Day 2 Jamaica trip 2024

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I’m writing this post a few weeks after returning to Ottawa but the next few days I wrote while I was in Jamaica. It was a very busy trip but this was a day I got to stay at the resort. Jewel Paradise Cove while my friend figured out our plans for the remainder of the week.  The resort posts the activity schedule on the app, on tv’s in the room, and on a screen in the lobby. I had seen that there was a resort tour at 11:00. I have stayed in many resorts and it usually the company that you booked with doing these tours. I liked that there was no need to wait for a specific tour rep and the hotel was doing this. My friend was out up and early for the garden tour. I slept in and went for breakfast at 10:30. I wanted my friend to come in the hotel tour with me because I have no sense of direction but we later discovered we weren’t getting each others text messages and I thought she was still on the garden tour.  I had received my friends text that she was disappointed there were no plantai

Westjet economy vs Air Canada business class



In June I knew I was going to Vancouver from Ottawa and if you know me I can’t buy anything unless it’s on sale. If you are new to my blog I lived in Vancouver almost my whole life and last year I moved to Ottawa so I go to Vancouver frequently to visit friends and relatives. The hotel I like to stay at usually sends me a personal promotional rate once a month. See my YouTube video here of the Riverrock hotel suite Riverrock Hotel Richmond BC


The hotel prices in Vancouver had increased significantly since the last time I visited in February. I had started looking to visit in May when I wanted to go to Plant Expo but the prices were too high. I still wanted to visit and I was looking at flights earlier. While searching I thought the business class flight is less than it normally costs to fly economy.  I was tempted to book it and cancel later if the hotel didn’t work out which I didn’t do it but I should have because if I booked it then would have been less than my economy flight I still got a great deal. 


The way I decide how much I should pay for a flight is to look on Expedia decide which airline and times are suitable and then wait for an airline promo code to book direct. I enter lots of contests so I am on everyone’s mailing lists and get codes often. I am also at a stage in my life where I will pay for some additional comfort but I am still the person that can’t buy anything unless it is a good price. I will only fly direct so until recently Air Canada and Westjet were my only options. Porter is now an option and that has brought prices down so this was a good price at the time but not anymore it’s now September 2023. When I was looking at flights the return flight on AirCanada business class was only $500 and economy flights were more expensive. I decided to only book the return so I could try out business class while I waited for a better price on the flight to go there. My dates were flexible because I was starting a new position at the end of the month and I knew my employer at that time would approve my leave. 


I have two different credit cards and my visa which is used less is from a credit Union in BC. My to do list already had to change to a CIBC Visa card so while booking the flight I was given the option of getting a CIBC aeroplan credit card with a lot of bonus aeroplan points. It took a couple of minutes to get the card approved. I have already used the bonus points to book a round trip flight for my friend Vancouver to Ottawa for a total of $80 plus points so the business class flight ended up being even cheaper. I will likely earn enough points on this card to book another round trip later in the year. I had grocery store points from Save-On-Foods were I used to shop a lot in BC because it was close to my house. The nice thing is you can use the points to travel and book with an online travel agent. The total cost of Westjet economy was $456.53 I only paid $186.53 because I used $270 worth of points. I miss having that grocery store perk now that I live in Ontario. I once used an Air Canada 2 for 1 deal with my points to get two free round trip flights to Vegas. The cost of the business class flight was $571.75 so it was only $115 dollars more to fly on business class. Was it worth it? I will tell you at the end of the post. 


The credit card also entitles me to free luggage on every Air Canada flight. I take luggage with me on trips because I have a Solgarad closet suitcase and it stands up on its own I like to put against the door when I’m alone in hotel rooms just for the slight few seconds of extra security if someone does try to come into my room. I also like getting on the plane a little bit later because I don’t have to worry about storing luggage. Although I do have an air tag in my luggage I have never had an issue with my luggage getting lost yet. Luggage was already included in the business class flight so that is a perk for the future. 

vancouver trip
westjetflight to go there186.53
save on points270456.53
return flight571.75

When I noticed prices were starting to significantly increase of flights I booked westjet economy to go from Ottawa to Vancouver. I do pay extra for a window seat because I like to make videos. Have you seen my YouTube short YouTube short flight views


I was glad the business class flight was from Vancouver because the lounge was also included and Ottawa doesn’t really have an AirCanada lounge. I had a night flight and had a lot of time between checking out of the hotel and my flight. I had intended to spend more time at the lounge but I ended up spending more time at the outlets and I am glad I did. I did not enjoy the lounge experience it was so chaotic and loud. There was very little vegan items on the buffet the ones that were available were high fiber and I don’t want to be going to the bathroom on the plane so I didn’t eat much. I did go into the airport to find food as I thought the late flight wouldn’t have meals but it did. I could not find anything vegan in the airport the places I would normally go to had limited items left because it was late. I had prebooked a vegan meal below is a picture of the menu choices if you did not prebook a meal. 


