In a couple of months I need to fly from Seattle to New York, and airfare is quite expensive for the day I need to travel.
One thought I had involved Cathay Pacific’s tag flight from Vancouver to New York, which is operated daily by a 777-300 with Cathay Pacific’s brand new business class product, featuring fully flat beds. This is hands down the most luxurious flight within North America, and at 25,000 British Airways Avios or American AAdvantage miles for business class it’s an absolute bargain.
But the thing is that I’d be originating in Seattle, and as many of you probably know there are cabotage laws which prevent flying a domestic itinerary via a second country (and it also prevents an international airline from operating domestic flights within a foreign country, though that’s not applicable here).
Anyway, my plan was to book an award ticket from Seattle to Vancouver on Alaska Airlines, which would cost only 4,500 British Airways Avios one-way.
The question is, if I’m booked on two separate itineraries would I be violating cabotage laws? At what point is it no longer a violation? If I walk in front of the airport for five minutes to “visit” Canada? If I spend a night there? If I spend 24 hours there?
I think it’s an interesting topic, and I suspect it’s useful to others as well. If anyone has any insight I’d be curious to hear. I’m no fan at all of US immigration, though I’ve found Canadian immigration to be even worse. So as comfortable as a redeye is in a flat bad, if it comes at the expense of five hours of interrogation in a room with no windows, I’m probably not up for it. 😉