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SignalHillHiker May 8, 2014 7:22 PM

Yeah, I mentioned that. :D

Habanero May 8, 2014 7:29 PM

That sums it up very well. Lots of connecting traffic in Calgary. There is also a lot of business traffic, and business passenger traffic is a big part of airport traffic numbers.

Quote:

Originally Posted by drew (Post 6569825)
^ Westjet and Air Canada are also a large reason why Calgary is successful. They funnel a lot of people to Calgary within the "hub and spoke" system.


Chadillaccc May 8, 2014 7:35 PM

Ugh, does that mean YYC is Canada's version of ATL? :(

ue May 8, 2014 8:12 PM

^ More like DEN.

Quote:

Originally Posted by SignalHillHiker (Post 6570026)
For us, it's hard to imagine what the outcome could be.

We had a greater selection of airlines and destinations prior to joining Canada, but at that time all trans-Atlantic flights had to stop in Newfoundland to re-fuel. So even if Air Canada's relative monopoly is destroyed and that horrible airline is relegated to the trash bin of history where it belongs, we'll never receive the level of service we enjoyed pre-1949 ever again. Also, Gander was the main airport for the entire island back then.

Newspaper ad from 1942:

http://i.imgur.com/IIa3Tp5.jpg

I imagine the result would be a significant drop in air fares for destinations on the Canadian mainland and a small but still significantly improved selection of international destinations - but, overall, less service at a better price. I'm willing to accept that.

For sure Texas and Norway would be direct flights, as they both account for a huge percentage of the growth at YYT. And, given the success WestJet has had with its direct St. John's-Dublin flight, I imagine that would continue as well.

I also think it's a slight possibility that some international airlines wouldn't have the snobbery of Air Canada and would bring some trans-Atlantic flights down in the Maritimes or Newfoundland to fill them up. It's been annoying as hell having to fly 3.5 hours west to Toronto and then back again to Europe. It more than doubles the distance. Sorry, TO businessmen, a 45-minute stop for you isn't worth more than 7 hours for me.

Cruise lines do it all the time. Disney Cruise Lines just added a stop in St. John's to its Stockholm-NYC run. And that adds way more time to the journey than a little dip to an international airport.

*****

BTW, just for laughs.

Departing: June 16
Returning: June 20

St. John's - Dublin (4 hr 15 mins; Westjet): $743.49
St. John's - Dublin (NON-DIRECT; Air Canada): $2,324.53
St. John's - Toronto (3 hr 26 mins; Westjet): $846.65
St. John's - Toronto (Air Canada): $681.67

However, you can get seat sales that drop to price to $500-$550 for the St. John's-TO flight. I chose the cheapest, non-discounted fares to compare.

For what it's worth, I recently did an experiment testing out how much it would cost for flight + hotel to fly from Edmonton to various destinations within Canada (sans Alberta). I kept the dates the same, for a week in August (peak season), and chose affordable hotels (but not motels) in transit-accessible areas or at least somewhere central. The prices are per person.

The three cheapest were Winnipeg, Ottawa, and Vancouver, at around $1,200. Next was Yellowknife at $1,300. Then, Toronto and Montreal, both around $1,400. Halifax was $1,500. Quebec City was $1,600. But the granddaddy of them all, the one that left me slightly speechless, was St. John's - $2,100. Any idea why the price jump for St. John's is so significant? I think I could fly to Halifax and take the boat to Newfoundland for cheaper.

For comparison, Las Vegas was $900; Chicago $1,300; Detroit was $1,300; Los Angeles $1,400; New York was $1,600; Mexico City was $1,200; London was $2,300; Paris $1,900; Berlin $2,000; Vienna $2,300; and Kiev $2,000.

This isn't exactly scientific, I know, and there are ways to get better deals through different avenues at different times and I may have been inadvertently been choosing a window of time that for some cities is a time where there is a big event on. That may explain the weirdly expensive Seattle numbers I saw. I was using Expedia, btw.

