Forbes Travel Newsletter – May 2017

News and Information

Air Canada moving terminals at LAX, and more new routes from YVR

Effective May 17, 2017, Air Canada flights out of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) will be relocating to Terminal 6 (from Terminal 2). The Air Canada check-in area will be conveniently located immediately upon entering Terminal 6 at the departures level.

Travellers can print their boarding pass at one of the 14 self-service check-in kiosks before proceeding to one of the baggage drop-off counters to deposit any checked bags. From there, they can head to the expanded security screening area, then onward to their gate.

At Terminal 6, regularly scheduled Air Canada flights will depart from gates 68A, 68B and 69B.

Eligible travellers will have access to three dedicated priority check-in counters, as well as TSA Pre-Check and Priority Security. A state-of-the-art Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge will also be opening its doors on the mezzanine level of Terminal 6 on May 17, 2017. There, as with all Air Canada’s Maple Leaf Lounges, eligible travellers can relax and re-energize in luxury prior to boarding their flight.

For winter 2017/2018, Air Canada is offering a couple of new seasonal routes to warmer climes. Vancouver-Melbourne will be the carrier’s third route to Australia, in addition to year-round service to Sydney and Brisbane. The seasonal Melbourne service, 4 times weekly from December 1st 2017 through February 4th 2018, will provide additional options for business travellers between North America and Australia.

And twice weekly, from December 20th 2017 through April 8th 2018, Air Canada Rouge will operate Vancouver-Orlando, with a new choice for travellers looking to escape Canadian winters.

YVR and Canada Customs combine efforts to eliminate paper, speed arrival process

A recent change at YVR airport means international travellers arriving at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) will use digital declarations for entering Canada. While the Automated Border Clearance (ABC) system has not yet been completely phased out, travellers can either use one of the new Primary Inspection Kiosks (PIK), or complete their declaration using the new CanBorder – eDeclaration app, then scan the resulting quick response (QR) code at a kiosk.

Eventually, the existing Automated Border Clearance (ABC) system used by Canadian and American travellers will be completely replaced by the PIK system. PIK is already in place at Ottawa’s Macdonald-Cartier Airport, and will be introduced to several other Canadian airports later this year.

90 new PIK kiosks have been installed inside the YVR Customs Hall. International travellers will completely transition to PIK sometime in May, but until then there will be a transition period of travellers using PIK or ABC depending on the time of day and passenger loads. The CBSA is implementing the PIK system based on YVR’s initial in-house development and success with its own ABC kiosk technology for its Customs Hall.

YVR previously stated that its kiosks are capable of processing four times more travellers compared to a single border officer. This is an average of 160 per hour versus 40 people per hour with a border officer.

Learn more about the CanBorder eDeclaration:

And the new international arrivals process:

Abbotsford eliminates AIF and continues to grow as the Lower Mainland’s alternate airport

Coinciding with Abbotsford International Airport’s elimination of its airport improvement fee on June 1st 2017, WestJet has launched non-stop service between Abbotsford and Winnipeg and increased frequency on the route between Abbotsford and Edmonton from 13 to 20 weekly flights.

Brian Znotins, vice-president network planning, alliances and corporate development for WestJet, observed, “The leadership demonstrated by Abbotsford International Airport sets a standard we hope others will follow. Low fees allow us to keep costs of travel competitive and provide the opportunity to further build service in the area as demonstrated today with the launch of a new route and additional service.”

Abbotsford’s mayor, Henry Braun said, “The City of Abbotsford and the Abbotsford International Airport Authority are committed to keeping costs low and our care level high at the Abbotsford Airport. Becoming the first airport in Canada to reduce the airport improvement fee to zero without increasing other fees is a great achievement for YXX. As we continue our work to achieve our strategic goals of a vibrant economy, we are proud to remove barriers in order to facilitate growth and investment at the airport and in the aerospace sector.”

WestJet now operates 60 weekly departures from Abbotsford and Air Canada Rouge operates a seasonal nonstop between Abbotsford and Toronto between June 28th and September 5th, 2017.

Man gets what he asked for with this special meal request   

Londoner Martin Pavelka had advised his airline Air Nippon Airways of his dietary restrictions and they complied with his breakfast.  While his fellow passengers were leaning into their sausages and eggs, mushrooms, bread and yogurt, Mr. Pavelka was presented with a banana and a fork and knife to eat it with, along with a packet of salt.

