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@eat>sleep>ride>r, airlines regularly over book flights by 10% to compensate for no - shows , have only ever had one flight affected by this and was offered very good compensation and a flight the next day , that was before the days of booking / choosing seats , so I reckon booking seats wouldn't hurt if the flights are limited
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I would be extremely surprised if passenger loads are even vaguely close to full at the moment
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Somewhat unnervingly, AC just mailed me again asking me to confirm my intention to fly next Tuesday. Very close to be thinking about cancelling that flight
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@Saintsman, I usually fly AC in recent years as BA struggled in the early covid times , but they both have a habit of changing / cancelling flights , needed to use my avois points this time so gone with BA , but at least AC has more options to re route via Toronto etc , difficult times for airlines atm
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I agree that AC is the better option, especially with the number of flights into Toronto, but realise that my comment might be misinterpreted - I meant it's very close to the flight date for them to be thinking about a cancellation/reschedule. Once they're in the 14 day window they're opened up to all sorts of penalties flying ex-EU/UK
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@Saintsman yep agreed , last year they changed our direct Vancouver to London flight twice at late notice , to a very long and protracted journey home , but back then was just glad to be able to get home , hopefully things settle down soon and return to a semblance of normality , I found travelling last year very easy once you were checked in as airport queues etc were non existant Cool , but the times leading up to departing quite nerve wracking Shocked but always worth the trouble to bike or ski in BC
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Snowsartre wrote:
@VolklAttivaS5, I am flying next week so will let you know - I have chosen the 2.5 hour layover out of an abundance of caution - there is no need to collect luggage as it is a connecting flight; I imagine because Lufthansa and Air Canada are part of the same alliance? I will phone them later to double check.


Yes please do. Ah ok, I’d be scared my luggage/skis wouldn’t go through so I’d rather collect them after the first leg.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Jonny Jones wrote:
VolklAttivaS5 wrote:
Just had an email from Air Canada saying my outward flight on 2nd March is now LHR to Toronto 8 hours then a 2 hour 20 mins stop over, then the Toronto to Calgary flight 4 hours 20 mins making it a total of 14 hours 40 mins instead of 8 hours 50 mins.

No mention about the return flight being affected but in any case that’s put me off. Don’t think I will bother. I wonder if they will give me a refund for the whole thing though or just the leg that’s affected.

Edit-got a refund online for the whole thing.

They cancelled my direct flight to Calgary on 19 Feb a few days ago. The new flight times aren't really workable as we have a four hour drive to Fernie but, if we attempt to break the journey, that then becomes our quarantine location until the PCR results come back.

Given that, just a few days ago, a colleague's brother became stranded in quarantine in New Brunswick for 4 days waiting for PCR results to come through, I don't think that Canada is a risk I can take. I'll rearrange for the States.


Nightmare.
Where are you going to go in the States?
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cheltom wrote:
It seems to me like they are cancelling all of the direct flights (London to Calgary). My friends and I have had 3 flights cancelled at different times but cronologically over a period of a few weeks. On each occasion the flight they offered wasn't the best option and we've had to call to get transferred to better flights with shorted lay overs etc.


Strange isn’t it that they offered me the Toronto one which sucked when they could have offered Frankfurt (which would make more sense when you are leaving from the UK). Who wants to sit on a plane 8 hours then get off and do another 4.5? A couple of hours extra I wouldn’t have minded but when they offer you 7 hours extra that’s almost double the original flight time Shocked
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Dabber wrote:
@Saintsman, I usually fly AC in recent years as BA struggled in the early covid times , but they both have a habit of changing / cancelling flights , needed to use my avois points this time so gone with BA , but at least AC has more options to re route via Toronto etc , difficult times for airlines atm


What are they like usually in non-Covid times? I’ve only done one Canada flight so far and that was direct with no messing about with the times or adding lay overs, that was in Feb 2020 just before Covid kicked off big time.

