Star Alliance member TAP continues to amaze with great business class prices. This time, the Portuguese carrier offers premium tickets to Canadian destinations Montreal and Toronto for €1,000. A stopover in Lisbon for a couple of hours is necessary both ways. Availability is great, with flights being available at the lowest fare almost daily between May and September 30, 2021.
Worldwide travel restrictions are in place to slow the spread of Covid-19. We strongly recommend gathering detailed information about the travel and quarantine restrictions that apply to your desired origin and destination.
A good start is the International Air Transport Association (IATA) website. It provides current updates on a country’s immigration policies. Even better, the Covid-19 Travel Regulations Map is one of the most useful tools you can find.
TAP waives the rebooking fee for flights booked before March 31, 2021. However, you’d still need to pay the fare difference (which may quickly exceed €1,000 for premium tickets) and select a new flight before December 31, 2021. You can find further information here.
From Amsterdam, you will first fly with an Airbus A320 to Lisbon. After an approximate layover of 3 hours you will continue your journey with an Airbus A330-900 Neo (Toronto) or Airbus A321 Neo LR (Montreal). Operating airplanes can be changed at any time, however. All these aircraft feature lie-flat seats in the business cabin, arranged in a 1-2-1 (A330) or 1-2 (A321) seating pattern.
Search & Book
According to the fare rules, prices will remain this low until March 7, 2021. It is part of a large scale promotion courtesy of TAP. A minimum stay of at least one day at your destinations applies. At time of writing, flights at the lowest fare are available almost daily. You have to leave Europe on or before September 30, but your return flight may arrive later.
Why is booking with an airline better than with an online travel agency?
More often than not, online travel agencies offer lower fares than airlines do. We still recommend booking with the airlines directly. There are three main reasons for that:
- The Covid-19 Pandemic
During the worldwide outbreak of Covid-19, planning international travel got more and more risky because of ever-changing restrictions. In contrast to many online travel agencies, most airlines modified their terms & conditions to become more customer friendly. Rebooking conditions are eased, change fees are waived and cancellations are much easier when there is no third party involved.
Further, by adding an OTA to your plans, you increase the risk of one service provider involved going bankrupt. Now, the airline and the online travel agency involved could vanish along with your money.
- Better Customer Service
In case any problems like delays, cancellations or missed connections arise, you can communicate directly with the airline. The airlines has to take care of you because you have a contract with them.
If a travel agency issues your ticket, you may have to reach out to them first. You also depend on your OTA to forward you information like flight changes instead receiving them directly from the airline. You may get a prime exhibition of responsibility shifting rather than problem solving.
This especially applies for premium tickets. You don’t want to spend more than €1,000 to wind up with some budget OTA’s telephone hotline in case anything goes wrong.
- Baggage Fees
Economy fares not including hold luggage are more and more common. In most cases, travel agencies charge much higher baggage fees than the airlines themselves. If bags are not included in your fare, airlines are often the cheaper alternative.
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Information & Tips for Canada
The North American country of Canada is the second largest country in the world in terms of surface area. In Canada, English and French are the official languages. Tourists visit Canada because of its many natural attractions and large cities, and the flight prices vary between the east and west coasts. Flights to the east coast e.g. to Toronto or Montreal regularly cost less than 400€. For flights to the west coast, e.g. to Vancouver or Calgary, prices are closer to 400€ – 600€. Other destinations are mostly only reachable with an additional domestic flight. Just like in the USA, most airlines now only offer cheap fares that do not include checked baggage. For checked baggage you should budget an additional 50€ per direction.
Best Time to Travel
Canada is a huge country with many varying climate conditions, but it is safe to say that the winters (November to March) are very cold and snowy in most regions. Summers are relatively mild and partly rainy.
Immigration & Visa Requirements
Most EU citizens do not need a visa for tourist stays of up to 6 months. However, an electronic travel waiver (eTA) must be applied for, similar to the ESTA required for entry into the USA. This costs about 5€ and is valid for up to 5 years.
Canada’s national currency is the Canadian Dollar (CAD). One euro is approximately $1.50 CAD. Many credit cards may charge a foreign currency fee of up to 2% to pay in CAD.
Transfer from Canada to the USA
Canada is located north of the USA and is the only other country apart from Mexico that shares a border with it (2 borders, actually: Alaska borders Canada in the southeast!) At many airports in Canada US immigration is already done before departure, so you arrive in the USA as a “domestic” passenger in the domestic terminal which can potentially save you lots of time since you do not have to stand in line at customs upon arriving. By land the same entry formalities take place as at the airport or by train at the station in Canada. Most EU citizens don’t need a visa and can instead make use of the digital ESTA procedure.
All Dealz for Canada
Thanks to our source Luxuryflightclub!