Lonely Planet Writer

Air Canada launches platform for travellers to crowdfund their dream trip

Air Canada wants to help cash-strapped travellers realise their dream trips with Embarq, a new platform that lets people crowdfund their plane ticket. 

Air Canada
Air Canada Image by Aero Icarus / CC BY-SA 2.0

As the first ever crowdfunding platform hosted by an airline, Embarq helps users attract financial contributions towards their Air Canada airfares. Users create dream trip campaigns with a funding goal, and upload photos or videos to tell the story of why they want to take the trip – everything from attending graduation on the opposite side of the country to volunteering abroad.

Embarq has some major benefits over other crowdsourcing platforms. The site doesn’t charge a fee to set up a campaign and users can always collect the money they raise, even if they don’t reach their funding goals. “All the [other crowdfunding platforms] take a percentage of the funds raised,” said Selma Filali, director of marketing communications at Air Canada, speaking with the Globe and Mail. “Everything that you receive on an Air Canada gift card is 100% for you to use. There is a seal of trust with us as an established airline that we can take you anywhere with our network.”

Of course, this approach benefits Air Canada as much as the user – all funds raised on the platform can only be used to purchase Air Canada airfares or pay for Air Canada-controlled fees. Travel is increasingly becoming a priority in peoples’ lives – especially for young people. But rising airfare costs means it’s no cheap endeavour.