I was pretty miffed this morning especially as my boiler had packed up as well so had no heating all day until it was fixed.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
VolklAttivaS5 wrote:
Dabber wrote:
@Saintsman, I usually fly AC in recent years as BA struggled in the early covid times , but they both have a habit of changing / cancelling flights , needed to use my avois points this time so gone with BA , but at least AC has more options to re route via Toronto etc , difficult times for airlines atm


What are they like usually in non-Covid times? I’ve only done one Canada flight so far and that was direct with no messing about with the times or adding lay overs, that was in Feb 2020 just before Covid kicked off big time.

I was pretty miffed this morning especially as my boiler had packed up as well so had no heating all day until it was fixed.


Pre-Covid they were pretty much on a par with the other Transatlantic airlines - more or less on time (given the limitations of flying out of Heathrow), better business class than most, and economy more or less on a par
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I have just had my outbound flight LHR to YYC amended on 31 Jan and asked to accept change or otherwise. ATM its gone from 12:00 to 12:50 so fingers crossed that's going to be it
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
eat>sleep>ride>r wrote:
I have just had my outbound flight LHR to YYC amended on 31 Jan and asked to accept change or otherwise. ATM its gone from 12:00 to 12:50 so fingers crossed that's going to be it


Hold of accepting the change for as long as you can. If you don't accept it you can get a full refund if needed; once you;ve accepted it yout options become more limited
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Damn... not very good with the poker face!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I think I was bumped because I hadn't booked a seat (it was a work trip and our system doesn't let us) and I didn't check in more than around 8 hrs in advance (as I couldn't, I was out of cell reception). It was the second leg of a journey from Prince George to Calgary via Vancouver and I knew at check in at Prince George I wasn't being allocated a seat. So my advice is check in early. I have been allocated seats at the gate before and every time that happens its because I haven't checked in online
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Poster: A snowHead
Saintsman wrote:
...Pre-Covid [AC] were pretty much on a par with the other Transatlantic airlines - more or less on time (given the limitations of flying out of Heathrow), better business class than most, and economy more or less on a par
Aye, Canadians seem to be similarly dismissive of AC as UK people are of BA.

Note that AC allow you to take your snowboards/ skis for free in addition to whatever other allowance you have in winter.
I'm not sure if BA do that. I've used both, but don't fly with that much stuff.

I prefer AC personally - they have better flight times and they're not BA.
Both are mostly reliable these days in my experience on the YVR flights.

For economy class in my experience AC's call centre is North American based where as as BA is in India.
BA "follow the sun" though, so a the middle of the UK night call can work wonders. BA use a different call centre for business class.

Business class.... AC's lounges are so-so (partly shut at the moment), but the in-flight stuff is good and the food edible.

Internal Canadian flights... in normal times I've not had the "flight shuffling" of Covid times.
They are always weather dependent in winter at least, but they're presumably sacrificing these
flights to keep the international stuff going. It can be cheaper to buy internal flights
in CDN from Canadian AC websites, but you may not want to do that if you're relying on connexions etc,
plus if you buy an internal segment on an international ticket you get the international baggage
allowance for the entire route.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Yeah - my primary reason for picking AC originally was the flight times, especially arrival into YVR. That it's opened up some flexibility for me in case of re-routing has been a useful bonus.

In the meantime, some interesting reading WRT testing and quarantine courtesy of CBC https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/travel-canada-testing-1.6306080

Quote:


Sophia Harris · CBC News · Posted: Jan 07, 2022 4:00 AM ET | Last Updated: 2 hours ago

Ottawa is still only randomly testing fully vaccinated travellers upon arrival, despite announcing in November that all non-U.S. foreign arrivals would — within days — be required to take a COVID-19 test. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)


Ottawa is still only randomly testing fully vaccinated international travellers upon arrival, despite announcing almost six weeks ago that all travellers entering Canada from outside the U.S. would imminently be required to take a COVID-19 molecular test upon arrival.

"We have full confidence that this is going to unroll quickly over the next few days," said Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos at a news conference on Nov. 30.

