The Star Alliance is currently selling cheap economy class tickets to Canada. Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton are especially interesting, as they are on the West Coast and thus further away. Additionally, they lend themselves perfectly for a road trip through the Banff & Jasper national parks.
These prices include an 8 kg piece of hand luggage, as well as a personal item (40 x 30 x 10 cm). Frequent flyers that hold a Star Alliance Gold status can also bring a free piece of checked luggage, however this rule could be changed. Otherwise, you could also book the Basic fare which includes luggage for €45 each way.
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 current immigration policies. Even better, the Covid-19 Travel Regulations Map is one of the most useful tools you can find.
Here are some of the options that we were able to find:
- Ottawa for PLN 1,229 (~€273)
- Vancouver for PLN 1,230 (~€273)
- Calgary for PLN 1,250 (~€278)
- Montreal for PLN 1,253 (~€278)
- Toronto for PLN 1,263 (~€281)
- Edmonton for PLN 1,263 (~€281)
- Vancouver for €292
- and many more…
- Ottawa for DKK 2,187 (~€294)
- Toronto for DKK 2,197 (~€295)
- Edmonton for DKK 2,213 (~€297)
- Vancouver for DKK 2,239 (~€301)
These are just some of the possibilities, but you can also fly to many other Canadian destinations for a couple of Euros more.
Usually you’ll first fly to one of Lufthansa’s hubs, and then also fly the long-haul flight with Lufthansa. Sometimes, however, a second layover will be necessary. In that case, Air Canada will operate the Canadian domestic flight.
There are, however, some exceptions, e.g. Air Canada’s direct flight from Frankfurt to Calgary. Air Canada Rouge (Air Canada’s low-cost option) also offers nonstop flights from Budapest to Toronto. You can also fly to Toronto with LOT.
Search & Book
We do not know until when these tickets will be available. According to the fare rules, this deal is valid for flights departing before May 31st, 2021. There’s high availability from early September until then, even during Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
There’s a minimum stay requirement of 6 days, and a maximum of 3 months. Also, don’t forget to get your eTA visa for roughly €5.
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 to book with the airlines directly. There are two main reasons for that:
- 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.
The tickets are issued in booking class K. You won’t get many miles at most programs, the most usually being 25% of the flown distance. Here’s what you can expect for a roundtrip to Vancouver from Poland:
- 3,230 on ANA Mileage Club
- 2,750 on Miles & More
- 2,750 on SAS EuroBonus
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