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Canadian Brides: West Jet, Air Transat or Sunwing?


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#1 Soon2BeMrsW

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    Posted 22 August 2013 - 07:21 PM

    I'm currently in the process of getting quotes from travel agents for my wedding next summer.  And, I'm starting to feel overwhelmed...  First of all, all the quotes that I'm receiving are higher than what I was expecting to pay for our vacation.  I'm worried that our guests, many of whom said they were going to come, are going to change their mind once they see the prices.  I'm trying to choose the best travel agent and tour operator in order to get the best group rate for our group, but it's not easy.

     

    My first choice would be to travel with West Jet, as I've always had good experiences with them and they seem to have a pretty good reputation.  The problem is that their prices are higher, especially for those with kids, than Air Transat and Sunwing.  I want to go with one of the cheaper companies, but I'm worried as I've heard many stories of flights being changed and canceled at the last minute.  In fact, one of the travel agents told me that she doesn't work with Sunwing anymore because of their constantly changing flights, which have affected her clients and their wedding guests in the past. 

     

    So what do you think?  Pay a bit extra and go with West Jet or save a few bucks and risk having flight schedules changed/canceled before the big day? 



    #2 MelB2012

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      Posted 23 August 2013 - 05:21 AM

      Originally Posted by Soon2BeMrsW 

      I'm currently in the process of getting quotes from travel agents for my wedding next summer.  And, I'm starting to feel overwhelmed...  First of all, all the quotes that I'm receiving are higher than what I was expecting to pay for our vacation.  I'm worried that our guests, many of whom said they were going to come, are going to change their mind once they see the prices.  I'm trying to choose the best travel agent and tour operator in order to get the best group rate for our group, but it's not easy.

       

      My first choice would be to travel with West Jet, as I've always had good experiences with them and they seem to have a pretty good reputation.  The problem is that their prices are higher, especially for those with kids, than Air Transat and Sunwing.  I want to go with one of the cheaper companies, but I'm worried as I've heard many stories of flights being changed and canceled at the last minute.  In fact, one of the travel agents told me that she doesn't work with Sunwing anymore because of their constantly changing flights, which have affected her clients and their wedding guests in the past. 

       

      So what do you think?  Pay a bit extra and go with West Jet or save a few bucks and risk having flight schedules changed/canceled before the big day? 

      We went with Transat. We've had a couple hiccups with the service provider, but my travel agent has been wonderful in providing work arounds to the changes by Transat.

       

      In the end, I think the inconveniences probably benefitted me in the end.

       

      I've also heard horror stories about Sunwing, from other brides, and my bridesmaid (who is a travel agent as well - who also won't work with Sunwing anymore).... so I definitely wouldn't book through them.

       

      Good luck! Find yourself an awesome travel agent! My first agent was brutal. My second one I stuck with, and he's fantastic.



      #3 Soon2BeMrsW

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        Posted 23 August 2013 - 02:49 PM

        MelB2012, what kind of hiccups/changes did you have to deal with with Transat?

        #4 MelB2012

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          Posted 26 August 2013 - 05:01 AM

          Originally Posted by Soon2BeMrsW 

          MelB2012, what kind of hiccups/changes did you have to deal with with Transat?

          With Transat, I booked about a year in advance (For my November 2013 wedding). Probably too early, but I got a pretty decent rate (Have seen others with similar rates, but nothing cheaper.)

           

          Because I booked so early, locked in my rate with 5 rooms (parents/siblings.) I only sent my invitations in early March 2013. In April 2013 I was notified that because I had nobody booked rooms in such an extended amount of time (5 rooms booked early in October 2012) Transat was releasing some of my seats to another wedding group, as they needed them and had booking already.

           

          Needless to say I freaked out - Queue Travel Agent.... He arranged for another flight for my group, with similar times in a different gate (Montreal instead of Toronto.) As most of my group lives in Ottawa, this actually panned out well. The folks living in Toronto all booked with the original flight, and the rest of us transferred to another gate.

           

          This is why I stress the need of a great travel agent. They work for you, the airlines don't.