Back to WestJet economy I usually pay for the window seat when I buy my ticket. I choose any seat that isn't close to the bathroom. When the check in email comes I check to see if there are any free rows left and move my seat incase I get lucky and no one sits beside me an advantage of being a solo traveler. Planes have been fully packed lately so I haven’t been that lucky but this flight the middle seat in my row was the only empty one. The person who sat in the aisle had moved from Ottawa to Vancouver so the opposite of what I had done. It was a very comfortable ride with the seat in between us and was willing to get up if I had to go to the bathroom. 

No TV screens but the app works great I prefer it to the bright lights. Food was available for purchase but Ottawa airport is not very crowded or big so there is no need for lounge access or express lanes. I got to the airport 1.5 hours before my flight and had time to sit in the only restaurant that has a vegan food item on the menu. There is no way I would have time to get through security and eat in a restaurant in that amount of time in YVR.  Westjet does give a complimentary choice of cookies or pretzels and coffee, tea, soda, juice. They used to serve Biscoff cookies that are accidentally vegan but now they switched to a chocolate covered non vegan cookie. Nobody wants the chocolate covered cookie that melts on your hands when on the plane even the non vegans were trading the cookie because they couldn't eat chocolate. I wish they would go back to biscoff but the pretzels are vegan so at least one choice is vegan.

My tv screens when I fly with Air Canada rarely work. My last economy trip I asked if they could reset it and they gave me a free menu item made me wonder if I wasn't so introverted on my past trips if I would have been compensated. I had chosen a window seat in business class the TV screen worked for half the flight for me that is a win. I found the lights from the other screens bothersome as the screen are so bright. I would prefer it they switched to an app. I didn’t like the window seat here. The man beside me seemed unhappy. It was ackward when I needed to go to the bathroom and I didn’t enjoy having to squeeze out after he had to get up and try and figure out how to pass the attendant cart to go to the bathroom. The bathroom isn't much different than the economy one. The sun was so bright in the window as well. If I ever fly business again I will get an aisle seat but I did get some great pictures that you can see on YouTube here YouTube short window views from business class seat on a plane



Shortly after take off we were given a bowl of warm nuts and a drink. I really enjoyed the nuts but I did find it odd that nuts were served on a plane considering people may have allergies no peanuts. I don’t drink alcohol I believe wine was an option otherwise it was the same drinks you get in economy with an upgrade to a glass cup. Doesn’t my sprite look fancy in a glass. The way they poured it made it extra bubbly which I didn't enjoy because I don't need extra gas on a plane.


Although the vegan meal looks pretty, the non vegan meals had condiments and a nice dessert. The salad was okay the mini bottle of oil and vinegar helped a lot. I’m not a fan of eating salad on a plane but it was the only thing edible on this tray. The meal was microwaved highly salted but unseasoned frozen vegetables and rice nothing else. I tried adding pepper to it but I still couldn't eat it. I wish AirCanada would use the same caters as Via Rail. Have you seen my blog post about Via Rail Business class here First time on Via Rail Business Class
Later in the flight while i was half asleep the attendant left a lindt dark chocolate bar on my table I woke up to see a basket of snacks in her hand I am not sure if she knew the chocolate was vegan and the nacho chips weren't or that was just a coincidence. It was a nice touch I enjoyed it.


The end of the flight after landing we had to wait until police and paramedics came on the flight and escorted someone off. Being in business class I had no idea what happened in economy so that was another perk. Was it worth paying $115 extra for a business class seat?  With the other perks I had it was worth it but I wouldn't pay much more than this in the future. If I happen to get a deal or points offer then yes I would go in business class aisle seat. As a vegan that doesn't drink alcohol some of the perks are not relevant to me but still what I got was worth a $100 upgrade. I am looking forward to taking Porter to Vancouver in the future and seeing how it compares.





Thank you for reading. For more vegan food follow me on Instagram @LivingOttawaLocal and @VeganCanadianfinds
For scenery videos follow me on YouTube https://youtube.com/@LivingOttawaLocal

Comments

  1. Thanks for this review post. Enjoyed the additional details on how you managed the discount fare. Heard somewhere that they salt airplane food heavier than normal cause our taste buds get lazy at high altitude.

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