Tag: Kelowna YLW

Departing YLW Kelowna could soon cost more

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

BY MEGAN TURCATO GLOBAL NEWS Posted November 3, 2019

Officials are hoping to increase the airport improvement fee in Kelowna to $25. Jules Knox reports.

Less than a year after the last increase, the Kelowna International Airport (YLW) is asking city council to approve higher airport improvement fees.

The airport wants the current airport charge of $20 per departing airline passenger to be increased to $25 next March.

YLW says it needs the money to refresh aging infrastructure and pay for major expansion projects over the next decade to keep pace with the airport’s growing popularity.

In a report to city council, YLW’s senior airport finance and corporate services manager says the number of passengers using YLW increased 38 per cent between 2013 and 2018.

More than 2 million passengers passed through the airport in 2018 and the airport is preparing to service more than 2.5 million in the future.

Construction of a $60.8 million terminal expansion is just one of the capital projects the airport has targeted for next year.

This project, which won’t be finished till 2023, will see the construction of a larger departure lounge with more food service locations, as well as a larger security area which the airport hopes will cut down on wait times.

Over the next decade, factoring in inflation, the airport is projecting it will need $220 million for all the capital upgrades it has planned.

The airport argues increasing the airport improvement fee to pay for those upgrades will not put it out of step with other airports in the country.

YLW’s report to city council shows a range of airport improvement fees, with Fort McMurray, Alta. charging $40 per departing passenger while the London, Ont. airport charges $7.

In Calgary and Edmonton the fee is $30. Vancouver currently charges $20 for those traveling outside of B.C. but will be increasing its fee to $25 in January. Victoria charges $15.

YLW’s airport improvement fee last increased in April 2019 when it went from up from $15.

Along with increasing airport improvement fees, YLW is also looking to increase landing and terminal fees by 2 per cent next year.

The proposals are up for discussion at Kelowna city council this week.

—With files from Sean Boynton

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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!

Flair Airlines Reports 92% Load Factor for Summer 2019

Provided by Flair Airlines/Globe Newswire

Edmonton, Alberta, Sept. 05, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Flair Airlines, Canada’s only truly independent low cost airline, is pleased to report an average passenger load factor of 92% for July & August 2019. 

“We are delighted with the rapidly growing number of Canadians who have flocked to Flair this summer” said CEO Jim Scott. He continued ,“After only one year as an exclusively scheduled carrier we have established Flair as the place to go for low fares, great service and are already recognizing many return customers.”

During the summer, Edmonton-based Flair flew from Vancouver, Abbotsford, Kelowna, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto and Halifax. Flair successfully initiated daily non-stop service between Toronto (YYZ) and Vancouver as well as between Toronto and Calgary.

Over the last few months, as part of it’s fleet renewal program, Flair has added three newer Boeing 737-800NG aircraft and is gradually phasing out it’s older B737-400’s. All three additions sport Flair’s distinctive new livery and logo.

By next summer Flair plans to be operating a single-type fleet of B737-800 NG‘s, which are more fuel efficient and also have longer range capabilities. Flair’s unified fleet will open up a number of exciting southern destinations offered at accessible rates.

While Flair’s year-to-date on-time performance has been one of the best in Canada, the younger aircraft should serve to make it even better.

Kelowna bachelorette party ends in ‘nightmare’ as Swoop cancels flight

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

One passenger says the airline rescheduled her flight home a week later

CBC News · Posted: Aug 27, 2019

Swoop passengers bound for Winnipeg from Kelowna on Monday were surprised to find their trip cancelled with no immediate alternate travel plans offered. (Shawn Benjamin/CBC)

A group of friends from Winnipeg who spent the weekend at a bachelorette celebration in Kelowna say a cancelled flight left them stranded — with the airline offering return flights more than a week later.

Six women, including Anika Scheurer, booked their flights from Winnipeg with Swoop, an ultra-low fare airline owned by WestJet.