At the time, the federal government said it devised the new testing policy to help stop the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant. It suggested that all vaccinated travellers entering from the U.S. could also face mandatory arrival testing — if the Omicron variant started to surge in the United States.

But more than 30 days later, all fully vaccinated travellers to Canada still only have to take an arrival test if they're randomly selected.

Meanwhile, the Omicron variant has spread across the globe including in the U.S., and is infecting both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. In Canada, the surge has sparked new lockdowns and labour shortages, and is straining the healthcare system.


Marcela Hart with her husband, Kevin, and three-year-old son, Diego. Hart said she was surprised the family wasn't targeted for arrival testing after flying from Mexico to Toronto on Dec. 26. (Submitted by Marcela Hart)
Marcela Hart of Ottawa said she was surprised when she and her husband — both fully vaccinated — weren't selected for an arrival test after flying to Toronto from Mexico on Dec. 26.

"We were just asked a few questions of where we had been, what we were doing and off we went," said Hart who had travelled to Mexico with her husband and three-year-old son to visit family.

"We did have an unvaccinated child with us. We just kind of assumed we would be — almost — a target to get tested," she said.

Government responds
Despite the November announcement, Canada's policies haven't changed since Aug. 9 when the government mandated that all unvaccinated recreational travellers over the age of four take a COVID-19 test upon arrival, and that fully vaccinated travellers — including from the U.S. — take one if randomly selected.

The tests are in addition to the pre-departure test all travellers must undergo before leaving for Canada.

Confusion abounds as Ottawa introduces new pandemic travel measures with few details
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) did not address questions about why the government is taking so long to shift to testing all non-U.S. foreign arrivals, and if all travellers from the U.S. would also face mandatory arrival testing.

Spokesperson André Gagnon said the government has "significantly increased" arrival testing resources this month to the point where it can now administer more than 20,000 tests daily at airports.

On average, 45,000 air passengers entered Canada daily between Dec. 20-26, according to the latest data from the Canada Border Services Agency.

According to the most recent government data, between Dec. 12 and Dec.18, 656 fully vaccinated international travellers tested positive after being randomly selected for arrival testing. While the overall positivity rate is low at close to one per cent, it has climbed from the previous week. The government warns the data is incomplete as some test results have yet to be tallied.


Confusion around Canada’s COVID-19 travel rules

Many Canadian travellers have been left confused over the federal government’s new rules around COVID-19 testing, while Ottawa says they are not that complicated. It clarified all passengers coming from non-U.S. foreign destinations will soon have to undergo mandatory testing upon arrival — a requirement airports say will be impossible to achieve. 1:48
Ideally, all travellers should be tested upon arrival and that rule should have taken effect long before Omicron spread across Canada, said Julianne Piper, a research fellow and project coordinator with the Pandemics & Borders research project at Simon Fraser University.

She suspects the government is struggling to fully implement arrival testing due to a lack of resources.

"Now we're at a point where even domestically, testing and contact tracing capacities are overwhelmed," said Piper. "Probably what we're seeing is challenges in implementing [arrival testing] after a decision was made, unfortunately, a little bit too late to have a significant impact on the Omicron variant in Canada."


Julianne Piper, a research fellow and project coordinator with the Pandemics & Borders research project at Simon Fraser University, says Canada should have introduced full arrival testing before the Omicron variant spread across the country. (SFU)
Earlier this month, the Canadian Airports Council — which represents many of the country's airports — told CBC News it's simply not feasible to test all incoming passengers in the arrival halls of the country's largest airports.

"We're all collectively struggling to understand how we can operationalize this in a way that will keep travellers flowing, keep everybody safe and avoid those log jams at airports," said Daniel-Robert Gooch, president of the Airports Council.

Gagnon said the government is working closely with airports, airlines and testing providers to increase testing capacity in an efficient manner.

CBC News asked Gagnon if the government has abandoned its original plan to test all non-U.S. foreign arrivals and is still waiting for a response.

