Calgary Student Flies To School To Skip On Sky High Vancouver Rent

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Vancouver International Airport

If someone were to tell me they drove their car, or took the bus or train to school, I wouldn’t even bat an eye thinking about it, but flying to school on a regular basis? That certainly raises some questions.

For one student attending the University of British Columbia in Vancouver (UBC), Canada, high rental prices drove him to find a more creative way to get to his classes. In an interview with CTV News, Tim Chen told the reporter that after canceling the lease on his previous rental over the fall vacation, he came back to a much higher sticker price when he tried to renew.

The one-bedroom apartment he priced would have worked out to be almost $2,500 a month, which was out of his budgeted range. With just two classes totaling 3 hours per week, Chen decided that it would be more economically viable to fly from Calgary to Vancouver for just half the price. With round-trip tickets priced around $150, the one hour flight to and from the two cities came up to around $1,200 a month.

It’s no secret that Vancouver’s rental market has gotten out of control, with a combination of rising leasing prices and dwindling availability making the situation worse with each passing day.

UBC’s Associate Vice-President of Student Housing and Community Services Andrew Parr has also acknowledged the situation, saying:

“We recognize that finding affordable rental accommodation in Vancouver and Kelowna is a challenge for some of our students, as it is for others renting in the communities. In Vancouver, it is especially difficult.”

Flying to work is not unheard of, but the concept has become more popular with relocation and rental prices getting out of hand. In June 2023, another person went viral on TikTok after documenting her morning routing flying from South Carolina to New Jersey for her summer internship.

Sophia Celentano was required to be in-office in New Jersey once a week, but with basic rentals costing more than $3,400 per month, it worked out cheaper for her to just fly back and forth at $100 per round trip flight. Unfortunately for Celentano, her commuting ritual meant getting up at 4 a.m. on the days she needed to fly to work, but it was a minor tradeoff for the amount of money she would have saved over renting an apartment in New Jersey.

[Featured Photo: Vancouver International Airport ]

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