Is Flying On A Budget Airline In Canada Worth It? We Compared Costs To See What's Cheaper
Here's how Canadian airlines stack up! ✈️
If you've ever wondered how Canadian airlines stack up price-wise when travelling across the country, you're not alone.
However, many of these low-cost airlines have additional fees for things like carry-on bags and checked baggage which can make it difficult to determine where exactly you're going to get the best deal.
To get to the bottom of this question, we decided to compare each Canadian airline to see what exactly is included in the cost to work out where you can save your money.
We compared each airline based on a direct flight one-way, between Toronto and Vancouver on the exact same day, and honestly, the results were pretty surprising.
Cost: Flights start from $99 between Toronto and Vancouver
Baggage: The only baggage that's included in the price of your Lynx Air ticket is one small personal item that fits under the seat in front.
If you want to take on a larger carry-on that fits in the overhead lockers, baggage prices range between $59.99 to $103.49 depending on the distance of the flight, according to the Lynx Air website.
Checked baggage with Lynx Air will cost between $59.99 and $135.59.
For flights between Toronto and Vancouver, you'll need to pay an additional fee of $79.99 for a carry-on bag and $79.99 for a checked bag.
Extras: Lynx offers a few extras that you would need to pay for if you want them. Priority boarding with Lynx Air costs $10. If you want to select your seat in advance, prices start from $22.60.
What you get: The airline prides itself on offering "à-la-carte pricing" so you only pay for what you need. Once you get on a Lynx flight, you get a seat and that's about it. There isn't any onboard entertainment or WiFi. You can't buy any food or drink on board. There aren't any charging points for your devices so be sure to fully charge your electronics before boarding.
Total (with one carry-on): $178.99
Total (including one carry-on and one checked bag): $279.78
Cost: Flights start from $139.01 between Toronto and Vancouver
Baggage: When you book a flight with Flair, you can take one personal item onboard for free.
Carry-on luggage costs range between $29 to $74 plus tax, according Flair Airline's website. Your first checked baggage will cost between $49 and $84.
If you want to take on an additional carry-on bag from Toronto to Vancouver, it will cost you $55.37.
Flair offers bundles for additional luggage, which the airlines notes on the website is cheaper than individually adding on bags. The first bundle offered for a personal item, one carry-on and one checked bag comes in at $93.79. There is an additional bundle which includes a personal item, a carry-on, one checked bag and priority boarding for $101.70.
Extras: Flair gives you the option to pay for some extra features. Choosing your preferred seat starts from $22.60 and you can get priority boarding for $10.
What you get: As you'd probably expect from a budget airline, Flair doesn't offer complimentary food and drink onboard. The airline does have a selection of snacks and beverages available to buy on board with prices starting from $2.99.
Flair flights do have WiFi and you can download their in-flight app which has onboard entertainment.
Total (with one carry-on): $194.38
Total (including one carry-on and one checked bag): $232.80
Cost: Flights start from $207 between Toronto and Vancouver
Baggage: If you want to take a carry-on bag from Toronto to Vancouver, you can upgrade your ticket which will cost $235 total.
For your first checked bag, prices range from $27.50 to $86.25. On the Toronto to Vancouver route, it will cost $27.50, according to Porter Airlines website.
Extras: If you want to choose your seat, prices start from $12.
What you get: If you fly Porter, you'll actually get complimentary snacks and beer or wine regardless of what kind of ticket you purchase. Fresh meals are available to buy on board on flights over 2.5 hours.
Porter Airlines flights have inflight entertainment including movies and TV shows. You'll also get free WiFi too so you can stream your favourite Netflix shows. Seats come come equipped with power outlets so you can charge your devices and you won't have to worry about draining your battery.
Total (with one carry-on): $235
Total (including one carry-on and one checked bag): $262.50
Cost: Flights start from $206.93 between Toronto and Vancouver
Baggage: One personal item and one piece of carry-on baggage is included in every WestJet ticket, regardless of which class of ticket you purchase.
You can also check in your first piece of checked luggage, with prices ranging from $30 to $47.20, according to WestJet's website. From Toronto to Vancouver, this is around $33.90.
Extras: If you want to pick your seat on a WestJet flight, prices start from $45.20.
What you get: On shorter WestJet flights, you'll get complimentary water, juice, soft drinks, tea or coffee as well as a sweet of savoury snack.
There will also be an onboard menu of snacks and alcoholic beverages that you can buy with prices start from $3.49. On longer flights over 2.5 hours, there will be a selection of hot meals available for purchase.
WestJet has a decent selection of onboard entertainment including huge movies, TV shows and even LinkedIn Learning content. WiFi is available on board for a fee and your seat comes with power outlets to charge your devices.
Total (with one carry-on): $206.93
Total (including one carry-on and one checked bag): $240.83
Cost: Flights start from $207 between Toronto and Vancouver
Baggage: As part of your ticket, you'll be able to take one personal item and one standard carry-on on board with Air Canada. If you want to add a checked bag, prices range between $30 and $36, Air Canada's website said.
Extras: Air Canada offers passengers the option to choose their seat in advance and prices for this start from $33.
What you get: Snacks, meals and beverages aren't included on Air Canada flights across Canada but you're able to purchase them on board with prices staring from $4.
Air Canada has plenty on in-flight entertainment to keep you occupied on board with tons of movies, TV shows, music and podcasts to check out. Passengers are also able to access WiFi for a fee with passes starting from $6.50.
Total (with one carry-on): $207
Total (including one carry-on and one checked bag): $237
Ultimately choosing which airline you want to take for your trip mainly comes down to how much luggage you're taking. If you have a short flight where you just need a personal item or even a carry-on, budget airlines might be your best bet.
However, if you're taking a lot of luggage, flying with an airline like Air Canada or WestJet may actually turn out to be more affordable than their budget counterparts. Plus you'll get benefits of in-flight entertainment or potentially complimentary snacks to keep you busy during your flight.
So next time you're travelling across Canada, make sure to consider how much luggage you'll need to take ahead of time because choosing the right airline could save you some cash.
These prices are confirmed at the time of publishing, but they can change at any time. Taxes and fees may not be included.
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