Category: Winnipeg YWG

WestJet announces 90 new and expanded travel opportunities from Calgary this summer

WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership, Press Release

Calgary’s hometown airline continues to invest in convenient and unique travel options

CALGARY, Feb. 7, 2020 /CNW/ – Today, WestJet announced its summer schedule featuring more than 90 new flights from Calgary including new non-stop WestJet Link service to Dawson Creek, B.C.

“WestJet is focused on investing in Alberta to build and strengthen our Calgary hub,” said Arved von zur Muehlen, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer. “As WestJet continues on its strategic path of becoming a global network airline, we are pleased to offer our guests the ability to conveniently connect for business or pleasure across Canada, Europe and beyond this summer.”

With today’s announcement of the new service between Calgary and Dawson Creek, B.C., WestJet Link will operate five routes including between Calgary and Cranbrook, Lethbridge, Lloydminster and Medicine Hat and one between Cranbrook and Vancouver this summer. WestJet Link operations between Calgary and Prince George, B.C., will shift to year-round service on WestJet Encore’s 78-seat Q400 aircraft effective April 26.

In addition, beginning May 14, 2020 WestJet will begin new service between Calgary and Boston. WestJet is offering guests convenient flight times between its extensive hub out of Calgary and the capital of Massachusetts. 

WestJet also recently announced new four-times weekly service between Calgary and Charlottetown starting June 25, 2020.

The schedule also highlights frequency increases from Calgary to popular destinations including Portland, Ore., Victoria, Nanaimo, Comox, Grand Prairie, Fort McMurray, Brandon, Winnipeg, Abbotsford and Yellowknife.

“WestJet continues to invest in YYC Calgary International Airport as its home base and expansion focus. It is Calgary’s largest carrier and we are committed to facilitating their growth. These additional flights will serve more guests bound for more destinations, delivering recreational and business opportunities for our region,” said Bob Sartor, President and CEO, The Calgary Airport Authority.

Highlights of WestJet’s 2020 summer schedule include:
Domestic:

  • Calgary-Dawson Creek, B.C., new daily WestJet Link service begins April 26, 2020
  • Calgary-Winnipeg, an increase of seven weekly flights
  • Calgary-Victoria, an increase of seven weekly flights
  • Calgary-Nanaimo, an increase of seven weekly flights
  • Calgary-Grand Prairie, an increase of seven weekly flights
  • Calgary-Abbotsford, an increase of five weekly flights
  • Calgary-Fort McMurray, an increase of five weekly flights
  • Calgary-Comox, an increase of four weekly flights
  • Calgary-Brandon, from seven times weekly to 11 times weekly
  • Calgary-Yellowknife, from twelve times weekly to 14 times weekly
  • Calgary-Charlottetown, new four-times weekly seasonal service begins June 25, 2020

Transborder:

  • Calgary-Portland, from once daily to twice daily for a total of 14 weekly flights
  • Calgary-Boston, new daily seasonal service begins May 14, 2020

International:

  • Calgary-Paris, from four-times weekly to six-times weekly
  • Calgary-Rome, new three-times weekly service begins May 2, 2020
  • Calgary-Cabo San Lucas, from twice-weekly to three-times weekly

The airline has added more than 300 Dreamliner departures out of Calgary in 2020, an increase of more than 52 per cent over 2019, to key transatlantic Dreamliner routes. The flights are uniquely and conveniently timed in the interest of Albertans and western Canadians with late-day departures and daytime arrivals to suit guests travelling to Europe. 

Dawson Creek is WestJet’s 72nd destination out of Calgary, WestJet’s home and largest hub. By June 2020, the airline will operate more than 1000 flights per week in peak season out of Calgary International Airport. More Calgarians choose WestJet for their air travel than any other airline.

Flair Airlines offers three-month unlimited travel pass for $700 as discount competition heats up

News provided by the Vancouver Sun – link to full story and updates

Low-cost carrier takes on Swoop in battle for best deals

ZEBA KHAN – February 5, 2020

Flair Airlines Ltd is offering a three-month unlimited pass from February to May. BRENT LEWIN/BLOOMBERG

Flair Airlines is offering a three-month unlimited travel pass as competition in the discount air space heats up.

Flair’s Go Travel Pass, which runs from Feb. 13 to May 13, offers two options. The basic pass for $499 allows unlimited travel for three months with Fridays and Sundays excluded and some blackout days. The unlimited pass offers unlimited travel for all days of the week at $699 with no blackout dates.

The airline travels to Vancouver, Abbotsford, Kelowna, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Toronto. It does not fly to Quebec.

“We are thrilled to offer our passengers the freedom and flexibility to travel with our unlimited pass.  Whether you are a student who needs to visit home, a small business owner on a budget, a family needing to connect or an adventure seeker looking for your next thrill; all Canadians deserve to travel without hesitation,” Sarah Riches, director of commercial for Flair Airlines said in a press release Wednesday.

