Encore vs Rouge

Old Apr 6, 19, 9:51 am
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Encore vs Rouge

Hi all,

I'm planning a trip to the GTA in late June and if I fly out of YQM my options are Rouge A319 or Encore Q400. I've never flown either, though I've heard very unpleasant things about both. I have nothing against a turboprop, I just don't want to be too uncomfortable.

So does anybody have experience on both? I'm mainly concerned about legroom since I'm 6'2" I'm fine with mainline on both carriers but both sub-brands have less than mainline legroom.
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Old Apr 6, 19, 10:26 am
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Go with WestJet and the Q400. Pay a little extra for Premium if you can get seat 1B. Leg room for days haha.

Iím not as tall as you, only 6í even. Flights on either of those planes arenít terrible, no matter where you sit. Youíre not typically spending hours and hours in the air on routes serviced by these types of planes.

*edit* My bad, I glossed over what you listed as the AC plane. I just realized itís an A319. I havenít flown on one of those. Looks a little roomier on Seat Guru.
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Old Apr 6, 19, 11:23 am
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The Rouge 319 is awful, awful, AWFUL for anyone over 6' tall.

At 6' 4", without exaggeration, I cannot sit in most of the seats without having my knees splayed apart and wedged in the seat in front of me. On Rouge, there are only, IIRC, 8 seats in Y that will accommodate someone who is slightly taller: the first row behind J, and the two exit row seats that don't have a seat in front.

Rouge is a feasible option on the 767 only. On their Airbus aircraft, anyone who's tall (or heck, even slightly above average height) will have an awful and uncomfortable experience.

Take the Q400. Or a Beechcraft. Or a bus. Or walk. Any other option but Rouge.

(The Q400 - whether operated by WS Encore or AC Express - is perfectly fine and perfectly comfortable. You just won't get IFE or WiFi. But your knees and back will thank you.)
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Old Apr 6, 19, 12:04 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyerJ View Post
...
(The Q400 - whether operated by WS Encore or AC Express - is perfectly fine and perfectly comfortable. You just won't get IFE or WiFi. But your knees and back will thank you.)
Thanks @FlyerJ. I'll keep that in mind when I book my trip next week.
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Old Apr 6, 19, 12:27 pm
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Originally Posted by smallmj View Post
I'm fine with mainline on both carriers but both sub-brands have less than mainline legroom.
Have a good trip.

When it comes to correlating the "sub-brands"... Encore and Rouge really have nothing in common.
  • WestJet Encore = Air Canada Express
  • Swoop = Air Canada Rouge (Well, sort of.)
The Swoop to Rouge comparison is as close as the two carriers get, but isn't an exact correlation.

Swoop operates as a totally separate carrier and has nothing in common with WestJet other than having the same parent company. It is not integrated into the WestJet network (and therefore you'll never get stuck on "Swoop" if you fly "WestJet"), and its aircraft have livable legroom. It's focused on point-to-point leisure travel.

Rouge is integrated into Air Canada's mainline network and today is almost indistinguishable from mainline -- other than (a) the livery painted on the plane and (2) the unbearable and ridiculously tight seat pitch in Y. Air Canada used to market Rouge as a separate leisure carrier, and tried to give it it's own distinct style. They don't really bother doing that any longer. It's now just a fleet of sardine cans staffed by younger FAs that they assign to "low yield" and vacation travel routes in the AC network.
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Old Apr 6, 19, 12:57 pm
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I would book with Rouge. Jets always win over propellers in my books. Make sure you book a preferred seat.
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Old Apr 6, 19, 1:17 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyerJ View Post
Have a good trip.

When it comes to correlating the "sub-brands"... Encore and Rouge really have nothing in common.
  • WestJet Encore = Air Canada Express
  • Swoop = Air Canada Rouge (Well, sort of.)
...
All true, but what they have in common for me is that Rouge and Encore are the only options for YQM-YYZ (there is one early morning Porter flight to YTZ).
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Old Apr 6, 19, 4:22 pm
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Rouge is about as close to a flying torture chamber as it gets. Even my wife - at 5' 4" tall - says it's cramped.

The only way to survive a flight on a rouge 319 is to pay the extra for an exit row or pay a whole lot more to sit up front in the premium cabin (which is not worth it). Otherwise, you're going to be in for the longest two hours of your life.

Seats 19A and 19F are hands-down the best economy seats on the rouge A319 IF you can snag them ... they're actually behind the exit row and there is no seat directly in front of them, so you have twice as much leg room. These two seats tend to go very quickly though. There's an extra charge but it's worth every cent.

Or, just fly the WS Q400. I don't like turboprops much, but they're a hell of a lot better than any standard seat on rouge.
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Old Apr 6, 19, 5:31 pm
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Originally Posted by smallmj View Post
Hi all,

I'm planning a trip to the GTA in late June and if I fly out of YQM my options are Rouge A319 or Encore Q400. I've never flown either, though I've heard very unpleasant things about both. I have nothing against a turboprop, I just don't want to be too uncomfortable.

