Air Canada Group Travel Booking – Discounts, Terms & Procedures
Solo travel may ensure freedom, but group travel is always fun. Solo travels may mean more control in your hands, but group travels are always less expensive, more secure and higher on shared human values. Solo travels may bring peace of mind, but group travels create life-long relationships and bonds. But better or worse, there is no denying the fact that group travels are always undertaken for a purpose, and more often, the purpose is not a group vacation. People embark on group journeys for meetings, sporting events, group performances, destination weddings and various other reasons. And while regular groups may consist of family members, friends and colleagues, they may also consist of students, artists, sportsmen, performers and corporate delegates.
Therefore, group travel is a big business for airlines, travel agents, hotels and resorts, and, no wonder, they do everything they can to woo group travelers. Discounts, special fares and privileges are provided and like other airlines, the Canadian flag carrier, Air Canada, also doesn’t lose any opportunity when it comes to grabbing a lion’s share of this group travel business. The airline has a well-written group policy to guide passengers as well as airline officials on the matter. Details about the Air Canada Group Booking policy are elaborately discussed in this article. So, go through this article for a thorough understanding.
The Air Canada Group Reservations policy
Group booking with Air Canada is a holistic experience. It’s not the various plans and their benefits that make group travel with Air Canada a lucrative proposition, but it’s the airline’s objective of ensuring hassle-free travel at competitive prices for the group travelersthat makes it irresistible and noteworthy. The entire Air Canada Group Reservations policy is a reflection of this approach, and its terms and conditions are thoughtfully laid down in the simplest way possible to make the entire set of guidelines comprehensible for passengers. Excerpts from the policy are described in the following sections of the article.
The Air Canada Group Reservations Terms & Conditions
- i. To book group travel tickets with Air Canada and to derive all group booking benefits under theAir Canada Group Reservations policy, there must be a minimum of 10 members in the group. This doesn’t mean that passengers can’t book multiple tickets with Air Canada, but any group with less than 10 group members would not derive the same benefits as groups under the group booking policy.
- ii. Air Canada Group Reservations policy clearly distinguishes between regular group bookings and group bookings under special schemes. As per group reservation terms, groups with at least 10 members who travel together on the same flight on the same date and time in order to reach the same destination, are entitled to get group travel benefits under the regular group booking scheme. But Air Canada also offers special group travel benefits where at least 10 group members coming in from different parts of the world on different Air Canada flights to reach the same destination for joining a meeting or event, can also derive group travel benefits with additional privileges. Such benefits come under the Meetings and Events scheme under the group reservation policy.
- iii. All groups booking group travel tickets with Air Canada under the Meetings and Events scheme are sent a tailor-made contract and a unique Promotion Code for the identification of events once the price quotes and other conditions are agreed upon and the events are registered.
- iv. Air Canada Meetings & Events scheme is specially designed for corporate groups, sporting teams and families who reach a specified destination to attend a meeting, join a sporting event or be a part of a destination wedding ceremony. All such group members, under the Air Canada Group Reservations policy, get discounts between 5% and 12% on individual ticket prices depending on their ticketing class.
- v. Special discounts under the Meetings and Events scheme are permitted only on select itineraries. Multi-city, Circle trip and Interline itineraries are not eligible for such discounts. But discounts apply on codeshare flights,especially those operated by STAR Alliance partners.
- vi. All group leaders must distribute the Promotion Codes among the attending group members, who must enter this code in the specified box at the time of booking their individual Air Canada group travel tickets under the Meetings and Events program. The codes should be provided to the travel agents if they are making the reservations on the groups’ behalf.
- vii. Discounts provided by Air Canada under the Meetings & Events scheme are only applicable to group travel tickets that are booked online from the official website of the airline and on which the Promotion Codes are applied at the time of booking. Such discounts are applied automatically at the time of booking and they are subject to applicable taxes and surcharges.
- viii. All Air Canada group booking terms and conditions conform to the rules of Air Canada’s General Conditions of Carriage. Air Canada is not responsible for any cancellation or change in the schedule of flights due to unavoidable circumstances.