“It was mainly price and the dates,” Scheurer, 24, said in explaining why she chose Swoop, adding that the round-trip ticket was about half the price offered by other airlines.

But as the group prepared to board a plane home Monday, a mechanical problem caused a delay. Hours later, the delay turned into a cancellation.

That’s when Scheurer says the airline “turned a celebratory weekend into a nightmare.”

And according to Gabor Lukacs, founder of the non-profit organization Air Passenger Rights, that’s why travellers need to know what they’re entitled to when trip plans go sideways.

“This is an egregious case. Offering someone transportation the next week is unreasonable and unjustifiable,” said Lukacs.

Anika Scheurer, left, says her cousin’s Kelowna bachelorette party soured when most of the group had their flights home to Winnipeg cancelled by Swoop airline due to a mechanical problem. (Bare Wine Tours)

Scheurer said the airline gave her and the other passengers a hotel voucher for the night and said $30 would be reimbursed for meals. They were told Swoop would find them flights or charter a plane within 48 hours.

But when she got an email from the airline late Monday night, she learned the flight home was scheduled an entire week later, Sept. 2. She said the group of six women was split up on various flights, with some scheduled to leave even later.

Distress and confusion ensued, as the women considered the costs of an unexpected few days away from home.

“We had someone who was doing pet boarding, there was child care cost, wages lost,” said Scheurer, adding that some of the women would be drawing from next year’s vacation time.

Scheurer called the number provided, and discovered Swoop’s call centre is only open from 8 a.m. to  6 p.m. MST on weekdays.

The group got in touch with WestJet and paid for flights home with that airline on Tuesday.

‘It’s Swoop’s problem’

According to Lukacs, the airline has a duty to find reasonable alternatives for its passengers — if a flight is cancelled and it can’t be blamed on an act of God — and that includes arranging flights on other airlines if necessary.

“It’s not the passenger’s problem or concern how Swoop deals with it, it’s Swoop’s problem,” he said.

Lukacs said any costs incurred due to the delays, including meals, accommodation, lost wages, and even child care should be demanded from the company in writing. If it’s not reimbursed within about a week, he said passengers should take the airline to small claims court, even demanding $1,000 in punitive damages to send a message when appropriate.

Shortly after getting back to Winnipeg on Tuesday, Scheurer got a call from Swoop staff informing her that the WestJet flight home would be reimbursed.

But for the bachelorette party, the support from Swoop throughout the ordeal was meagre at best, she said.

“The process was just really scattered — there was no clear information,” said Scheurer, who said staff tended to be kind once she got through to them. 

‘We apologize for the inconvenience’

She said the person who followed up on Tuesday was very apologetic.

A Swoop spokesperson declined an interview request from CBC News, but sent an emailed statement.

“We apologize for the inconvenience to our impacted travellers. Swoop has all our available resources working to get our travellers to their destinations as quickly and safely as possible,” it read.

Four hours later the spokesperson sent another statement adding the company would reimburse passengers for costs associated with the cancelled flight.

Passengers told to wait 11 days for next plane after Swoop cancels Kelowna to Winnipeg flight

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

27 August 2019 by Sam Thompson and Elisha Dacey Global News

A Swoop Airlines Boeing 737-800 on display in 2018.
A Swoop Airlines Boeing 737-800 on display in 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tara Walton

Travelers who were expecting to fly from Kelowna, B.C., to Winnipeg had an unpleasant surprise when they were told their flight on the Swoop airline was cancelled – and that they wouldn’t be re-booked until, potentially, early September.

Pat Ward and Emily Rae say they were scheduled to come home to Winnipeg Monday but found out their flight had been cancelled due to mechanical issues.

They and nine other friends and family were in Kelowna for a wedding, said Ward, and they said they were promised a charter flight home by the company on Wednesday.

READ MORE: Swoop refused to give free water on a flight, but provided cup of ice: passenger

Monday night, the group started getting texts from Swoop saying their flights had instead been rescheduled – some for Sept. 2, some for Sept. 4, and some for as far away as Sept. 6.