I've heard many people over time espouse the notion that it's cheaper to fly to Europe than go across Canada. I always found that hard to believe because I'd never noticed it myself either through checking or through firsthand experience. Maybe these people were talking about going all the way to the eastern edge of the country, to St. John's! And certainly from your perspective, flying to Europe can be cheaper than flying to the mainland of Canada.

On another related note, I really dislike how Air Canada treats Edmonton, which is why I only use them if necessary. The company doesn't seem to deem Edmonton an important enough market, so instead of giving us ample direct flights, they prefer to cut that down to the bares and just make us connect via Calgary. No offense Calgarians, but that's a bit tedious and it just makes our own aviation industry feel the pain of less customers. A few years back, British Airways was looking into the Canadian market and noticed that Edmonton was a major Canadian market lacking a direct flight to London. Air Canada, who'd been cutting service here, got wind of British Airways' interest in Edmonton, and gave us a bare bones LHR flight year round to keep British Airways out of Edmonton. Now Air Canada has made their YEG-LHR flight seasonal in light of Icelandair opening a year-round flight to Reykjavik, potentially opening the door once again for British Airways.

lubicon May 8, 2014 9:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chadillaccc (Post 6570118)
Ugh, does that mean YYC is Canada's version of ATL? :(

Not even close. I have not seen numbers but it would really surprise me if YYC had that much connecting traffic. Some, sure, but look at the surrounding area. Where would you connect from and where would you go? Other than Edmonton its not like there are a lot of high population centres on the prairies and BC Interior that would feed Calgary. my personal opinion is we punch above our weight due to the energy industry. Lot's of business traffic generated from that, and lots of leisure traffic as well from the high paying jobs people have. This town has more 'ordinary' people taking trips or even multiple trips to vacation destinations every year than any other place I have seen.

SignalHillHiker May 8, 2014 9:22 PM

I have no idea - but it's the same for everything. When I shipped my belongings home from Winnipeg via transport truck, it cost almost twice what it would have cost to ship them to Halifax. I considered picking them up there and driving them the rest of the way myself, but decided I was too lazy. It's a 6-hour ferry ride and 1,500 km drive from Halifax to St. John's.

The airfares make no sense to me. It's not like we're an isolated, small-town airport. In 2013, we were the 11th busiest in the country by passenger traffic - ahead of Quebec City, Saskatoon, Regina, Moncton, and many others. And that's without being any sort of a connection hub - that's just people for whom St. John's is their final destination. We'll probably bump Victoria out of the Top 10 soon enough.

We already have regularly scheduled, year-round service from:

Air Canada
WestJet
Continental
United
Provincial
Porter
Air Saint-Pierre

Using United, St. John's to NYC, at the same time as the $900+ Air Canada flight from St. John's to TO from Air Canada, would cost $566. And the flight (3 hr 19 mins) is almost as long.

A St. John's to Toronto flight on United costs $528, whether direct or not.

ue May 8, 2014 9:28 PM

Hmm, weird. It would make a lot more sense if flights to St. John's were a more gradual increase from the price of a flight to Halifax, but it isn't. Maybe there's a conspiracy afloat to keep the islanders on the island and make sure no outsiders get let in :haha:.

Flights to Toronto from here are about the same as yours are: ~500 roundtrip. Curious, is the Porter flight any cheaper? Is Westjet gaining momentum in Newfoundland? It always struck me as an airliner more popular in the West and more recently, Ontario.

SignalHillHiker May 8, 2014 9:40 PM

WestJet is becoming beloved here for its customer service. The few times I've posted Air Canada horror stories on FB (like the time I was flying from WPG to STJs, missed my connection in TO because of a delay, and they asked me if HFX was close enough, "could someone come pick you up?"), there's been a barrage of "NEVER fly AC, WestJet all the way!" and just one, sole friend who loves AC. But yeah, it is relatively new here. And the St. John's-Dublin flight has made people possessive of them. WestJet is "ours" now, while AC is "theirs". You'll encounter that sentiment a lot.