Just to be sure the banana wasn’t mistaken for another diet it had a sticky note on it with his seat number and the initials GF for gluten free. Mr. Pavelka was on the second leg of his trip from Tokyo to Sydney, having paid roughly $2K for his trip to Australia.

Pavelka complained to the flight attendant whereupon fellow passengers broke into laughter. He told the New York Post, “As a celiac, I always order gluten-free meals on my flights. Sometimes they are bland, sometimes they are actually much better than the ordinary meal service.”  And to be fair, the airline had served him a proper gluten free dinner the night before.

All Nippon Airways told Telegraph Travel, “ANA takes great pride in providing an exemplary customer experience for all passengers, and for this one passenger we did not meet his expectations. We have apologized to him personally and as a result of his experience we are reviewing our policy on gluten free options and how they are served.”

The airline made a similar statement to The Independent but added, “To imply that ANA only serves a banana for a flight of this length is incorrect.”

Park N’ Fly corporate discount code

Forbes Travel customers can now access exclusive, lower than web rates, using our unique corporate discount code, 301190. All you need to do is quote this number at the counter to receive the discount, whether for business or leisure travel. Before tax, these rates are $15.95/daily; $60.95/weekly; $98.99/monthly.

In addition, those parking at the airport frequently can register for the Park N’ Fly Rewards Program, enabling expedited service and same discount as above, automatically. Be sure to add the corporate discount code 301190 to your profile.

Benefits of the Rewards Program include:

  • ability to bypass the counter using the kiosk machines
    receive corporate discount rates every time you park, just swipe and save
    150 Aeroplan points for each stay
    Earn loyalty points towards free parking
    receive a text message when you arrive back at YVR, no need to call

Join the Rewards Program with Park N’ Fly Canada here:

Travel Tip

Avoid surprises with your checked luggage

Here’s how you can keep surprises as they pertain to your checked luggage to a minimum. Most of this advice everyone already knows, and is common sense, but it bears repeating.

First, and most important, check your bag tag number or name tag. Many bags look alike; don’t claim your bag solely on appearance.

If your bag arrives open, unlocked or visibly damaged, check immediately to see if any of the contents are missing or damaged. Report any problems to your airline before leaving the airport.

Insist that the airline create a report record and give you its number even if they say the bag will be in on the next flight.  Get the agent’s name and an appropriate telephone number for following up. This number is different from the reservations number.

Open your suitcase immediately when you get to where you are staying and check for damaged items and evidence of pilferage. Report any damage to contents or pilferage immediately by telephone.  Make a note of the date and time of the call, and the name and telephone number of the person you spoke with.  Follow up immediately with a certified letter or return-receipt email.

Vacation Suggestions

Paul Gauguin Tahiti, French Polynesia, Fiji and South Pacific – savings for Canadians only

If you have never been to the South Pacific, the destination is likely on your bucket list, and if not, well it should be! And now Paul Gauguin Cruises are offering a special incentive to Canadian residents only, with savings of 10% to 25%.

With airfare included from Los Angeles, a 7-day cruise departing from Tahiti on November 4th 2017 is available for the amazing rate of $3909USD per person based on double occupancy. Port taxes and other fees of $129-$260USD per person are extra.

Or how does a 10-day cruise sound, through the Society Islands and Tuamotus, as a lead-up to Christmas 2017? This sailing departs December 13th at a rate of $4584USD per person (double).

Contact Lisa Bain, Manya, Sally or Gisela to lock in your exclusive savings today!

Forbes Travel Experience Vacation E-zine

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To subscribe, go to our website; under Newsletter Signup choose newsletter called Forbes Travel Experience Vacation E-zine & fill out the information.

Fam trip

China with Grant

I had been to China once before on an organized fam trip, over ten years ago, but my partner had China high up on his bucket list, so it seemed like a good time for a return visit. While Shanghai and Beijing remained on the “must see” list, we also spent some time in Guilin and Xian, two cities I hadn’t visited previously. December turned out to be a good month for our trip, as the crowds were sparse, and the weather was mostly fine.

Click Here to read more about Grant’s trip to China