“Ridiculous,” said Ward. “Eleven days that you’re going to stay in Kelowna and not get back to your job?”

“We were scrambling last night,” said Rae. “I was at the point … should I call my friends in Alberta? Should I try and drive home?”

After arguing with Swoop for about two hours, they have only received an apology, said Rae.

“Swoop sent us a courtesy apology, ‘oh our sincerest apologies’, that was basically a slap in the face,” she said.

READ MORE: Hundreds of passengers stranded after Swoop cancels or delays nearly 2 dozen flights

Ward said some have paid $750 to catch other flights to leave, and Swoop has told them they will not compensate them. Others have since found out that Swoop would only cover one night of hotel accommodation.

Monica Raabe, who was also on the flight, told Global News she ended up taking a WestJet flight to make it back to Manitoba.

“It’s ridiculous,” she said. “How could people just suddenly extend a vacation, or have money too? It’s absolutely unacceptable.

“We were fine with them cancelling a flight due to not wanting to put people in jeopardy. We were fine with having been put up in accommodations, but it’s just so insane to think that people would ever accept to stay that much longer.”

Raabe said she was given the runaround when trying to contact Swoop, and eventually just decided to take another flight.

“We had to book on WestJet, had to completely use a different carrier – although it’s not a different carrier, because I was told by many people that Swoop is owned by WestJet.”

Calgary-based Swoop was launched in 2017 by WestJet as an ultra low-cost carrier.

The airline confirmed there was unscheduled maintenance to the aircraft, and that Swoop has “all our available resources working to get travellers to their destinations as quickly and safely as possible.”

They did not say if passengers would be compensated for their other flights or hotel accommodations.

Rae said that wasn’t nearly good enough and warned people off the airline.

“I would say: Don’t fly Swoop,” said Rae.

“I hope they’re going to man up and come through for everyone,” Ward added.

WATCH: Flair Air passengers returning to Winnipeg from Orlando faced 20-hour delay

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Canada’s Airlines, Airports Among World’s Worst For Delays, And It Could Soon Get Worse

News provided HuffingtonPost.ca – link to full article – with a hint from P.N.

By Daniel Tencer 4 July 2019

Under a new “passenger bill of rights,” airlines will be able to leave passengers stuck on the tarmac for longer than the current standard.
An airplane taking off at Toronto's Lester B. Pearson International
An airplane taking off at Toronto’s Lester B. Pearson International Airport.

MONTREAL ― Canadian airports and airlines are some of the worst performers worldwide when it comes to flight delays, and new federal rules that allow passengers to be stuck on the tarmac for longer could make things worse.

All but one of Canada’s major airlines rank in the bottom half for on-time performance in a new survey from travel data provider OAG. 

Canada’s best performer, WestJet, ranks 57th out of 125 airlines surveyed, with 77.1 per cent of all flights arriving on time. The country’s worst performer, Sunwing, ranks as the second-worst airline in the world, 124th out of 125, with only 57.8 per cent of flights on time.

Sunwing experienced numerous flight glitches in recent years, including major delays in Toronto and Montreal in April, 2018, that led to a fine from the Canadian Transportation Agency.

Canada's Airlines, Airports Among World's Worst For Delays, And It Could Soon Get

Looking at airports, Canada doesn’t fare much better. Our best airport, in Grande Prairie, Alta., ranks 108th out of 505 airports surveyed.

Toronto’s two commercial passenger airports, Pearson and Billy Bishop, rank as the two worst airports in Canada and among the worst in the world ― 475th and 489th, respectively.

Interestingly, there is a yawning east-west divide, with western Canadian airports performing better than others.

Canada's Airlines, Airports Among World's Worst For Delays, And It Could Soon Get

The survey comes as Canada is about to launch a new “passengers’ bill of rights” that some critics say will make it easier for airlines to delay flights.

