Canadian carriers Air Transat and Air Canada are selling tickets for economy class flights from Paris to Montreal and Toronto at really affordable prices. You can get your nonstop return-flight for only €255 to Montreal with Air Transat. Air Canada charges €276 to Toronto and €290 to Montreal. These are all non-stop connections.
As always, cheap economy class flights to Northern America are Light or Basic fares and therefore won’t include any checked bags. If you want to bring more than just a piece of carry-on you can book this flight on Air Canada’s website for €370.
The non-stop connection will take you to Canada in around 8 hours on board of Air Canada’s Boeing 777. If you choose the cheaper option with a layover, you could change planes in Vienna or Munich, for example. Air Transat uses a 3-3-3 configuration on its Airbus A330 between Paris in Montreal. The usual seat layout is 2-4-2, so you can expect a rather narrow experience when choosing this airline.
We expect major shakeups in the airline industry over the following months. Some services might be cancelled, aircraft changed or downgraded. The schedule we describe was planned under different economic circumstances and may very well change.
Search & Book
The fare rules state that Air Transat tickets will be available until August 10, 2020. But the cheap seats may be sold out earlier than that. You can find possible travel dates for both destinations as late as April 2021. Sadly, we couldn’t find any fare rules for Air Canada’s offer to Toronto.
The minimum stay requirements are 6 days. But you could also return after spending a night from Saturday to Sunday in Canada. The maximum that the fare allows for is 3 months. Don’t forget to get your eTA!
This is a Star Alliance fare that does not include check-in luggage. Additionally, some other disadvantages may apply, especially when flying with United:
Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian
Lufthansa Group airlines call this fare Economy Light. You can select your seats during the check-in process. While these airlines still allow Star-Alliance-Gold customers to bring one 23kg bag, it is said that this benefit will soon be eliminated without much warning.
The long-haul United Basic Economy allows Star-Alliance-Gold customers to fly with 2 x 23 kg luggage, or even 3 x 32 kg if you’re a MileagePlus frequent flyer. Nevertheless, there are other restrictions:
- You cannot reserve your seats. Even at the time of check-in, you’ll be automatically assigned a seat, which you cannot change.
- You’ll be the last one to board the plane (except if you’re a frequent flyer).
- Additionally, if you’re a MileagePlus-customer:
- No free Economy-Plus upgrades
- Only 50%
PQMinstead of 100%, and only 0.5 PQS per flight
- No modifications (e.g. Same Day-Changes) possible
- Upgrades are not permitted
On flights with Air Canada, there is also a Basic Economy, but it is not quite as restrictive as United’s. If you have a Star-Alliance-Gold-Status, you can give up a 23 kg luggage, and Air-Canada-Altitude status holders can even be allowed up to 3 x 32 kg.
Other restrictions include:
- You can reserve seats, but at a higher price than usual for Economy.
- For Air Canada Altitude customers:
- 25% miles for transatlantic flights, none for domestic.
- Upgrades are not permitted.
- From Prestige 25K onwards you can select your seats.
If you feel that these restrictions are unbearable, you should book over Lufthansa.com or United.com and select the rate that includes luggage for roughly €80 more.
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
Cover Picture: © Friedberg