Vancouver has been on fire lately with new route announcements. We’ve seen service to Fiji with Fiji Airways and to New York JFK with JetBlue, as well as our very own national carrier, Air Canada, launching direct flights to Osaka and Bangkok.
Air Canada shows no sign of slowing down, announcing the imminent launch of a new direct flight from Vancouver to Miami.
Air Canada’s New Vancouver–Miami Route
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Air Canada will fly thrice-weekly between Vancouver and Miami as of December 17, 2022. Currently, the route is scheduled to operate through to the end of April 2023.
The flight will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays in both directions, and the flight times are as follows:
AC1034 Vancouver (YVR) to Miami (MIA), departing 8:20am and arriving 5:06pm
AC1035 Miami (MIA) to Vancouver (YVR), departing 6:00pm and arriving 9:45pm
The flight will be operated by Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, and represents the first direct flight between Vancouver and Miami since 2004. In 2019, Vancouver–Miami had about 56,000 point-to-point round-trip passengers, suggesting that there is significant demand on this route.
As a flight of over five hours in duration, I would’ve hoped for a widebody aircraft with lie-flat seats. But since it’s a daytime flight to a largely leisure-oriented destination, I suppose the Boeing 737 MAX 8 will suffice.
Booking Air Canada’s New Vancouver–Miami Flights
Aeroplan is the first program we look at for booking Air Canada flights, especially since Aeroplan has access to every single seat for sale.
At 2,801 miles in distanc, booking a flight with Aeroplan points could cost 35,000 Aeroplan points per person one-way in business class, if lower-cost business class space be available under the dynamic pricing model.
Since this is already the largest distance band within North America, you can continue on to any other destination for the same price.
Indeed, these flights are already loaded and bookable in the search engine, so we can take a look at the price in both cash and points.
If paying with cash, all dates price consistently at $300+ (CAD) one-way in both directions in economy class.
Round-trip bookings tend to be a bit cheaper, consistently pricing at $550–650 (CAD) on all dates.
In my opinion, this pricing is fair for a flight of five and a half hours on a route with no other competition, but it’s certainly not cheap by any means.
Standard points pricing in economy class starts from 15,000 points one-way and goes up to 30,000 points. In business class, there are no flights available under 44,000 points one-way.
There is a decent amount of “R” space sprinkled throughout the schedule, which means you can take advantage of the “Latitude Attitude” strategy to lock in a business class seat at a lower cost, too.
Another consideration is that Miami is a destination served by many of Aeroplan’s partner airlines. Avianca, Copa Airlines, GOL, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, SAS, Swiss, TAP Air Portugal, and Turkish Airlines all operate flights to Miami.
These partners airlines offer a number of single-connection options from Vancouver, with increased access to Europe, Central America, and South America.
How Is Air Canada Boeing 737 MAX Business Class?
You won’t be able to lie down on this Vancouver–Miami route, as the Boeing 737 MAX 8 offers narrow-body recliners with plenty of legroom instead of a pod.
The business class seat is nearly identical to the seat Air Canada offers on the Airbus A220, which is significantly better than the recliners on older A320 and A321 aircraft.
Furthermore, these newer airplanes offer updated onboard amenities, such as a crisp, responsive touch-screen entertainment system, USB-C charging, and refreshed interiors.
As a direct flight to a leisure destination during the day, this seat is more than adequate. Flying within North America to leisure destinations rarely comes with the glamour of lie-flat seats and culinary delights. And, hey, at least it’s not Rouge…
In light of that reality, convenience takes priority over comfort, and British Columbians ought to be thrilled that this direct flight will cut their flying time in half when compared to having to connect somewhere else first – especially if you take into account the likelihood of delays during peak-season winter travel through snowier airports.
Air Canada will launch thrice-weekly flights between Vancouver and Miami on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, beginning December 17, 2022.
For Aeroplan redemptions, the new route is pricing at 15,000 points one-way in economy class and 44,000 Aeroplan points one-way in business class. Cash prices are also reasonably priced at $300 (CAD) one-way or $550 (CAD) roundtrip.
This flight will undoubtedly prove to be popular as the first direct flight between these two cities since 2004, and those on the West Coast can look forward to another nonstop option on their winter escapes to warmer waters.