Flair is one of only two ultra-low cost airlines in Canada. WestJet affiliate Swoop Airlines is the second.

And competition has been fierce. Earlier this month Swoop held a loonie seat sale where the base cost for a seat was only a dollar before taxes, fees and extras.

Last year the Competition Bureau launched an investigation into Swoop over allegations that “predatory pricing” was used to try to crowd Flair out of some routes.

Flair last year sold a stake of its company to a U.S. private investment firm in a bid to boost its fleet to compete against its rival.

With file from Julia Mastroianni

Despite hurdles, Winnipeg airport maintains strong traffic numbers

News provided by Global News – link to full story and updates

BY SAM THOMPSON GLOBAL NEWS January 31, 2020

James A. Richardson International Airport.
 James A. Richardson International Airport. Elisha Dacey/Global News

Winnipeg Airports Authority (WAA) spokeperson Tyler MacAfee told 680 CJOB that the spring 2019 grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX  had an effect on traffic coming out of Winnipeg Richardson International Airport last year.

The WAA said the transport hub was on pace for its sixth year of record numbers, but when the 737 MAX was taken out of service last March, following two deadly 2018 crashes involving the airliner, growth stalled.

“It wasn’t just the routes being serviced by the MAX 8 aircraft that were cancelled,” said MacAfee. “The airlines had to readjust their fleets, so they pulled some planes that were flying routes to Winnipeg on different aircraft, and repositioning those on other routes that would have been served by the MAX 8.STORY CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

“So it really was a readjustment across the board.”

Despite the impact of the MAX 8 grounding, the airport still saw 4.5 million passengers overall in 2019, matching the previous year’s totals.

Barry Rempel Winnipeg Airports Authority
 Barry Rempel, president and CEO of the Winnipeg Airports Authority. Tamara Forlanski / Global News / File

There was, however, an increase in cargo traffic last year.

The number of cargo planes landing in Winnipeg grew by 4.2 per cent over 2018, and gross takeoff weight — meaning larger aircraft moving more goods in and out of Winnipeg — was also up by 7.6 per cent.LINK TO WATCH: Travel tips from the Winnipeg Airport

“The significant growth in cargo traffic in 2019 demonstrates our strategic partnerships and investment in the airport’s cargo facilities are paying off,” said WAA president and CEO Barry Rempel.STORY CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

“Everything from fresh cut flowers to agricultural equipment moves through Winnipeg Richardson International Airport, supporting Manitoba business, creating jobs and driving economic growth.”

In early 2020, the airport says it will be continuing progress on upgrades to the terminal building, as well as plans to upgrade its Tim Hortons locations inside the terminal and add a new lounge.© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Swoop Adds Phoenix-bound Route from Winnipeg

Provided by Swoop/CNW

Winnipeg Travellers can escape to the Valley of the Sun this winter

CALGARY and WINNIPEG, Dec. 13, 2019 /CNW/ – This weekend, Swoop, Canada’s ultra-low-fare airline and subsidiary of WestJet Airlines Ltd., takes off with its inaugural flight to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (AZA) from Winnipeg Richardson International Airport (YWG) on Sunday, December 15 at 5:05 p.m. CST.

This is Swoop’s first service to Arizona via Winnipeg, offering Manitoba travellers more options for warmer destinations this winter season. Swoop currently serves 13 North American destinations via Winnipeg through its year-round and seasonal operations, including two new routes to London and Victoria just released in the 2020 summer schedule with service beginning in April.

“Swoop is continually looking to grow and diversify our Winnipeg network offerings, providing our travellers with more options to escape to warmer climates,” said Steven Greenway, President, Swoop. “In the past three months, we have celebrated the addition of several new routes from Winnipeg and look forward to continuing momentum, passing savings and great destinations on to our travellers.”

The Greater Phoenix area offers Canadians a timeless Southwestern backdrop that is perfect for family vacations, weekend adventures or romantic getaways. Whether travellers are looking for a relaxing spa getaway, an active hike along mountain park trails, or a stroll through a variety of boutiques and fashionable malls, there is something for everyone.

“Our partnership with Swoop continues to grow, providing our community more direct, low-cost travel options to visit and experience sought-after destinations across North America,” said Barry Rempel, President and CEO of Winnipeg Airports Authority.  “These additional routes are helping further strengthen Winnipeg’s connection to the world by opening the door for Winnipeg Richardson International Airport to welcome more travellers to Winnipeg. Swoop continues to be a valuable partner who recognizes Winnipeg’s potential.”

“We are thrilled to add Winnipeg as an additional destination on Swoop to and from the Greater Phoenix area,” said Lt. Governor Robert Stone, chair of the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority. “More families can now choose the convenience and affordability of traveling through Gateway Airport on Swoop.”

