Air Canada Seat Sale

Air Canada announced its latest seat sale this morning, and the Halifax, Nova Scotia to London, England route is down to its low-season $498 return — a fare that, give or take $30 — is as low as this route ever gets on Air Canada. On the London route the rules are: “Tickets must be purchased by December 14, 2006. Travel period is valid from September 28 — December 14, 2006. Minimum stay Saturday night/Maximum stay 12 months.”


Linda Daley's picture
Linda Daley on January 13, 2008 - 19:12 Permalink

I am at a loss as to why air fare is so expensive across Canada and so cheap elsewhere?? It should no cost $512.00 to go to Alberta and $300.00 to go clear across the ocean!! It is about time that Canada took a priority and international a back seat!

Pat Reid's picture
Pat Reid on February 4, 2008 - 02:29 Permalink

It always amazed me that Air Canada will offer such deals to fly people out of Canada and back, but charge such enormous fares for flights within Canada. Try to fly from Sydney, Nova Scotia to Halifax, or Sydney to Alberta and you will see what I mean. I think it is criminal how Air Canada treats Canadians.

P. S. Try to get a flight on Air Canada using Air Miles. GOOD LUCK!

Pat Reid

Marsha McLeod's picture
Marsha McLeod on April 13, 2008 - 05:22 Permalink

I totally agree with Linda I just took a look at going back home to N.S. for a visit. Yet ALL the time I’m seeing these promos for overseas countries but then we NEVER see anything like that within our own country. Its outrageous!!!

mark's picture
mark on November 30, 2008 - 17:52 Permalink

is there going to be any seat sales for next christmas between cranbrook and ottawa throught calgary

Garry Wamboldt's picture
Garry Wamboldt on December 25, 2008 - 23:06 Permalink

You think that’s bad try flying to a place where only they service like Goose Bay NL. You want to see crazy prices

Laura's picture
Laura on January 9, 2009 - 16:49 Permalink

It’s not always good deals flying internationally through air canada, i live in bermuda but am from nova scotia canada, i went home in june and it cost me almost $1000.00 for a 2 hour flight..then at Christmas is was going to be $1400.00 plus tax per person but yet I could fly to my sister in Calgary for $500.00 cheaper…how is it a what 6-8 hour flight is cheaper then a 2 hour flight….

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on January 9, 2009 - 16:53 Permalink

@Laura You make a good point: the cheapest routing between any two points is not always the direct and obvious one.

norman dodds's picture
norman dodds on February 3, 2009 - 15:46 Permalink

haveing flown the world over a c is the worst 3 hours on the tarmac in halifax missed connecting flight then asked to wait 6 more hurs in london , not good advertisement ,for the airline .have a look at yourselves and ever wonder why people use the us airlines .??

Tracy's picture
Tracy on February 20, 2009 - 18:45 Permalink

Trying to fly across Canada is a Joke! Way to go for promoting Canadians to spend their money in Canada. Isn’t that what we should be doing in this recession? Why encourage people to leave Canada to spend their money?? This makes no sense whatsoever.
I can fly to London, or mexico for less than $1000, but to fly back home to Newfoundland, its $1434?!? The so called seat sales last for a day, and then it doubles.. I don’t understand. Why not set a special rate for canadian travel, promote canadians to see Canada. Many people don’t know what other provinces look like, and we have a BEAUTIFUL Country. I would know, I drove from NF to BC. Be proud to be Canadian!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

rob saunders's picture
rob saunders on March 8, 2009 - 21:56 Permalink

Air Canada and along with it’s former self, Aeroplan has come up with a SHAM to put a not so new twist(always ferreting for the bottom line, that is, $$$$$$$ ie, our money) to hard working savers who thought that if one purchased or redeemed points for transport on airline that this would include the fuel to make the flight possible? NO! this is not so. I suppose I,we could go to the airport and present our redemption ticket,then board the plane and just sit there for the alloted time after witch we would be told to disembark BUT where would we have flown ?? NO WHERE !Just been taken for a “ride” to “Screwsville”

