Me being a Hamilton travel agent couldn't help but notice the news today about NewLeaf - a new discount airline that is launching service next month with Hamilton being their Ontario base. To start they are offering flights between 7 Canadian cities that include Hamilton, Regina, Winnipeg and Abbotsford BC (about 70km/70 minute drive from BC Place Stadium) that may make travelling to some away Ti-Cats game a much more affordable and viable option for some of us.
Good news for the city and for the severely underutilized Hamilton Airport.
I would love to go to a Cats game at Mosaic before the Riders move to their new stadium!
Pickering Airport still not totally dead but with some of the airport lands turned over to a park last year - there certainly are no plans to resurrect it in the near future. But it is not totally a dead horse yet.
As for better deals on that discount airline ryan - sorry - ain't happening but on some other airlines international flights or on cruises or hotels - that's a different story.
I notice that airline by the sounds of it is going to operate like the truly discount carriers around the world that charge extras for everything (like Ryanair) so be prepared and plan to minimize those extra fees. Not only will they charge for checked bags - but they will charge for carry-on and you must do online check-in of both your checked bags AND carry-on to avoid higher fees.
Eg. if you have one carry-on and one checked bag and do everything online you will get charged $25 for each bag. Wait until you get to the airport to 'check-in' and they are going to charge you something like $70 for each of the checked and carry-on luggage PLUS $10 to print your boarding pass at the airport. That could add up to $150 to your one way trip. I've been playing around on their website and it is a real clunker - not easy to find what days of the week they fly certain routes. So that's not promising. They also use the old trick of calling smaller centre airports by the bigger city name miles away. For example it is not Hamilton they fly to it is 'Hamilton-Toronto (YHM)'
WestJet and Air Canada need the competition (as Porter has proved resulting in cheaper fares on routes Porter flies) but it will be interesting to see if there is enough demand to fill a plane once a week between Hamilton and places like Kelowna, Abottsford or Saskatoon. Plus Air Canada and WestJet are already responding to in their eyes hopefully crush this new competitor before it gains legs.
For example NewLeaf flies I think once a week from Hamilton to Regina. On April 28th they fly there and have a fare one way of $119. WestJet and Air Canada fly every day between Toronto and Regina. Guess what - their one way fare for flights on April 28 is $119 - same as the NewLeaf fare that date. But every other day of the week that week - their fares are $60 - $100 higher one way. Obviously matching the NewLeaf fare but only on the exact same day they fly. Their way of keeping the business from NewLeaf on that route.
So this may not work out in the long term - but may give us some deals on specific days of the weeks even from Toronto on those routes like Winnipeg and Regina that might make it a bit cheaper to travel to those Ti-Cats road games this season..
You are so right. The new carrier will bring some prices down.
I've looked at booking a flight/vacation myself...it's just not worth the hassel or the worry.***
***no I'm not related to a travel agent
I've traveled a lot in my years, AND, I've compared what I paid against what friends have paid for the same trip/vacations that they have booked themselves...guess what...if you can do it, so can the travel agent, only they are better at it and do it for a living...the price ends up being close to the same if not cheaper.
The best part is, you have "someone in your corner" if there is a problem. :thup:
I’ve been of the belief for some time now that the best and fastest way of killing Pickering airport and improving Munroe would be to turn management of the Hamilton airport over to the GTAA.
Think about it…they already know who flies where and when. They could put the flights here that would be successful here, not to mention moving all cargo/parcel here because of the lack of restrictions on landings and takeoff times.
I agree David - that may make sense. Right now operating independently it is REALLY floundering and is a MUCH underutilized airport - which hurts the local economy. There are all kinds of spin-off benefits that come with having a successful airport operation locally.
I wouldn't do that... Toronto Pearson has the undesired status of being the most expensive airport on the planet for air carriers to operate into and out of.
Airlines decide where and when they want to operate, not the GTAA. Air Canada tried years ago to fly between Hamilton to Ottawa and Montreal and didn't have the bookings to make it viable. WestJet moved the majority of their operations to Pearson for connection convenience in spite of the huge increase in costs.
At Pearson - only recently has the airport put in any kind of amenities to make travel more comfortable, ie. new restaurants, coffee shops, etc.
Services are poor - for example: taking one of the two trains that connects parking lots and terminals out of service daily at the peak morning rush period so they can be cleaned, disabling diagonally opposite sliding doors in the terminal during cold winter days to try and save heat (against fire code) and one of my favourites, the "high speed" moving sidewalk in the transborder area that has been a total disaster since day one - installed for a couple of years now and rarely working properly if at all. Yikes!
You don't want the GTAA to run YHM. Believe me, I have worked out of Pearson for 19 years.
If they can find a way to beat Pearson for cost down to Tampa or Sarasota then I'd be sold on it. After far is in the country, it's going to be a while before the next Grey Cup, so unless a Ti-Cat game falls shortly before a big Canadian National team soccer event I probably won't make use of it. Good to hear for YHM though.