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Canada’s New $50 Cheap Flights Come With A Big Caveat

Canada’s New $50 Cheap Flights Come With A Big Caveat
Jennifer Billock

There’s a new budget airline in town from the owners of WestJet: Swoop. But don’t expect to have all the perks you may find with other airlines—Swoop is determined to cater to a passenger that doesn’t care about extras or loyalty and only wants the lowest price possible.

WestJet has officially launched its new budget carrier in Canada, Swoop. The airline is ultra-low cost, with tickets starting at around $49. But that price comes with a few caveats.

Swoop doesn’t plan to work like other budget airlines. It won’t be flying to major hubs in Canada; rather it will stay focused on secondary airports to avoid the expensive terminal and landing fees required by larger airports. Passengers will also have to get used to being packed even tighter into planes. Comparable size aircraft flown by WestJet hold 150 passengers, but Swoop will pile in up to 189. There won’t be any extra perks, either—no free food, no wifi, no extra checked bags, and hardly any legroom.

Robert Kokonis, president of travel consultancy AirTrav Inc., told CBC News that Swoop is aiming for a very specific type of customer with its service—one that is interested in low prices and nothing else.

“They are not loyal. They don’t care about points,” Kokonis told CBC News. “The second the ticket is $1 lower somewhere else, [you] have lost them.”

That $49 ticket price is only a one-way fare, and customers who want to enjoy perks like entertainment and snacks will have to pay extra fees.

View Comments (7)


  1. cur


    June 22, 2018 at 2:01 pm

    yeah dunno about how this will work for the canadian market, who at one end get nickel and dimed a lot (cough government) but also have high expectations over what they can get. they’ll pay 20% less but definitely be the first to complain to the media that they had to pay $25 to print their boarding passes at the airport and $5 for some water.

  2. southpac

    June 22, 2018 at 8:51 pm

    The seating & legroom in economy will be almost exactly the same as in 2 class westjet. The difference is it will be all one class, The Westjet 737-800s according to seat guru have 168 seats (12 economy plus & 156 economy), so the Swoop aircraft will have 3 1/2 more rows of 6 seats. The 1/2 row will be due to much smaller galley up front I presume & with much smaller galleys & toilets at back, can easily fit in 3 extra rows of seats. All Swoop aircraft will have the slimest seat backs.You can reduce seat pitch, but at the same time maintain or even increase legroom, by use of slimline seats. Many reporters don’t even understand, that SEAT PITCH DOES NOT EQUAL LEGROOM !!!

    Many people realise now, that it costs a lot to transport luggage. SO those who can travel light save money. It’s that simple.

    Frequent flyer/stayer/user programmes all around the world are dying a slow death, as people earn all these points/miles & then can’t use them when they thought they could. (they can use them on flights airlines can’t sell all their seats, meaning at odd times like 5am or 11pm or low season when fares are low anyway. The Qantas programme is a huge joke.

    You need about 90,000 Qantas ff pts & about $500 cash for a return SYD/LAX/SYD which are almost impossible to get in busy peak season, but you can get in low season when fares are as low as $800 all up anyway. People often pay more to use a credit card to get some points/miles.

  3. j2simpso

    June 23, 2018 at 5:57 pm

    Who knows Swoop might be like flying Spirit! There’s tons of free entertainment on the flight, you need only look a few rows ahead or to your side 😉

  4. Kaasschaaf

    June 24, 2018 at 11:10 am

    you write “Swoop doesn’t plan to work like other budget airlines”, but then you list litterally everything all other budget airlines like Ryanair etc do.

  5. testycal

    June 24, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    I am ok with that as they will not be flying on the planes that I pay extra for and have to listen to them complain about fares that are slightly higher. All good.


    July 3, 2018 at 4:13 am

    STARTING at $49 for this?

    Geez, Ryanair sucks, but at least they really are cheap!

  7. The Ultimate Driving Maniac

    July 5, 2018 at 1:42 pm

    It’s really cheap by Canadian standards.

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