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Air Transat returns to Vancouver departures

Last year, both Air Transat and Air Canada dropped Vancouver departures to Varadero for the 2012-2013 winter packages and it was very disappointing. Those travelling out of Vancouver were left with only Sunwing. We ended up having to fly to Calgary to connect with Air Canada to Varadero. Happily, Air Transat is back to flying out of Vancouver via Calgary to Varadero. Also, packages for the various tour operators are up for next winter. We booked in April with Air Transat and are looking forward to trying out the new Club Class cabin. Check out Air Transat’s new cabin layouts if you fly with them. Economy class has been revamped, also. Our package is $800 less than last trip (same time, same place) so that’s great :slight_smile:

That is so great for you steffiej. I’m also have my group of 12 ready to book for 2014, just waiting on my agent to return to work from a trip. Transat seems to have the best prices so far for 2014, perhaps trying to get a jump on the competition. We were supposed to have the revamped plane in April this year but as it turned out it was the old with 20. Many were able to upgrade at the airport which was great.

I called Transat to see how many seat were left for our departure date and they said they could only request Club for now, charge for it and if it was not available credit me. WTH!!! How can you not know if the seats are sold or not I asked, you should have confirmation numbers. Sometimes I get really frustrated with Transat and this is one of them times. I checked seat selection for the whole month of April and the same seats exactly are occupied in economy ever week. Told them that on the phone saying that was weird. Then she tells me that perhaps the inventory has not been loaded. OMG really. Hopefully my agent will get to the bottom of it. They are not getting my booked until the can guarantee me Club even if we have to change departure dates. This is why we book early.

I doubt that they want to show the planes as being completely empty. Typical sort of thing for hotels, resorts, etc. You always want people to think that you must book NOW, otherwise you’ll miss out.

I walked into a restaurant once that was completely empty. The guy said, ‘do you have reservations?’ I said, ‘gee, it looks so full, maybe we should come another time’.

Sunlover, the AT rep might have been telling you the truth or might not be on the ball. I don’t trust any of the reps for any of the tour operators due to past and present experiences. Last year, it was
Air Canada Vacations, this year, Air Transat/Nolitours. Back in April, just on a whim, I checked ACV and AT to see if either were showing Vancouver departures for next winter. I was thrilled to see AT showing Vancouver via Calgary to Varadero. Even more shocking, in mid April, I was able to do a dummy booking. At that time, it did not show a selection for Club Class. I contacted my TA and asked her to see if she could book us for next Feb. our usual package with Club Class. They came back with a quote and Club Class BUT, we could not select our seats, yet, as they had not set up the selection in the system. AT was given our seat selection and my TA was told she would be contacted when the seat selection process was in place. Being the trusting soul I am (not), I kept monitoring AT and, sure enough, last week found I could do a dummy booking, with Club Class and select my seats of choice :o Right away, I contacted my TA and told her and she got on the phone to Nolitours and they came back with the same excuse ACV handed out last year: oh, it just happened and we are in the process of contacting our clients. Yeah, right! In the meantime, someone could have booked, on line, and taken our seats from under us, so to speak >:( So, my tip to you is to get hold of your TA, when he/she returns from vacation to pursue the matter. Mention that we are booking on the West Coast so there should be no reason you can’t. Good luck.

I doubt that they want to show the planes as being completely empty.

I had another thought on that, Dax, but I could be completely wrong. My thinking is that other tour operators book clients onto these planes and, this far out, perhaps AT is “blocking out” a certain portion of the plane so that the clients of these other operators get some decent seat selections. Plus they could be blocking for those who do those various upgrades within economy class. I noticed that all the blocked seats, on our flight, are in economy and encompass about 50% of the plane. It would be interesting to know the real reason why these seats are blocked from selecting on line.

You could be very right steffiej. I know that they have not come out yet with early booking bonus as of yet. Perhaps it is in lieu of the free upgrades with the early booking. I know last season you received free seat selection in economy or upgrade to optionsplus/canjet select on distinction or experience packages only. Who knows, I just know unless we can get Club guaranteed they will be loosing out on 12 bookings. Most in our group including myself are all over 6’ and we will not sit in economy any more.

Tuesday can’t get here fast enough for me LOL.

AT may be allowing for a change to a CanJet (or other) charter service instead of their own planes. Happened to our bunch a few years ago on a trip to POP. Half of our CanJet travelers were AT bookings. No Club Class but VIP lounge was available on the return.

Sunlover, I just went into AT and did a dummy booking out of Halifax for next April and it let me book a package WITH Club class and select seats!!! So, I can’t see why your TA shouldn’t able to book you and your party. As there are 12 of you, better book early as there are only 12 seats in the new Club Class layout. By the way, the early booking bonus is in place as we got it. Good luck and let us know how it goes. :slight_smile:

Will not let me do it for any departure date in April, we want April 2. Did you see the seats booked all the same for each week, really weird. Early booking this is all I found so far and it’s not our resort so we are taking the group rate which in in progress as I type this.

Perhaps because it is only for Luxury/Distinction hotel packages they are offering upgrades they think they may need to reserve this many seats???

My agent is working on it and everyone has been in touch with her with credit cards so fingers are crossed that we can get CLub locked in. Last year supposed to have old plane then new plane then at airport back to old plane. If you look at Transats fleet page they still have not shown 310-330 with 12 seats. This all makes me crazy. I know the fleet is supposed to be over the next few years but stop with the wish/wash back and forth.

How do you spell check on here now? LOL

Will keep you posted. :slight_smile:

Maybe sub-contracting to Canjet? Their 737s don’t have a First Class.

It looks like all the Air Transat/Nolitours flights to Cuba out of Pearson are on Canjet planes.

