Is it the same hotel room?

 

I had the opportunity to answer a great question at work today.

“If Air Canada and WestJet and the other travel companies are selling the same hotel at different prices is it the same hotel room or different rooms?

My answer came in the form of an analogy. If you were buying a jar of Kraft peanut butter from Safeway or Sobeys, No Frills or Giant Tiger  it would be exactly the same Kraft peanut butter from the same Kraft factory. So it is also quite likely the same hotel room just being sold by two different vacation retailers.

Of course, different companies will feature or advertise that jar of peanut butter using different words (marketing descriptions). And each grocery store will put it on sale at different times or in different ways that suit their marketing agenda. But it would still be the same jar of peanut butter.

For example, a $1 off coupon, or buy 3 get 1 free promotion. Same peanut butter, and essentially the same savings, just presented to the consumer differently.

However there are some cases where hotels will block off a certain section of rooms and give them to one company to sell, exclusively.  Those rooms might have a unique view or exclusive proximity to the pool or entertainment area or something like that.  A privilege of this exclusivity is the airline/vacation provider can claim they have something to sell/feature that no other company has. So, yes, it absolutely could be a (slightly) different hotel room.

Ultimately the more buying power a company has the better deal they can negotiate with the hotel provider. So it does pay to shop around and focus on your own personal needs and situation when buying a vacation package. Prices can vary for exactly the same room. Or rooms could vary based on exclusivity rights.

To sum up with the analogy….you may not need four jars of peanut butter, even thought the deal seems attractive. The better deal for you personally, might be $1  off ONE jar of peanut butter.

So my advice is to not get hung up on the marketing words in the hotel description, but in fact analyze the description based on amenities and compare that way. “600 sq feet, balcony, king bed, mini fridge, and garden view.” That tells me what I am getting in the hotel room.

Whereas “modern, island oasis, perfect for your family, sleeps 4 and features unique herbal rainforest shower products” does NOT allow me the same insight. Yet both could be describing the exact same room.

Marketing and price are two ways that retailers can differentiate themselves in an attempt to earn your business. What YOU can do is to research, fact check, and enlist the help of an experience travel agent in order to wade through the marketing and online verbiage to get to the vacation best suited to you, at the best price.

Flights to Quebec on sale

Canada is celebrating its 150th this year! What a brilliant time to see our own country. I plan to take the kids and head to the maritimes, but I am equally tempted by bargain flights to Quebec.

Both Montreal and Quebec City are swoon worthy. I fall in love with their flavours, culture and architecture every single time I set foot in those great Canadian cities.

Montreal has an underground city system of tunnels to explore, a hockey passion like no other and oh, such style. Stay in the heart of the city here and feel vibrant and energetic. It’s a high energy scene.

Quebec City, on the other hand, has a more laid back, european romance to it. I’m awestruck by the architecture, and enveloped by the culture. Their food scene (bistros and outdoor patios alone rue St. Jean) make you want to linger over another glass of wine. The iconic Chateau Frontenac, that anchors the boardwalk and river skyline is the most photographed hotel in the world. You’ll see why.

Don’t let Canada’s second language intimidate you, most everyone speaks english and is willing to let you try if you choose French. Stumbling along in French was definitely not a barrier to the visit. A smile, is a universal welcome.

 

Right now, and until June 14th, save 15% off your flight with either of Canada’s major airlines.

If you choose to fly into Montreal, you can also easily take the VIA Rail train for a short ride to Quebec City.

Air Canada

Westjet: Use coupon code 6TFT3QX & Promo code WNQ14

Winnipeg – 1 day sale

Air Canada has flights from Winnipeg on sale. A fabulous 1 day sale. I’ve checked it out. It’s legit.

This prices were spied at 9am on September 1st. Most dates are late September, all October and some into November.

Prices noted here, are taxes included, return, originating from YWG.

Moncton, NB $332; Seattle $324, Boston $296; Halifax $432; Victoria $237

As is typical, the competition (Westjet) has waded in with some similar sales prices. (It’s Westjet with the best price to Moncton right now.)

1 day sale, ends September 1st, at Midnight. Where are YOU going?

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