Under the new regulations, airlines will be able to keep passengers stuck on the tarmac for up to three hours, plus an additional 45 minutes if the airline believes takeoff is imminent.

Currently, Canada has no government-enforced limits on tarmac delays, but airlines themselves had standards built into their tariffs. The industry standard was 90 minutes, which is also what a Senate committee recommended be the rule in the new passenger bill of rights. The government rejected that recommendation.

Airlines themselves have been pushing for longer tarmac delays. Air Canada extended its maximum tarmac time to four hours in 2018.

Additionally, it will be very difficult to get compensation from airlines in most cases where flights are delayed or passengers are denied boarding, said Gabor Lukacs, a prominent consumer advocate who has challenged airline practices in courts.

Watch: Here are the budget airlines in Canada. Story continues below.

Lukacs said he worries about the possibility of longer delays under the new rules because “when something becomes legal, they will do it. On the other hand, the counterargument is it’s in the airline’s best interest to get passengers to their destination as quickly as possible.”

Lukacs’ advocacy group, Air Passenger Rights, has accused the government of letting the airline industry dictate the new passengers’ bill of rights.

A spokesperson for Transport Minister Marc Garneau said the tarmac delay rule was decided “based on operational realities and international best practices. For example, in the United States, air carriers are required to offer the option to disembark after a three hour delay on domestic flights, and a four hour delay on international flights.”

While airlines frequently blame weather for flight delays, data from the U.S. federal government shows that extreme weather events are responsible for fewer than 5 per cent of flight delays in the U.S. The most common reason for delays was late-arriving aircraft, meaning flights delayed because earlier flights were delayed. This accounted for nearly 42 per cent of U.S. delays. Canada does not currently keep track of this type of data.

But Lukacs points out that Canada has much harsher weather than most of the U.S., so it may not be a fair comparison. And Toronto’s worst-in-the-country Billy Bishop Airport has unique issues to deal with because it’s on an island.

“This may be an apples to oranges comparison,” he told HuffPost Canada by phone.

Nonetheless, Canada’s poor weather doesn’t explain why Alaska Airlines has a higher on-time percentage than any Canadian airline (80.7 per cent) and is the third best among U.S. airlines.

Lukacs argues these on-time rankings are incomplete: There isn’t enough data to determine, for instance, whether it’s a particular airport or a particular airline that’s behind delays in a given place.

Either way, airlines should be taking bad weather into account when planning their schedules, Lukacs said.

“If airlines and airports ignore the weather realities, then you have guaranteed, built-in failure,” he said.

Flair Airlines announces 2019/2020 winter schedule

Provided by Flair Airline/Globe Newswire

Edmonton, July 02, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) —

Flair Airlines announced its 2019/2020 winter schedule with low fare service out of seven Canadian gateways; Abbotsford, Vancouver, Kelowna, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg and Toronto’s Pearson International.  

Jim Scott, Flair’s CEO commented, “As Canada’s only independent low fare airline, our new winter schedule will bring more and more Canadians together right across the country. With over a million passengers flown in the last year, we are quietly building a very loyal group of ‘Flair Flyers’.”

Commencing on October 27th the new winter schedule sees a continuation of Flair’s recently introduced and highly competitive daily non-stop services from Toronto (YYZ) to both Vancouver (YVR) and Calgary (YYC). At its winter peak, Flair will operate some 146 flights per week utilizing its fleet which includes both Boeing 737-800s and 737-400s.

