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Travel

Travel

For full Toronto travel listings, click here.

Travelling to Toronto can be accomplished in a variety of ways.

The Billy Bishop airport is located in the heart of downtown Toronto or otherwise known as Toronto Island or City Centre airport.

Just northwest of the city Toronto’s Pearson International Airport hosts three terminals servicing a vast number of airlines and travel.

Buttonville airport in the Northern part of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) again hosts some local air traffic and many private flights.

Porter Airlines is currently the only carrier flying to and from Toronto Island City Centre Airport. There are several flights daily to and from:

  • Chicago
  • New York
  • Montreal
  • Quebec City
  • Moncton
  • Mont Tremblant
  • Myrtle Beach
  • Ottawa
  • Halifax
  • Boston
  • St Johns’
  • Sudbury
  • Thunder Bay

Due to the proximity of the airport to the core of downtown, Toronto Porter Airlines has enjoyed large success in its services. Again because of the current monopoly of Porter airlines at this location check in requires that you arrive only an hour prior to your flight as opposed to the larger Toronto International Pearson Airport, where International flights are requesting 2-3 hour check-ins prior to departure.

Once arriving at the Billy Bishop airport passengers head up the escalators and onto a ferry. A two-minute ride brings them to the airport security and check-in.

Once complete, passengers enjoy complimentary newspapers, beverages and snacks as they wait to board their plane. A most relaxing and enjoyable experience in travel that is a rarity in this day and age.

In contrast to that, Toronto relies heavily on the constant flow of traffic at its Pearson International Airport. With over 30 million passengers travelling through this airport in 2009 and close to 5 million already for the first quarter of 2010, the Toronto International airport or Pearson is a really busy place.

Serving about 30,000 flights monthly, tracking flight arrivals, departures and passenger safety is the work of many at three terminals in Mississauga, just northwest of Toronto.

Over 65 different airlines run out of the Pearson airport with most of them being a member of Star Allliance, One World, Skyteam, Air Canada and/or American Airlines along with a couple others.

These carriers fly to over 100 destinations each charging passengers an $8.25 airport improvement fee as the facilities are used. This is all built into a master plan to improve the facilities and its services by 2030.

Currently there are many local hotels, restaurants and businesses revolving around the airports hustle and bustle. Not forgetting to mention too the number of passenger services available i.e. shops, duty free shopping, in airport restaurants, cafes, lounges, games areas, parking and shuttles. There is also an Internet lounge in the facilities.

Toronto Airways Limited manages and runs the operations for the Buttonville airport. While not too many commercial flights are based out of this airport currently there are many flight services and charter flights that can be arranged. Flight services include training, pilot supplies and sightseeing tours.

Travelling to and from Toronto may also take the form of trains on the Via routes.

Union station in the heart of downtown Toronto is a major hub for Go trains, Via Rail transportation, subway cars, streetcars, and the destination of many long haul bus services.

GO trains travel within the parameters of the GTA, while VIA Canada can take you just about anywhere in Canada with its’ team of over 19 train routes. VIA Rail is not the same as Canada VIA – a service that offers packages for those wishing to travel by train in Canada. With over 3,000 employees Canada Via and Via Rail Canada will offer you a spectacular travel Experience.

The GO train system connects to a series of bus routes allowing for a more convenient connect system of travel within Toronto and its surrounding areas. This service operates not only for tourists, but is used on a daily basis by many for their commute to and from work, school, and social events.

Toronto also has a few major bus carriers such as Greyhound that serves over 2,300 destinations and has 13,000 departures daily across North America. Popularized through movies, television dramas, and a relatively economical fare this is the most recognized name in bus travel worldwide.

These are the most used forms of travel to and from Toronto aside from the automobile. Toronto has a set of the 400 highways passing through north-south being HWY 400 or the 404 and east west being the 401 and not to forget Toronto’s Electronic Toll Route (ETR) 407 that also runs east – west across the north of the city.