Andre Palasz's picture
Andre Palasz on March 26, 2009 - 08:48 Permalink

Regretably as a Canadian I used to prefer to use Canadian airlines, however from the time where Canadians were force out of bussines, Air Canada monopoly offers usoutrages prices in domestic flights and outragous service on board. How Lufthansa or smaller airlines like Air Berlin can offer drink, snack newspapers etc in 1 hr flight when Air Canada in domestic relatively long flights offers chinese fast food soup for 5$!!!!Not to mension paper etc. It used to be my choice to fly with Canadian carrier now like many others I suppose if I can I try to avoid Air Canada. If Air Canada has no knowledgable people how to do bussines and satisfy clients lets ask for help those who knows how to do it!!

jean's picture
jean on April 15, 2009 - 18:33 Permalink

I agree with all the above people’s comments. I now fly back & forth from BC to Toronto. the cheapest offers are from West Jet (and I might add the better service and more comfortable seats) Air Canada has the crapiest seats and NO SERVICE.
Talking about expensive flights within Canada, I can fly from Toronto to BC cheaper than Toronto to Saskatoon, Sask. Go figure. This does not make sense.

We hear Air Canada is in trouble. IS IT ANY WONDER?????????? Come on Air Canada….Wake up and smell the coffee. Your rates are OUTRAGEOUS for the service (or lack of) that you provide.

James's picture
James on April 16, 2009 - 15:43 Permalink

The solution to expensive domestic and cheap international flights is simply competition.

Only Canadian airlines are permitted to fly from point to point within Canada. Open Canadian skies to competition and prices will drop, at least on the busiest routes.

But competition from foreign airlines within Canada raises the problem of spreading costs. If Air Canada decided to drop all flights to small and remote airports, the Canadian people (and the government regulators) would have a fit! Those flights are net losers for an airline, even at their current high costs, so AC has to compensate by overcharging on busier and more profitable routes (Halifax/Montreal/Ottawa/Toronto/Calgary/Vancouver). It’s the same principal as postage — it doesn’t cost the full price of a first class stamp to mail a letter from Montreal to Ottawa, but it costs much, much more than the cost of a stamp to mail a letter to the Yukon. But instead of making rural and remote Canadians pay the full cost of their choice to live where they do, Canada Post blends the rates nationally, so that urbanites subsidize the rest. This is a defensible practice from social-solidarity perspective, but if you accept it, then you have to accept the attendant costs.

It would be the same with domestic competition. If foreign airlines were permitted to compete against AC, prices would fall on busy routes but, assuming AC was still obligated (legally or politicall) to service rural Canada, those flights would become even more expensive, as their cost would not be offset by higher revenues from busy, inter-urban routes. Either high-cost routes would have to be dropped altogether, at enormous cost to the communities that would lose airline service, or else the same service conditions would have to be imposed on competitors, which wouldn’t result in significantly lowered price (though the mere fact of competition might lower prices a little).

In the international flight market, AC has to compete with airlines that don’t have a mandate/burden of subsidizing dozens of short, costly routes. If AC charged more for international flights than Virgin Atlantic/American Airlines/United/Air France/BA/SAL/Cathay Pacific no-one would use them and they’d make even less money. But those airlines don’t have the burden that AC does of serving remote Canadian routes, so those extra charges have to be made up somewhere. And that somewhere is in the domestic routes where Air Canada has no real competition and can, therefore, get away with charging higher rates. This is why it costs more to fly from Halifax to Bermuda than to Calgary.

Because AC can’t raise rates on international flights, those who want lower domestic rates are essentially calling for AC to lose more money, which (assuming the government won’t let it go bankrupt) in turn means that taxpayers would have to pay more to subsidize the cost of domestic air travel. That’s fine, but it just means that you would be paying the increased costs at tax time rather than when you book your flights. And, frankly, subsidies are not as equitable a system, as all taxpayers — even those who don’t fly for personal or environmental reasons — would have to pay more so that those who do fly can have cheaper flights. Whereas, under the current system, those who choose to fly bear the burden of their own decision.

Again, their are several possible solutions to the problem of high domestic/low international airfares, including opening the Canadian market to foreign competition and/or explicit government subsidies for domestic travel. But they come with their own costs and problems, some of which are worse than the current problem.

