Although the Canada-US land border is closed to unnecessary traffic, Canadian Snow Birds Bernard Loiselle and Sylvie Charbonnow are heading to Florida – on their RV.
“Finally, we’ve going,” said Loiselle, 57, from a road stop near Albany, NY. “The weather in Quebec is cold.”
Maryville, Q., southeast of Montreal, the couple live their RV year-round and spend the winter in Florida. However, this year, they faced a problem as they could not drive their mobile home across the United States border during the COVID-19 epidemic.
That issue was resolved when learning about the new service offered by KMC Transport.
The Quebec Company flies Snow Birds on a chartered flight from the airport outside Montreal to nearby Plattsburgh, while NY KMC employees also drive Snow Birds vehicles to Plattsburg Airport, so after landing, passengers can continue their journey south.
“From the plane – it’s great to see our RV there, waiting for us,” Loiselle said.
Canadians will not be able to travel to the U.S. due to land border closures Flies to the country. But that still creates a problem for Snow Birds who want to take their vehicles south.
In response, many transportation companies have come up with new ways to cross the border – for snowboards and their cars.
KMC transports vehicles to the US Sun Belt for Snowbirds. The fee for transporting an RV is prohibited – approximately, 3 4,300.
So owner and president Michael Couturier devised the cheapest option: starting in late October, he arranged charter flights from Snow Birds to Plattsburgh and arranged transportation services for their vehicles.
Customers pay $ 500 per seat on the plane and $ 1,000 for transportation. As a commercial restriction agency, Couturier said KMC can bring vehicles into the U.S. despite border restrictions.
He said every commercial transaction at the border is mandatory. “We have all the paperwork, and then we have permission to do it.”
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection confirmed to CBC News that there were no restrictions on Canadians importing vehicles into the U.S. during the land border closure.
Warning to Snow Birds
Twice a week KMC flies to Plattsburgh. Couturier said the nine-seat plane is always full.
The extra business is a big boost for the company, which usually focuses on shipping RVs to dealers.
Couturier said that side of the business slowed down during the epidemic, but catering to Snow Birds allowed it to employ 35 of its workers.
“If it weren’t for the Snow Birds, the company would be in trouble this year,” he said. “This is a good opportunity for us.”
Watch: Canadian PM urges vigilance as cases rise
Meanwhile, the federal government continues to warn Canadians to stay away from international travel during the epidemic.
“People are safe when they are at home,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told a news conference on Tuesday.
However, the message did not deter curious snowbirds. Some argue that they are safe, because they are COVID-19 Medical Insurance And plan to adhere to their gated community at their destination.
“[You] Do your groceries, you go back to your RV and you have your meal there and that’s it, ”Loiselle said.
Helicopter ride for Snow Birds
Jeremy Rudd’s parents were still eager to go to Florida this winter, but wanted to take both their car and their Labrador Abby. So the helicopter pilot came up with a solution that turned his owner, the Great Lakes Helicopter, into a business in Cambridge.
The company will be taking on Snow Burrows at Hamilton in Ont. Airport and helicopters fly across the border to Buffalo, NY, then a friend of Rudd’s, who runs a transportation company, transports passenger vehicles, usually in a flatbed truck, to Buffalo Airport.
“My parents wanted to go to Florida for the winter and I said, ‘No problem, I’ll see you there.'” We put our heads together and ended up with this little thing we were doing here. “
Since launching the service in late October, the Great Lakes helicopter has flown 30 passengers and still has hundreds of bookings. Price 9 1,900 for a couple to travel in their private helicopter and transport their car. Welcome to Pets Onboard.
Despite the epidemic, Rudd said he was not surprised by the active business.
“We have long, winters here,” he said. “You can’t come out. Stay healthy, stay active.”
Serving Snow Birds due to popular demand
On the west coast, winter may not be so cold, but there are many snow birds that still prefer to head south – and take their cars.
This created an opportunity for Bidboy importers based in Blaine, Wash. The company traditionally imports vehicles to private buyers and dealers.
But this year it branches to transport Snowbird vehicles from the Vancouver area to U.S. Sunbelt states or to nearby destinations such as Seattle airport.
Jayade McIlroy, vice president of marketing and sales at Bidboy, said the company had hired Snowbird clients because of popular demand.
“When the border was closed, we got a lot of inquiries from the Snow Birds, wondering if we could help them,” he said. “First, we don’t know because this is not something we did.”
So far Bidboy has shipped 40 cars. The company has booked another 100 people over the next two months. Costs range from about $ 500 to $ 3,000, depending on the type of vehicle and the distance it travels.
When asked about moving south to Snow Birds during the pandemic, McIlroy said he was happy to help escape the winter.
“You never know how long it will last. You have to enjoy your life.”