before boarding starts they will frequently announce we need an additional 5-6 people to check bags. They will keep pushing until they get to that number. The MAX and widebody aircraft usually have lots of the bin space. People need to put that bags on their side.
  5. Air Canada load factor (percentage of seats sold) between Canada and Europe is around 80-90%. I suspect the US airlines are similar. The airlines would all like for it to be 100%, but they don't always get what they want. Yes, there likely will be a few empty seats on the flight. Will they be next to the seats you pick? The odds are they won't.
  6. They load a certain number of seats into each fare category. As they sell out lower fare categories your left with only higher ones on a specific given flight. So if you look a day or two earlier or later you will see some differences. Both Air Canada and WestJet will run sales from time to time. Sometimes there is a special code you need to enter other time is more general. As an example, just now Air Canada is running a promo where they are offering bonus Aeroplan points. Usually if you look at their websites under the Special Officers or something like that you will see these. I would expect something around Black Friday. That said, it will likely be a percentage discount off of what every is left at the time. Will you get a better deal now than waiting for a sale? Hard to say.
  7. You will find it simpler and smother than North America. Any bags checked in from an airport within the European Union has green borders on them so they stand out. Those that originate outside of Europe (such as yourself) are normal all white. As others have said when you leave the baggage area there are two lanes. Given what you have described you will likely have nothing to declare. If you have the all white tagged bags, as you exit they may pull you aside to ask a question or two or do a customs inspection, however in Europe it is rare to see them do that, most people just walk straight through without even being stopped.
  8. If you are traveling with insulin or related products, that is exempt from all the rules associated with liquids. You want to keep it in it original packaging and as soon as you get the front of the line advise them your are traveling with medication. TSA info at: https://www.tsa.gov/travel/special-procedures I don't know how severe your sons disabilities are. If you need special assistance on the flight or navigating the airport, most airlines have a medical desk that you can call a few days before and they can make arrangement ahead of time.
  9. Did you dispute the charges with your credit card company. In addition to getting your $400 back, If that happens enough the credit card processors will drop them as a retailer.
  10. If you connecting from Japan to the US in Montreal on the same day you probably don't even need to worry about. You don't "enter Canada" when you get off your flight you follow signs for US transfers. You will be routed through a separate US border control line just for connecting passengers. Your checked baggage will automatically be transferred. Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto (Terminal 1) have separate concourses for domestic, US and international. That allows them to streamline international connections in the same way as major airports in Europe or Asia. The Calgary airport can be configured in the same way but, but during COVID they reconfigured to combine domestic and international departure gates similar to US airports and never went back. In Calgary you would have to enter Canada, then go through US customs/security again.
  11. Alaska is generally friendly. They are a nice airline to travel with. They are in the same alliance as American Airlines. So if your with an American loyalty program you can collect/spend points on Alaska. If your in the Alaska program you can collect/spend points on American. I do like Delta and find its is a toss up between them and Alaska.
  12. There is a surcharge on skytrain when departing any of the airport stations (Templeton, Sea Island or YVR Stations). If you ask the shuttle driver to drop you off at any of the stations in Richmond your will save about $5 per person. Bridgeport station would be my pick. There is no surcharge going to the airport.
  13. Highly unlikely you would do pre-clearance in Vancouver if you have a Canadian stop before the US. Usually when you do pre-clearance in Vancouver it is on a cruise where the first stop is somewhere in the US, (Alaska, Hawaii or the lower 48). Nanaimo has Canadian immigration but does not have any US pre-clearance officers. Victoria harbour does have US pre-clearance that are mostly used by the ferries between Victoria and Seattle or Port Angeles. While it may be possible to do pre-clearance in Victoria I would be surprised if they tried to do that on a ship the size of cruise ship. Seattle is the most likely location.
