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.