U.S. travellers exempt from quarantine
Vaccinated travellers randomly selected for arrival testing must quarantine while waiting for their test results. However, according to the government's website, travellers entering from the U.S. randomly selected for a test are exempt from the quarantine rule.

PHAC did not address questions about why tested travellers from the U.S. get to skip quarantine at a time when the Omicron variant has spread swiftly across that country. On Monday, the U.S. set a global record of more one million new COVID-19 infections.

Piper said that travel measures are most effective when they apply to everyone.

"A virus doesn't distinguish between … someone who's coming from the US versus some country in another part of the world," she said. "There's no country that's been unaffected by this.

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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Still waiting on the result of the PCR test I took yesterday, it should come sometime today, my symptoms have been very mild so far after 4 days, no worse than a bout of flu. My age and health are likely playing a factor and being triple vaccinated has also likely played a part. Vaccines work!
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Is Vancouver airport still doing 100% PCR testing on arrival ??
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@lynnecha, I was not aware of 4, test before leaving (is that a Canadian requirement?) as UK no longer requires this.
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Saintsman wrote:
Somewhat unnervingly, AC just mailed me again asking me to confirm my intention to fly next Tuesday. Very close to be thinking about cancelling that flight
. Same second time but on an internal flight (YLW to YVR)
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
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VolklAttivaS5 wrote:
cheltom wrote:
It seems to me like they are cancelling all of the direct flights (London to Calgary). My friends and I have had 3 flights cancelled at different times but cronologically over a period of a few weeks. On each occasion the flight they offered wasn't the best option and we've had to call to get transferred to better flights with shorted lay overs etc.


Strange isn’t it that they offered me the Toronto one which sucked when they could have offered Frankfurt (which would make more sense when you are leaving from the UK). Who wants to sit on a plane 8 hours then get off and do another 4.5? A couple of hours extra I wouldn’t have minded but when they offer you 7 hours extra that’s almost double the original flight time Shocked


Agree. I was offered the Toronto option but had a google and then phoned to request the change.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Oooh. So it sounds like they can’t cope with testing every single arrival then and even if they do, the chances of a positive result are about 1%.
I can’t see them carrying on with the expense of that, it’s not as if the testing regime finds say, 20% of otherwise unaware carriers! With that said 1% of a large number of people is also a large number.
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As I said earlier in the thread my Wed to Wed (2nd March-23rd March) flight got changed so I took the refund on my flight and accommodation whilst I thought about what to do. Everytime I think ‘oh forget it’ I see the nice snow on the Banff FB page and want to go.

Someone said earlier Air Canada have sacked off their Wed and Sat direct flights to Calgary from London?
If so, does anyone know which day is the best day to fly to give the best chance of the flight not being messed with? I can fly any day you see, is it the Mon flights that seem the best bet these days?
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@VolklAttivaS5, My direct flight on a Wednesday (to YYC) was 'sacked off' so I am travelling via Frankfurt. My return flight is direct (to LHR) and unchanged (thus far) on a Wednesday. I can't comment further than this, but I think I read on this thread or elsewhere that they are alternating the days for direct flights.
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yorkshirelad wrote:
Is Vancouver airport still doing 100% PCR testing on arrival ??


Just had a mail from my TA - they reckon that on average YVR is testing approx 30% of arrivals, but it varies a lot by flight - some flights are near 100%, some are closer to 10%. Sounds very unpredictable
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
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VolklAttivaS5 wrote:
Oooh. So it sounds like they can’t cope with testing every single arrival then and even if they do, the chances of a positive result are about 1%.
I can’t see them carrying on with the expense of that, it’s not as if the testing regime finds say, 20% of otherwise unaware carriers! With that said 1% of a large number of people is also a large number.


