Trans-Canada Air Lines (TCA) was the predecessor of Air Canada and inaugurated its first flight in September 1937. In 1964, TCA had become Canada’s national airline and changed its name to Air Canada. Today Air Canada is among the 20 largest airlines in the world. They have a combination of Boeing, Airbus and Embraer aircraft and 27,000 employees. A founding member of Star Alliance, the world’s most comprehensive air transportation network, they fly to over 190 destinations across five continents. Between Air Canada and their partner airline, Air Canada Express, they served over 38 million passengers in 2014 alone.
- Travel insurance
Available in-flight entertainment is a real crowd-pleasing amenity that airlines can offer. Air Canada provides this enjoyable feature completely free of charge. Every seat has a personal touch-screen TV with access to hundreds of hours of on demand audio and video entertainment. To be more specific, Air Canada's in-flight entertainment includes up to 150 movies in all genres and offered in over 20 different languages, up to 200 TV shows including documentaries and top rated TV series and more than 100 albums and playlists in many musical genres. Audio books and podcasts are also available for travelers' entertainment. Get full Internet access using Gogo Inflight Internet service for only $9.95, and connect handheld devices for only $7.95.
RBC Insurance is the travel insurance provider for Air Canada. Detailed insurance quotes may be easily generated and purchased online after providing certain travel specifics including destination, number of travelers being covered under the policy and the current age of all travelers covered under the policy. With five comprehensive packages available, passengers are sure to find a policy that meets their travel insurance needs.
-Deluxe Package: This package includes emergency medical insurance, cancellation and interruption insurance, flight accident and travel accident insurance, baggage and personal effects and coverage for travel outside of Canada. This package is available for individuals 74 and under.
-Travel within Canada Package: This package includes emergency medical insurance, cancellation and interruption insurance, flight and accident travel accident insurance and baggage and personal effects. This package is available for all ages.
-Non-Medical Package: This package includes cancellation and interruption insurance, flight accident and travel accident insurance, baggage and personal effects and coverage for travel outside of Canada. This package is available for all ages.
-Classic Medical Plan: This package includes emergency medical insurance and coverage for travel outside of Canada. This package is available for individuals 59 and under.
-Cancellation & Interruption Plan: This package includes cancellation and interruption insurance and coverage for travel outside of Canada.
Although Air Canada does have policies in place to assist passengers after a flight has been cancelled or extremely delayed, this assistance is only offered under specific circumstances, like severe weather conditions. Thankfully, they also offer a program called On My Way. This program is a great benefit to passengers in the event of any airline initiated flight cancellation or extreme delay. Rebooking with On My Way entitles distressed passengers a seat on the very next available flight of their choosing with Air Canada, one of its partners or any other North American airline. (Some of these available North American airlines include Delta Airlines, United Airlines and Alaska Air.) Paying for meals, hotels and rental cars in the event of a flight cancellation or major delay is something passengers dread; with On My Way, not only are those things paid for, the On My Way agents even make the arrangements for you. Lastly, On My Way agents are available 24/7 to assist distressed passengers with any unexpected travel needs that may arise. The cost for On My Way service on short-haul flights (up to 1,000 miles) is $25 per one-way trip, and $35 per one-way trip on long-haul flights (1,001 miles or more.)
- Limited rewards
- On-time percentage
While it's nice that Air Canada participates in the Star Alliance Upgrade Awards program, the benefits with this specific airline aren't really anything to be excited about. The awards can only be redeemed on certain flights, which make it quite a hassle for travelers to actually use. These awards can be used toward marketed and operated Air Canada or Air Canada Express flights but only if passengers purchase a Latitude fare (booking Y or B) or Premium fare (booking class O). Awards may not be used on codeshare flights, flights operated by Air Canada rouge and flights departing from various airports around the United States and Cuba.
Being on time is a core characteristic of a good, reliable airline. With the schedule-oriented travelers of today, the fact that Air Canada is on time with only 76% success is far less than appealing. Records show that flights were late 9% of the time and excessively late 8% of the time. The inconvenience of a late flight is something no traveler, whether for business or pleasure, wants to be bothered with.
The Bottom Line
Air Canada has been in business for 78 years and has had plenty of time to iron out a few kinks. They offer a fair amount of destinations, impressive in-flight entertainment, and multiple more than adequate travel insurance options. With competitive pricing and an honorable mission to provide "safety first and last" and "make every Customer feel Valued," there really is no reason not to book a flight with Air Canada.