A Money Coach in Canada

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Air Canada, Bell Mobility and Starbucks. I have good things to say about all of them.

Air Canada Embraer 190 @YUL

Air Canada – a steal deal

If you love to travel and aren’t aware of Air Canada’s Flight Pass options, they’re quite a deal. For example, I bought four one-way passes for $600. The terms of the set I bought are that I need to fly on Tuesdays or Saturdays within Western Canada only, and use them up by late October. Trust me when I say that 2 trips to Vancouver from Yellowknife make this a jaw-dropping deal.

Here are some other options:

  • 6 one-ways between western Canada and Hong Kong/Bejeing/Shanghai for $3000
  • 4 one-ways between eastern Canada and NYC on weekends for $640 (easterners – is that a good deal?  not so sure on that one)
  • 6 one ways between western Canada and Europe (Paris/Rome/Madrid/Geneva/London/Frankfurt/Dublin) $3600

My experience so far as been flawless.  I simply reactivated my aeroplan, paid for the passes, booked my specific tickets and here I am in Vancouver.  Hat tip, Air Canada.

Bell Canada – 3 great customer experiences

You know who else has surprised me?  Bell has surprised me.  My initial sign-up was flawless, but then on three occasions, I was convinced I was going to experience Bell Hell.    And didn’t.    Here are three things that went right:

  • My eyes popped out of my head when I received my first bill.  I approached their website, tense, and discovered they have a page specifically for first-time-bill recipients which clearly explained my bill and it all made sense.
  • I thought my phone was stolen.  I called and was irritated that their customer service was closed, but they gave the option to talk to tech support, and the agent was able immediately to disable my phone.  It took a few attempts for him to give a straight forward answer to my question (whether I’d be liable for calls incurred that day. ultimate answer: Yes) but other than that, I got swift and appropriate help.   An hour later when (shamefacedly) I called back having found my phone, the agent sounded honestly happy for me, and got me reactivated just.like.that.
  • While in Vancouver, I’ll want to make local calls.   I called for clarification about billing, got a fast answer, and the agent offered me a one-month option that works for me.

Yay, Bell!

Starbucks –  you don’t know what you’ve got, til it’s gone.

When I lived in Vancouver, I avoided Corporate Starbucks at all costs.  I’ve changed.  I wish there were a starbucks in Yellowknife.  I really do.  There are two cafes in Yellowknife and I’m grateful for them, but Starbucks just has a way of setting the pace and the standard.  The quality of the coffee, the orderliness and cleanliness, and the wireless – this, I miss.

Sometimes, Corporations do it right, and when they do, I think it’s worth noting (although that fact alone is a bit depressing).  So thanks, Air Canada, Bell and Starbucks for surprising me with really good experiences.

About the Author

Imagine if Canadians were known for being all over their money. Engaged. Proactive. Getting out of debt. Savvy. Saving. Generous. Nancy wants to help. Nancy started her own journey with money over 15 years ago, and formed her company “Your Money by Design” in 2004 to help others along the same path. It’s not the usual financial advising/investment stuff. It’s about taking control of day-to-day finances –managing monthly cashflow effectively, spending appropriately, getting out of debt, saving. If you're ready to take control over your finances, pop by her business site, YourMoneybyDesign.com


  1. Always love your posts Nancy, we’re so often on the same page. Not only have I enjoyed a “good deal” package from Air Canada, but my new office is, you guessed it, Starbucks, where I enjoy great service, great coffee and wireless.
    Just saw a very cool job posting in Yellowknife, tempting but just don’t think I can go that far.
    .-= lori newton´s last blog ..Chicago =-.


    Jul 22, 2009
  2. E

    Flight Passes are a good deal for those flying in/out of less heavy routes. The Eastern Canada pass for instance doesn’t make much sense if you’re flying Toronto to NYC ‘coz you can get pretty much seat sales for that. I had considered them for myself when I was having to fly from Vancouver to Calgary frequently but the restrictions along with the price made it less of a great deal.


    Jul 22, 2009
  3. brad

    Echoing E on the Eastern Canada to New York flight passes…that’s an okay deal for Air Canada flights, but many of us in Montreal find it worthwhile to drive down to Burlington (Vermont) or Plattsburgh (New York) for flights to the States; the airfares are almost always cheaper, sometimes by 50% or more. In this case I can get a direct flight from Burlington to NYC for $194 roundtrip as opposed to $320 from Montreal with Flight Passes. The differences in prices to places like West Coast U.S. states from the East are even more dramatic — last year we flew to Oregon from Vermont for $350 roundtrip, whereas the cheapest fare I could find from Montreal was $1,200.


    Jul 23, 2009

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