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Fly worry-free this holiday season!

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AirHelp travel experts give Canadians a few tips on planning, packing and checking into a worry-free holiday season

Whether it is jetting off to new adventures, or flying home to loved ones, the holiday season can be the most wonderful time of the year – however, flying can be the worst. To help make Canadians’ travel experiences that much easier and a little more jolly, AirHelp, the world’s leading tech-based flight delays compensation company, has a few tips that they recommend Canadians keep in mind while planning, packing and checking into a worry-free holiday season:


Planning for your Holiday Travels

The holiday season is most certainly one of the busiest times of the year. During the holiday season of 2017 (Nov 1, 2017-January 1, 2018), Canada had over 140,000 flights flying for the holiday season. Of that, Pearson International airport had a little over 34,000 departures. The first step in any good holiday season travel adventure is to start with strategic preparation:

Book long in advance: The closer you get to the holidays the less choice you’ll have in terms of an airport to fly from and to, airline operating your flights, departure and arrival date and time, as well as class or seats. But most importantly, the longer you wait the more you’ll pay. To save yourself and your wallet from stress, book your flights as soon as you can. According to, the best time to book flights is 70 days in advance.

While booking: There are few tips to avoid the crowds and hopefully the delays, as well as save a few dollars. To help save you a little time and money, keep your travel dates flexible, and based on AirHelp’s analysis of Canada’s top five performing airports and their on time performance, it is recommend travelling on Wednesday before 12:00pm and after 6:00am.

Take your time: It goes without saying that during the holiday season, Canadians are at the biggest risk for delays. Last year, of the same timeline a little over 45,000  Canadian flights were delayed, that is 1 in 3 departing flights. So save yourself some stress and give yourself extra time between your connecting flights. Remember, if you are running to make your connection, your checked luggage isn’t! You’re paying airport taxes whether you are there for a few minutes or hours. Take the time to use the washroom, eat something new, pick up your favorite magazine and shop for those last minute gifts.


Packing for the Holidays

No matter the destination, packing for the holidays is hard. When packing AirHelp likes to remember a few simple steps:

Stay Calm and Carry on: Just like any other trip during the year, packing just a carry-on, can change your travelling experience. You will not have to wait and watch every other suitcase pass by on the carousel, wondering if yours even made it to the same destination as you. For many of us, the holidays require us to travel with a variety of sized gifts, however, if you can pack light, and avoid taking liquids in containers of more than 3.4 ounces/100ml, the carry-on will work for you.

Even Santa has to go through security: Whether you are flying home for the holidays or flying out of the country, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) is allowed and may open your luggage for a screening and a little gift wrapping is not going to stop them! AirHelp travel experts recommend, not wrapping any of your gifts until after you’ve arrived at your destination, or using gift bags and boxes (untaped of course). Remember to also lock your luggage with a CASTA approved lock, which can be opened by security and won’t have to be broken.

Let Santa do it: If you are going home or visiting friends and family, consider shipping your gifts in advance. Avoid having to pack them, take extra luggage or worse, pay excess baggage fees. Keep it mind that airports and airlines are not the only ones busy, so is Canada Post or any courrier, so plan in advance. If you’re not much of a planner when it comes to gift shopping or prefer to do it last minute, remember that gift cards are easy to pack and still appreciated!



During this time of the year, where airports and airlines are busier than ever, there are a few things that can help win some time and skip the lines:

Skip the Lines, Check-in Online: You can check-in online up to 24 hours prior to your departure depending on your airline. You will be able to change your seat, and check-in any luggage, meaning no more waiting in check-in lines. During your online check-in, save trees and continue to save yourself time and stress, by requesting an electronic boarding pass to be sent via email or text message. Not only are you helping the environment, but it’ll make sure your phone is never left behind.

But first, Duty-free: Shopping for Duty-free gifts is maybe the best part of travelling through airports. However, AirHelp travel experts recommend Canadians are aware of the quantity limits per passenger and keep your purchased items in their sealed plastic bag with your boarding pass. Depending on the country of your stopover, you may not be allowed to board with duty-free items from your previous flight, therefore the best time to shop is during your connection.


Flying during the Holidays

When the worst happens: Despite taking all the precautionary measures, it is not always in the airlines control when a flight disruption occurs, e.g. when the weather is bad.. However, compensation up to $900 CD per passenger will be awarded if the disruption is caused by the airline. What AirHelp can promise is that passengers that face these situations will not be alone! If you face a flight delay, cancellation or denied boarding, connect with AirHelp via their app or website to check if you are eligible for compensation and they will be able to help you claim. Not a bad holiday gift!

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About AirHelp

AirHelp is the world’s leading flight delays compensation company, helping passengers apply for compensation following a delayed, cancelled or denied boarding. Since launching in 2013, AirHelp has helped more than seven million people process airline compensation claims worth almost 800 million euros in total reimbursement. AirHelp has offices across the world, is available in 30 countries, offers support in 16 languages, and employs more than 550 employees globally.

For further information or to arrange an interview with AirHelp, please contact: Victoria Mattacchione at Strategic Objectives

Email: [email protected]; Tel: 416.366.7735, Ext. 260