The new non-stop route will operate twice weekly bringing Canadians to the Phoenix / Mesa area to experience the Valley of the Sun at a price that works for them. Swoop’s low price-point and unbundled model, with a base fare that starts with just the seat, makes travel more accessible for more Canadians, giving travellers the power to add the things they want, and nothing they don’t.

Phoenix-Mesa-bound flights are now available for booking through until April 23, 2020. Details of Swoop’s new service out of Winnipeg include:

 Service BetweenService OfferedWeekly FrequencyService Run-time
Winnipeg, MB toMesa, AZThursday and
Sunday
2 x per weekDecember 15, 2019 –
April 23, 2020
Mesa, AZ to
Winnipeg, MB
Thursday and
Sunday
2 x per weekDecember 15, 2019 –
April 23, 2020

For further flight information, including service days and availability, visit FlySwoop.com.

To learn more about Swoop’s destinations, schedule and ultra-low-cost model visit FlySwoop.com or connect with Swoop on FacebookTwitterInstagram.

Swoop Continues North American Expansion with Release of 2020 Summer Schedule

Provided by Swoop/CNW

The ultra-low fare airline adds increased service and three new destinations to its network

CALGARY, Dec. 13, 2019 /CNW/ – Today, Swoop, Canada’s ultra-low-fare airline and subsidiary of WestJet Airlines Ltd., released its 2020 summer schedule, announcing increased service and three new destinations. Starting in April 2020, Swoop’s newest routes will take travellers to two new domestic destinations including Victoria, Kamloops, and one U.S. destination, San Diego.

With summer being a busy travel season for Canadians, Swoop is also increasing its weekly frequency service between many markets including Hamilton to Winnipeg, Edmonton to Abbotsford, and Abbotsford to Winnipeg.

“In only 18 months, Swoop has experienced significant growth, and we are excited to continue this momentum with the release of our 2020 summer schedule,” said Steven Greenway, President, Swoop. “By introducing Swoop to more markets, we are achieving our mission of providing Canadians with accessible summer travel opportunities throughout North America.”

Highlights of Swoop’s 2020 summer schedule includes service between:

  • Edmonton-Kamloops up to four times weekly
  • Winnipeg-London up to four times weekly
  • Winnipeg-Victoria up to five times weekly
  • Edmonton-San Diego up to three times weekly
  • Edmonton-Abbotsford from 16 times weekly, to 24 times weekly
  • Hamilton-Winnipeg, from six times weekly, to 10 times weekly
  • Abbotsford to Winnipeg, from four times weekly, to daily

Since its June 2018 launch, Swoop’s summer network has grown to serve 14 domestic, 10 transborder and four international markets, rapidly expanding the airline’s network across North America. Fulfilling a need in the Canadian marketplace, Swoop continues to make a positive impact on the aviation industry, becoming Canada’s leading domestic, transborder and international ultra-low-cost carrier, with the new schedule set to increase Swoop’s frequency to 328 ultra-low fare weekly flights.

“We are very pleased to welcome Swoop to Victoria International Airport with new service to Winnipeg,” said Geoff Dickson, President and CEO, Victoria Airport Authority.  “We are one of the lowest cost airports in Canada and that makes us a natural fit with the low-cost business model of Swoop. We look forward to a growing partnership and welcome the new destination and travel options for our local community and visitors to our region.” 

“We’re glad to see Swoop’s growth plan includes increased service for Edmonton International Airport,” said Tom Ruth, President and CEO, Edmonton International Airport. “We look forward to more flights both for the Edmonton Metro Region and for other communities to come here and experience our great area.”

“Winnipeg Richardson International Airport travellers will have more options this summer thanks to two new direct routes from Swoop,” said Barry Rempel, President and CEO, Winnipeg Airports Authority. “We are pleased to grow our partnership with Swoop as they continue to expand our community’s connectivity, giving travellers new places to discover and bringing more people to Winnipeg to explore everything our city has to offer.”

“Expanding flight services and destinations continues to be a priority for us at San Diego International Airport,” said Kim Becker, President and CEO, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority. “We are proud and excited to welcome Swoop with service to Edmonton as our newest travel destination, bringing even more offerings to our passengers in San Diego and Canada.”

“We are very pleased to welcome Swoop to Kamloops Airport this coming summer season,” said Ed Ratuski, Managing Director, Kamloops Airport. “The return of service between Kamloops and Edmonton will be welcomed by our community and offer great opportunities for adventures on both ends of the route.”

Swoop’s unbundled model ensures fares remain ultra-low, with a base fare that starts with just the seat, giving travellers the power to add the things they want, and nothing they don’t.

Flights are now available for booking through until October 24, 2020. To learn more about Swoop’s destinations, schedule and ultra-low-cost model visit FlySwoop.com or connect with Swoop on FacebookTwitterInstagram.

