Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas and Boxing Day, wherever you look right now there seems to be a sale going on. Most often than not, the savings barely move the needle but the hype and the time of year tend to make the sale. The demand of the gift-giving season is here and even a slight discount on product can be advertised as the sale of the year.
Black Friday flight deals can be more slippery than others as there is often very limited availability on heavily discounted airfares and airline flight deals can often be here one day and easily gone the next.
So, how do you wade through all the bombastic offers out there and truly grab a Black Friday airfare to really get excited about? I’ve done it for you.
This year, the Black Friday discount airfares trend I’m seeing applies more to long haul travel than to domestic or trans-border flights. Slim discounts are still to be had if you’re planning to stay on the continent but the heavily discounted flights will take you to more exotic locales like Asia, Australia, the Middle East and Africa.
The following offers from Canada’s two main gateways immediately jumped out at me as the Black Friday airfare deals of 2016, or in other words, sale fares to jump on now, if you need a nudge.
Keep in mind that all fares below include all taxes and fees. Stopovers may be available en route with just nominal taxes to be added, if you’re wishing to do so. Connector fares are available from cities across Canada to both Vancouver and Toronto to take advantage of the amazing fares below. All pricing is in Canadian dollars.
Best Black Friday Flight Deals from Vancouver
Vancouver to Bangkok, Thailand $665
Flying Air China, departing Vancouver between March 1 and March 15, 2017.
With the recent passing of the revered Thai king and a government imposed mourning period casting a solemn vibe across the country, Thailand has seen a slight decline in visitors that are postponing their trip until things take a cheerful turn for the better.
Those looking to party may have to wait but if your trip is more focused on anything but debauchery, now is the perfect time to go. All resorts remain open even if the sale of alcohol is spotty (depending on where you are) and by and large, most things have returned to normal, apart from the cancelled Full Moon parties.
From Bangkok, take a cheap train or a short flight down to Phuket or Koh Samui and you’re in for an otherworldly beach sojourn perfect for couples, families or anyone into the great outdoors. There’s rock-climbing in Krabi, Thai cooking classes in Chiang Mai, Muay Thai (kick-boxing) in Pattaya and incredible scuba diving throughout, including the hotspots in and around Koh Tao.
Vancouver to Brisbane, Australia $1015
Flying Air New Zealand, departing Vancouver between May 9 and May 23, 2017.
As badly as you’d like to get away from Canada’s dreary winter, summer in Brisbane isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Ask any local and they’ll tell you to avoid Queensland’s summer months (our winter) unless you’re into sweaty temperatures averaging over 30C and a jarring humidex making it feel closer to a sweltering 40C.
Come May (the seasonality of the fare) and Australia’s pleasant fall season, the weather turns just about perfect, with averages in Brisbane closer to 25C. The scenic city on the river returns to life and most of the action is outdoors. Cozy up with a riverside picnic, a wine tour in the Granite Belt Wine Region or head for the beaches of nearby Moreton Bay.
Stay local and immerse yourself in Brisbane’s up-and-coming arts and music scene, cosmopolitan restaurants and trendy coffee joints. Visit the Botanic Gardens at the base of Mt. Coot-tha then hike up to the Planetarium at its summit. Let loose in a club in ‘The Valley’ followed by brunch in the West End and you’re as local as can be.
Best Black Friday Flight Deals from Toronto
Toronto to Dubai, United Arab Emirates $979
Flying Air Canada, departing Toronto between January 17 and January 25, 2017.
A glistening oasis proudly rising from the golden sands of the Arabian Desert, Dubai is the jewel in the crown of the Middle East and a fascinating, must-see global city for just about any type of traveller.
As the business hub of the Persian Gulf, Dubai claimed its riches from oil and the financial sector but now counts tourism as one of its biggest sources of income. The influx of businesses (and eventually tourists) has created one of the most impressive and dramatic skylines in the world, dotted by a plethora of skyscrapers including the iconic, 7-star sail-shaped hotel, Burj Al Arab, the spiraling Cayan Tower and the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa.
With underwater restaurants, manmade palm-shaped islands and over-the-top shopping malls, Dubai is distinctly progressive and utterly jaw-dropping. People-watch and taste Dubai’s varied gastronomic influences in the food stalls on Al Dhiyafah Road, ski the slopes (that’s right, ski!) in the Mall of the Emirates or stroll the maze of the Bastakia Quarter – there is a lot to see.
Toronto to Johannesburg, South Africa $1059
Flying Air Canada, departing Toronto between March 1 and March 15, 2017.
Charming pavement cafes and busy al fresco restaurants span beautiful tree-heavy streets to capture Jo’burg’s cosmopolitan renaissance, slowly transforming the once gritty Inner City into a livable hub of expression, creativity and frolic.
Trace the country’s storied roots with visits to abandoned gold mines or with a tour of Soweto Township, once home to both Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. Soweto’s eye-opening museums include the Apartheid Museum, Mandela House and the former prison complex, Constitution Hill.
If the mood gets too heavy, change gears and head to the oldest flea market in town (Mai Mai) to sample traditional African herbs and remedies or to Lion Park to cuddle a lion cub.
Although the hard times are still visible with wire-art salesman touting their wares to motorists stuck at red lights, there is a now a heavy breath of hope blowing through South Africa’s largest and most fascinating city.
And there you have it – the best Black Friday flight deals for 2016.
Check out our complete list of Black Friday airfares and remember, all sales must be made either by calling 1877 967 5302 or by visiting your nearest Flight Centre store.