Today, (August 13th, 2019) I received an email from Air Canada about a one day only “End of Summer” sale. It includes all destinations worldwide but there are some blackout dates. These sales are always a bit of a mystery. If you weren’t closely tracking fares it’s hard to know if it’s really a good deal or not.
The Base Fare
I see it actually states that it’s 15% off the the base fare and not simply a general 15% off with no details on how it works. The reality is the base fare is just one portion of the flight cost so the size of the discount will depend on the base fare amount. The rest of the fare is composed of additional surcharges, taxes and fees. Often the base fare is a comparatively small amount of the total price. Do an airfare search on matrix.itasoftware.com to see a breakdown of the numbers.
Perhaps you remember when airlines would omit all the extra charges when they advertised airfares? They were quite misleading especially to the non-frequent traveller. I did a quick google search and saw the rule came into effect around the end of 2012.
The Promo Code
This sale has a promo code: D8RNHGN1. Make sure the code has been applied when doing your search. It’s shown in the results when you select a flight.
If you look at the travel category in the “Hot Deals” forum on the Red Flag Deals website you will find a discussion of this sale and any similar flash sale. Typically there will be a few people who have been tracking fares. Some will discover true savings while others will see either none at all or a just a piddly few dollars.
Looking at the October Halifax to Marseille flights I checked a few days ago, Google Flights shows the lowest fare (basic economy) went up from $827 to $845 and that’s the price you get when you click through to Air Canada. Same with Skyscanner. But starting on the Air Canada website you will get a fare of $764 without the code. Adding the promo code brings the total down to $749. I find it a bit odd that the flight search websites are out of sync with the Air Canada site.
It’s a good idea to sign up to receive promotional emails from any airline or travel agency if you want to be aware of sales. I have a love/hate relationship with flash sales. You have to quickly figure out if there are truly any deals and be able to commit to booking the trip that day. Fortunately, you can cancel your flight up to 24 hours after purchase for a full refund. So if you make a hasty booking and regret it soon after you can at least undo it. And wait for the next “sale”.