Air Canada Bid Upgrade Guide

Flying Air Canada and looking to splurge? Upgrade to premium economy or business class by bidding on potential empty seats!  Here is a quick guide to help you through the process.

Important note: Bids are non-refundable (if accepted/won) and the cost is above and beyond your original ticket price.  You will not gain any additional reward miles on bid upgraded seats.

First, you must already have a ticket and booking reference (book through a site like Expedia to get an immediate booking reference by email).  Once you have these, head over to Air Canada’s bidding website to see if your flight is eligible for bid upgrades.  To check eligibility, simply enter your booking reference and last name.

AC-bid-upgrade-eligibility

Next, select the flights you want to bid on and which class (premium economy or business class).  If you have a round-trip ticket, you must bid on both the outgoing and incoming flights during the same session (but you can choose to not provide a bid on one of the directions if you do not feel like it).  Use the slider to choose your bid price.  Note that there is a minimum threshold that you can bid.

AC-Bid-Upgrade-Slider

Tip: If you’re only willing to bid the minimum, bid slightly above to beat out everyone else that is bidding the minimum.

Once you have chosen your bid, you will be taken to a confirmation and payment screen to enter your credit card information.

AC-Bid-Upgrade-Payment-Screen

Once your bid is confirmed, your credit card will only be charged if Air Canada accepts your bid.  You will usually receive confirmation 72 hours before your scheduled flight.

Happy bidding!

Air Canada Bid Upgrades Now Available

Air-Canada-Seat-Bidding-Upgrades

See some additional ‘hacks’ at the end of this post.

Want to fly premium economy or business class, but not pay the full price?  Air Canada now allows economy ticket holders to place bids on empty premium economy and business class seats before their flight.  Just like any auction, the highest bidder(s) will get the seat(s).

The process is quite simple.  Bids are made online using a sliding scale with a set minimum and maximum amount. When passengers pick their price, a chart lets them know the strength of their offer.  Travellers find out if they have the winning bid about 48 hours before departure.

air-canada-bid-upgrades

According to Air Canada, the purposes of the Offer Strength chart is to be a rough indicator of how likely a bidder is to win the auction, although the algorithm used for this graph seems quite obscure.  It is safe to assume that the chart is a marketing tool to get bidders to bid higher than they otherwise would have with the goal of making the overall top bids higher.

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Travel Startup? Founder Institute (FI.co) Review and Promotional Discount Code

Founder Institute Review Discount Code

Are you an aspiring Travel Startup?  Think you can be the next Expedia?  If so, be sure to check out Founder Institute’s Startup Accelerator Program.  Fonder Institute is an idea stage accelerator program that helps founders turn ideas in to fully running businesses in 12 weeks.  Over the course of the program, founders learn everything from startup legal, to user acquisition and of course how to pitch investors.  Each week showcases different investors that Founders can pitch to and connect with.

Other benefits include:

  • Quick idea validation – If you can’t survive Founder Institute, your idea probably won’t survive in the real world
  • Great place to meet dozens of investors and startup industry professionals making it easy to “get in front of” investors
  • Weekly milestones to keep you on track and build your company in a startup focused pace
  • Shares in all the other founders/companies that are part of your program

If you’re interested and missed the early sign-up deadline, use this link to get access to the discount.  Otherwise, go to FI.co to find a free info session near you.  If you go to one of the info sessions, be sure to prepare a 60 second ‘pitch’ as you might have the opportunity to pitch investors there on the spot for some free feedback.  A pitch should focus on Problem, Solutions and Why They Should Care (e.g. market size, traction, revenue, etc.).

Good luck!

 

Surf Bus Oahu North Shore Tour Review and Tips

If you’re in Honolulu or Waikiki beach area and are looking to do a day trip to the North Shore area, be sure to check out Surf Bus.  They hit up all the main spots with a choice of activities and in the morning and the afternoon included in the price.  Below is a general review and tips to get the most out of your day.  If you can, be sure to ask for Mike as a drive as he’s quite the comedian and will entertain you during the drive.

 

General Schedule

8am – Hotel pickup.
9:30am – Macadamia shop stop for a washroom break and souvenir shopping (15 minutes)
10:30am – Arrive in the North Shore area.
11am – Beginning of your morning activity.   Choices include:
– Snorkling
– Hike + waterfall swim (see above video)
– Bike ride
1pm – Lunch time!
2pm – Beach hangout
3pm – Beginning of your afternoon activity.  Choices include:
– Surfing
– SUP (see above video)
– Kayaking
5pm – Turtle viewing at the beach
5:15pm – Head back to hotel
6:30pm – Arrive back at hotel.

 

Tips

– Make use of the cooler.  Bring your own snacks and water to tide you over for the whole day (and save money).
– Bring your own towel (a quick dry one if you can) and a change of clothes as it can get cool at times.  Wear your swimsuit from the start to save time.
– Try the garlic shrimp hut during your lunch stop (delicious, but very garlicky!) for around $16USD.
– Don’t forget to tip your driver (approx. $10USD).

How To Turn 20 Days Of Annual Leave Into 47 Days Of Travel in 2017.

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If you’re in Australia, you’ll love this!  Awol/Contiki has put together a chart that shows how to turn 20 days of annual leave into 47 days of travel.  By strategically planning your leave days (book them before your colleagues!), you can enjoy up to 47 days of travel if you combine weekends, holidays and your annual leave days.

contiki-47-days-of-travel-for-20-days-leave

So what are you waiting for?  To see the latest deals from Contiki go here. #NoRegrets

 

Free WhatsApp Roaming with KnowRoaming

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Get 30% off instantly here. Promocode RAITA00.

KnowRoaming, a Toronto-based player in the international mobile roaming market just introduced a game-changer.  By simply signing up and having one of their international SIMs, users get free and unlimited WhatsApp usage.  And that’s not just messaging, but also pictures, videos and calls so long as it’s through the WhatsApp app.

So how does one get on the KnowRoaming network?  Simply order one of their SIM stickers ($29.99USD) or SIM cards ($9.99USD) to get started (HINT: Use promo code RAITA00 for a $9/$3 discount).  The main difference between the two is that the sticker allows you to use your existing SIM at the same time so there’s no need to switch between two SIM cards.  On the other hand, the SIM card option is great if you have an old phone lying around that you want to use exclusively for travel.  Both options require your phone to be unlocked (well worth the cost!).

As for savings, aside from the free WhatsApp usage, unlimited data is available for $7USD/day in most countries.  This option is ideal for business people and bloggers that need regular connection to the internet and since it’s unlimited, it really is worry-free.  For other reasons to go unlimited and forget about wifi, see my other post here.

Finally, if you’re already with KnowRaoming, the unlimited WhatsApp option is already available to you.  No changes needed!

Berlin Beaches – Strandbad Wannsee Beach Area

Berlin, although a landlocked city, has a great beach area on the outskirts of the city.  The Strandbad Wannsee area is very family friendly with full washrooms and change rooms.  It also neighbours a marina with plenty of boating options, including sailing.  From central Berlin, it is about 30 minutes by train and another 15 minutes of walking (from the station to the beach area).  Access to the beach area is roughly €5.50 depending on your age and student status.