Monday, October 21, 2013

SRQ Air Canada flights going rouge

Air Canada rouge will be offered seasonally at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport starting this season. Photo courtesy of Air Canada

Flights from Sarasota-Bradenton to Toronto will be looking a little different when Air Canada will switch its service to its new Air Canada rouge brand.

The Canadian air carrier launched the lowercase flag July 1 as more of a hip, trendier version of Air Canada, carrying about 140 passengers on its A319 in Sarasota-Bradenton.

The carrier will make the switch at Sarasota-Bradenton International airport this season, said Mark Stuckey, vice president of special projects and development at SRQ. Essentially, Rouge takes out the first class cabin to add 20 more seats to fit in more passengers. The cabins have new seats and interior, too.

The in-flight entertainment will be the most noticeable difference. Rouge is offering an in-flight streaming wireless entertainment system called player for $5 unlimited service per flight that can be accessed through a smartphone and tablet app. Forgot your iPad or don't have one? Rent one for $10. Premium members get additional services for free or at a discounted price.

Air Canada rouge winter/spring daily flights are between SRQ and Toronto for now. The airport is also in talks with Calgary-based carrier WestJet for flights to other Canadian cities including Montreal, Stuckey said.