VIDEO: Self-driving wheelchair whisks travellers through terminal to departure gates Social Sharing

News provided by CBC News – link to full story and video

Autonomous device undergoing trials at Winnipeg’s Richardson International Airport

CBC News · Posted: Dec 12, 2019

Watch: Video

The maker of an autonomous wheelchair is conducting trials at Winnipeg’s Richardson International Airport. 1:360 comments

Airports around the world may soon be easier to navigate for travellers with reduced mobility, thanks to a high-tech wheelchair being tested this week in Winnipeg.

The Japanese company WHILL has begun the second round of trials for an autonomous wheelchair that takes people from check-in to their departure gate, then returns on its own to a recharging station.

The first round of trials were conducted earlier this year at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport and Abu Dhabi International Airport in the United Arab Emirates.

The WHILL airport wheelchair users sensors and automatic brakes to independently avoid obstacles, including other travellers.

Swoop Adds Second Mexico Destination to its Winnipeg Network

Provided by Swoop/CNW

Travellers can now visit Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos at an accessible price

CALGARY and WINNIPEG, Dec. 10, 2019 /CNW/ – Today, Swoop, Canada’s ultra-low-fare airline and subsidiary of WestJet Airlines Ltd., launches its inaugural flight from  innipeg Richardson International Airport (YWG) to Licenciado Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport (PVR) departing at 8:45 a.m. CST.

This is Swoop’s second route from Winnipeg to Mexico, offering travellers the choice to vacation on the beaches of Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos from Manitoba’s capital. Having just recently launched a series of new routes from YWG, including Fort Lauderdale, Tampa Bay and Las Vegas, Winnipeggers can enjoy a total of nine destinations through Swoop’s year-round and seasonal operations.

“Our route map is constantly expanding, working towards our mission of making travel more affordable, easy and accessible for all,” said Steven Greenway, President, Swoop. “We are continuing to grow our Winnipeg network, providing more options for Canadians to escape Winter’peg and head to warmer destinations.”

Direct flights from Winnipeg to the beaches of Puerto Vallarta are providing more Canadians the opportunity to head south of the border this winter. Swoop prides itself on its low price-point because of its unbundled model, with a base fare that includes only a seat, giving travellers the power to add the things they want, and nothing they don’t.

“Our partnership with Swoop continues to grow, providing our community more direct, low-cost travel options to visit and experience sought-after destinations across North America,” said Barry Rempel, President and CEO of Winnipeg Airports Authority. “These additional routes are helping further strengthen Winnipeg’s connection to the world by opening the door for Winnipeg Richardson International Airport to welcome more travellers to Winnipeg. Swoop continues to be a valuable partner who recognizes Winnipeg’s potential.”

“We welcome Swoop’s new flight from Winnipeg as this will provide direct access to Puerto Vallarta’s diverse offering this winter,” said Javier Aranda, Director of the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board. “Puerto Vallarta will be the land of celebrations in the upcoming months as we start the holiday season with the Virgen of Guadalupe pilgrimages, Christmas, Hanukah, New Years and many other cultural events. We invite all our visitors to join in the celebrations and experience Puerto Vallarta.”

“We are thrilled to collaborate with Swoop in the launch of a direct flight from Winnipeg to Licenciado Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport and with the possibility to provide new, convenient connectivity options to visit Riviera Nayarit from Canada. From charming coastal towns like Sayulita to sophisticated resorts like Punta de Mita, our destinations will lure Canadian travellers through a differentiated offering that will have them visit this region over and over again,” said Marc Murphy, General Director of CVB Riviera Nayarit.

Swoop currently serves 17 domestic, transborder and international destinations, with its summer 2020 schedule set to add even more options for Canadian travellers beginning April 2020.

Winnipeg flights to Puerto Vallarta are now available for booking through until April 21, 2020. Details of Swoop’s new service out of Winnipeg include:

 Service BetweenService OfferedWeekly FrequencyService Run-time
Winnipeg, MB to
Puerto Vallarta, MX
Tuesday1 x per weekDecember 10, 2019 –
April 21, 2020
Puerto Vallarta, MX
to Winnipeg, MB
Tuesday1 x per weekDecember 10, 2019 –
April 21, 2020

For further flight information, including service days and availability, visit FlySwoop.com.

Swoop Takes Off with Five New Direct Flights from Winnipeg

Provided by Swoop/CNW

Manitoba sun-seekers now have more options available for their winter getaway, including Las Vegas, Florida and Mexico.

CALGARY and WINNIPEG, Nov. 15, 2019 /CNW/ – Beginning today, Swoop, Canada’s ultra-low-fare airline and subsidiary of WestJet Airlines Ltd., launches a series of inaugural flights from Winnipeg Richardson International Airport  YWG), starting with a direct flight to Orlando International Airport (MCO) departing at 8 a.m. CST.

