By Ilona Kauremszky

Q: My son who lives in Glasgow, Scotland is planning to visit us the last 2 weeks in August. I wanted to buy the ticket for him. Is it cheaper to purchase the ticket for him in Canada? Do you think there may be a seat sale later in the year, or should I book now?

A: Typically, August is a high season of travel and this is reflected in the cost of the airfare. For airfare information, consulting a discount travel agency is a good start. I contacted the Ultimate Travel Brokers as well as a couple of airlines and received some interesting info.

In the first case, the Ultimate Travel Brokers whose slogan is "Outstanding Vacations at Unbelievable Prices" is offering seat sales but because of your special request for a Scotland departure and the August date, expect to pay around $1100 including taxes.

On the other hand, there are return airfares available for $913 including all taxes. The only catch here is the date. This price was quoted for August 6-21st.

As for a charter carrier, I contacted Air Transat which is currently offering seat sales with a Toronto departure as the caveat. When I spoke to a ticket agent concerning your details, a price of $1088 was quoted including all taxes. However, if you purchased the return ticket in Scotland from a carrier like the Royal Dutch Airlines KLM which has flights to Toronto, the ticket quoted was 807 pounds.

Now, when you factor in the currency conversion plus the VAT (value added tax) of 15% to this price, you will see that purchasing a return ticket fares better on this side of the Atlantic.

Consult a tour operator who has a bilateral licence regarding airfares. When making a flight reservation, a ticket agent recommended purchasing a ticket closer to the departure date as charter carriers start to offer seat sales. Just remember to consider availability. So, if you definitely wish to have your son visit, I recommend booking ahead of time. To contact Ultimate Travel Brokers, dial 1-888-556-7777, office hours Monday through Friday 9:00 am - 7:00 pm, Saturday & Sunday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. If you wish to reach Air Transat, telephone 1.888.TRANSAT


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