- ix. When Air Canada sends Group Travel contracts to groups, and the groups agree and sign those contracts, such acts do not result in the formation of any agency, partnership or joint venture and no individual and group rights are produced thereby.
- x. As a general norm, all Air Canada Group Discounts offered by Air Canada under the Air Canada Group Booking policy are calculated on base prices and not on surcharges and taxes.
- xi. All benefits mentioned by Air Canada on the airline’s official website or on the group travel contract provided to groups are subject to the availability of seats and applicable price range at the time of booking. Since ticket prices go high with every passing minute, any delay in booking could cause a significant rise in group ticket expenditures.
- xii. All terms and conditions related to Air Canada group travel booking are subject to change anytime at the sole discretion of the airline without any prior notice.
- xiii. In the case of bundled packages, such as the Air Canada Vacations, sightseeing charges, local transport, entry fees to tourist attractions, adventure activities and even insurance costs are not included in the deals. Such expenses have to be borne by the groups themselves as per the provisions of their own terms and conditions.
- xiv. Each group member is allowed to carry one checked bag free of cost. For extra baggage, additional costs must be borne by the group member individually over and above the group ticket price. Also, insurance costs are not included in the group ticket price quotes. They have to be bought separately at additional expense.
- xv. Groups with plans to book chartered flights under the Air Canada Jetz program can expect to get group travel price quotes within 24 hours of submitting a request.
- xvi. Deferred payments are allowed by Air Canadaunder the airline’s group reservation policy guidelines, but the complete booking amountmust be paid before the date specified in the group booking contract. Usually, the final payment date is around 45 days prior to the date of scheduled departure if the booking is made more than 45 days before. Air Canada sends reminder emails to the group coordinators at least 7 to 10 days prior to the final date of payment, failing which Air Canada reserves the right to cancel such bookings citing “insufficient payment” as the reason. Initial deposits are not refunded in such cases.
- xvii. Air Canada doesn’t issue any reimbursement or refund if one or more group members do not show up or cancel tickets citing various reasons beyond the control of Air Canada. As per the Air Canada Group Reservations policy, any group booking amount once paid in full or in part is non-transferable and non-refundable.
Air Canada Group Travel Perks &Benefits
All Air Canada group travel ticket holders get multiple group travel benefits which can be summed up as follows,
a. Reduced Fare: Air Canada offers reducedticket fares for all individual group members who have booked group travel tickets under the Air Canada Group Reservations policy.
b. Preferred Seating: Groups that have decided to go ahead with booking group travel tickets with Air Canada, get an opportunity to select seats free of charge for the group members at the time of booking. In other words, Air Canada offers preferred seating to groups totally free of charge.
c. Complimentary Tickets: Large groups booking group tickets with Air Canada, get the opportunity of receiving a certain number of complimentary tickets from the airline.
d. Dedicated Check-in Counters: Air Canada has dedicated group check-in counters in select locations in Canada and the US.In Canada, this includes nine major airports which are Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, St. John’s, Winnipeg and Vancouver. All groups can enjoy quick and priority check-in through these counters.
e. Checked Baggage: Even for regular group bookings with Air Canada, each group member is allowed to carry one checked baggage with him under the Air Canada Group Booking rules.
f. Deferred payment: Air Canada offers a deferred payment facility to all groups booking group travel tickets with the airline. This allows group coordinators to deposit a part of the total booking amount at the time of making reservations, and pay the remaining amount before departure on or before a specified date mentioned in the contract by Air Canada.
g. Meetings & Events: Air Canada has a special group travel scheme designed for corporate groups, sports teams and families where group members are traveling to the same destination for a meeting, a sporting event or a personal occasion such as a wedding from multiple locations around the world on different flights. This type of group booking allows group members to get hefty discounts between 5% and 12% on individual ticket prices depending on fare class. Under this Meetings and Events scheme, passengers enjoy benefits such as
- (i) An easy reservation processwith instant online registration.
