My Honest (and Surprisingly Positive) Air Transat Review (2023)

Thinking of flying with Air Transat? Read on for my Air Transat Review.

Canada has two major international budget carriers — WestJet and Air Transat.

I’ve flown with them both, but I recently had a long delay coming back from Europe that prompted me to write more about Air Transat specifically.

I won’t sugarcoat it. I was delayed for 24 hours coming back from Europe and it was rough, y’all.

It might surprise you to hear that despite all the problems, I would fly with Air Transat again.

Now that I’ve had a chance to sleep in my own bed and more importantly, received a check compensating me for the delay I experienced less than 2 weeks after my return, I have to say Air Transat isn’t so bad.

They were named the “World’s Best Leisure Airline in 2018” and while the situation I encountered could’ve benefitted from clearer communication, at no point did I feel ignored.

Some airlines will put you on hold forever, passing you from department to department before you mysteriously get “disconnected.” It’s infuriating.

My concern when it comes to travel purchases is not how fancy a brand is or how many stars a hotel has, but how good on an experience past customers have had.

I’ll happily stay at a Days Inn, for instance, if the rooms are clean, breakfast is hearty and neighborhood is safe.


Similarly, I’ll fly budget airlines no problem. so long as there’s a dedicated customer service team and the experience on board is tolerable, i.e. complimentarybeverages and entertainment.

This is my Air Transat review and everything you need to know before flying with this popular budget airline.

Air Transat Destinations

My Honest (and Surprisingly Positive) Air Transat Review (1)

Currently, Air Transat operates routes primarily throughout Europe, Canada, the US,Central America, the Caribbean and South America.

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They have 27 European destinations, 37 sunny destinations and 5 Canadian destinations.

Their hub is located at the Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport.


Baggage and Check-in

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Check in on Air Transat is a fairly easy process.

Depending on your route, a mobile ticket may or may not be available.

Be aware that if you go through the gate agents, they will make you weigh your bag.

They also have scales as you’re boarding, but you’re less likely to be stopped here for size checks if your bag is discreet.

You are allowed one carry-on bag and a personal item, but with a weight limit of 10kg for your carry-on which is barely 20 pounds.

If you have a rolling bag, at least 5 pounds of that will be the suitcase alone.

If you book an Eco Budget Fare, checked bags aren’t included and prices go up within 24 hours of the flight.It costs $35 tocheck your first bag, $50 for your second.

If you have an Eco Standard or Eco Flex fare, your first checked bag is included.


Seat selection

My Honest (and Surprisingly Positive) Air Transat Review (3)

Seat selection used to be free with Air Transat but unfortunately that changed in July 2019. Hey, capitalism is a thing guys ::shrug::

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Now, prices range from $30 for a standard seat to $50+ for an even more legroom seat.

Remember when sitting in an emergency row was free? Ah, the good ol’ days.

You can reserve a seat up to 24 hours before your flight.

As far as seats go, the ones on Air Transat are standard. They recently renovated their economy class to include features like mood lighting, a 4-way headrest and more legroom.

The average airline offers 30-31 inches of legroom — Air Transat has 32 inches.

The seats are comfortable enough, your basic airline seats. They have charging ports for your electronic devices and a seat-back pocket to place your water or books.

Pro tip: if you need more legroom but don’t want to pay for it try to sit in the first row behind a galley so no one will recline into you.

Never ever sit in the last row if you can avoid it, since others recline into you and you have nowhere to go, not to mention you get a nice waft of the airplane toilet whenever someone uses the restroom.

Food on Air Transat

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Here’s another benefit rarely found on budget airlines — meals are free, too!

At least on flights to Europe from Canada and vice versa. There’s a snack and beverage served on flights to theCaribbean, Central and South America.

I flew with Air Transat both to and from Europe and both times we were given dinner, a snack and a second meal, either lunch or breakfast depending on the time.

I found the food surprisingly tasty and was grateful to not have to pay $10 on board for a ham and cheese sandwich, like you do with some competitors.


Entertainment onAir Transat

My Honest (and Surprisingly Positive) Air Transat Review (5)

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One of my biggest gripes with low-cost airlines is the complete lack of entertainment on their planes.

You feel every minute of an 8-hour flight when you don’t have any distractions to keep your mind occupied.

Air Transat has screens on the back of every seat filled with hours of entertainment options, from games to movies and TV shows.

There were popular series and new releases available, as well as a good mix of genres.

I found myself sufficiently entertained without having to resort to Netflix downloads on my phone.

This perk is also completely free and applies to all flights.

My personal experienceand Air Transat review

My Honest (and Surprisingly Positive) Air Transat Review (6)

I would recommend flying with Air Transat.

As far as budget airlines go, they’re not so bad. They offer several free perks that competitors don’t, and their customer service is very responsive.

They have multiple ways to contact customer service, from live chat to a phone line.

During my delay, I reached out to them on Twitter and they answered within 2 minutes.

When I filed my claim for compensation, they got back to me within a week. I expected to have to hassle them for what I was entitled to under E.U. law, but they didn’t give me grief or take steps to delay or avoid paying.


