I Flew With Canada's New 'Ultra-Affordable' Lynx Air & Here's How It Compares To Air Canada

Choose wisely!

Calgary Staff Writer
Charlie Hart on board a Lynx Air flight. Right: The view out the window on an Air Canada flight.

Charlie Hart on board a Lynx Air flight. Right: The view out the window on an Air Canada flight.

This Review 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.

If you're looking to book your next Canadian vacay, there's no shortage of airlines to choose from but it can be hard to figure out if what you're getting is actually a good deal.

I flew on the brand-new "ultra-affordable" Lynx Air and Canada's largest airline Air Canada and there are plenty of differences between the two.

From the cost of baggage to food options, here's how Lynx Air and Air Canada stack up.

Cheaper fares

One of the main selling points for Lynx Air is that its base fares start from $49 for a one-way flight between Calgary and Vancouver, which is extremely cheap, and it's definitely going to be a selling point for a lot of people.

On May 2, the same day you can fly for $49 with Lynx Air, a flight with Air Canada on the same route costs $104 so there's a few dollars difference here.

When Lynx Air launches its Vancouver to Toronto flights on April 28, a one-way fare will cost $229. A similar flight with Air Canada currently costs $390 one-way on the same day.

You might want to pack light

When I flew on Lynx Air, I only had to bring one backpack and so I didn't have to pay any additional fees. If you do have to bring a carry-on or checked luggage, there's a cost involved and that depends on how far you're flying. It's also cheaper to pre-book luggage online starting from $29.99.

On Air Canada, I could bring one "personal item" like a handbag and a standard carry-on case for free, which is great for short trips. We had to pay for any checked luggage we had. An unexpected bonus was a very kind employee at check-in who let my partner take their guitar on board for free.

Stock up on snacks

While a lot of affordable airlines don't include food in your base fare, Lynx Air goes one step further by not offering food or drink on board at all. The airline even sends out a pre-flight email reminder that recommends stocking up on any drinks or snacks you might want in the terminal before boarding. As someone who doesn't really care about getting food on the plane, I really didn't find this to be an issue.

Air Canada has bottled water and some soft drinks available on their flights as part of your fare. As it was a slightly longer flight, there was also an option to buy snacks, sandwiches and alcoholic drinks on board. Again, I didn't go for this option but it's useful if you're suddenly hungry.

Bring your own entertainment

One of the other unique things about Lynx Air is there's no in-flight entertainment. I was only on a super short flight and so I didn't have any issues here and, if I was going to fly further, I'd just make sure to download things to watch or take a book.

My Air Canada flight had a screen and a range of movies and TV shows so I could sit back and relax during the flight. I really appreciated this. Just don't expect the same from Lynx Air.

Destinations

Air Canada is obviously a huge airline, so it flies to more than 220 destinations on six continents.

Lynx is a lot smaller scale, currently flying to Calgary, Toronto, Vancouver, Kelowna and Winnipeg.

The verdict

Both experiences were pretty good and if you're looking to fly, I think it all comes down to the fare.

For a short trip like Calgary to Vancouver, Lynx is a really great option as you could get a base fare ticket and a carry-on bag for a great price. However, for a longer flight from the west to the east coast, Air Canada might prove to be a better deal, plus you can kick back with a movie to pass the time.

Before you get going, check our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.

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