Sunlover, I don’t know what this “travel hot news” is about but I went directly into Air Transat and did a dummy booking. It gave me April 4th and I selected one week and Club Class came up for selection and I could select seats. You can only select up to 6 passengers on the site so that’s what I did. Of course, your travel agent would be able to book 12 directly with them.
Here’s what I got: Okay, it wouldn’t link back as it showed session expired but it really did work, :))

My guess is that the flights out of Pearson are on Canjet due to the short flight and probably not many selecting the upgrade to CC.  It makes a huge difference if you are going to be on a plane up to 8 hours like ourselves :P  $280.00 pp return is a deal just for the comfort!

All booked! Confirmed 12 seat in Club…yippie! Steffiej not sure what site you were on but out of Halifax it’s only April 2/14(Transat) & April 3/13(Sunwing) listed. We can’t book our seats until November 1st, have to find out why tomorrow but my guess it that is has to do with the change over to new configured planes. Here in Halifax we only have the 310 and they are not done and I do not think they will be as they are trying to faze them out. The new way they are doing it according to the Facebook page is to only sell 12 seat in Club and save the rest for airport purchase only just in case of aircraft changes. So if they have to use the older 310 with 20 Club seats they have them but if the new plane with 12 then they have not over sold. Guess this make it ok in this not perfect world of flying when they do not know when they will have everything completed. All I know is everyone is happy. Only one couple of the 14 opted for economy. I will still be checking like you said daily to see if I can dummy book the seats before Novermber as we want to secure the 2 x 2 seats if it’s the 20 seats up there…not an issue if it’s ony 12!

Congrats on booking! OK, are you going to Cayo Coco? I was looking on Air Transat’s site and at Varadero and that’s where I was getting my date and ability to select CC. I see Cayo Coco is on Apr. 2nd and the site didn’t offer CC seats although the plane shows them. Pretty clear, since you can’t select your seats until November, that they don’t know what plane they will be using. Hope you get the new configuration :slight_smile: I’m looking forward to checking it out. We were in AC Executive Class this past Feb. to Cuba and much preferred the seating to the old Club Class. It looks like the new CC seating is similar to Executive Class with a wide console separating the seats which gives you lots of personal space!

Sorry I should have said Santa Clara. I found out looking around that it seems that Cayo Coco has the same departure time out of Halifax and same flight #'s. Says they have one stop on the way down, assuming that stop would be Santa Maria. They did this one other year at the last minute but we stopped in Cayo Coco first delaying our arrival to the hotel by 3 hours. I mentioned this the AT in my letter to them that perhaps they should have taken into consideration the distance from airports to hotel zones before adding flights. Santa Maria has 1.5 hour drive, Cayo Coco 1/2 hour. Maybe this is why it will stop in Santa Maria first. Who knows. I have not chatted with my agent yet about this, I could be wrong but I don’t think they use the same flight numbers for the sames day departures to different cities. I’m also looking forward to checking out the new Club and hope we are lucky enough to get it.

“Update”; our agent is wonderful, she was on it as soon as they opened today and was able to get the seat reserved based on 12 seat plan for now, all subject to change if they use the old 20 seat 310. Along with the confirmation of the seats I noticed they ahd a stop on the way home in Cayo Coco, SNU-CCC-YHZ, no mention on any site about a stop in fact says no stops. LOL All subject to change.

LOL, Santa Clara…reminds me of the very last time we flew economy class to Cuba was with Air Transat.  It was a direct flight to Varadero but we didn’t realize the plane was continuing on to Santa Clara and then back to Vancouver.  Of course, on our return trip to Vancouver, we faced this flight and it added hours to our already long trip home :P  We were in emergency row seating but it was like sitting in a straight jacket.  I said to my husband…that’s frickin’ IT!  From now on it’s Club Class…no more economy and we’ve been happy fliers since :)  The upside is that the upgrade cost is very reasonable (both CC and Ex.Class with Air Canada)  for the comfort you get and it’s a great way to start and end your vacation.

I save the few hundred dollars and go economy. A few good drinks, put on my headphones with music on my 'droid and I’m just fine. I just pretend that I’m curled up in a cocoon, waiting to turn into a butterfly upon landing. (rofl) OK, maybe a moth. :stuck_out_tongue:

Well the very last time I was in economy was a Canjet flight from Santa Clara and it was all night(last time for all nighters as well). This didn’t help me either…I can’t sleep on a plane and I was really over tired and at one point I was almost in panic mode, said to my hubby that I had to get up and lay in the isle or open the door LOL. I was in bad shape that flight and I said never again. I’m 6’ tall and it’s all legs and most of our friends are the same. I have never been on a flight in economy that my legs are not into the seat in front of me. I have very bad veins in my legs as well and have to be up a lot to move around. Now that we are in Club life is much easier and it is my one vacay so I always plan for club as part of my price. Many think it’s a waste of $, not me it’s as steffiej said"grest way to start and end a vacation".

Had a look at Transat’s early booking brochure…nothing for just booking early other that if you book Luxury or distinction resorts and they have them listed. I suppose you would save if they do an increase later this year on taxes or fuel surcharges.

Just doing a happy dance that everything is done. As a group, we do get a one time prices reduction if the resort drops and there is availability so I will be watching for that.

Unfortunately a lot of people don’t realize that the seats in the emergency exit rows are narrower. The sides of the seat are solid and contain a small folding tray which you lift out and unfold for use. The arm rests are also stationary.

Emergency row seats are great for thinner people with long legs, but not so good for passengers with wider behinds.

[quote=@yvrck] but not so good for passengers with wider behinds.
You’re not suggesting that some people might have a bigger but_ ??? :smiley:

Mine is just like a sardine. (puke)