Diane's picture
Diane on April 22, 2009 - 01:29 Permalink

My daughter goes to school in Toronto, being that she is underage 12 we have to pay for a stewadess to sit with her too, that amount doubled in 1 year, each way. She flys out to see us at least twice a year. Or we fly to Toronto to see her. This costs us with the best seat sales I can find about 2500$ per year. More if we go. I can take the family to europe for the amount we spend in canadian flights. Can’t imagine whats its like for parents who are separated and have court ordered visits several times a year.

Cindy's picture
Cindy on May 4, 2009 - 17:46 Permalink

So get this. I know we’re ragging on AC here, but did you hear WestJet yanked all direct flights to Winnipeg from Saskatoon and Regina? They basically handed the business to AC. I live in Saskatoon and if I want to go to Winnipeg via WJ, which I had done several times per year, I now have to fly backwards to Calgary. Flying time is as much as 6 hours in the air. So, wake up at 5:00 AM, get to the airport at least an hour prior to departure, land in Calgary, wait and then fly back over your province to land in Winnipeg. Add transport time to your destination in Winnipeg and one may as well get up at 6:00 AM and hit the road. You’d get there 25 minutes after the flight via Calgary landed!! Maybe even faster. BUT, like anyone wants to make that boring drive, so yup, Air Canada once again. Not by choice. It’s a small 13 row aircraft that takes half an hour to 45 min longer than a normal sized craft. It’s loud. No jet wing boarding. Service sucks and they are charging $359.00 (not incl. taxes) for a one way ticket!!!! That’s over $800 with taxes to fly to Winnipeg. No competition anymore, so good-bye seat sales. Odd how WJ would want to hand that business over to AC in what is currently one of the most economically productive and prosperous provinces in Canada. The rising star in this global recession. Shame on WestJet and good luck filling your 13 rows at those prices AC. I’d rather go to Hawaii!
Sadly, it’s the grandparents who lose. They won’t get to see their little granddaughter grow up and Christmas and other holidays that were once spent together will have to be eliminated if prices are posted at these ridiculous rates on a regular basis. I may consider doubling back with WestJet if they offered residents of Saskatchewan a permanent discount, as frankly, we’d be the ones filling their seats and keeping their bottom line nice and juicy for the shareholders. How does $55.00 each way sound? I’ll take that.
Someone should call WestWind Aviation and get them to offer flights to Winnipeg. Start up some competition again. What a joke!

Randy's picture
Randy on May 18, 2009 - 22:05 Permalink

We fly often to the U.S from Edmonton(Yeg)and I always book on a U.S carrier now after a episode at the United ticket counter was a major cluster central.The flight was on United (Skywest) aircraft but ticketed thru AC.What should have been a routine check-in turned out to be 45 minutes of people running back and forth from United to AC to figure out what happened to our codeshare ticket!!Luckily we had another United agent come over to help and figure it out for us and said that the AC system never processed the ticket properly when booked.We find that flying out of Edmonton and going thru U.S customs there is a lot easier than going thru Calgary or Vancouver( Which with AC is most of the time) and then having to go thru U.S cutoms after arriving in one of those city’s and requires going thru another security check to clear US customs.AC is a better airline than a decade ago and they have made some good changes to their system but that charge for booking a seat at booking (Tango Fare) is Shiza Central and they need to follow the lead in the industry to stay competitive or clear the runway for the next kid on the block.

Kevin's picture
Kevin on September 1, 2009 - 05:37 Permalink

Air Canada- proving everyday the contention that by limiting competition, it is the customer who gets hosed. Over the decades the Air Canada corporate ethos has transformed from customer service to contempt for the customer.

My first beef- artificially high prices. The only deal you get from Air Canada is when they have to give you one. International fares are comparable because foreign carriers keep Air Canada honest. Because they have little competition domestically, fares inside Canada are criminal.

Second- lose the imperial stormtrooper mentality. Particularly the attitiude of Air Canada personnel in Montreal- omnipotence disorder I call it. I exist but to make them feel superior.

Third- get your costs in line with the rest of us. Ancillary personnel can, with all their long list of benefits, can make $85, 000. And what to think is their favorite perk- just about free travel with Air canada and Air canada Vacations. Even the autoworkers didn’t have it that good.