Flair’s 2019/2020 winter schedule from Oct. 27, 2019 – Mar. 27, 2020 features: 

From EdmontonWeekly DeparturesDays
to Kelowna4Sun, Mon, Thu, Fri
to Vancouver10Daily
to Abbotsford5Sun, Mon, Thu, Fri, Sat
to Toronto (Pearson)7Daily
   
From Toronto (Pearson)Weekly DeparturesDays
to Edmonton7Daily
to Vancouver7Daily
to Winnipeg4Sun, Mon, Thu, Fri
to Calgary7Daily
   
From CalgaryWeekly DeparturesDays
to Vancouver7Daily
to Winnipeg4Sun, Mon, Thu, Fri
to Abbotsford7Daily
to Toronto (Pearson)7Daily
   
From VancouverWeekly DeparturesDays
to Edmonton10Daily
to Calgary7Daily
to Toronto (Pearson)7Daily
   
From AbbotsfordWeekly DeparturesDays
to Edmonton5Sun, Mon, Thu, Fri, Sat
to Calgary7Daily
   
From WinnipegWeekly DeparturesDays
to Calgary4Sun, Mon, Thu, Fri
to Toronto (Pearson)4Sun, Mon, Thu, Fri
   
From KelownaWeekly DeparturesDays
to Edmonton4Sun, Mon, Thu, Fri

Note: additional frequencies will be available during the holiday season.

For more on Flair’s 2019/2020 schedule, please visit https://flyflair.com/travel-info/schedule/

Swoop’s non-stop Kelowna to Las Vegas service takes flight

Provided by Swoop/CNW

The popular route has been extended through the winter schedule

CALGARY, June 27, 2019 /CNW/ – Today Swoop celebrates its new non-stop route between Kelowna, BC and Las Vegas, NV. The inaugural flight wraps up the celebrations for the 2019 summer schedule. Flight WO826 departs KelownaInternational Airport (YLW) at 2:35 p.m. and arrives at McCarran International Airport (LAS) at 5:08 p.m., local time. Prior to departure, travellers will be offered refreshments, swag and more at Kelowna International Airport.

Additionally, at 9:00 a.m., Bob and Big Ginger from Kelowna radio station Power 104 FM and Ara and Toby from 1031 Beach Morning Radio will be live on-location. The local stations are hosting a ‘SwoopCase’ party where pre-selected contestants arrive at the airport with their bags packed for the chance to board Swoop’s inaugural flight to Las Vegas. The winners will enjoy accommodations provided by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA)at Caesars Palace.

“The non-stop service to Las Vegas has generated a lot of excitement in the Okanagan Valley,” said Karen McIsaac, Sr.Advisor of Communications at Swoop.  “So much so, that we eagerly announced the continuation of the service throughout the winter schedule, which was released earlier this week. The twice-weekly flights on Thursday and Sunday are perfect for a quick weekend getaway.”

“We are thrilled to see another destination launch this summer with Swoop,” said Sam Samaddar, Airport Director, Kelowna International Airport. “We’ve heard from the community that they want more non-stop destinations from Kelowna and adding another U.S. destination from YLW is just one way we are making this happen.”

“We are excited Swoop has announced new seasonal service from Kelowna to Las Vegas,” said H. Fletch Brunelle, Vice President of Marketing for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. “With nearly 1.5 million visitors to Las Vegasannually, Canada represents our largest source of international visitors. Swoop’s direct service will provide affordable and flexible travel options and encourage visitors to make Las Vegas their top summer getaway.”

Flights are now available for booking through to April 25, 2020. 

Details of Swoop’s new service

Service Between Service 
Offered
 
Weekly 
Frequency
 
Air transportation charges (ATC) base fare from  Taxes, fees 
and charges 
 
Total One-
Way Price 
From*
 
Kelowna and Las 
Vegas
Thursday, Sunday2 x weekly$18.44$80.56$99
*Every day low fares. Lower promotional fares may be available during select travel periods.  

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

Air Canada Summer 2019 Western Canada service adjustment

News provided by RoutesOnline.com

By Jim Liu | Posted 30 April 2019

Air Canada during summer season is adjusting service in Western Canada, as the airline continues moving most service to Dash8-Q400 aircraft, instead of -300 (or -300/Q400 mix, based on comparison with summer 2018 season). Planned changes, effective 01MAY19, as follows.