Indeed Toronto is a city that is very easy to access and we look forward to your visit when travelling to Toronto.

Airline Loyalty Programs

How Airlines create their Loyalty Programs

Airline loyalty programs are created for frequent fliers. These loyalty programs are based on building a relationship with frequent fliers to stay loyal to the airline company.  Creating a loyalty program gives customers a reason to stay with the airline and increase their purchase.

Since there are many loyalty programs offered, for an airline to create a successful loyalty program they should attempt to create a program that does not base rewards on frequency alone. They should closely examine the customer experience to understand why they value your products and services. After examination, plan rewards to match what customer’s value, and lastly engage their customers emotionally.

An airline loyalty program requires the airline to recognize and reward their most valuable customers in exchange for information used to create products and services that more closely fit the needs and desires of the customer.

How Points are Earned and Used

Each airline has different ways for their members to earn points and some memberships incur an annual fee while others do not.  Both of these loyalty programs usually ensure a customer will earn a certain number of points for every ticket purchase with the airline, but this is not the only way for members to earn points. Many allow customers to earn points from airline partner companies.

The most popular Airline loyalty program in Canada is Air Miles. One can earn air miles points with a BMO Master card, earning 1 airline point for every $20 they spend; this card comes with no annual fee.

With the debit card one can earn a point for every $40 they spend and with the Gold Master card a point for every $15 they spend, however the Gold card comes with a $99 annual fee.

The Air Miles points can be redeemed at partner retail stores, hotels and airlines. For instance, airlines points can be redeemed for a free flight or they can use the points and pay the remaining amount.

Partnership

It is very common for airlines to partner up with different companies. Some of the typical airline collaborations are with a Credit Card Company, hotel chain, and other airlines. It’s required by all airlines to have partnerships with various retail and service merchants allowing customers to earn rewards and/or points in the program.

The most common loyalty program in Canada is the Air Miles program. Air Miles has partnerships with the following airlines:

  • Air Canada,
  • WestJet
  • CanJet
  • Canadian North
  • Calm Air
  • American Airlines
  • Lufthansa
  • Northwest Airlines
  • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.

Bank of Montreal (BMO), Hotel accommodation, A&P & Dominion, LCBO and Shell, are a few of the business collaborations that Air Miles partners up with.

Another famous airline loyalty program that is known is Aeroplan. It has partnered with more than 30 airlines, including Air Canada, US Airlines, some of the United Kingdom airlines, along with Middle Eastern airlines such as Emirate Airlines.

The latest in travel-company partnerships comes from an announcement of Hilton Worldwide and airline Virgin America teaming up to give their loyalty reward program members cross-company (and cross-promotional) points. Members of either Hilton HHonors or Virgin America’s Elevate program can now earn points toward flights on Virgin America when staying at a participating Hilton hotel.

This isn’t the first time a hotel company has partnered with an airline to give its repeat customers more options in redeeming their loyalty reward points. Wyndham Hotel Group and Aeromexico also recently announced (at nearly the same time as Hilton and Virgin America) they would be offering a similar program, with stays at Wyndham hotels counting toward flights on Aeromexico.

What these Loyalty Programs Accomplish

  • Influence the customers to increase their purchase frequency
  • Improve the service provided to members based on value
  • Provide the mechanism to influence the behavior and improve the profitably of the entire membership base
  • Strengthen member relationships
  • Increase engagement with members
  • Reinforce brand value

Rules and Policies

Each loyalty program comes with its own policies. When for example a year has gone by without the member purchasing tickets or related goods, the person may lose their rewards points. It is the same when the member does not make their payment on time.

At American Airlines, United Airlines and US Airways, any account without activity for 18 consecutive months is canceled. Delta Air Lines and Alaska Air Group allow customers two years before mileage accounts are canceled. Continental Airlines state they reserve the right to cancel accounts after 18 months of inactivity, but they seldom enforce that. Under JetBlue Airways‘ revamped program, which launched in October 2009, all points will expire if an account is inactive for 12 consecutive months.

