For the past couple of weeks I have been shopping around for a plane ticket back to Ottawa for Christmas. I've compared major carriers and regional carriers. Plane, train, ferry, and bus from Halifax to Ottawa was also briefly considered. But after all of the research and fare hunting, the best option was to fly from St. John's to Ottawa. Unfortunately matters were complicated and things stacked up not in my favour.
1.) Newfoundland is an island. The Atlantic is always cold. The mainland is too far to swim.
2.) Exams end on Friday December 14th but I have a presentation to give and simulation to participate in on Saturday December 15th. This will be a long day and will not end until 5:00pm.
3.) My attendance is mandatory this last day. No skipping out early.
4.) The latest flight out on Saturday with any carrier is at 5:10pm.
5.) Seat sales over the past couple of weeks have remain unchanged at 30% to 50% off flights until December 15th only.
6.) To take a flight out on Sunday as opposed to Saturday with a seat sale will cost $250 more!
1.) The only travel option considering time and cost is to fly.
2.) WestJet offers flights from St. John's to Ottawa via Toronto. This means a longer flying time in both directions because of having to backtrack from/to Toronto to/from Ottawa. On the other hand, Air Canada offers flights from St. John's to Ottawa via Montreal. No backtracking required. Smart!
3.) The earliest flight out of St. John's with WestJet on Sunday is at 6:15am, arriving in Ottawa at 10:01am. The earliest flight with AirCanada is at 5:35am, arriving in Ottawa at 8:53am. Why is this important? I will have been in Newfoundland for nearly four months. I will want off as early as possible. Fog (or moose on the runway) may delay the departure time.
4.) On the return, WestJet does not offer any Saturday January 5th departures. A Friday departure is too early and the Sunday departure does not arrive in St. John's until Monday at 1:00am. This is too late because classes start first thing Monday morning. However, Air Canada offers a late Saturday departure. It does not arrive until early Sunday morning, but at least I will have most of Sunday to recover before classes start on Monday.
5.) Air Canada is $10 cheaper than WestJet. That's at least a coffee at Starbucks!
Decision: fly Air Canada and hope that my luggage and the checked scallops and lobster arrive with me in Ottawa. The final damage was $766.41. Ouch! The taxes will get you every time!
Here are a few screen shots, just because...
And here is something that I have not seen before - an emissions offset initiative, asking if I want to offset the total CO2 emissions from my trip by making a contribution to a not for profit organization called Zerofootprint. You enter in your flight details, how many people, and then it computes the total tonnes of CO2 emissions per flight. On this trip I will be spewing out 0.4 tonnes of CO2 per flight. The "offset cost" was $6.40 and would go towards funding certified environmentally friendly projects.