Porter has flights but they're a nightmare. Most of them are up to 9 hours long (compared to a direct STJs-TO flight time of 3.5 hours) and stop in every city between here and TO. And, unless you hook a sale, they're not much cheaper.

That same June 16-20 flight would cost $813.88 on Porter.

ue May 8, 2014 10:16 PM

Who is the 'theirs' that AC belongs to? Not sure about the Maritimes, Quebec, or Ontario, but WJ is infinitely more popular in the West (makes sense), even in markets AC doesn't ignore.

That's ridiculous about Porter...stopping at every place en route. I hope they can get their act together and offer further competition over Canadian airspace. It should be a lot cheaper to fly within Canada, especially when we have piss-poor cross-country rail service and a lone highway that goes from coast-to-coast.

SignalHillHiker May 8, 2014 10:33 PM

Oh, I know. Just poor word choice. I just meant... "one of us", know what I mean? People know they're from away.

ue May 8, 2014 10:35 PM

Gotcha. How are flights to Quebec or the Maritimes from St. John's? Are other European destinations as cheap as Dublin?

SignalHillHiker May 8, 2014 10:59 PM

Dublin is our only affordable, direct European connection of which I'm aware. Unless you take United to the U.S. or Air Saint-Pierre to St-Pierre-et-Miquelon and connect.

Air Canada offers a seasonal direct flight between St. John's and London but it's at least twice the cost of the Dublin flight, so that'll be cancelled so enough.

Anywhere in Canada is still over $500 return, for sure.

For next week, using the cheapest possible fares (including seat sales and flights with a duration of up to 12.5 hours; if a flight isn't listed under an airline, that airline has no service offered to that city, even via connecting flight):

Air Canada

St. John's to Halifax: $551.09
St. John's to Montreal: $734.14
St. John's to Quebec City: $781.68
St. John's to Toronto: $909.93
St. John's to Moncton: $1,154.51
St. John's to Edmonton: $1,271.79

WestJet

St. John's to Halifax: $539.79
St. John's to Toronto: $894.11
St. John's to Montreal: $928.50
St. John's to Quebec City: $1,123.08
St. John's to Edmonton: $1,285.35

Porter

St. John's to Halifax: $551.09
St. John's to Montreal: $865.22
St. John's to Toronto: $ 885.07

PAL (Newfoundland's provincial airline)

St. John's to Montreal: $2,026.86
St. John's to Quebec City: $2,031.46
St. John's to Halifax: $2,664.26

Air Saint-Pierre

St-Pierre to St. John's: $149.89
St-Pierre to Halifax: $563.58
St-Pierre to Montreal: $565.08

ue May 8, 2014 11:12 PM

That is ridiculous. $2,600 to go to Halifax? :haha:

SaskScraper May 8, 2014 11:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lubicon (Post 6570329)
Not even close. I have not seen numbers but it would really surprise me if YYC had that much connecting traffic. Some, sure, but look at the surrounding area. Where would you connect from and where would you go? Other than Edmonton its not like there are a lot of high population centres on the prairies and BC Interior that would feed Calgary. my personal opinion is we punch above our weight due to the energy industry. Lot's of business traffic generated from that, and lots of leisure traffic as well from the high paying jobs people have. This town has more 'ordinary' people taking trips or even multiple trips to vacation destinations every year than any other place I have seen.

Saskatchewan air passengers almost always connect thru YYC if making a connection in Canada, thats a couple million extra passengers from this province in YYC numbers.
For example, if flying to BC from Sask one almost always connects thru YYC, even flying east (Ontario or east) Sask travellers connect thru YYC more often than not. Up until recently if flying to even Winnipeg, one would have to connect thru YYC. With more American flight options to US airports, percentage connecting thru YYC to go Stateside has minimized some.
Southern Sask fliers have same phenomenon as Winnipeggers driving to Grand Folks.. Minot, ND has a lot of Sask passengers drive across the border.

