I Ranked 6 Canadian Airlines With A Letter Grade. Only One Got An A+

One airline definitely deserves detention!

Assistant Editor, MTL Blog
Westjer flight taking off and Air Canada plane on the tarmac, Right: YUL Montreal Airport exterior with Canadian flag.

Westjer flight taking off and Air Canada plane on the tarmac, Right: YUL Montreal Airport exterior with Canadian flag.

This Opinion article is part of a Narcity Media series. The views expressed are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.

We've got plenty of Canadian airlines in the true north, including Canada's newest ultra-affordable airline, Lynx! While the newest no-frills fleet won't be servicing YUL, we've got loads of other options to choose from, but that doesn't mean they all provide stellar service.

With safe no-fuss travelling back in action, it can be tough to choose a Canadian carrier with which to fly. Well, as someone who has travelled on six of Canada's major airlines, I've definitely got some thoughts — a lot of thoughts actually — and perhaps they'll help you out when it comes to your next vacation.

Air Transat: A+

My darling Air Transat, where do I begin. I've travelled on Air Transat to an array of locations, including Vancouver, Paris, London, and Athens, to name a few — and each and every time has been a breeze.

The aircraft have always been spacious and the legroom is pretty decent, and that's coming from someone who is over six feet tall. If there's one thing I love about Air Transat, it is their Option Plus add-on, which is available for purchase either during your booking or afterward.

While I'd love to fly in business class every time, my wallet won't let me, so having that more affordable option for some neat added perks is definitely a plus.

The true winner? Air Transat has upgraded me not once, but twice. I flew club class to both Vancouver and Paris, and I'll never be able to thank them enough — so perhaps this A+ grade will suffice.

Air Canada: A

Air Canada... a classic! I've flown both internationally and domestically with Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge, and don't really have much else to say other than they're a solid airline.

While the flight attendants are always friendly and helpful, and the service is great, the prices aren't. Despite having a stellar experience with Air Canada each and every time, their competitors simply offer better fares that I can't say no to.

I'd definitely fly with them more often, if they had a flash sale every now and again that made it worth flying with AC over a more affordable airline.

Oh! One final note, I don't love the Air Canada Rouge uniforms.

Sunwing: B+

Oh, Sunwing. Despite the airline making headlines earlier this year following the party flight scandal, Sunwing always delivers.

I've flown with them to Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico a handful of times, and each flight has been smooth sailing, or should I say smooth flying. Although they stand out, I've always loathed that Sunwing doesn't offer any free meals on flights down South.

Now, I get why and all, but a man has gotta eat, right? Despite offering some pretty decent options on their menu, Sunwing missed the mark two different times when they didn't have the meal I wanted in stock. No biggie, but also, a little biggie.

Porter: B+

Porter is always my go-to whenever I fly from Montreal to Toronto. The fact that I can land directly in the heart of downtown Toronto is a major plus, and definitely a good enough reason to fly with Porter if you want to avoid the hassle of Pearson International Airport.

Upon boarding my flights, I'm always welcomed with a smile and a free beverage of my choice (alcohol is included, btw!) and the best part? It's served in a real glass cup, none of that plastic nonsense.

Leaving for home is also something I look forward to considering the Porter lounge offers an array of amenities including WIFI, charging stations, work pods, restaurants, and privacy screens for some airport alone time.

Sounds perfect right? Well, the only downside is that the planes are quite small and use propellers, which are far louder than what I'm used to on a standard commercial flight.

Westjet: C

WestJet is always hit or miss for me. I have flown with them across Canada and to Europe a few times, and while the international flights have always been easy, breezy, and beautiful, I've yet to have a solid domestic experience with WestJet.

I've encountered a few delays and some bumpy rides with WestJet, but nothing compares to my most recent trip with them back in August 2021.

After booking a flight from Vancouver to Winnipeg, WestJet informed me that they'd have to chop up my route with a connecting flight in Calgary. Ok, no bigs, yeah? Well, it was bigs.

My connecting flight in Calgary turned into a 48-hour delay that had me ending up in Saskatoon. Mhm, SASKATOON! Now, no offence to anyone who lives in Saskatoon, but I'd rather get caught in violent turbulence in a plane washroom than ever visit Saskatoon again.

Therefore, what was meant to be a direct flight from Van City to Winnipeg, ended up as a two-connection trip that I'll never forgive them for. Sorry not sorry, WestJet!

Flair: F

Flair certainly lacks some flair. I've flown with them twice, which was two times too many.

I had a flight booked with Flair last summer from Vancouver to Montreal. I ended up flying home with Air Canada two days after I was initially meant to depart due to a delayed flight turning into a cancelled flight.

Now, this was my first experience with Flair, and I told myself I'd give them a second chance. Big mistake, BIG!

Montreal to Toronto. Easy, right? Wrong! Never made it to Toronto. Why? Delayed flight turn cancelled flight again. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice...

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Mike Chaar
Assistant Editor, MTL Blog
Mike Chaar is an Assistant Editor for MTL Blog focused on recalls in Canada and is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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