Over the weekend, Swoop travellers will be taking off on inaugural routes to McCarran International Airport (LAS) on November 15, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) on November 16, and Los Cabos International Airport (SJD) and Tampa International Airport (TPA) on November 17.

“This weekend marks an exciting milestone for Winnipeg travellers, gaining access to more destinations across North America at an affordable price,” said Steven Greenway, President, Swoop. “Swoop’s growing network offers more flights to popular destinations at an ultra-low fare for all Canadians to enjoy.”

These additions to Swoop’s Winnipeg network connect travellers from Manitoba’s capital to 11 domestic, transborder and international destinations. Swoop’s growing service and its unbundled fares, services and amenities, makes travel more accessible for Canadians by giving them the power to add the things they want, and nothing they don’t.

“Winnipeg Richardson International Airport travellers now have more options to explore North America thanks to Swoop,” said Barry Rempel, President and CEO, Winnipeg Airports Authority. “Swoop recognizes the demand in this market for ultra low-cost air travel and WAA is pleased our partnership continues to evolve with the addition of these new routes.”

“Increased connectivity has the potential to strengthen our economy and is good for our community. With Swoop adding more routes, it shows they are confident in Winnipeg as a place to grow their business,” said Dayna Spiring, President and CEO, Economic Development Winnipeg Inc. “These additional international flights make it easier for visitors to make their way to Winnipeg. We look forward to welcoming tourists from or connecting through these destinations to check out our world-class attractions, meet our friendly people and discover what Winnipeg has to offer.”

Whether you’re booking a family trip to Walt Disney World Resort, a romantic getaway to Mexico or a fun-filled adventure to Las Vegas, Swoop makes travel affordable, easy and accessible for Winnipeggers looking for their sun destination getaway.

“We are delighted to welcome new seasonal service from Winnipeg with Swoop Airlines,” said Chris Meyer, Vice President of Global Sales, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. “The airline has been a great partner in adding several budget-friendly flights to Las Vegas over the past year, and the timing of this flight gives our Canadian friends a great excuse for a weekend escape where Vegas takes every experience to the next level.”

Details of Swoop’s new service out of Winnipeg:

 Service BetweenService OfferedWeekly FrequencyService Run-time
Winnipeg, MB to
Orlando, FL
Tuesday, Friday2 x per weekNovember 15, 2019 –
April 24, 2020
Winnipeg, MB to
Las Vegas, NV
Monday, Friday2 x per weekNovember 15, 2019 –
April 24, 2020
Winnipeg, MB to
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Monday, Saturday2 x per weekNovember 16, 2019 –
April 25, 2020
Winnipeg, MB to
Tampa Bay, FL
Thursday, Sunday2 x per weekNovember 17, 2019 –
April 23, 2020
Winnipeg, MB to
Los Cabos, MX
Wednesday,
Sunday
1 x per week until Dec. 18
2 x per week until April
23
November 17, 2019 –
April 23, 2020

Flights are now available for booking through to April 2020. For further flight information, including service days and availability, visit FlySwoop.com.

Sunwing partners with Swoop to offer customers even more travel options this winter

Provided by Swoop/CNW

TORONTO, Sept. 27, 2019 /CNW/ – Canadians looking for a tropical escape that’s easily accessible from their local airport have even more options to choose from this coming winter thanks to a new agreement between leading tour operator, Sunwing, and ultra-low-cost airline, Swoop.

Sunseekers departing from Hamilton, London, Abbotsford, Edmonton and Winnipeg can now book vacation packages with the tour operator that include a Swoop flight.  

Cancun, Mexico Aerial Photo (CNW Group/Swoop)
Cancun, Mexico Aerial Photo (CNW Group/Swoop)
Sunwing Logo | Learn more about Sunwing at Sunwing.ca (CNW Group/Swoop)

Andrew Dawson, President of Tour Operations for Sunwing, commented on the news, “Saving our customers time and money by providing convenient, direct flight services from their local airport has always been a key priority for us. Sunwing Airlines already offers flights to over 45 of the most popular sun destinations from over 30 departure airports coast to coast. With this new agreement, even more Canadians will be able to experience our top-rated resorts (including leading chains such as Royalton Luxury Resorts, RIU Hotels & Resorts, Planet Hollywood Hotels & Resorts) as part of a valued-added vacation package departing from their local airport.”

All Sunwing vacation packages with Swoop flights include one complimentary item of checked luggage, round-trip airport to hotel transfers, assistance from Sunwing Experiences representatives throughout, the option to benefit from savings by pre-purchasing Sunwing Experiences excursions at the time of booking and more.

