I Flew With Canada's 'Ultra-Affordable' Lynx Air & It's Like The Dollarama Of Airlines

"When I got to the gate, I started to realize this wasn't just your average flight." ✈️

Charlie Hart on board the Lynx Air flight. Right: A view over the mountains on the Lynx Air flight.

Charlie Hart on board the Lynx Air flight. Right: A view over the mountains on the Lynx Air flight.

This Essay article is part of a Narcity Media series. The views expressed are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.

Anyone who has flown domestically within Canada knows that airline prices can be extremely expensive — but there are now some cheaper options out there.

Canada has a "ultra-affordable" airline and I was able to join Lynx Air for its first-ever flight from Calgary to Vancouver.

Lynx Air prides itself on having flights with base fares starting at $39 and an "à la carte" pricing system. I've flown with a few budget airlines in the past so honestly, I didn't have particularly high hopes.

The boarding process

Charlie Hart waiting to board the Lynx flight.Charlie Hart waiting to board the Lynx flight.Charlie Hart | Narcity

My time at Calgary Airport was pretty standard. I got my boarding pass, had my vaccine documents checked, headed through security to the gate — and stopped for a coffee, of course. Other than some balloons at the check-in desk, there wasn't too much to show anything exciting was going on.

However, when I got to the gate, I started to realize this wasn't just your average flight. It was packed with media, YouTubers, plane spotters, and loads of Lynx employees. People were super excited about this flight.

How the plane looks

When I got on board, I was immediately hit with that new plane smell. Lynx has a brand new fleet so everything was incredibly clean.

Once I got to my seat, I was struck by how comfortable it was. I've flown with a lot of budget airlines in the past, and usually, the seats are cramped with no legroom and there's always a person in front who reclines their seat just enough to make the entire flight unbearable.

Lynx's seats actually felt fairly spacious and I had no issues with legroom at all. I could move pretty freely without worrying about kicking the seat of the person in front. If you're taller, you might still find legroom to be an issue but you can get a seat with extra legroom for a fee.

The flight

Something that I thought was pretty unique about Lynx Air is that you can't buy food or drink on board. They do give customers a warning of this in a pre-boarding email. Lynx suggests that you buy drinks and snacks in the terminal before boarding. They did give out a glass of water during the flight but that was it.

The view out of the plane window over Calgary.The view out of the plane window over Calgary.Charlie Hart | Narcity

For a short flight like Calgary to Vancouver, that really wasn't an issue and I was glad I wasn't paying for an unnecessary meal. But if you're heading on a long flight like Toronto, it's definitely something to bear in mind and make sure you're fully stocked up.

There's also no in-flight entertainment or Wi-Fi onboard. If you're flying between coasts, you'll want to make sure you have a book or movie downloaded because it would get pretty dull otherwise.

I was lucky that it just so happened to be a beautiful day outside so although I didn't have much to keep me occupied, I had some incredible views of Calgary and over the Rockies.

The cost

I wasn't expecting much at all as Lynx's base fare is so low. But be warned, that base fare only includes "one personal item" such as a handbag or a small laptop bag and things get more expensive from there.

You have to pay for a proper carry-on bag (from $29.99) and costs increase depending on flight length. You pay more if you want to check a bag in and for priority boarding. Even making changes to your booking on the phone could actually cost you more.

For a short flight, Lynx gives their competitors a serious run for their money, especially if you don't need to bring a lot of stuff with you. But definitely pay attention to the additional fees because you could end up paying as much as any other airline.

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Charlie Hart
Charlie Hart was a Travel Creator for Narcity Media focused on Canadian and global travel and is based in Calgary, Alberta.