Friday, 11 April 2014

The Downside of Trying for Discount Airfare

I've mentioned before about how Air Canada has a medical companion program with discounted seats.  With our trip to Disney, I naturally printed out the form and then gave it to my doctor to sign.

And waited ... a week and a half.  Which isn't horrible but ended up being kind of critical.

You can't book the flight until you have the form.  Because you can't buy the ticket for the companion, if you book in advance, you risk selling out.  If you don't, you risk the flight selling out but at least your kid isn't stuck on it.

By the time we got the form back, Air Canada only had one flight going to Orlando on the day we needed.  And it landed at ten minutes after midnight.  Which meant the Magical Express wouldn't be running and we would be dealing with one incredibly cranky child.

What to do?  What to do?  I started looking into other carriers and after a jaw-dropping price reveal on American Airlines, I booked our flight on WestJet.  They also have a medical companion program but from what I can tell, discounted flights are only offered within Canada.  However, you can book all your tickets and then get a discount on the companion one, which is a real bonus.

It's still worth filling out the form since it gives us additional help at the airport, such as being able to go through the priority queue for check-in and security.  And it makes sure we get seated together without us having to pay the ridiculous seat selector fee.

We will arrive in Orlando in mid-afternoon, which should allow a leisurely check in, some time to explore the resort and swim in the pool and still call it an early night before we go wild in the Magic Kingdom the next day.  That is much more civilized.

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