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Asia

Air Canada is back on top of the podium. The Montreal-based airline today was named best in North America by Skytrax, a prestigious British-based group that surveys airline passengers and says its reviews are entirely independent. The results were announced at the Paris Air Show. It’s a great feather in the cap for Air Canada, which was named the best North American airline from 2010 to 2014, then watched Virgin America capture the crown the past two years. That means they’ve copped the award six times in the past eight years. “We’re super happy, obviously, and very proud to represent ... continue reading →

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Hong Kong makes sense. Certainly Tokyo. But Athens? And how does my home city of Toronto end up fifth best for food in Canada? Booking.com today released a list of the top destinations its travellers enjoy for great food. There are some obvious inclusions and some surprising exclusions, if you ask me. (Which you technically didn’t). Here’s what booking.com customers came up with for a ranking of the food scene in Canada: 1. Vancouver 2. Montreal 3. Halifax 4. Winnipeg 5. Toronto I don’t want to get all parochial here, but there’s not a chance Toronto is only the fifth ... continue reading →

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Expedia’s climb in Canada has been remarkable. Fifteen years ago, Expedia.ca was just coming into existence. Most Canadians looking for hotels at the time used something called a land-line telephone at home to book hotels or even went without reservations and cruised the highways of Canada and the U.S., or the streets of Europe, looking for flashing vacancy signs in hotel windows. Now, Expedia.ca is the largest on-line travel service provider in the country and does $12 billion gross in business in Canada per year; a target they reached back in 2012. From zero hotel properties and zero airlines in ... continue reading →

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Sure, a ticket to see Aunt Gladys next spring would be a great way to spend your Aeroplan points. But maybe this Christmas you could try something a little sexier or exotic (no offence to Aunt Gladys). You’re in luck, because Aeroplan officials have unveiled a huge lineup of goodies that you can purchase to impress your loved ones, or those you’d like to make love you a little bit more. From glamorous Tissot watches to Bose electronics to Roots shaving kits to one-of-a-kind gifts you simply can’t find in a store (such as a guitar autographed by members of ... continue reading →

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I was travel editor for five years at the Star. I’ve been travelling the world (on and off) for 25 years or so. But I still can’t figure out why Asian airlines are able to do things North American airlines can’t. Or won’t. There’s just something about the service you get when you fly an airline like Cathay Pacific that you won’t find on American or Delta, and probably not WestJet or Air Canada. It’s little things, I think, such as nicer bathrooms and hand lotion even in economy washrooms. Not to mention a TV screen that showed passengers what ... continue reading →

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