Calgary – Kelowna Dash8-Q400 service increases from 3 to 4 daily (All flights operated by Q400)
Calgary – Saskatoon Dash8-Q400 service increases from 3 to 4 daily (All flights operated by Q400)
Calgary – Winnipeg 2 daily A320 and 1 daily CRJ900, replacing 4 daily CRJ900/Dash8-Q400
Vancouver – Comox 4 daily service operated by Dash8-Q400, instead of 5 daily Dash8-300
Vancouver – Kamloops 4 daily service operated by Dash8-Q400, instead of 5 daily Dash8-300/Q400
Vancouver – Nanaimo 7 daily service operated by Dash8-Q400, instead of 8 daily Dash8-300/Q400
Vancouver – Penticton 3 daily service operated by Dash8-Q400, instead of 4 daily Dash8-300
Vancouver – Prince Rupert 2 daily service operated by Dash8-Q400, instead of 3 daily (weekdays) Dash8-300. Aircraft change from 01JUN19
Vancouver – Sandspit 2 daily service operated by Dash8-Q400, instead of Dash8-300/Q400. Aircraft change to all-Q400 from 01JUN19
Vancouver – Smithers 2 daily service operated by Dash8-Q400, instead of 3 daily Dash8-300

Kelowna and Saskatoon airports receive federal funding to promote international connections

Provided by Western Economic Diversification Canada/CNW

KELOWNA, BC, April 18, 2019 /CNW/ – Saskatoon and Kelowna airports are important destinations for both tourists and business travelers. Maintaining international flights into both centres, and promoting new flights, is essential for increasing economic development and tourism opportunities.

Today, Stephen Fuhr, Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), announced $840,000 in funding for the Saskatoon Airport Authority, in partnership with the Kelowna International Airport, to promote tourism and trade through developing and sustaining trans-border air routes for Saskatoon and Kelowna airports.

Through this investment, the Saskatoon and Kelowna airports will work to develop strategies and marketing campaigns to increase trans-border air passenger traffic in their two regions. The initiatives will target airlines, while also marketing Saskatoon and Kelowna as tourist destinations in major U.S. cities. Tourism employs 15,000 people in the Kelowna area, and another 16,500 in Saskatoon. Additionally, a number of large, international companies based in each of these centres rely on trans-border air travel for their own employees and those seeking to do business with them.

Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan aims to build an economy in which Canadians have access to high-quality jobs and Canadian businesses are well-placed to participate in a rapidly evolving and competitive global marketplace.

Quotes

“Our government is laying the foundation for Canadians to become more competitive and succeed in the global economy. Today’s investment in the Saskatoon Airport Authority, partnered with the Kelowna International Airport, builds on our competitive advantages and will result in better access for international travelers to Kelowna and Saskatoon, boosting economic growth and creating good, middle-class jobs for Canadians.”
     –       The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada

“The Okanagan Valley sustains successful diverse communities and outstanding recreational opportunities in Kelownaand the corridor. Kelowna is the largest community and is also often recognized for its innovative entrepreneurs as well as large corporations. The Government of Canada supports the efforts of Kelowna and Saskatoon airports, as they strive to serve the needs of tourism and business sectors effectively.”
     –       Stephen Fuhr, Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country

 “We continue to hear from our community about the importance of enhancing our air service connections for economic development, tourism and business. The funding from Western Economic Diversification Canada will support our efforts to sustainably grow connectivity through air service options that are valued by the province of Saskatchewan. We are proud to partner with Kelowna International Airport and would like to thank Western Economic Diversification Canada and the federal Government for supporting Canadian airports in attracting essential air services to our communities.”
     –       Stephen Maybury, President and CEO, Saskatoon Airport Authority

“We’re excited to partner with Western Economic Diversification Canada and Saskatoon Airport to enhance connections for leisure and business travel. Providing access to the United States is a key component of a resilient economy and the investment will give YLW the opportunity to enhance its air service for the benefit of the region and Kelowna residents.”
     –       Mayor Colin Basran, City of Kelowna

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