Flights

Old Oct 5th 2020, 8:43 pm
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Default Flights

I've been looking at flights and I'm a little stressed and confused and I was wondering if anyone could shed some light or give their personal experiences?

Context:
  • We (2 adults) are looking to move to Vancouver in February assuming the (worryingly delayed) work permits come through.
  • One-way flights are priced ok (£400-£500 each) right up until 1st January(??) when they shoot up to £1700 each for the cheapest seat (no hold luggage or flexibility). It has been like this for a few months for both Air Canada and BA.
  • Return flights are less than half the price *including* 2 x hold luggage each & premium economy seats. They are still expensive but we can just about afford it.
  • We have no intention of visiting/returning to the UK for two years. By not using the return leg of the flights we could potentially be liable for the excess fare according to both airline's rules (and we can't change the name on the ticket for when friends/family visit).
  • BA have an offer for free flight changes/flexibility if we book before 17th October or therabouts
  • As I understand it we can't take the cheaper westjet/air transat flights which change at Toronto/Calgary due to quarantine rules (and we are working on the assumption they will still be in place)
Do we risk losing the flexibility BA are offering with their free changes by waiting for cheaper single fares to appear (if they ever do) or do we risk getting the return flights, missing the return leg and potentially being charged the excess up to £1700 each which we absolutely cannot afford, even if it's very unlikely that will happen?

Also what on earth is going on with the new year price rises??

I think the anxiety of the long work permit wait along with a very stressful covid-ridden workplace is all finally getting to me...

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Old Oct 5th 2020, 9:27 pm
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Default Re: Flights

Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
I've been looking at flights and I'm a little stressed and confused and I was wondering if anyone could shed some light or give their personal experiences?

Context:
  • We (2 adults) are looking to move to Vancouver in February assuming the (worryingly delayed) work permits come through.
  • One-way flights are priced ok (£400-£500 each) right up until 1st January(??) when they shoot up to £1700 each for the cheapest seat (no hold luggage or flexibility). It has been like this for a few months for both Air Canada and BA.
  • Return flights are less than half the price *including* 2 x hold luggage each & premium economy seats. They are still expensive but we can just about afford it.
  • We have no intention of visiting/returning to the UK for two years. By not using the return leg of the flights we could potentially be liable for the excess fare according to both airline's rules (and we can't change the name on the ticket for when friends/family visit).
  • BA have an offer for free flight changes/flexibility if we book before 17th October or therabouts
  • As I understand it we can't take the cheaper westjet/air transat flights which change at Toronto/Calgary due to quarantine rules (and we are working on the assumption they will still be in place)
Do we risk losing the flexibility BA are offering with their free changes by waiting for cheaper single fares to appear (if they ever do) or do we risk getting the return flights, missing the return leg and potentially being charged the excess up to £1700 each which we absolutely cannot afford, even if it's very unlikely that will happen?

Also what on earth is going on with the new year price rises??

I think the anxiety of the long work permit wait along with a very stressful covid-ridden workplace is all finally getting to me...
Book the return flight and go one way and don't lose sleep about them coming after you. BTW this strategy wouldn't work in reverse becuase once you miss a leg of your itinerary the following portions are voided.
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Old Oct 5th 2020, 10:07 pm
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Default Re: Flights

Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
I've been looking at flights and I'm a little stressed and confused and I was wondering if anyone could shed some light or give their personal experiences?

As I understand it we can't take the cheaper westjet/air transat flights which change at Toronto/Calgary due to quarantine rules (and we are working on the assumption they will still be in place
Can't comment on price rises - however I have also noticed this (for Calgary), strangely flights into Toronto are still stupid cheap - looking at March/April for ourselves and its a case of direct to Calgary is £1300, direct to Toronto is circa £250 and can find flights into Toronto, then back out to Calgary a couple of days later for £300ish all in!! same works for for flying out same day - just checked and Vancouver is a similar deal.

My current understanding is you are fine to take a connecting flight and quarantine at final destination , providing you a) wear a face mask whilst in the airport and b) its part of a continuous journey (i.e there isnt an overnight layover, you dont leave the airport etc.)

Personally if quarantine isn't in place, I'd be having a city break in Toronto, if quarantine is in place, consider a 2 hour layover in Toronto, its not the worst airport in the world and your being paid £700 an hour each for the layover!!!

If it comes to it you could always quarantine in Toronto for 2 weeks, then fly to Vancouver - the 2 weeks you are stuck inside anyway!
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Old Oct 6th 2020, 2:39 am
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Default Re: Flights

Originally Posted by Stumpylegs View Post
Can't comment on price rises - however I have also noticed this (for Calgary), strangely flights into Toronto are still stupid cheap - looking at March/April for ourselves and its a case of direct to Calgary is £1300, direct to Toronto is circa £250 and can find flights into Toronto, then back out to Calgary a couple of days later for £300ish all in!! same works for for flying out same day - just checked and Vancouver is a similar deal.

