So, as I continue to think about my next trip to Italy, which is coming up extremely slowly -- September is still six months away!!! -- I am starting to look at air fares to see how badly I will be abused by a major carrier.
(I'm still angry about the scandalously high season fare that I was charged when I traveled to Rome in January. Almost $1,300, simply because I left the weekend following New Year's, a time that was still considered to be part of the Christmas-New Year's holiday period for the purpose of airlines. Curse you, Air Canada!)
So imagine my surprise today when, puttering around on the Air Canada website (I'm a glutton for pain, it seems) I came across a remarkable different in fares between flying in and out of Rome compared with Milan.
For the sake of comparison, I punched in Ottawa-Toronto-Rome, and return, leaving on Saturday, Sept. 13 (landing in Rome on Sunday, Sept. 14) and then returning on Sunday, Sept. 28. There are no direct flights to Italy from Ottawa, so I usually go through Toronto to get to Rome. (There are Montreal-Rome flights, but they're hard to get.)
Anyway, the return ticket to Rome came to almost $1,900!!! The basic fare is $1,568. Plus $256 fuel surcharge, etc. etc. for a grand total of $1,894.76. Shocking!!!
In dramatic contrast, the basic fare from Ottawa to Milan comes to a mere $678. Return. Add the usual fuel surcharge, etc., for a grand total of $1,031.54.
Can you believe the difference in fares????? I'm pretty astounded and am also pretty sure that I'm going to try to book my ticket for the Milan routing quite soon.
For the Milan route, I would fly Air Canada from Ottawa direct to Frankfurt, then take Lufthansa from Frankfurt to Milano (just a one-hour jaunt) So, no direct flights on either route. Now, there is an extra German airport surcharge of $10 on the Milano route, but because I wouldn't need to fly through the extremely expensive Pearson International Airport in Toronto, I save about $15 on Canadian airport charges!
I can only assume that the explanation for the difference between the Rome route and the Milano route is that Air Canada must be promoting its new daily non-stop flights between Ottawa and Lufthansa's main hub in Frankfurt, which takes affect in June. That's also about the same time that Lufthansa's new Calgary-Frankfurt non-stop daily route also begins. Whatever, the reason, I'll be glad to take advantage!!!!
The two airlines are both partners in the 17-member Star Alliance, which also includes United Airlines and US Airways of the United States, Scandinavian Airlines and Singapore Airlines.