This post is sponsored by Abbotsford Tourism & Swoop Airlines. However, all content and opinions expressed are of my own.
It’s been some since the official launch of Swoop Airlines and you’re probably wondering what’s it really like to fly on a budget carrier. For those who don’t know, Swoop Airlines is a discount airline operated by a well known Canadian flight carrier and announced it’s arrival on Sept 2017 but only began its flights in June 2018.
I took my first flight to Abbotsford, BC from Edmonton, AB on Swoop to do a little exploring with my good friend and photographer, Nicole. It was nice to finally have a budget carrier for Canadian cities but like all airlines, it has its pros and cons.
Things to remember prior to your flight
Pack lightly and efficiently. On Swoop airlines you’re eligible to bring a small carry-on and a personal item. You’re able to check in your baggage with a fee and it’s cheaper to purchase checked baggage(s) in advance online. If you’re planning on traveling with only a carry-on, remember to consider what liquids you plan on taking with you on your journey.
I personally have always checked in my baggage when I travel so to pack my whole life in a small checked in luggage was something fairly new to me but not impossible. I have had experiences in budget carriers before when I would travel from Washington to Vegas but my lifestyle was a tad different from then and now. I’d always recommend checking the luggage allowance on any airline’s site for a clear indication of expectations as each airline differs. Swoop has made it easy to read and follow on their website for any questions or concerns regarding baggage.
For peace of mind, I also recommend checking-in online 24 hours prior to your flight. I do this with all of my flights regardless of the airline I am with. This allows you to buy pass any lines at the airport when you arrive and if you have to check-in baggage, most airlines (including Swoop) will have a designated drop off station for your luggage. You will also receive your boarding pass online — however, if you’re like me, I like to get mine printed for keepsake. Which I can easily do at the kiosk instead of waiting in line.
Prepare ahead of time
Swoop Airlines is modeled to provide you low fares on your flights around Canada (and some US cities) by charging you the base price for your trip. You then have to pay ‘a la carte’ for extras such as choosing your seats and snacks. This provides the customer more control in where their money is being used towards. Think of it as you choosing your own flight package.
I know we’ve all been used to getting complimentary snacks and drinks on other airlines, but with Swoop, even water comes with a price. So set yourself ease and comfort by preparing ahead of time for the trip. Pack a reusable water bottle that you can easily fill prior to boarding and purchase some snacks if you think you’ll be hungry during the duration of your travel time.
On the bright side, each seat does come with plugins to charge your electronics if needed. If you plan on plugging in your MacBook though, we did find that the plug itself kept sliding off due to its weight and how the plugins are set up. So make sure our MacBook has already been fully charged the night before if you do plan on working during your flight.
Having said that,
I had an amazing experience by far with Swoop Airlines. The staff was professional and accommodating. Especially when we were late in checking into our flight. For anything domestic, it is recommended to complete your check-in and baggage drop off least the minimum of 60 minutes prior to departure to give ample time to check in, go through security and find your gate. However, GPS is not very keen on providing the exact entrance location for the Abbotsford Airport and we, unfortunately, got lost trying to figure out where it took us and where to go next. Luckily for us, some construction workers were able to let us know which way to go. Is there a way we can change the GPS location Google?
So tell me, has anyone else flown on Swoop? I’d love to hear about your experience!