“It’s a privilege to be entrusted with carrying Sunwing travellers onboard Swoop flights to our extensive network in Mexico,” said Steven Greenway, President, Swoop. “Partnering with a well-respected tour operator who shares our vision of making travel affordable and more accessible is a welcome opportunity for Canadians who want to travel more.”

Sunwing customers that take advantage of Swoop’s extensive network of flight services can now benefit from even greater access to some of Mexico’s most popular vacation destinations. A new departure airport now available as part of this agreement is Abbotsford, where travellers can take advantage of twice-weekly flights to Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta. The popular vacation destination of Cancun is now within easy reach for Sunwing customers in London if they choose to take advantage of the twice-weekly Swoop flight service as part of their vacation package.
Vacationers departing from Hamilton can now select from both Sunwing’s and Swoop’s regular flight services to Cancun – giving them the choice of four different departure days each week (including both Saturday and Sunday). Vacationers from Edmonton will enjoy additional weekend departure options to reach Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta. Finally, the addition of Swoop flight services from Winnipeg to Los Cabos has tripled the choice of departure days for customers travelling from the region, with new flights options departing Sundays and Wednesdays. 

For more information on Sunwing packages or to book, visit www.sunwing.ca or contact your travel agent.

Swoop Airlines Review – is it really cheaper?

News provided by Travel Off Path – link to full story

Swoop Airlines Review

KASHLEE KUCHERAN SEPTEMBER 26, 2019

Canadian’s have always gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to cheap air fare, but that finally might be changing!

Swoop Airlines is a new discount airline that has launched in selected (smaller) airports throughout Canada, and they are offering some sweet ticket prices.

Living in Kelowna, I don’t have a lot of choices when it comes to direct flights. I’ll be honest, YLW airport sucks in its offering of non-stop destinations. When I first moved to Kelowna we at least had a direct to San Francisco and Los Angeles, but they slowly fizzled out and left us with just a few direct options.

However, Swoop Airlines just moved in and they are offering a few direct flights that caught my eye! Winnipeg for $79 and Las Vegas for $99. Those are some INCREDIBLY low prices for direct flights out of Kelowna.

Swoop Kelowna

My brother Cody lives in Winnipeg, but I can’t say I’m regularly tempted to fly over to visit him. (Sorry bro!) A one-way flight on WestJet or Air Canada is usually $250-$450 and all flights have at least one stop-over. The moment I saw I could get to Winnipeg for $79, I booked the flight instantly! $450 is a hard sell for me, but $79 I can do!

Now here is where people get concerned with a low-cost airline. They start to worry about the maintenance of the planes, how uncomfortable it might be in-flight, or how many extra fees will get tacked on for bags, water, or even breathing.

I’ve got you covered. Here is everything I experienced during my recent flight on Swoop from Kelowna to Winnipeg on September 18th 2019.

Swoop Airlines Review

Swoop review canada

Is Swoop’s website easy to use?

The site is super easy to use and very straight forward. It looks like any other major airline website and wasn’t sneaky or hard to understand in anyway.

They allow you to choose a seat (paid) add carry-on or checked baggage (paid) or you can hold off to do that at check-in or at the airport. Just know, if you buy baggage or seats DURING your initial booking, it will be cheaper. But more on that later.

Does Swoop have hidden fees in the fare pricing?

Surprisingly, no.

The price advertised was $79 and that’s what it was at the end of the day. The airfare was actually only $48, then after taxes and fees, came out to a total of $79. Great! No surprises there! I was half expecting it to double in price by the time I had just run through taxes, fees, and weird hidden surcharges – but thankfully that never happened.

Booking flights on Swoop

Can you bring ANY type of luggage on Swoop for Free?

YES! They allow a free ‘personal item’ on board.

They classify this as something that can fit under the seat in front of you, like a small backpack, purse, laptop bag, or briefcase.

If you can pack a super smart bag, you could likely get away with just using this personal item allowance for a short trip.

Here are the official dimensions they allow for your personal item:
16” x 6” x 13” (41cm x 15cm x 33cm)

How much is CARRY-ON BAGGAGE with Swoop?

Now here is where you can start to rack up a bill with Swoop, but truth be told, it’s STILL cheaper than flying with Canada’s other two carriers, even if you buy all the add-ons. 

Carry-on baggage starts at $35.

I was visiting my brother in Winnipeg on my way down south for the winter. Since I had to carry everything I needed for 6 months with me on this trip, I had no choice but to purchase BOTH the carry-on bag and the checked bag through Swoop. If I was just flying there for a weekend to see him, I could make it work with just the free personal item.

My carry-on bag from Kelowna to Winnipeg was $35 CAD.

Carry-on Baggage weight and size restrictions:

If you are considering buying a carry-on bag for a Swoop flight, know that it MUST fit within these dimensions: 21” x 9” x 15” (52cm x 23cm x 38cm).