When airlines change their policy they usually notify their members by email, mail or phone.

Airport

There are several airports – nine to be exact – in and around Toronto for travelers leaving or entering the city. Some Toronto airports only offer specific airlines while others will only fly within Canada or North America. There are smaller and larger airports, as well as a multitude of services provided from each one.

There are a number of Toronto and surrounding area airports but only three of them truly stand out (you can find the other airports listed at the end of this page). The three airports are the Toronto Pearson International Airport, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, and Toronto Buttonville Airport.

The most popular and convenient Toronto airport of the three listed above is the Toronto Pearson International Airport. It is located in the west of Toronto within Mississauga and is known by the airport code YYZ. It has the most in the way of available international and national airlines then the other options. It has recently expanded to add another section to the already large Pearson Airport.

The typical cost of a taxi or limo between Toronto Pearson International Airport and East Toronto ranges between $45 – $65, not including tip. There are shuttle buses and Wheel Trans available to and from the Airport. They can also pick you up or drop you off at your hotel, but some work on a bus schedule – researching the schedule before landing or taking off might be beneficial. There are also public transit routes that take you to the airport

The Toronto Pearson International Airport was built in the 1930’s under a different name; Malton Airport. At the end of the 1950’s, the airport was bought out by Transport Canada and turned into the place we see today. Finally in 1984, the name was changed to Lester B. Pearson International Airport in honour of the 14th Prime Minister of Canada.

The Toronto Pearson Airport is equipped with a multitude of lounges, shops, restaurants and coffee shops. There are money exchange kiosks as well as information booths to guide you in the right direction. The airport has designated smoking areas and trolleys to assist you in carrying your luggage.

Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is located on the Toronto Islands. It is a lot smaller then the Toronto Pearson Airport with one main runway and just a couple of smaller ones. Passengers must take a ferry across the water from Dowtown Toronto to Toronto Islands. The Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is mainly for Regional Airlines, Medical Flights, and Civil Aviation.

The Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is run by Toronto Port Authority and only has a couple airlines using its runway, including Porter Airline. Porter Airline was the main airline service used for the G20 summit in Toronto in June, 2010.

The Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport sits on the site of the old Baseball stadium as well as an amusement park and cottages. Construction began near the end of the 1930’s and there have been on going debates over the years as to whether or not the airport should remain functioning. But for now, it stands and only operates between designated hours in the day.

Toronto/Buttonville Municipal Airport is smaller the Toronto Pearson but larger then Billy Bishop. It is located in Buttonville, Ontario within the Markham region. The aircraft carriers usually stopping at this location hold no more then 15 passengers. There have been questions as to whether or not the Airport will continue to exist in the very near future. It began its life as an official airport in 1962 and has been transporting passengers ever since.

The other six Toronto and Greater Toronto Area airports are:

1. Toronto Markham Airport
2. Toronto Downsview Airport
3. Oshawa Airport
4. Brampton Airport
5. Burlington Executive Aerodrome and
6. John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport – which is the largest of the other 5.

Not included in this list are the several Heliports available in Toronto.

The city of Toronto has been in the process of building yet another great airport; the Pickering Airport. Although, there have been some issues in regards to the cost of building the Pickering Airport, especially since the city recently expanded Toronto Pearson International Airport. It is with hopes that the Pickering Airport might lessen the traffic seen at the major airports – Toronto Pearson and John C. Munro Hamilton Airport.

Toronto is a city full of travelers. Whether you are travelling in Toronto, in Canada, or internationally, you can find the airline and the airport that is perfect for your needs!

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Travel Guides

Toronto Travel Guides are vital for exploring and discovering the city of Toronto. There are many places to visit when visiting Toronto, but it always helps to have a little knowledge before heading out to your destination.

