I tried to book a flight to St. Maartin using my Aeroplan points this week.
As I was on hold I heard that you now need to pre-register their sporting equipment at time of booking the flight.
So I checked out the Air Canada website and read their new Sport Equipment Policy
If you show up at the airport with your golf clubs or skiis or snowboard without pre-registering them, you will pay extra. If you book ahead, they will allow the sports equipment as part of your checked baggage allowance.
But here is something really crazy...
"The following Sports Equipment is not accepted as Checked Baggage:
Canoes/Hang Gliders/Kayaks/Luges/Polevaults/Windsurfers/Kite Boards are not accepted as checked baggage. Please contact Air Canada Cargo for handling."
So, you can take a snowboard AND boots, a long pair of skiis, poles, boots, golf clubs, bow and arrows, water skiis, all for no extra charge.
If you want you can even take a SEVEN AND A HALF FOOT SURFBOARD and it will only cost you an extra $50...
But no kite boards allowed.
I might be tempted to just tell the Check In person that I was bringing my snowboard to St Maartin or use my NSI Golf Bag but with all the CATSA and RCMP tasering going on I wouldn't want to take the risk of lying about the contents of my baggage.
So, for fun I called Air Canada Cargo for a price to ship my prohibited kiteboard to SXM. Sorry, they guy said... we don't have a Cargo Agent in SXM so we can't accept it.
Just as well because they asked me for 137,500 Aeroplan miles for an economy ticket on their "Classic PLUS Rewards" program.
Nope, that is NOT a typo! The regular redemption is 40,000 miles and they had one ticket available southbound, but I had to cough up 137,500 for the return flight. (Oh and the plane was 1/3 empty according to the online seating chart)
For comparison... ya gotta laugh at their alacrity; 140,000 miles get true First Class
on any Star Alliance (not just Exec on Air Canada) to Australia, Western Samoa, Russia, Hong Kong, China etc. 100,000 will get you First Class on Star Alliance to Argentina or Brazil! Twice as far as St Maartin.
So, we booked two tickets directly to Tortola for $785 through my TD Travel Rewards flying on American Airlines.
"At Air Canada we're not happy until you're not happy!"
I think I'll park my CIBC Aerogold Visa and use the TD Visa more often!