Today my flight confirmation pack arrived from BUNAC!
A confirmation letter detailing my flight information (AC855 Air Canada), my BUNAC Moneywise Guide to North America (I’ll let you know what I think when I’ve read it), two BUNAC luggage tags and a BUNAC Global Phonecard with 15 minutes pre-loaded. BUNAC-tastic!
I received this pack because I booked onto the BUNAC group flight. BUNAC group flights leave London Heathrow once a month (more during peak times like June, September or November) and include the following:
- A BUNAC rep at the departure airport
- Transfer to your pre-booked arrival accommodation (the price includes one night’s stay in a hostel)
- T-shirt and phone card
- Contact details of fellow BUNAC-ers on your flight before you leave the UK
There always seems to be a lot of debate about whether the BUNAC flights are good value or not, and as I’m flying back from Toronto I found booking this return flight to be cheaper than booking two one-way tickets. I like to think I’m a confident flyer and know my way around an airport (or at least the duty free section), but I still liked the idea of sitting with other travellers on the plane – it’ll be a bit like University halls of residence, where you’re put on a corridor with people you might not have anything in common with, but you all talk to each other because you have no choice, and (usually) end up great friends at the end of the day. I admit my own University experience didn’t go quite like that, but I have faith in BUNAC’s seating plan!
Knowing myself as I do, I imagine I’ll be far too jet-lagged and overwhelmed to even remember the name of my hostel at the other side, let alone get on the right bus to downtown, so I was also encouraged by the inclusion of one night in a hostel and pre-booked transfers to get there. The hostel accommodation will of course be in a shared dormitory with my new friends, as I think I’ll be entitled to call them by then – there’s not a lot about me that they won’t know after 11 hours in economy class.
If you decide not to book onto the BUNAC group flights you have the freedom to travel on whichever day you want (unlike the group flights) and with any airline you like. BUNAC use Air Canada for the vast majority of their flights, but other airlines to fly from London to Vancouver and you may find a bargain, particularly if you don’t fly direct. Try GS World Travel (http://www.gsworld-travel.co.uk/) or Canadian Affair (http://www.canadianaffair.com/) for some good deals, but be wary of hidden fees for changing the date of your return flight (BUNAC charge a flat rate of £35).
At least one thing’s for certain now – there’s no turning back for me!
 BUNAC Work Canada website – www.bunac.org/uk/workcanada/flights.aspx