  14. Victoria comes across as a tourist and government town. That is true, but the largest sector from a GDP perspective is actually high tech. Not the same numbers as hospitably but still sizable. The older exposed brick building in the downtown core are mostly occupied by tech companies on the upper floors. All said, yes, on Sunday night is going to be slow downtown. Here is the local events for downtown Victoria https://downtownvictoria.ca/events/
  15. Well the cruise terminal is in downtown Vancouver. As you walk about of the terminal your in the middle of the city. Lots of museums, galleries, shops, restaurants, attractions and nature. Just located above the cruise ship terminal is the Pan Pacific Hotel. I have never done it but many have reporting being able to leave their bags there with a bell hop and for a modest tip they will look after them until your ready to go to the airport. If your taking skytrain (subway system in Vancouver), you can get off at Templeton Station and there is a large outlet mall. There are free lockers where you can leave your bags near customer service counter. Skytrain is free between stations on Sea Island, that includes YVR Airport Station and Templeton Station. About $3-55/adult from downtown to the airport depending on time of day. Or $11.25 for all day. There are some flights going out of Vancouver around 10 om to 2 am. Some of the redeyes back east and a few flights to Asia. However it is generally not very busy at that time.
  16. You will likely find the flight is cheaper with Air Canada, WestJet and Porter having multiple flight through the day. Once your in open ocean, the weather is going to be driven by what front happens to be moving through the area at the time. Hard to predict either way.
  17. I would not do this. If you book separate tickets then your responsible for the connection and any financial costs to rebook if a flight is late and you miss your connection. You want it all on one ticket. If it is on a single ticket and your first flight of the day is late, the airline is responsible to rebook you to your final destination at their costs. I had a look at JetBlue website and they are able to sell singe tickets that combine Porter and JetBlue. They should be able to do it.
  18. AMEX has a deal with Plaza Premium. You don't use Priority Pass to get into those lounges. You show your AMEX card. AMEX also pays for some membership in the Priority Pass program for its members. Most Priority pass lounges have 3 hour limits. WestJet does not have a deal with AMEX for lounge access. WestJet does have a deal with Priority Pass. It can also be different if your connecting. The AMEX Centrium lounges in the US allow you to get in from 3 hours if your originating at the airport. No limit is in place if your making a connection.
  19. While I am a fan of De Dutch, they are not quite very close to YWCA. As a kid my parent use to take me to the one in Kingsgate Mall (that has now long closed). Still a favourite. Jam Cafe 556 Beatty St, is closer. They have a southern US theme to them. (https://jamcafes.com/).
  20. There is a weird relationship between AMEX and Plaza Premium in Canada. I usually show my AMEX Canada Platinum card to get into Canadian Plaza Premium lounges. I have never had an issue with the 3 hour limit. They don't list an 2-3 hour limit on the AMEX website. If you use the Priority Pass card then there is a 3 hour limit in most lounges. At Vancouver Airport there are Plaza Premium lounges in all three zones. Two lounges in Domestic, one in US Transborder and 1 in International. There is also a Skyteam lounge in International that you can usually get into with the Priority Pass card.
  21. If your traveling on a single ticket, the rules for the overseas flight generally override the rules for the connecting flights. So as an example, your flight to Boston to say Newark mighty normally have a baggage fee but if your connecting on to Lisbon then its is the rules for Newark to Lisbon that take precedence. TAP has a few different types of economy fares. Between North America and Europe everything except "Discount Class" fares includes a checked bag. That would extend to any local connecting flights if sold as part of the same ticket.
  22. em-sk


    Yes, there is online checkin that gives you a choice to print a boarding pass or e-mail it your phone. There is also an app that lets you check in online. My experience with connections. WestJet checkin (app or in person) usually generates boarding passes for both Delta and WestJet flights. Delta Check does the same. The one thing they don't usually get right is passport information. You usually get called up at the gate and they ask to see that again. Clearly the OP had a different experience. That is unfortunate.
  23. em-sk


    I have never had the case where all the kiosks don't work. That would be terrible. The airlines these days only have staffing levels assuming most people are self serve ahead of time at home or on the kiosks.
  24. I think this comes down to federal vrs provincial laws. I don't think provincial laws apply to any inter-provincial or international trains, aircraft or ships. The provincial liquor age does not apply. Rules on servers don't apply etc. Taxes don't apply. That removes a lot of the tax. Then on the federal side there is no GST on international journeys. The removes the rest.
  25. Most legacy airlines only discount return flights to Europe. The one way tickets are expense. Air Transact, WestJet and I guess TAP are exceptions to that rule.
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