The Toronto city tourism has expanded over the past 10 years. With its growth, Toronto has been able to offer its tourists more bang for their buck. Toronto city tourism has also provided present and future travelers with helpful tips and traveling guides about visiting Toronto.

Toronto is classified as an expensive city to live in and to visit. There are many travel guide options to help stretch your budget further. Some attractions have discounted prices during certain times of the week. An example of this is the Royal Ontario Museum, which is free every Wednesday between 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm and half-price admissions on Fridays between 4:30 pm to 9:30 pm.

Another wallet friendly travel guide when visiting Toronto is to attend the facility or event in a group as many of these offer a discounted group rate. There are also Toronto travel packages that include coupons and reduced admissions to a several attractions. The travel packages will often allow you to visit several key attractions at reduced admission costs.

This is also true with the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission). You can purchase a weekly bus/train pass for a reduced rate. This mode of transportation is less costly than taking a cab or paying for parking downtown. With buses and trains every ten minutes, it is by far the fastest, least expensive, and most earth-friendly option for transportation in and around the city.

The theatres are a popular destination for visitors in Toronto. There are budget travel packages between many hotels, restaurants, and theatres in the Toronto Entertainment District. For a night in Toronto including a performance and dinner, you end up paying approximately half the amount then if you purchased each separately.

Budget travel guides also offer a lot of tips on places you can visit for free. This is good for family or student travelers.  All parks in and around Toronto are free. Other wallet-friendly attractions and sights include:

  • Kensington Market
  • Toronto Islands ($4 – $8 ferry ride, which leaves dock every 15 minutes)
  • The Beaches
  • Harbourfront Centre
  • Edwards Gardens
  • The Distillery District
  • Riverdale Farm

The Toronto traveling guides for parents touring with children have cost efficient places to stay, eat and visit. There are some Bed and Breakfasts around the outskirts of Toronto that offer great family packages.

The kids guide offers a lot of entertaining activities for the children. The Ontario Science Centre offers great exhibits and interactive games that teach children about science. Ontario Place is another great kid’s zone that is more cost efficient then Canada’s Wonderland.

For those traveling without children, Toronto is great for a romantic getaway. Toronto is easily labeled one of the most romantic cities in Canada. The Boardwalk in the Beaches District or the docks down at Harbourfront are both great places to visit and enjoy with your loved one.

Many hotels offer a special ‘Honeymoon’ package for couples. It may include a dinner at a nearby Toronto restaurant and/or a show at one of the theatres. It is a good way to enjoy the entertainment Toronto has to offer at a reduced cost.

Toronto has a huge party district, and many bachelor and bachelorette parties take place in the heart of Toronto every weekend. Known for its vibrating streets and crowded sidewalks, the Clubbing District is the place to be on the weekend.

A good tip for the party-goer travel guide is to put yourself on guest list before heading out to your destination. Most clubs start to have lines by 10:30 pm. It might be worth your time (and money) to arrive shortly before 10 pm. You can often skip the lines and pay a reduced early bird admission.

Toronto has great adventure travel and vacation packages. There are canoes, kayaks and boats you can rent to explore the shores of Toronto. If you travel east into the Scarborough district, the Rouge Valley has designated canoeing and fishing areas.

You can also purchase White Water Rafting packages for those looking for more adventure in travel. Although you will have to commute outside the city, it is an experience you won’t likely forget.  Other water activities you can try in Toronto are:

  • Dragon boat
  • Cruises
  • Sailing

Being an older city, there are Heritage sites all over Toronto. Along with the heritage sites, there are numerous walking tours geared towards historic sites. Travel tips for the walking tours would be to research the different companies and prices. Some are fast paced while others are more of a stroll. Depending on if you have children accompanying you, this could make the difference between a fun and a draining daytrip.

Whether you are traveling alone, with your family or with your spouse, there are many different travel tips and travel guides of Toronto to help make your visit a great one.

Niagara
Niagara Falls
Niagara on the Lake