It's all relative isn't it? PCR testing arrivals for a 1% positive rate seems to be a fairly poor use of resources when there aren't enough PCR tests to confirm positive cases in the general population where the positive rate is much higher. This increasingly sounds like political theatre so that the Federal government can say that they're doing "something"
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@VolklAttivaS5, I booked last weekend when I found crystal had pulled Banff from their program. You can fly out direct from LHR to YYC on Mondays and Thursdays and return on Sundays and Wednesdays. I went for Monday to Thursday option 16 nights to cover any hotel quarantine without loosing days skiing. Plus booked hotel transfer and lift pass with ski big 3 and price was in line with crystal package anyway.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I'm just hoping they won't be difficult and insist that I take an on arrival test at Vancouver despite being exempt due to being recovered, I know I'm likely over worrying but I can't shake it off right now.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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Snowsartre wrote:
@VolklAttivaS5, My direct flight on a Wednesday (to YYC) was 'sacked off' so I am travelling via Frankfurt. My return flight is direct (to LHR) and unchanged (thus far) on a Wednesday. I can't comment further than this, but I think I read on this thread or elsewhere that they are alternating the days for direct flights.


My return was unchanged too but it may have been that they hadn’t reached that date yet for changes.

What I meant was, I thought someone said that generally, Air Canada have stopped the Wed and Sat direct flights they usually do. So I wondered if they were running them on a Monday instead.


Last edited by Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name: on Fri 7-01-22 17:43; edited 1 time in total
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Saintsman wrote:
VolklAttivaS5 wrote:
Oooh. So it sounds like they can’t cope with testing every single arrival then and even if they do, the chances of a positive result are about 1%.
I can’t see them carrying on with the expense of that, it’s not as if the testing regime finds say, 20% of otherwise unaware carriers! With that said 1% of a large number of people is also a large number.


It's all relative isn't it? PCR testing arrivals for a 1% positive rate seems to be a fairly poor use of resources when there aren't enough PCR tests to confirm positive cases in the general population where the positive rate is much higher. This increasingly sounds like political theatre so that the Federal government can say that they're doing "something"


I agree with you it’s a poor use of resources.
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eat>sleep>ride>r wrote:
@VolklAttivaS5, I booked last weekend when I found crystal had pulled Banff from their program. You can fly out direct from LHR to YYC on Mondays and Thursdays and return on Sundays and Wednesdays. I went for Monday to Thursday option 16 nights to cover any hotel quarantine without loosing days skiing. Plus booked hotel transfer and lift pass with ski big 3 and price was in line with crystal package anyway.


Ah thanks this is what I was thinking of.
That sounds like a good plan.
Let us know how it goes and if they add in any stop overs. When are you flying?
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@VolklAttivaS5, will do
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@eat>sleep>ride>r,
I just had a look at a new flight leaving on a Thursday and returning on a Sunday which is ideal really as it is just over 2 weeks (2 weeks goes by too quickly and 3 weeks is a bit too long to have off work) and it’s over £100 cheaper than my original Wed to Wed flight was that I’ve just been refunded on Very Happy
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
VolklAttivaS5, We've found that about flights and been doing it for years, either Wed/ Sat or Thurs /Sun cheaper and gives you the extra days. You tend to find the savings cover the accommodation costs Madeye-Smiley
Had planned to do a 3+ week but not happened yet due to current circumstances.
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RichardB wrote:
I'm just hoping they won't be difficult and insist that I take an on arrival test at Vancouver despite being exempt due to being recovered, I know I'm likely over worrying but I can't shake it off right now.



When do you fly ?
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@Billy steele, 19th January.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Travel in Canada not going well today. All roads out of the lower mainland closed again - crash on Coquihalla (which is only open to commercial traffic), avalanche danger on 3 and 99 Sad
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@RichardB, I fly out on the 16th so can let you know how the positive PCR route goes and I think saintsman is due out in a few days too iirc
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Yeah, I fly out Tuesday (11th).

If you've reached the border off the back of a positive test, and they try and make you take a test then, you've actually got bigger problems - as it means they're viewing your Arrivecan declaration as incorrect. Potentially they could just turn you straight back round.

In theory, their systems will flag you for a green sticker automatically.
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