So does anybody have experience on both? I'm mainly concerned about legroom since I'm 6'2" I'm fine with mainline on both carriers but both sub-brands have less than mainline legroom.
I have experience on both. After the rouge experience I swore-off Rouge and anything Air Canada and have not flown either since. I fly Encore frequently and will continue to do so.

Take that for what you will.
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Old Apr 6, 19, 7:40 pm
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Rogue! As much as I hate flying them, there's nothing more frustrating than having to gate check a bag because the Q400 lacks overhead bin space. At least with the A319 you know you'll be able to put your bag in the overhead bin and put your personal item under the seat in front of you. Sure, the Q400 may offer slightly more legroom than an AC A319 that went Rogue, but given the short length of the flight, you'll hardly notice. The 319 is also a smoother plane since it can readily adjust altitude to get away from the choppy winds. Another key consideration is that AC tends to offer more service in the East than WS. If things go sideways, AC has the route network to allow you to recover from the IRROPS. WS may not as much. Last and certainly not least, if you're looking to earn status, AC offers miles to earn status on their MilagePlus programme (operated by United Airlines )

-James
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Old Apr 6, 19, 7:45 pm
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Originally Posted by Frequentlander View Post
I have experience on both. After the rouge experience I swore-off Rouge and anything Air Canada and have not flown either since. I fly Encore frequently and will continue to do so.

Take that for what you will.
You do know that WS and AC basicallly have the same seat pitch.
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Old Apr 6, 19, 7:56 pm
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Seat pitch on an Encore Q400 is 30" or 31" depending on the seat. Rouge is 29".

Beyond that, the rouge seats are hands-down the most uncomfortable of any I've ever experienced in over 40 years of flying. An hour in and both my butt and my back are positively screaming.

I guess the third consideration - and the one that nails it for me - is that at least the Westjet plane will arrive on time more likely than not. Air Canada - rouge included - is very well known for having the worst on-time performance of any airline in North America, and ranks among the absolute worst in the world. I don't want to sit in that rouge seat for one moment longer than absolutely necessary, so having a two-hour flight become a three-hour ordeal or a four-hour ordeal because they can't get their act together just make a brutal experience that much worse.

When I need to fly YYZ-YYG in the winter when WS is on a reduced schedule, I regularly route through YQM on WS and drive from there rather than fly direct on rouge. Yes, it really is that bad.
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Old Apr 6, 19, 8:13 pm
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Originally Posted by Symmetre View Post
Seat pitch on an Encore Q400 is 30" or 31" depending on the seat. Rouge is 29".

Beyond that, the rouge seats are hands-down the most uncomfortable of any I've ever experienced in over 40 years of flying. An hour in and both my butt and my back are positively screaming.
Agree on the seat cushion. Flew Rogue to MAN in September, and 4 hours in on that 6 hour puddle hopper on the 767 my rear was in more pain than the 14+ hours I spent on United's E+ seat to SIN! However, for a one hour flight I suspect it'll be not long enough to be a royal pain in the you know what!


Originally Posted by Symmetre View Post
I guess the third consideration - and the one that nails it for me - is that at least the Westjet plane will arrive on time more likely than not. Air Canada - rouge included - is very well known for having the worst on-time performance of any airline in North America, and ranks among the absolute worst in the world. I don't want to sit in that rouge seat for one moment longer than absolutely necessary, so having a two-hour flight become a three-hour ordeal or a four-hour ordeal because they can't get their act together just make a brutal experience that much worse.
Agree that AC doesn't have the best on time performance. The first overnight IRROP I had due in my life after flying 200,000+ miles thus far was 2 weeks ago with AC. Short story long, congestion at YUL caused a 4 hour delay of my flight. I also had a 5 hour delay when an AC Express flight went mechanical on me in EWR after a red-eye from BQN (a story for another day). I've also had AC flights which departed on time and didn't leave me stranded as well, most importantly YSJ > YYZ and YYZ > EWR when I was positioning myself for the UA puddle hopper to LHR. However, let's not fool ourselves either! I've also had my share of 1-2 hour delays with WS (albeit less frequent and severe). The fact of the matter is Canadian aviation is full of lemons and arguing that one Lemonade taste better than the other when they come from similar containers is hardly a fair comparison!

Safe Travels,

James
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Old Apr 6, 19, 8:26 pm
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Originally Posted by Symmetre View Post
Seat pitch on an Encore Q400 is 30" or 31" depending on the seat. Rouge is 29"..
But can you trust WS actual measurements? Take their 787's. Same number of rows as AC, but WS show larger pitch. I measured my seat pich on WS 's 787, and the seat pitch was smaller than their posted seat pitch.
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Old Apr 6, 19, 8:57 pm
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Originally Posted by 5mm View Post
You do know that WS and AC basicallly have the same seat pitch.
I do.
My post did not mention seat pitch.
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