Did you know: Vancouver International Airport has been named the best airport in North America at the Skytrax World Airport Awards in Brussels. The annual awards are based on 9.8 million passenger surveys conducted in airports around the world. YVR ranks 11th on the global top 25 list.

News

 

 Going Places!

 

Some of our clients are asking if people are travelling again.  Surprisingly, more people are flying places than you might expect – albeit mostly within Canada.  Few are flying for the fun of it – mostly people are travelling on essential business or for urgent friends-and-family issues.  That being said, many savvy travellers are taking advantage of future deals and the temporary...

Posted on Thursday, November 19, 2020

David recently joined some of Air Canada’s top supporters to tour an Air Canada JETZ all-business class plane out at YVR’s private jet terminal. Normally, these private jets are busy all year with sports groups (including the Vancouver Canucks and Whitecaps) and private groups. For the first time ever Air Canada will be offering these planes to select Sun Destinations during the Christmas period – with standard business class pricing.

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Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2020

In mid-July, two consultants from our offiice were invited to join media on an Air Canada flight from Vancouver to Edmonton in order to (a) experience flying during the COVD-19 period, and (b) try out Air Canada's brand, new Airbus 220 aircraft, which was developed in Canada by Bombarier.

The aircraft is beautiful; more spaceous in terms of seat pitch and aisle width than the 737 Max.  Overhead bins rival the large ones on the Max and the Dreamliner, so far less chance of having to compete with a hundred other passengers...

Posted on Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Future of Travel (Part 6]: Tourism

So far, our articles on the future of travel (Airports, Airlines, Hotels, Cruise Lines) have been speculative in nature.  Our final one on Tourism in the future is aspirational.  How would we like to see tourism evolve?

First, a short editorial.  Borders are starting to re-open; hotels and airlines are starting to ramp up.  But tourism will...

Posted on Thursday, June 18, 2020

 Future of Travel (Part 5]: Cruises

 

As in the past articles, let’s dispense with what cruises will be like in the short term after the COVID-19 crisis dies down.  Lots of articles have already been written about this; and everyone knows that - like airlines and hotels - cruise lines will be going out of their way to make...

Posted on Tuesday, June 9, 2020
Future of Travel [Part 4]: Hotels
 
We have referred to Airports as the gatekeepers and Airlines as the vehicle getting travellers back on the road. Now we come to Hotels, which are also a critical part of the journey. For many people the hotel/resort is the destination; but whether business trip or vacation, travel as we know it cannot resume until hotels re-open. Currently in Canada, up to 95% of hotel rooms are unavailable due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The situation...
Posted on Tuesday, May 26, 2020

 Future of Travel [Part 3]: Airlines

In our third article we tackle the big kahuna – airline travel in the future.  Until consumers feel safe and confident about getting on an airplane, it doesn’t matter when the rest of the world opens up again for travel. If we see airports as the “gate keepers,” the key to getting this show back on the road, airlines are the vehicle driving business to the rest of...

Posted on Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Future of Travel Series - Airports

You might think that the logical place to start this series of articles about travel in the future would be airlines.  After all, you won’t be taking that cruise, staying at a resort, or doing a business meeting in a far-away city without the airline.   And a lot of media attention has already been on the steps airlines are taking to reassure...

Posted on Monday, May 11, 2020

Even before Marco Polo, human beings have had the irresistible urge to travel.  That’s why the Polynesians colonized the islands of the South Pacific, why our indigenous people crossed the Bering Sea, and why early humans migrated out of Africa to populate the entire planet.  It’s in our DNA to travel and explore new places....

Posted on Thursday, April 30, 2020

Because our clients don't stop needing us during an emergency like this, we are maintaining our regular office hours, Mon. to Fri., 8:00am to 5:00pm.   While our consultants will be working more limited hours you should be able to connect with one of our travel professional even if your regular agent is unavailable.  And, of course, we are regularly checking email.

We know that your friends may be in trouble somewhere and didn't have the benefit of a travel agent to help them.  Airlines and tour companies are practically impossible to reach right now because of...

Posted on Friday, April 10, 2020

Because our clients don't stop needing us during an emergency like this, we are maintaining our regular office hours, Mon. to Fri., 8:00am to 5:00pm.   While our consultants will be working more limited hours you should be able to connect with one of our travel professional even if your regular agent is unavailable.  And, of course, we are regularly checking email.

We know that your friends may be in trouble somewhere and didn't have the benefit of a travel agent to help them.  Airlines and tour companies are practically impossible to reach right now because of...

Posted on Friday, March 27, 2020

"Unprecedented" is one of those words we are all sick of hearing; but that pretty well sums up this worldwide crisis.

As of Sat., Mar. 21, we have successfully repatriated all clients who responded to our early warning to get home.  And with only one exception we successfully got the folks home who had resisted the early warnings from the Prime Minister (and us).  For the past few...

Posted on Wednesday, March 4, 2020

The latest craze in the airline business is bidding for an upgrade.  Lots of airlines are offering this now; and the feature has turned out to be wildly popular with consumers.   Here's some advice on how to finesse the upgrade bidding systems of Air Canada and Westjet.

Their programs  are almost identical:

Ineligible tickets...

Posted on Friday, September 6, 2019

Everyone "knows" you can't really get a business class ticket on airline points, right?

Wrong.  Clients of The Travel Group can, and do.  Here's how.

First of all, here's the back story.  Although credit card rewards programs make a convincing pitch - fly any airline, any time, anywhere - there is one important caveat.  Credit card rewards programs are based on a 1 to 2 cent per mile formula.  That's fine for economy class travel, but be prepared to dish out a million points for an international business class ticket.  That's the number...

Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2019

You've read the media stories about the dirtiest areas of the airplane to touch.  But, which airlines score highest for overall cleanliness?

Well, according the Skytrax, the organization that rates airlines, it is mostly Asian airlines that score highest for cleanliness.  

Air Canada scored highest for North American airlines, but it did not make the top 20 list.

Here's Skytrax Top 20 Cleanest airlines in 2018:


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Posted on Thursday, March 21, 2019

The latest hotel trend is not a good one.  Major chains such as Marriott (who now own Starwood) and Hilton are imposing 48-hour cancellation policies on customers.

It wasn't that long ago that 6pm day of arrival cancellation policies were the norm.  Then, about 3 or 4 years ago, all the major hotel chains started imposing 24-hour cancel policies. Travellers accepted that change in stride, as it didn't seem too unreasonable.  Roughly the same time, hotels also started putting similar restrictions on cancelling nights during your stay: eg. insisting you must give them 1...

Posted on Friday, July 21, 2017

This is the first of an ongoing series of stories where we will explore corporate culture, particularly as it relates to travel.  We'll look at how various companies we support look after their employees and their unique policies and philosophies.  We are particularly interested, of course, in how they deal with their employees' needs when they travel.

 
One of the most memorable compliments I’ve ever received from a client about our travel agency was this: “The single...
Posted on Friday, July 7, 2017
Touring “The County” in Southern Ontario
 
When I was growing up in Southern Ontario, Prince Edward County (PEC) was a sleepy farming community with a few small villages and towns that no one had any particular reason to visit. In the past decade, however, Prince Edward County, located about 200 km east of Toronto and 200 km west of Montreal, has become a first class tourist destination, as well as a home of some very promising new wineries.
 
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Posted on Saturday, June 24, 2017

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Posted on Friday, January 6, 2017