June 3, 2017 Upgrade Mindset
Oh, Canada! Save 60%+ on Business Class Airfares to Asia on Air Canada, American, Cathay Pacific, Delta, United, and more.
Canada is one of the world’s best-kept secrets. Sure, the country to its south gets all the headlines, but Canada has an understated charm about it that makes for a very enjoyable visit. Oh, and the scenery’s rather nice, too. So, what does all this have to do with Asia? Read on.
At the time of this writing, a U.S. greenback gets you $1.35 in Canadian currency, which can make involving Canada in your travel plans to Asia very lucrative indeed.
Over the past five years the Canadian dollar has been falling. In 2017 it has been the worst performing G10 currency. In early May it hit its weakest point in 14 months. While I’m no economist—and it’s hard to know who to believe these days—I’m told the currency decline has to do with U.S. crude oil prices and a divergence in monetary policy between the two countries, among other reasons. Apparently, this isn’t good for Canadians, but it is for Americans—especially those eyeing ridiculously low premium travel to Asia.
Getting from the U.S. to Asia in Business Class is expensive. New York–Tokyo return is more than $5,000 on major carriers, Chicago–Hong Kong around $7,000, and Dallas–Hong Kong close to $6,000. In hockey terms, that’s ouch, ouch, and ouch. A slapshot to the hip pocket.
So we’ve applied some cool, fresh thinking to get to Asia.
It’s via Canada.
And cool, fresh thinking is appropriate for a nation in which 9% of the surface area is covered in cool, fresh water.
The idea is to “slingshot” to Asia via Canada on the back of:
1) ridiculously low airfares, and
2) a very favorable exchange rate (think shopping), and
3) a beautiful country with so much to see, from sea to sea.
How Our 6-for-1 Strategy Works
A quick summary of what you could do without fresh, cool thinking: a Business Class New York–Tokyo round-trip is $5,274 for a non-stop on All Nippon. One destination, Tokyo.
So, we say: include Canada in your thinking to get to Asia for way less, and get two cities in Canada, so three destinations, eh?
The strategy involves buying two “open jaw” tickets:
New York > Toronto and Montreal > New York (alternatively, you could look at Calgary and Vancouver)—is the maple syrup inside the double stack pancake. Those bookended flights are only around an hour and a half long, give or take, so it’s not a big ask. The ticket costs about ~$200 for coach, while for ~$500 you can fly Business Class. Me? I’d use 15,000 British Air miles to fly those short-hauls on American.
Your Second “Open Jaw” Ticket:
On Air Canada is the main course: Toronto > Tokyo > Montreal. It costs $2,252. So, we say why not spend a few quality days in Toronto on the way, and Montreal on the way back? Or don’t. For a little extra travel time you’re still pocketing big bucks on the savings, whether or not you stop in Canada or just fly through.
The trip to Tokyo from New York, including two gorgeous Canadian cities, costs $2,472. That’s a saving of $2,802, meaning you can do the whole thing again or take a second person with you–and still pay less than one New York–Tokyo return flight.
That’s three cities—instead of one—for less than half the price of only one. So, if two of you take the trip, it’s six for the price of one. Scooooorre!
Four More Examples
Houston – Taipei on United Airlines: $5,038
Vancouver – Taipei on Air Canada: $1,923
Chicago – Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific: $6,940
Calgary – Hong Kong on Air Canada: $2,717
Dallas – Hong Kong on American Airlines: $5,869
Montreal – Hong Kong on Air Canada: $2,671
San Francisco – Tokyo on Cathay Pacific: $4,948
Vancouver – Bangkok on Air Canada: $1,944
The Best of Canada
The word’s second largest country has a world’s worth of wonders, including:
- Via Toronto: The Blue Jays, CN Tower, Niagara Falls
- Via Montreal: Vieux-Québec (or Old Quebec), Old Montreal, Formula 1 Grand Prix
- Via Calgary: Banff National Park, Lake Louise, Jasper National Park, the Calgary Stampede
- Via Vancouver: Whistler Ski Resort, Victoria Harbour, Stanley Park
Example of Amazing Fares We’ve Recently Found from Canada to Asia