But here is a fun tip – 
Swoop does NOT limit how much your carry-on bag can weigh.

Fees for carry-on bags on Swoop:

How much is a carry-on with swoop
Swoop Fees for carry-on bags

The cost for carry-on baggage will vary depending on two things:

  • If your flight is within Canada, or going to the states
  • If you purchase it at booking, or later on at check in or at the airport

You can buy a carry-on bag for as low as $35 as long as you do it at the time of booking.

Each moment that your flight draws closer it goes up in price. If 30 seconds after you book your flight you decide you want to buy a carry-on bag, it’s now $40. When you go to check-in for your flight 24 hours before departure, it’s now $45. If you wait until you reach the check-in counter at the airport, it’s now gone up to $50. The worst price is definitely if you wait until last minute until the gate, about to board your flight – here they will charge you a whopping $70 for your carry-on bag.

How much is CHECKED BAGGAGE with Swoop?

Checked baggage is around the same cost as carry-on baggage.
It starts at $35.

Checked Baggage weight and size restrictions:

Your checked baggage with Swoop can weigh 50lbs MAX

Maximum dimensions: 157 cm (62 in.) total combined dimension (length + width + height)

You obviously get a bigger dimension allowance, but be warned, they are STRICT about their 50lb maximum weight policy.

As I was in line at the check-in counter I saw them make a girl who was only 2lbs over take items out of her luggage.

I was sweating with nerves because I knew my checked bag was shoved full of stuff for the next 6 months of travel. I don’t have a scale at home, so I crossed my fingers and prayed I would be okay.

When I put my bag up on the scale at the counter it weighed 55.3lbs. DANG!

She gave me two options: I could either find 5.3 lbs of stuff to take out of my checked bag OR I could pay the $106 overweight fee. There was NO way I was paying $106 for 5lbs, so I dug out 2 sweaters and my leather jacket and put them on over my t-shirt. Yep, I felt like Chandler from friends. I was still 1.5 lbs overweight, so I had to take out some items and shove them into my already brimming carry-on.

I put my checked luggage back on the scale and low and behold it came in at EXACTLY 50.0lbs. Success! The check-in attendant told me it’s better to buy a 2nd checked bag for $50 at time of booking instead of the $106 over-weight charge for next time.

Fees for Checked Bags on Swoop:

How much are baggage fees with swoop
Checked baggage fees with Swoop

The cost for checked baggage will vary depending on two things:

  • If your flight is within Canada, or going to the states (states is $5 more)
  • If you purchase it at booking, or later on at check in or at the airport

Just like the carry-on baggage, the checked baggage is also on a sliding tier scale. You will get the lowest price ($35) for your checked bag at time of booking, and it will go up to $70 by the time you reach the gate.

How does Seat Selection work on Swoop?

Seat selection on swoop

FREE:
You will be automatically assigned a random seat upon check-in. This random selection is free, so if you are budget conscious, just roll the dice.

PAY:
To pick ANY seat on the plane ahead of time, even the worst one, it will cost you. Prices for seat selection at time of booking range from $10-$50, and if you wait until check in you will pay anywhere from $20-$70. (approx $10 more per seat if you wait.)

Since my TOTAL bill for a direct flight to Winnipeg was only $150, even after buying both a checked bag and a carry-on bag, I decided to really go all out and buy a seat in the emergency row. Of course, I waited until check-in so I could give Swoop some extra money.

emergency row on Swoop

The emergency row seat cost me $40 at check-in, 24 hours before the flight. The best part of buying this seat was that no one else on my flight decided it was worth the extra $40. I had the entire row to myself, including the row across the aisle. Most of the regular seats on the flight were full, which made it extra luxurious to have the entire area to myself.

Here is the pricing tier for seat selections on Swoop:

How much does it cost to select a seat on Swoop
Seat selection fees on Swoop

Are the seats really crowded on Swoop?

are seats crowded on swoop

Swoop says their normal seats give 74-76 cm of leg room (that’s 29-30 inches).

If we compare that to other flights heading to Winnipeg, WestJet has one flight with 76 cm and one with 79 cmAir Canada also ranges from 76 cm up to 81 cm depending on the type of aircraft.

So, if you’re on a Swoop flight with 76 cm in their ‘base’ seat, you might find the exact same leg room on certain WestJet and Air Canada flights also providing 76 cm. (Usually a Bombardier Dash-8).

If you fly a 737 or an a320 on WestJet or Air Canada, you’ll likely have 79 cm to 81cm, making them much roomier than Swoop.

Swoop seat

Now, I did fly in the emergency row which gave me lots of extra room. Swoop’s website says their ‘extra-pitch’ seats give 86 cm to 96 cm of legroom (34-38 inches). While I didn’t whip out my measuring tape to see exactly what mine was, it felt extremely spacious.