My current understanding is you are fine to take a connecting flight and quarantine at final destination , providing you a) wear a face mask whilst in the airport and b) its part of a continuous journey (i.e there isnt an overnight layover, you dont leave the airport etc.)

Personally if quarantine isn't in place, I'd be having a city break in Toronto, if quarantine is in place, consider a 2 hour layover in Toronto, its not the worst airport in the world and your being paid £700 an hour each for the layover!!!

If it comes to it you could always quarantine in Toronto for 2 weeks, then fly to Vancouver - the 2 weeks you are stuck inside anyway!
ATM, you might well have to quarantine again for 2 weeks in BC even if you have come from another province, especially Ontario or Quebec which are once again hot spots.

So that would be 4 weeks quarantining!

You might well hope that is not still the case in February, but I'm not at all hopeful as BC has had quarantining in place almost continually so far.

Not to mention the number of flights that have turned out to have covid-positive passengers!
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Old Oct 6th 2020, 8:48 am
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Default Re: Flights

Thanks for your input!

I have read conflicting things about changing flights, it seems to be a grey area so I just don't want to risk it. Also double the flights, double the COVID exposure risk, double the risk of stressful flight cancellations etc. For my own sanity I think the direct route is best. As you can probably tell I'm not exactly the least anxious person in the world and my partner is just as bad as me, if not worse.

With a bit more playing around I managed to find £500 return tickets so I might do this as it's not far off the cheaper one way prices that may or may not appear. Has anyone ever not turned up to the return journey or told the airline they want to cancel? If so did you face any extra charges or anything?
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Old Oct 6th 2020, 9:03 am
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Default Re: Flights

Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
Thanks for your input!

I have read conflicting things about changing flights, it seems to be a grey area so I just don't want to risk it. Also double the flights, double the COVID exposure risk, double the risk of stressful flight cancellations etc. For my own sanity I think the direct route is best. As you can probably tell I'm not exactly the least anxious person in the world and my partner is just as bad as me, if not worse.

With a bit more playing around I managed to find £500 return tickets so I might do this as it's not far off the cheaper one way prices that may or may not appear. Has anyone ever not turned up to the return journey or told the airline they want to cancel? If so did you face any extra charges or anything?
I've never heard of extra charges for not returning? The usual advice on the forum is to book a return as they're generally cheaper, most do that, I didn't even realise the airline could charge extra if you didn't take the return leg? I'm sure if you just phoned them and said you've got work permits so won't be returning they should understand that.
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Old Oct 6th 2020, 9:15 am
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Default Re: Flights

So as far as I understand it, it's a standard thing pretty much all airlines have in the conditions of carriage that you must undertake the whole journey or you could be liable to pay the full price of the single ticket instead (which we can't afford). However, from what I've read airlines rarely actually do this (obviously people miss flights all the time) unless you do it regularly. The main place this rule is evoked is when you miss the outgoing leg and they cancel your full journey.

I guess I just wanted to make sure that what I read is right and no one on here had been financially persued for this kind of thing! Especially as I'm fairly sure I got the idea to look at return flights from this forum...
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Old Oct 6th 2020, 9:49 am
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Default Re: Flights

Airlines have been known (rarely) to sue a passenger for skipping a flight but it's usually when somebody has used the 'hidden city' ticketing option to score a better fare, by which they have a layover on the return and fail to get on the connecting flight.

In this example from last year, a German passenger booked a Lufthansa Oslo-Seattle flight, with a stopover in Frankfurt, as it was cheaper than Frankfurt-Seattle direct. On the return the passenger left the plane in Frankfurt and didn't board the final Oslo leg; Lufthansa argued that this violated their terms. But this kind of action is rare.

All of which is to say: in your case you'll be fine, the chances of an airline going after a passenger simply for not boarding a return leg are pretty much zero.
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Old Oct 6th 2020, 2:31 pm
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Default Re: Flights

Originally Posted by DeanN View Post
Airlines have been known (rarely) to sue a passenger for skipping a flight but it's usually when somebody has used the 'hidden city' ticketing option to score a better fare, by which they have a layover on the return and fail to get on the connecting flight.

In this example from last year, a German passenger booked a Lufthansa Oslo-Seattle flight, with a stopover in Frankfurt, as it was cheaper than Frankfurt-Seattle direct. On the return the passenger left the plane in Frankfurt and didn't board the final Oslo leg; Lufthansa argued that this violated their terms. But this kind of action is rare.

