Natalie and I took quite a big step on our journey to Canada recently when we finally booked our flights to Vancouver. Even though we have already received our letter of introduction (LOI; allowing us to enter Canada for 1 year) the whole thing still didn’t feel very real. Well, I can assure you that all changes when you book a one way flight to the other side of the world! Our journey has well and truly begun!
I had been checking various places for flight prices for as long as I can remember and the high prices with the usual suspects were concerning me a little. Even as I check now, the cheapest flight I can find using comparison site www.kayak.com is £461 one way, consisting of flights from London Heathrow to Reykjavík, Reykjavík to Seattle, and finally Seattle to Vancouver. A total journey time of nearly 14 hours on three different flights. No thanks!
I checked various airlines directly, like BA and Virgin Atlantic, but direct flights with BA on the same day were £1,354 for economy, and a steal at £5,195 for business class! I was beginning to worry that we wouldn’t have enough money to get to Vancouver, let alone live there. However the power of social media came to my rescue when I saw someone mention Air Transat on the IEC 2012 Facebook group. I checked them out and got some quotes for one way flights in March 2013 and was very happy to see prices in the region of £280-380. Brilliant!
The next step was to work out what our date of departure would be. We wanted to fly out towards the end of the ski season but before summer, so we settled on the 19th March as the flight cost was only £309 each. It’s worth mentioning that we actually booked our flights through Canadian Affair, who are owned by Transat A.T, a tour operator who also own Air Transat. The reason for this is that we were able to get 2% cash back via Quidco, well worth checking out. Before booking make sure you search for current promotional offers as some people on the Facebook group have received some great discounts; unfortunately there weren’t any offers when we booked.
We also paid an extra £19 each to reserve two seats together at the back of the plane. Because it’s right at the back it means that the window aisle only has two seats instead of three, which means we won’t have a stranger sat next to us who we have to wake up to and feel guilty about if we need to visit the toilets or take a stroll to stretch our legs. Other seats can be reserved for between £9 (most of them) or even up to £40+ (for extra legroom seats).
Air Transat is currently rolling out cabin refurbishments throughout their fleet which means by the time we fly we should have the benefit of our own screen on the headrests, rather than the odd screen dotted around the plane, forcing you to watch what everyone else is watching.
Check out the below video for a tour of the new cabin. Don’t get too excited, much of the video at the beginning shows the Club Class cabin, but it’s still worth a watch.
So if you’re looking to book your flights soon I’d definitely recommend checking Air Transat or Canadian Affair. They seem like the EasyJet of transatlantic air travel! Let’s just hope there aren’t any hidden extras! We’ll post our thoughts on the flight when we finally touch down in Canada.