- (ii) Tracking of online booking status with booking code.
- (iii) Access to the total Air Canada network that is spread over 200 destinations across the world.
h. Air Canada Vacations: Air Canada also has a special group vacation plan called Air Canada Vacations designed specifically for tour groups, friends and families who want an all-inclusive package deal for spending a hassle-free holiday together. Key Benefits under this exclusive package deal are,
- (i) Preferred seat selection free of cost
- (ii) No need for payment to hotels and resorts
- (iii) Buffet breakfast included in the package for the entire vacation
- (iv) Guaranteed complimentary access to the fitness center
i. Air Canada Jetz: Air Canada has a custom-made group travel plan called Air Canada Jetz, for high-class and professional group travelers like ace sports teams, top-class artists, entertainment groups and top-level corporate executives. This is a premium business-class group travel plan under the Air Canada Group Booking policy where a select and high-priority group of people get the chance to travel on specially-curatedand deluxe chartered private jets with their groups. Benefits under this plan include
- (i) Groups booking tickets under this plan get group travel price quotes within 24 hours.
- (ii) Dedicated crew including a personal concierge is provided on every chartered flight
- (iii) An onboard certified mechanic travels with the group to handle any kind of emergency.
- (iv) Specialized business-class meals with personalized tailor-made menus and bespoke beverages are provided to every group traveling under this premium group travel program.
j. Wedding Groups: Destination weddings are way more grand and opulent with Air Canada groups than with anything else. The airline has a well-designed wedding group plan where beautiful weddings are organized in the backdrops of gorgeous Mexican and Caribbean beaches. This group travel plan suitable for destination weddings has the following perks and benefits,
- (i) Free or discounted honeymoon packages for couples post-wedding.
- (ii) A dedicated wedding coordinator to assist with the wedding.
- (iii) $500 future travel credit for the next vacation added to the account of the married couple if the original group travel consisted of more than 30 group members.
- (iv) 2 Free fare upgrades for the married couple or $200 credited to their account towards business class upgrades.
- (v) Exclusive group ticket rates for wedding attendees as low as $49 (excluding taxes) on connecting flights from 54 Canadian cities.
Group Ticket Rates with Air Canada
Air Canada Group Rates are calculated as per packages and specifications chosen by groups at the time of submitting group travel quote request forms. Group rates for various Air Canada Vacations plans and the Air Canada Meetings and Events plan are expected to be different from each other. Several factors such as the total number of expected members in the group, total distance, itinerary,demand and supply and competitor fares for the same destination are considered thoroughly before special group rates,discounts and rebates on ticket prices are decided. So, whatever specifications are mentioned in the Air Canada price quotes and confirmed at the time of booking are the price inclusions. And everything that is not mentioned in the quote and not confirmed at the time of booking should be considereda price exclusion. Air Canada Group Rates may change under the following two possible case scenarios,
- a. If there is a rise in currency Exchange Rate, Provincial Sales Tax, Goods & Service Tax or Fuel Surcharge after the booking is made and the group travel contract is entered into.
- b. If there is a delay in booking by the group beyond a specified date mentioned in the contract.
How to book Air Canada group travel?
In this day of advanced technology and superfast internet, booking a flight ticket is as easy as buying any other commodity. Be it a regular flight ticket or multiple tickets for groups, there are many ways passengers can book their tickets with leading airlines. Similarly, with Air Canada group bookings, passengers can book their group travel tickets fairly easily. Both the online and offline ways of group booking are discussed below.
1. The Online method of group travel booking
Group travel booking with any airline consists of two important steps – first, the submission of the group travel price request form and second, making group reservations on the basis of prices quoted by the airlines. And the easiest way to follow both these steps and complete the group booking process is to do it online. Air Canada has a user-friendly website that is easily navigable. Mentioned below are the steps following which passengers can book their group travel tickets with Air Canada online.
- i. First, type www.aircanada.com on your web browser and press enter. This would take you to the home page of the Air Canada official website.