By the way, seats have a USB plug and 110v plug, which makes any small seat a little more comfortable.

plus on Swoop

Does Swoop charge for water?

You bet! And I’m cool with that. I would rather score a ticket for $79 and have to pay for my own water than pay $450 for the same flight that offers free water or pop. In reality, we should all be bringing empty re-usable bottles through security and filling them up for free at the many water fountains.

Does Swoop serve food and drinks?

Yes they do, of course for a fee. The prices are pretty decent considering they are on a flight.   

Drinks

  • Soft Drinks $1.99
  • Juice $2.49
  • Tea $2.99
  • Alkaline Water $3.29
  • Coffee $3.49
  • Spirits $5.99
  • Beer $6.99
  • Wine $7.99

Food/Snacks

  • Gummies $1.99
  • Biscotti $2.49
  • Brownies $2.99
  • Chocolate Bars $2.99
  • Pringles $2.99
  • Hummus and Lentil Crackers $4.49
  • Beef Jerky $4.49
  • Oatmeal $3.49
  • Mr. Noodles $3.49
  • Instant Pho $5.49
  • Snack Plate $6.99

You are allowed to bring your own water, pop, coffee and food on-board to consume if you don’t want to by airplane food. Most food you can bring through security but remember all drinks will have to be purchased post-security.

Swoop menu food
Swoop menu drinks

Is there Wi-Fi on Swoop?

YES!

There is Wi-Fi on Swoop flights, for a fee.

They don’t have the prices listed on their website and some forums say it’s based on the type/length of flight. Rates should be around $6.49/1 hour and $8.99/3 hours.

wifi on Swoop

My Personal Swoop Experience

Everything was really equal to flying with any other Canadian airline. Booking, checking in, etc was all pretty similar. If anything, the below observations are because I am looking at Swoop with a very critical “I’m going to write a review about you” eye.

Here are the small differences I noticed flying with Swoop:

• They are hardcore about the 50-pound maximum for checked baggage. Don’t expect to get any leniency with Swoop.

• Post security, at the gate, they seemed a little behind schedule and disoriented. They called for families and anyone needing additional time/assistance to come up first and then held them there for a good 15 minutes without processing any of them through. The plane was there, and it was empty, so I am not sure what caused the delay.

• The flight did depart slightly late, but just a few minutes

•I guess it was a different experience to be nickeled and dimed with each tiny detail of the trip, but I still enjoyed a much lower fare than I would have with the full-service competitors.

• Service levels were not as hands on because the flight attendants don’t come through offering free drinks and pretzels to everyone. You really only see them for the safety demo and if you elect to buy something.

• Were the seats less padded? I couldn’t help but notice my butt didn’t feel as cushioned, but that might be me imagining things. Also, I am kind of a high maintenance flyer and I am usually doing everything I can to find a lay-flat business class seat, so I might just be extremely spoiled and biased. Sorry I have no data to confirm my suspicions on this one.

Once on board I didn’t notice anything different about the actual flight itself. The plane looked and felt like every other 737 I’ve ever been on.
Sometimes I think people suspect flying with a budget airline means flying on a lower end plane, but they are really all the same metal tube in the sky. We took off and landed without any events, which is always a blessing. Once we touched down in Winnipeg the plane went right to the gangway and we departed within a few minutes. Baggage came quickly. The entire experience went well!

Where does Swoop Airlines Fly

Swoop is able to keep their prices super low by only flying out of secondary and smaller airports in Canada. The fees and taxes are lower, which helps keep ticket prices down.

However, they still fly to some major airports and top destinations!

International Swoop Destinations:

  • Las Vegas
  • Phoenix
  • Tampa
  • Orlando
  • Fort Lauderdale
  • Los Cabos
  • Mazatlan
  • Puerto Vallarta
  • Cancun
  • Montego Bay

Domestic Swoop Destinations:

  • Abbotsford
  • Kelowna
  • Edmonton
  • Winnipeg
  • London
  • Hamilton
  • Halifax
Where Swoop airlines flies

My Rating of Swoop Airlines

I would give my experience with Swoop an 8/10. (taking into consideration it’s a budget economy flight!)

I really didn’t have any kind of a negative experience at all, but of course the main reason for such a high score really boils down to price. I love a good deal, and when I can pair that with cutting my flight down from a 1-stop to a direct flight, even better!

Now that Swoop has a $99 flight from Kelowna direct to Las Vegas, I think that is a great way to get down to the US for cheap, even if Vegas isn’t my final destination. I’m looking forward to trying that service and seeing what it’s like.

Would I recommend Swoop?

I actually did today! My friends are looking to come and visit me in Mazatlan this winter and they can fly DIRECT from Abbotsford to Mazatlan for next to nothing. On WestJet their total cost for 2 round-trip tickets was going to be $1900 and with Swoop it will only be $800. 50% off!