          #5 jypsejenny

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            Posted 28 August 2013 - 12:10 PM

            We booked with Transat thru our travel agent for our November 2013 wedding. We got a pretty good deal. If your going to use a travel agent make sure they have been specializing in weddings for awhile so they know all the do's and dont's

            #6 shmanderz

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            • Wedding Date:May 10, 2014
            • Wedding Location:Beach Palace Cancun
            • LocationAirdrie, Alberta

            Posted 05 September 2013 - 10:45 AM

            I am booked with Sunwing Vacations through my travel agent at Marlin Travel.  We got a really good group rate at about $1500-$1800/week staying at Beach Palace in cancun.  Our flight times look realy good (just hope they dont change!!!) and so far no real hiccups with any of my group booking or making adjustments to their hotel rooms and trip length (Some are staying for 2 weeks)

             

            The only HUGE issue that I am super furious about is the fact that when I initially contacted Sunwin for a quote it said:

             

            "BOOK BY OCTOBER 31, 2013: One complimentary adult for every 10 adult booked (11th adult is complimentary) at BEACH PALACE - CC DLX RST VIEW AI for the same package, dates and duration, lowest room category, excluding taxes. Maximum 4 complimentary"

             

            When I decided to go with a travel agent i sent her this quote and she was able to secure the same pricing and everything.

             

            But now....6 months later, my travel agent tells me that the group booking deal we are eligible is "the 11th person booked is free" not EVERY 11th...which was what I was initially told.  This means my fiance and I suddenly have to add almost $2000 onto our wedding budget because it looks like we now have to pay for one of our trips...even though we have 26 people booked.  I am PISSED. 
            The Travel agent said that booking directly with Sunwing gets you a better deal????  That makes no sense to me...why would anyone use a travel agent then....

             

            Well I raised a huge fus and she is going to talk with Sunwing.  Its been two weeks now and now word from my travel agent.  I tried calling Sunwing but they said I have to get my info from my travel agent and they cant help me.  It is ridiculously frusterating....especially since this could have been avoided by a) my travel agent telling me from the start and B) Just booking directly with Sunwing to save ourselves nearly $2000.....

             

            I am hoping that I can finally get in contact with a rep at Sunwing and try to get them to honor my origininal booking bonus deal but I kind of have the feeling that we are hooped. 



            #7 Jenn963

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              Posted 05 September 2013 - 10:55 AM

              I am also going through Marlin Travel and flying with Sunwing to Punta Cana, DR in November 2013.  So far so GREAT! my agent is AWESOME...busy but ALWAYS has time to talk and get back to me...very clear on things when I ask him.  Hoping the flights don't change on us last minute...right now, we have our flight times set at great times (not too early, not too late) so I'm hoping and praying this stays the same till Nov.  We got the booking bonus, 16th person flies free so that helped us..and we get a price drop if we find that there is a cheaper rate from now till Nov (has to be same exact day and carrier).  He's upgraded our seats and working on upgrading our room :) 



              #8 jolene028

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              • Wedding Date:November 13, 2013
              • Wedding Location:Varadero, Cuba

              Posted 05 September 2013 - 02:12 PM

              I used Transat through Maritime Travel and we paid our deposit in November 2012 and our guests had until January 2013 the only problem that we had was that in June when the flight schedule went public they changed our flights from the 18 of November to the 11... but they told me that booking so early is actually a registration and that it could happen, honestly it worked out better because now we are leaving on a "holiday" (for most people) so people are only having to take 4 work days not 5. Plus we got a rate of $1490 per person so I couldn't complain at all!



              #9 STemple

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                Posted 05 September 2013 - 04:41 PM

                I worked as a travel agent and in my own personal travel experience and those of my clients, sunwing/signature (they are the same company) are horrible. I will not book them, you can expect delays and changed flights. I love westjet however I find they overprice. I have had good experiences with air transat and surprisingly air canada vacations. I plan to use ACV for my wedding. Hope this info helps :) Also for those wanting to get married at a riu property you have no choice but sunwing as they hold exclusivity and no other carriers sell it :(

                #10 Soon2BeMrsW

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                  Posted 06 September 2013 - 06:03 AM

                  Thanks for all the info. We've decided to go with West Jet. I feel more comfortable with them as they seem to be a bit more reliable, plus they have a lot more choices in terms of flights. Sunwing and Air Transat only fly to Cancun once a week from Edmonton in the summer. We didn't like Air Transat's flight times, especially since they could change at any time. And, I just haven't heard good things about Sunwing, which made me nervous. In the end, our price for West Jet was pretty comparable to the other quotes we received, so I'm happy.




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