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Vacation packagers preferences?

Toronto
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285 posts
11 reviews
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Vacation packagers preferences?

I'm considering a trip to the Iberostar in February flying out of Toronto. There appears to be three packagers, Air Canada,Canjet and Sunwing offering flights, all with similar prices and at a glance, similar package inclusions. Some time differences in departures but I'm wondering if people have preferences on what packager based on past experiences. Thanks

Toronto, Canada
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617 posts
38 reviews
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1. Re: Vacation packagers preferences?

We have flown with all of the companies you have mentioned. While you hear good and bad experiences with all airlines we have been lucky with all of them.

In February we flew out the day after that big snowstorm in Toronto. We were booked with Air Canada and basically we only had about a 90 minute delay. We heard stories from other passengers who were booked with Sunwing that day and they had a delay of about 1 1/2 days. So in this case Air Canada came out on top.

I don't like Sunwing's departure times and so tend to stay away for that reason. We just came back from Iberostar Ensenachos and this time were booked with Westjet. No complaints with them as well.

Good luck with your decision.

Sault Ste. Marie...
Destination Expert
for Cuba
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2,689 posts
120 reviews
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2. Re: Vacation packagers preferences?

I've used Transat (Canjet) and Sunwing several times. I've not used Air Canada simply because they are usually more expensive.

I like really early departure times, and Sunwing usually ticks that box for me.

Air Canada has a larger fleet of planes than Canjet or Sunwing, so if a plane has an issue etc (like the situation Adriana mentioned), Air Canada may be more likely to be able to bring in another aircraft. I also think Air Canada has a higher baggage weight allowance.

Happy planning :)

Vaudreuil-Dorion...
Destination Expert
for Cayo Ensenachos
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2,878 posts
34 reviews
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3. Re: Vacation packagers preferences?

If you are booking with Air Transat vacations they have the "monopoly" deal with the IBE on better rooms and extra a-la-carte reservations. We have always flown south with them and have been pleased. We have always flown down on time and we have gotten back on time or before as once everyone is on board in Cuba they take off. We only left Montreal late once due to the flight that was supposed to have left the gate we were at next left late.. ... that was a Sunwing flight. The AT crew was good and rushed fast so we could leave as soon as possible (in the end we lost 20 min. leaving). I think it was a record time in loading and taking off. When we left Cuba the Sunwing flight that was supposed to arrive and depart before ours got in after the AT flight. We were boarded and took off before the people even got onto the Sunwing flight. I have never flown with Sunwing, but from what I have seen they would be far down my list. AT also has a better luggage weight allowance.

I have flown Air Canada several times and like them but I never have flown to Cuba with them as their prices in economy alone have always been much higher than Transat's Club Class. AC is changing their flights to their Rouge fleet. Just heard from another TA member the comfort in the plane was not fun. Apparently there is something worse than being in a can of sardines, LOL.

London, Canada
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5,526 posts
23 reviews
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4. Re: Vacation packagers preferences?

I have flown with all of them. I would not fly with Canjet again, in fact if they were the only carrier going to a certain hotel or destination I would pick a different place (that's how bad they are). People who complain about Rouge have obviously never flown on Canjet. Sunwing we didn't have any problems with but the baggage allowance is not as good as Air Canada. I would choose Air Canada as in my opinion they are reliable and have great flight times. I will say, if you choose Air Canada, it might be worth it to upgrade to the Rouge Plus section for an extra $40 each way. Unfortunately out of Toronto we don't have any options for business class or club class. If we did I would definitely book them as we always looked forward to that nice start to the vacation.........

Nova Scotia
Destination Expert
for Cayo Ensenachos
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1,152 posts
11 reviews
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5. Re: Vacation packagers preferences?

For me it's all about the flight times, have to be day time coming and going. So done with the all night flights. It's ok on the way down but coming home arriving at 4am, no thank you!!!

Transat has always been great for us with the Club especially.. It appears that you do not have that option so If it were me, I think I would go with Air Canada. My reason would be because I could book Executive Class. I love the great start to my vacay! If you go with AC be sure to ask your agent if it's AC or their "new" rouge because the reviews on the flights are not great.

Canjet, they are the carrier for Transat if no Transat plane is available, and their seats are cramped. At least for me they were and the same goes for Sunwing.

This is the very first year I have seen AC packages coming in the same or even sometimes cheaper than Transat and Sunwing. Even in Atlantic Canada. When we booked, AC had not yet published their packages like Transat had so we went with Transat. A few months later AC did and their prices was a bit cheaper, not the case now.

So if you don't need extra room & pampering like myself...your choices are there. Pick one with flight times that work for you. All flights will get you to the paradise that is Iberostar Ensenachos. You will certainly enjoy the hotel. Good luck choosing.

Brampton, ON
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1,347 posts
46 reviews
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6. Re: Vacation packagers preferences?

wondering if there are any differences with what is included in the package - just read a review where someone said they got 50cuc credit for spa with spa room booking - does that go for any of the company packages?? or was it a special?? thats the first ive heard of that and hope it is still the case when i go!

Vaudreuil-Dorion...
Destination Expert
for Cayo Ensenachos
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2,878 posts
34 reviews
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7. Re: Vacation packagers preferences?

Some have special packages including spa treatment but it depends what the charter is offering. You also usually pay more for these packages. In my case it was the IBE that gave us a gift certificate to the Spa. I believe everyone booked in the Spa section was getting them as our friends who came alone with us got one as well and mangement mentioned to me that they were trying something new by giving one per room. This isn't a usual practice so when it starts and ends is unknown.

The normal difference between charters at the resort are the number of a-la-carte visits as well as room location.

Edited: 1:05 pm, December 29, 2013
Southern Ontario
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1,638 posts
2 reviews
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8. Re: Vacation packagers preferences?

We just came back from Los Galeones using HolaSun as the provider and CanJet as airline. CanHet has an agreement with HolaSun that if you are travelling for 14 or more days, you are entitled to 30 KG checked baggage and 10 KB carry on each. That played a big part in who we booked with. SunWing was going with their usual 20 KG checked & 5 KG carry on. We are light travellers but this time we had donations to the clinic and hospital; so we took advantage of HolaSun (also saved $102 each on package) and took extra clothing for the priest to distribute to his parish.

But I did enjoy Aqua Vida in Cayo Coco - it wasn't included and cost 40 CUCs (could have been 30 CUCs - i'm getting old and can't remember) - but I had the best day ever! Usually SunWing is our most used carrier. So this time we took a chance and it paid off.

Toronto
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285 posts
11 reviews
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9. Re: Vacation packagers preferences?

Thanks to all. I'll do some more investigating. We flew to Holguin last year with Canjet and Hola Sun and the flight was Ok. Tight but OK. We have flown numerous times to other destinations using both Sunwing and Transat and the dearly departed Skyservice. All seem to have some pros and cons. As long as we get where we want to go safely and reasonably on time, I guess that's the main thing.

New Brunswick
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162 posts
4 reviews
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10. Re: Vacation packagers preferences?

We have used Air Canada many times and have been very pleased. Sun Wing is hit or miss on departure times. I have heard of many delays and in some cases, a "direct flight" landing in 1 or more airports (this is in NB) to fill the flight. This probably won't be an issue out of Toronto. We have had great luck with Air Canada, West Jet and Transat

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