Less is more: the YHZ-YQY ripoff

Contrarian needed to make a reservation yesterday from Toronto to Sydney. The fact I had to get all the way to Sydney meant I couldn’t use Porter Airlines’ magnificent service from Toronto Island Airport.

Porter is the upstart airline known for its curious, retro habit of treating passengers as welcome guests. Leaving from the Island Airport avoids the time and money wasted getting to and from unspeakable Pearson.

So I made a quick check to see if Air Canada could accommodate me from Toronto Island. To my astonishment, I found the following:

$219.36 is an almost unheard of low fare. As I snapped it up, my flight-savvy friend wondered,  “What would it cost to buy the Halifax-Sydney leg by itself?” The answer will come as no surprise to Sydney travellers:

The poor sod taking the 50-minute flight from Halifax to Sydney in the most efficient aircraft Air Canada flies will pay $339.24 — more than half again as much as Contrarian paid to fly all the way from Toronto to Sydney, on an itinerary that included the same YHZ-YQY flight. The guy flying from Halifax pays $1.11 per kilometer; I paid 14 cents per kilometer.

I’m not quick to pull the regulation trigger, but the way Air Canada abuses its monopoly on the lucrative Halifax-Sydney run to gouge Cape Breton residents, business people, and tourists is crystal clear to everyone but the Competition Bureau and Transport Canada.