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Air Canada Will Help Crowdfund Your Vacation

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Got an itch to travel but are low on recreational funds? Air Canada might be the ticket. (Literally.) The airline’s new Embarq program, described as a Kickstarter for airfare, will allow Canadian travelers to create fundraising campaigns for the express purpose of seeing other parts of the world.

Here’s how it works: Once a would-be passenger signs up on the Embarq website, they can create a “wish” destination along with an explanation of why the trip is important to them. All of the money contributed will be relayed to the traveler in the form of an Air Canada gift card, which is good for airfare and other airline-related purchases.

Air Canada Embarq via Instagram

Roughly 800 people currently have profiles on the site, which is accessible only to those with Canadian IP addresses. The campaigns currently lean heavily on trips to London, Tokyo, Paris, Vancouver, and Toronto. But not all of the vacation itineraries are completely frivolous: According to Air Canada, some members are using the service to be able to volunteer in foreign countries or compete in sporting events.

Unlike other crowdfunding platforms, Embarq doesn’t charge fees and will let users keep any and all money they collect, even if they don’t reach their final goal amount. The service is currently only available to Air Canada customers.

[h/t Condé Nast Traveler]

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This $20 Board Game From JetBlue Includes a Free Round-Trip Flight
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Still looking for a last-minute gift idea? Here’s an affordable item that everyone in your family will be fighting over: As Travel + Leisure reports, JetBlue is selling a $20 board game that includes complimentary round-trip airfare.

The object of the limited-edition game, called Get Packing!, is to fill up your board with personal belongings in preparation for your flight and prevent other players from doing the same. Sounds simple enough, but if you play the way JetBlue recommends, the gameplay will get competitive fast: The first person to fill their bag wins a certificate that can be redeemed for a real round-trip flight.

Winners have from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018 to book their free trip. Destinations eligible for flights include domestic cities as well as ones abroad, like Quito, Ecuador and Lima, Peru. Taxes and other fees apply and travelers will still have to pay blackout rates on busy travel days.

After debuting the deal on Amazon on December 12, the product quickly sold out. Fortunately, a new batch will be made available on December 18 at 3 p.m.—just remember to act fast, as it’s likely to be a hot item on everyone’s wish list.

Board game from JetBlue.
JetBlue, Amazon

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

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Meet Piper: The Border Collie Making a Michigan Airport Safer for Travelers
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Birds may look harmless on solid ground, but in the sky they pose a big threat to any aircraft crossing their path. The Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City, Michigan, uses a low-tech approach to the problem: a border collie named Piper.

Great Big Story profiled Piper and his handler, airport operations supervisor Brian Edwards, in a recent video. Piper’s job as the airport’s wildlife control canine is chasing away large birds that could strike incoming and outgoing planes, potentially causing anything from dents to engine failure. In Michigan, this usually means large waterfowl like ducks and geese, but it can also include crows, gulls, and snowy owls.

After he’s deployed from a moving car, Piper heads for the birds, scattering them away from the tarmac and teaching them to associate the area with predators. Piper is just doing what most border collies would do in the presence of a flock of birds, only in this case he gets to wear stylish protective goggles while following his instincts.

You can watch the full story below.

[h/t Great Big Story]

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