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Canadians crossing the U.S. border for cheaper airfare

- October 23rd, 2014
(Fotolia)

(Fotolia)

Have you ever driven across the border to an American airport to catch your flight? According to new data from New York state’s Buffalo Niagara International Airport, 2 million Canadians did just that from Buffalo alone when vacationing last year.

Drawn by a trio of cost-and-time saving benefits, Canadians have decided that an extra hour spent driving to the airport is well worth it. By crossing the border, travellers avoid ever increasing airport taxes and fees, save by booking domestic U.S. fares and go through customs and immigration at a land crossing instead of at the airport.

“Southern Ontarians have to bear some of the highest travel costs in the country,” Pascal Cohen, senior manager of marketing & aviation business development at Buffalo Niagara International Airport, said in a statement. “We are here to offer an attractive alternative for travellers to save on their travel by flying from across the border.”

WHAT CANADIAN AIRPORTS ARE CHEAPEST TO FLY FROM? Check out the 2014 Airport Affordability Index from Cheapflights.ca

Using fare pricing from Travelocity.com, the Buffalo Airport estimates a family of four will save more than $500 by flying to Orlando, Fla. from Buffalo instead of Toronto Pearson International Airport. Rates for parking are also about $20 cheaper per week in Buffalo.

“We are rolling out the red carpet to Canadians to experience all of the benefits of flying from Buffalo,” said Cohen. “Once they do, we know we will see them again.”

airport
Fee comparison example for a party of four, flying roundtrip to Orlando in February 2015 (Tuesday to Tuesday). Includes first checked in bag per traveller and parking for one week in lowest priced discount lot. Average of lowest available airfares inclusive of taxes per Travelocity.com. 

Frontier Airlines pilot orders pizza for all passengers on delayed flight

- July 9th, 2014

Is there any situation in which pizza is not appropriate? From thanking your friends for helping you move, to answering your rumbling stomach’s call late at night, to calming down a plane full of frustrated passengers during a delay on the runway, it doesn’t seem so.

A Frontier Airlines pilot saved the day, and the sanity of passengers, when he ordered pizza for an entire plane when their flight was diverted due to thunderstorms.

The plane had been headed for Denver, Colorado from Washington D.C. when a thunderstorm caused them to land in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The plane was forced to stay on the runway for several hours.

This is when captain Gerhard Bradner decided to make a call — to Domino’s Pizza. The pilot paid for the order out of his own pocket.

“Not sure if he was hungry, but it is not unusual for our pilots to go above and beyond to provide care for our customers,” a Frontier Airlines spokesperson told NBC News.

Domino’s Pizza manager Andy Ritchie told AFP Relaxnews that the pilot ordered 35 pizzas.

“We took them up to the front desk at the airport and they escorted our driver to the back and they handed the pizzas directly to the flight attendants,” he said.

Happy passengers tweeted photos of flight attendants serving the pizza before the flight was able to take off and complete its journey to Denver.

Knee Defender: Protection from reclining airplane seats?

- June 4th, 2014
(Fotolia)

(Fotolia)

Is the Knee Defender the air passenger’s new friend — or just a way to make foes?

As Australia’s News.com.au reports, the fight between those who want to recline their seats during a flight and those who need that precious little leg room has been sparked anew by one Reddit.com user.

The flyer, who posted under the name As-Uswag, said he received a card from a fellow passenger who alerted him he’d be using a Knee Defender during the flight, a gadget that keeps seats from reclining too much. The Knee Defender comes with — clever? annoying? — note cards that alert other passengers you are using the pocket-sized device.

The Reddit user shared a photo of the note card he had posted to Imgur, writing “Guy sitting behind me on the plane handed me this as I was finding my seat before take off (my seat was up). I had no idea what to say.”

Knee Defender clips onto the tray table to prevent the seat ahead of you from reclining too much. See how it works in the FareCompare video below.

So what do you think? Clever way to keep people from reclining their seat too much or just a way to annoy fellow passengers? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Fewer flight attendants on Canadian airlines?

- May 23rd, 2014
Fotolia

Fotolia

Could there soon be fewer flight attendants in the skies on Canadian airlines?

Transport Canada is considering a proposal that would reduce the number of flight attendants required on flights and increase the flight attendant-to-passenger ratio to one for every 50 passenger seats from the current one for every 40 passenger seats.

Flight attendants with the CUPE Airline Division union say an increased ratio would put passengers at risk and that their jobs on an airplane go far beyond simply serving flyers drinks.

“There was already no margin of error in an emergency situation with the actual ratio of one flight attendant per 40,” Michel Cournoyer, the CUPE Airline Division president, told CBC News. “With a smaller crew to start with, imagine how things could turn if a flight attendant is injured in an evacuation.”

The National Airlines Council of Canada, which represents Air Canada, WestJet, Air Transat and Jazz Aviation, said in a statement that safety would not be compromised, but that the new rule would put Canada on the same footing as international airlines.

“Safe and secure air travel is of the utmost importance to the member airlines of the NACC and this move to standardize Canadian regulations will in no way compromise the safety of passengers and crew,” the council said, reports the Globe and Mail.

Canadian airline WestJet has already asked for and received an exemption that allows them to fly with the 1:50 flight attendant-to-passenger seats ratio, while Air Transat and Air Canada have also applied for exemptions. Airlines in the United States and Europe currently operate with the 1:50 ratio.

New survey finds Air Canada flight attendants among the rudest in North America

- April 24th, 2014
(Andre Forget/QMI Agency)

(Andre Forget/QMI Agency)

A new survey from travel website Airfarewatchdog.com has revealed that travellers find Air Canada flight attendants to be the rudest among the Canadian carriers and second rudest overall in North America.

This comes just a week after the airline had to apologize when baggage handlers were caught on video tossing luggage from the top of a staircase.

Airfarewatchdog.com surveyed 3,400 flyers, asking them to name the U.S. airlines with the rudest flight attendants. U.S. budget carrier Spirit Airlines touched down in top spot, with 26% of votes. Air Canada was second with 14% of votes and was the only Canadian carrier to make the list.

When contacted by CTVNews.ca, Air Canada spokesperson Angela Mah said that she couldn’t comment on the survey’s methodology, but did say “our monthly customer satisfaction surveys done by an independent organization shows in-flight service satisfaction continue trending upwards.”

Related: Seven ways to annoy a flight attendant

Related: World’s best flight attendants are from…

Frontier Airlines was third with 11% of the votes, followed by Virgin America (9%), Allegiant (8%) and United (7%). Flyers deemed flight attendants with Alaska and Southwest to be the nicest, having received just 1% of votes each.

Airfarewatchdog.com weighted the survey results by number of passengers who flew between January and October 2013 to account for the differences in airline size.