Mister F May 8, 2014 11:37 PM

Am I the only one who's had better experiences with Air Canada than Westjet? Westjet lost my skis last time I few with them, and when they arrived later that night they did a piss poor job of delivering them. The delivery guy didn't seem to understand how a condo building buzzer works. Their in flight entertainment is also worse. You either watch a poor quality satellite tv feed or pay for movies, while with Air Canada you can choose from loads of movies, music, and tv shows. I've found the customer service to be the same on both.

SignalHillHiker May 8, 2014 11:51 PM

Nah, one of my friends hates WestJet and loves Air Canada. But he's the only one I know of personally.

I just find Air Canada so... pretentious, condescending. I'm treated like an annoying freeloader because my final destination isn't TO or MTL. I've been told, "I don't know, that's not my job" and scoffed at. I've gone from the taxi to my seat without getting eye contact or a smile. I try, every time, to go in with an open mind and they just ruin it. They bring out the worst in me. By the end of it I want to punch someone and just yell, "You're a fucking clerk from Oshawa, get over yourself and learn some fucking manners you stuck up ****!" - and I hate feeling that way, and becoming someone who feels that way. It's so out of character for me but Air Canada just... provokes it so effortlessly.

I just don't encounter that with WestJet (nor anywhere else, for that matter). It just seems like a place filled with people who hate their jobs and flight destinations. They're just... a caricature of every negative stereotype of the mainland rolled into one and actually true.

And the flight attendants downtown... oh my God... you can tell the Air Canada ones easily enough. They're the ones with sour faces, complaining about everything. A friend of mine who works at a hotel says they have a grand old chat checking in most flight attendants, but the ones from Air Canada are infamous enough that they don't even try to strike up a conversation. And these flight attendants for all the airlines are all from everywhere - it's a corporate culture thing, not a place of origin thing.

And they react so poorly to any sort of situation. There was one mentioned in the news just this week:

Quote:

Everyone has a customer service horror story, I'm sure. I certainly have several, and that's just involving air travel alone! There was the time we were stranded in the Halifax airport, the time our gate was moved in Toronto without an announcement, the time we raced through the Frankfurt airport to meet the connection we were told would be no trouble to make ... and of course which we did not. No one could, I later figured out.

In each case, a bad experience was compounded by awful, awful customer service. In Halifax, Air Canada pulled its people from the floor and refused to answer the phones; in Toronto, the smugness of the two clerks on the front desk was matched only by their clear irritation that we passengers were disrupting their conversation.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfou...vice-1.2629876

Gaahhh... I can't say enough bad about every experience I've had with that airline. It's become an irrational hatred for me, a chip on my shoulder. :haha: I'm so glad that we have WestJet now to keep me sane and fully aware it's just that airline.

ue May 9, 2014 12:14 AM

But what is it about Air Canada that provokes such a universally condescending attitude? I just don't get it. How can an entire company be full of sour grapes and if they are all so sour, why are so many still working for Air Canada?

I mean, it is the polar opposite of Westjet. Not every flight with them is over the top customer service, but they are always at the very least polite, considerate, and helpful. They seem to actually enjoy their jobs and helping people on their flights. No attitudes, nothing.

eemy May 9, 2014 2:07 AM

Honestly, I wonder if I'm flying on the same airline as everyone else, because on the whole, I haven't found my experience with Westjet or Air Canada that much different in terms of the treatment from the staff (generally polite and friendly), and the inflight amenities are significantly better on Air Canada.

ue May 9, 2014 2:09 AM

Well, all of this is highly anecdotal and dependent on where you live and where you're going so of course experiences may vary.

SignalHillHiker May 9, 2014 2:14 AM

I asked my FB friends. All picked West Jet. The only two who picked Air Canada are heavy international travelers, several times a year!


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