All of which is to say: in your case you'll be fine, the chances of an airline going after a passenger simply for not boarding a return leg are pretty much zero.
This. (above). It's also more likely to be a problem if its something you do regularly. But a one off, or infrequent not taking a return leg is unlikely to be a problem. Keep the return tickets - rescheduling out for a change fee when and where you can, in case you need them later on.
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Old Oct 6th 2020, 2:54 pm
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Default Re: Flights

Originally Posted by scilly View Post
ATM, you might well have to quarantine again for 2 weeks in BC even if you have come from another province, especially Ontario or Quebec which are once again hot spots.

So that would be 4 weeks quarantining!

You might well hope that is not still the case in February, but I'm not at all hopeful as BC has had quarantining in place almost continually so far.

Not to mention the number of flights that have turned out to have covid-positive passengers!
BC hasn't had quarantine for travel from other Provinces at all since the "don't go out unless you have to" message was lifted - granted that may change going forward.

Good point on the potential quarantine due to on flight exposure though - wasn't something I had considered.
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Old Oct 6th 2020, 3:07 pm
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Default Re: Flights

I booked a return flight UK - Australia - UK in 2018, knowing that I wouldn't be taking the return flight. I booked business class for the flight to Perth, and economy for the return flight. This was far cheaper than a business class return ticket, and cheaper than a one way business flight as well.

After arriving in Australia I called the airline and told them I couldn't make the return flight, and asked to be reimbursed for the airport tax charged for that flight. They weren't overly happy about that, but as I'd done some research and knew they were obliged to refund that charge they eventually agreed.

I don't know if the rules are the same for everywhere, but it's worth doing a bit of research if you're intending to cancel a return leg

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Old Oct 6th 2020, 3:56 pm
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Default Re: Flights

It's nearly always been cheaper to book a return instead of a single. As to being penalised, you could contact the airline a few days beforehand and inform them that you can't take the return flight due to (insert whatever reason you like) - that way they get a chance to 'sell' your seat again (or allow an extra person to fly, in these strange times. Many people here have bought returns and only used the one way aspect without penalty.

Personally, as you are not flying until February I would be reluctant to book anything for a while yet..


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Old Oct 7th 2020, 3:11 am
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Default Re: Flights

Originally Posted by Stumpylegs View Post
BC hasn't had quarantine for travel from other Provinces at all since the "don't go out unless you have to" message was lifted - granted that may change going forward.

Good point on the potential quarantine due to on flight exposure though - wasn't something I had considered.

I live here!!!!

There is a hotel that the BC government makes passengers without acceptable quarantine pre-arrangements go to.

Some days 3 to 5 flights have resulted in covid- exposure warnings. The airlines are cheeky, they don't announce it publicly, and they are often only warning the 6 to 8 immediate rows around the infected passenger, when it really should be the whole cabin warned.

You can check this site .,

COVID-19 Public Exposures

and ...........

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-heal...atherings.html


I'm also keeping a VERY close eye on the quarantine from province to province as we still have a very faint hope of being able to go to NS and back over Christmas.
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Old Oct 7th 2020, 9:00 am
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Default Re: Flights

Originally Posted by scilly View Post
I live here!!!!

There is a hotel that the BC government makes passengers without acceptable quarantine pre-arrangements go to.

Some days 3 to 5 flights have resulted in covid- exposure warnings. The airlines are cheeky, they don't announce it publicly, and they are often only warning the 6 to 8 immediate rows around the infected passenger, when it really should be the whole cabin warned.

You can check this site .,

COVID-19 Public Exposures

and ...........

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-heal...atherings.html


I'm also keeping a VERY close eye on the quarantine from province to province as we still have a very faint hope of being able to go to NS and back over Christmas.
Apologies, maybe I'm reading it wrong - but can't see any requirement anywhere to quarantine from another province when arriving in BC currently?Aren't the hotels just for those arriving internationally?

Whilst I don't live there, I have been keeping an eye on quarantine requirements for BC most weeks (from the official website) as my other half may have to fly out to activate her IEC if things change. At no point in the last 4 months have I seen the requirement to quarantine in BC if arriving from another province within Canada.
​​​​​
Completely agree about the potential risk of needing to double quarantine if on an affected internal flight being a risk (which I hadnt considered) - although not that I agree with it the current advice is to self monitor if on an affected flight (aren't we all meant to be self monitoring constantly currently).

Last edited by Stumpylegs; Oct 7th 2020 at 9:05 am.
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Old Oct 7th 2020, 4:49 pm
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Default Re: Flights

No quarantine requirement if coming from another Province into BC, unless you have not previously quarantined after arriving in Canada - official.

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/s...ter-provincial

Inter-Provincial Travel

Unless you have COVID-19 symptoms or are within 14 days of returning to Canada, you do not need to self-quarantine when entering B.C. from another Canadian province or territory. You are expected to follow the same travel guidelines as everyone else in B.C. and travel safely and respectfully.
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