- ii. On the top left just under the logo, find the ‘Book’ tab in the menu bar and click on it. This would open a dropdown box. Scroll down the menus on the left-most column inside the dropdown box and get to ‘Group Travel.’ Click on ‘Group Travel.’
- iii. You would be directed to the ‘Group Travel’ page where Air Canada group travel perks and benefits are mentioned. Now, check the right-hand column where links to various Air Canada group travel plans such as “Meetings & Events”, “Air Canada Jetz” and “Air Canada Vacations” are given. Click on any one of them based on your requirement. There are separate group quote request forms for each one of those options.
- iv. Assuming that you are planning a group travel for a vacation or destination wedding, click on the “Air Canada Vacations” link in the right-hand column. This would direct you to a new page with the same name.
- v. Here you can find a red button with “Get a Group Quote” written on it. Click on that button and the Air Canada Group Quote Request Form would open.
- vi. Simply fill up the group quote request form and submit it. There is a dedicated box for “Special Requests and Additional Information” where you can put down your exact requirements in your own words if you wish before submitting the form.
- vii. Once you have submitted the group quote request form, wait for an Air Canada group travel specialist to contact you with a specialized price quote via e-mail.
- viii. The group booking process would be completed only when you agree to the price quote provided by Air Canada and you pay the booking deposit as per specified terms and conditions.
Please Note: If your scheduled departure is within the next 48 hours and you need to make some urgent changes in your group bookings or you have a very important request to make to Air Canada related to baggage or cancellation or anything else, you can scroll down to the extreme bottom of the ‘Group Travel’ page and get a hyperlink under ‘Customer Care’ option to land on the ‘Contact Form’ page. Here, you need to click on the hyperlink “Contact Air Canada directly” and you will be redirected to the “Let Us Know” section.
2. Group travel booking by phone
Not being tech-savvy is not a crime, and if you don’t find it comfortable making your Air Canada group travel booking online, you can simply do it by calling the group travel helpdesk. Dial the toll-free phone number 1-866-529-2079 between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. (EasternTime)Monday to Friday and between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and provide all details to an Air Canada group travel specialist after specifying your requirements. Then wait for him to send you the price quote via email based on your specifications and you can complete the booking process thereby contacting the Air Canada group travel department over the phone one more time.Please note that the contact numbers could be different for different cities and regions. Kindly check the official website to find your local Air Canada toll-free contact number.
3. Group Booking through Travel Agent
Group coordinators can also get in touch with authorized travel agents of Air Canada and mention to them their group travel requirements. Travel agents can collect the group details from group coordinators, fill up the group quote request forms on their behalf and submit them. The rest of the booking process can be taken care of by the travel agents once the group price quotes are provided by Air Canada.
Air Canada group booking cancellation policy
Air Canada has zero tolerance for cancellations and no-shows. It has a simple but strict group booking cancellation policy details of which are mentioned in the points below.
Cancellation of bookings confirmed with partial or complete payment deposits by passengers invites the following cancellation charges from Air Canada depending on their applicability.
- i) A cancellation charge of $250 CAD per group member is deducted if the booking and cancellation are both made at least 45 days before the date of scheduled departure.
- ii) 50% of the total booking amount is deducted towards cancellation charges if the cancellation request is made between 21 and 44 days prior to the date of scheduled departure.
- iii) 100% of the booking amount is deducted as a cancellation fee if the request for cancellation is submitted 20 days or less before the date of travel.
- iv) Similarly, 100% of the total booking amount is forfeited in the case of a complete no-show.
- v) The cancellation charges are 100% at all times after the bookings are confirmed if group travels include connected flights operated by other carriers apart from Air Canada or Air Canada Rouge.
- vi) In case of cancellation of bundled packages such as Air Canada Vacations, the cancellation terms and conditions may vary significantly from the original terms mentioned above due to the involvement of hotels, resorts and transport agencies in designing the bundles. Booking charges of such 3rd party organizations may or may not be refunded to passengers depending on their respective individual terms and conditions.