Fourth- the service. Have you not a thought at all. July, 2009- delay an entire flight originating out of Pearson. Because the flight originated in Toronto- everyone is late. Ten rooms of travellers miss their connection. Air Canada thinking- the plane leaves over two hours late- let’s charge them three dollars for headsets. Dumb as dirt.

In an effort to deny foreign carriers a chance to dominate Canadian skies, we have created a condition where Air Canada is a predator. We live in a large country and need a more consumer friendly air situation. What can foster change. We have to open up Canadian airports to foreign carriers taking off and landing between Canadian cities. Bring in the real competion.

Email Transport Canada and complain about predatory pricing practices and horrendous serice. Don’t just talk but by putting you concerns in writing, AIr canada must respond. Makes your complaints actionable.

scoon's picture
scoon on September 23, 2009 - 18:58 Permalink

They have to make money somehow. Air Canada loses money on many of the domestic flights it operates in Canada. We are really lucky to have such a service available. Also, cross country travel is more expensive than European travel as the magnitudes of distance are much more substantial.

Billy's picture
Billy on September 24, 2009 - 16:51 Permalink

I agree that airfare is insanely expensive here in Canada. I’m used to flying in the US. It’s ridiculous here, especially trying to fly out of Charlottetown.

canadajake's picture
canadajake on November 7, 2009 - 19:56 Permalink

Seat Sale ?? !!! What a joke!
Over $1100 to fly BC to Ottawa… with 6 months advance booking.
Outrageous!'s picture on January 15, 2010 - 05:19 Permalink

Send your kid to school closer to you!!!! It’s not just the education, it’s parental involvement that makes for a successful individual! Boo Hoo for you!

Amanda's picture
Amanda on May 15, 2010 - 14:44 Permalink

I just checked out the airfares to Calgary from Vancouver, they are within the 300-500 range which is kinda outrageous considering it’s just a 2-hour flight. I guess domestic airfares are this high because there’s less travellers within Canada and less competition (Air Canada and Westjet only) unlike in the U.S. Canada can do well to stimulate the tourism industry in this country by launching a Canada-wide campaign to be dubbed as “Visit Canada 2010” or something, to promote Canadian tourist spots to Canadian residents by offering great deals on airfares and accommodations. It’s a win-win situation for all of us. Lower prices=Bigger volume of travellers. Look at me, I’ve lived here in Vancouver for almost 7 years and yet I have not had travelled to the other provinces at all, simply because it’s just so expensive to fly out there. I’ve travelled to the US more actually. What is Canada’s loss is America’s gain. Wake up Canada! Enough of the oligopoly! Think economics. Be competitive!

andy camacho's picture
andy camacho on May 17, 2010 - 13:02 Permalink

1 bought 3 tickets online reviewed the amounts each time and authorized my amex. printed out the receipts the amounts for taxes and surcharges were correct, but when amex bill arrived they were each $27+ higher

sweetgirl's picture
sweetgirl on August 30, 2010 - 07:10 Permalink

when u go somewhere part of canada why air ticket is so insanely expensive?

muggins's picture
muggins on October 29, 2010 - 04:31 Permalink

Trying to get home for a wedding.Went to air canada seat sales they are rediculous the prices,we live in fort mc murray we dont own it,and we would have to own it to pay for the tickets to Nova Scotia,when we went home this summer we had to leave from Edmonton because it was cheaper to take a bus and get a hotel in Edmonton,then it was to fly out of fort mc murray why is that.This wedding is really important to me,I have only two sons and he is the first one getting married.I ckeck your prices and they keep going up and up,you call these prices seat sales thats a joke,the prices have doubled

markusDE's picture
markusDE on December 6, 2010 - 20:58 Permalink

flight from Ottawa to Toronto from Air Canada total with tax, 346.00, total air time a little over 47 minutes.
flight from Ottawa to Miami from many other airlines including air canada, total with tax anywhere from $358 to $406, total air time 5+ hours

same dates, same times, more options though from times to Ottawa to Toronto.

$12 more for me to fly to Miami 5 hours more. What is wrong with this picture.