By Philip Stavrou
In spite of airlines’ massive price slashes to boost slumping sales, many Ryerson students still opted to travel by bus or train over the Thanksgiving long weekend.
“It’s safer to jump out the window of a bus than an airplane if it is hijacked,” said Diana Stevenson-Moore, a first-year interior design student at Ryerson, who traveled by bus to Ottawa for Thanksgiving weekend.
This was a common choice because both the bus and the train remain cheaper than air travel and there is a heightened fear of flying since the events on Sept. 11.
According to Gina Jackman, an agent at Travel Cuts, which sells discounted tickets to students, there was no dramatic increase in student flight travel over this long weekend compared to other years.
Air Canada has tried to attract customers with a sale for the long weekend.
“I’ve found that tickets have gone down from about $550 to get to Calgary…to about $416,” Jackman said.
She said she isn’t surprised there was no influx of students buying plane tickets because “student rates are a good deal anyway.”
Matt Osten, a first-year radio and television arts student, travel to his home in Montreal on Via Rail.
His decision was based on cost. A round trip to Montreal on the train was about $140 whereas around trip on a plane costs about $250.
But the recent U.S. attacks also influenced his decision, making him favour a six-hour bus trip over a much shorter flight.
“Even before the attacks I’d feel safer on a train,” Osten said.