Ask The Traveller: Ontario
Wednesday 14 September 2011
Bingo! We're avoiding next summer's Olympics by swapping our home in south London with a lakeside house in Ontario that belongs to a family whose son is competing in the Games. We need to fly to Ottawa on 24 or 25 July and back on 14 or 15 August. What are the best deals? Poppy Hughes, Dulwich
You are heading in the right direction for cheaper flights and less congestion: inbound to London in late July and outbound in the second week of August could be grim. But as with this summer, there are few transatlantic bargains to be found
We first checked with Canadian Affair, which runs high-quality budget flights from Gatwick to Ottawa. The problem is, the service runs only on Mondays, in other words a day too early for you.
Leaving on 23 July, returning three weeks later, the company wants £668 return for each over-11 at present (2-11 year-olds pay £40 less).
Air Canada has daily flights from Heathrow to the Canadian capital, priced at a depressing £906 for your preferred dates. Frankly, you would be better off aiming for Toronto, a much more competitive gateway with excellent surface links throughout Ontario. While Air Canada and BA are hardly at the races, each quoting £859 return, Canadian Affair has seats at £638.
If your outbound trip could go a day earlier, you might also consider an "open-jaw" itinerary, flying into Ottawa but back from Toronto to save making a there-and-back-again trip inside Canada; there are plenty of budget hotels if you need to stay one night in the Canadian capital before moving in.
Whatever you decide, fares are only ever going to go up for these peak summer dates – so commit as soon as you can, making sure the other family does so at more or less the same time.
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