They admitted their mistake, cut the check and moved on. That’s the kind of company I want to deal with.

At the time of the delay, there could’ve been more accurate information related to the passengers. It seemed like we kept getting excuses as to what was keeping us from taking off, none of which were consistent.

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At one point they blamed a lack of cutlery on board.

Meanwhile, I was getting grief from friends saying that’s why I should never fly budget, and that traditional carriers would have available replacement planes to send versus having to wait a day for one specific plane to be fixed.And maybe that’s true.

But I’ve experienced delays with Delta, American and United and not once has anyone ever offered me meal vouchers or a hotel room.

At best they’ve brought out the economy snacks and offered a mini bottle of water and a bag of Cheese-its.

Air Transat provided me with lunch, dinner, breakfast and lunch again during the delay.

Nothing fancy, just 10 or 20 Euro to spend at the airport. Unfortunately, it was the only one I’ve ever been to with no full bar, just beer and wine. Made the wait for the flight much longer…

They also made arrangements for me to stay overnight at a Holiday Inn, where I had A/C and the opportunity to shower. Airport transportation was provided free of charge.

In a bad situation, Air Transat did what it could and at least made an effort to make me comfortable.

That’s more than I can say for many other airlines.I will also reiterate that I had noproblemsflying with them to London Gatwick, as I was arriving to Europe.

Coupled with the free food and responsive customer service, it’s safe to say I’ll keep Air Transat on my list of go-to budget airlines.


That’s my Air Transat review. Till next time, safe travels!

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Is Air Transat any good? ›

Air Transat is Certified as a 4-Star Leisure Airline for the quality of its airport and onboard product and staff service. Product rating includes seats, amenities, food & beverages, IFE, cleanliness etc, and service rating is for both cabin staff and ground staff.

Why is Air Transat cancelling flights? ›

The tour operator says the impact of the Omicron variant and the federal government's warning against non-essential travel abroad have caused a wave of cancellations. Airlines, Cruise Lines & Airports Celebrate Lifting Of COVID...

Is options plus worth it on Air Transat? ›

The key difference there is larger seats and more unlimited drinks and meal selection and seat-back entertainment. THAT is worth it.

What is better Air Transat or Westjet? ›

I have flown with Westjet. Good all around service and comfort but again, limited weight carry on. I can't remember if we got any free meal though. If weight of the carry on is not an issue for you , I would go with Air Transat for service, comfort, free meals and reliability of time departure.

Is air transat strict with carry-on size? ›

All cabin baggage rules are strictly enforced. All bags that do not respect maximum sizes or exceed the number of pieces allowed will be checked, and additional fees may apply. Airport purchases, including duty-free items, must fit inside cabin baggage.

Does Air Transat serve food for free? ›

On flights to and from Europe, Air Transat offers a complimentary hot meal. A selection of light meals and snacks as well as alcoholic drinks are available at affordable prices. It is possible to pre-order your meal: up to 72 hours before departure.

Is Air Transat going to survive? ›

Transat rebuffed an offer from Group Mach in July 2019 and recommended that its shareholders support Air Canada's offer. So now, without the deal, the question remains: can Transat survive this latest setback? The short answer, says one aviation expert, is yes.

Who owns Air Transat? ›

Air Transat is a Canadian airline based in Montreal, Quebec. Founded in 1986, it operates scheduled and charter flights serving 60 destinations in 25 countries. Air Transat is owned and operated by Transat A.T. Inc., with a fleet of 31 aircraft.

Is Air Transat a large or small airline? ›

Air Transat is Canada's number one leisure airline. It flies to some 60 international destinations in more than 25 countries in the Americas and Europe, offers domestic and connecting flights within Canada, and carries some 5 million passengers every year.

Does air transat give you food? ›

On flights to and from South destinations, the U.S. and within Canada, Air Transat offers a selection of bistro-style meals such as sandwiches, light meals and snacks, available at affordable prices. Bar service will offer soft drinks, juice, water, coffee and tea.

Does Air Transat have movies on the plane? ›

Our Airbus A330 and A321LR aircraft have individual touch screens with a wide array of entertainment options for everyone, from classic movies to new releases to hit TV series. There are also eight music channels featuring different styles.

Do you get a free checked bag with air transat? ›

Air Transat typically allowed at least one free checked bag for all of its passengers, with weight allowances varying by destination, and whether or not you are flying on a cruise vacation package. However, they have recently introduced an "Eco Budget" fare class with no free checked baggage allowance.

Who wants to buy air transat? ›

Air Canada to buy Air Transat for $520 million.

Are air transat seats smaller than Air Canada? ›

Seating: The premium economy seats for both Air Canada and WestJet offer 38 inches of pitch. Air Transat's Club Class seats offer 36 inches of pitch and 21.5 inches of seat width - more than Air Canada's 20" and WestJet's 21".

Can I bring a backpack and a carry-on Air Transat? ›

Carry-On Allowance: 1 Bag + 1 Personal Item

Each passenger is allowed to carry on one bag and one personal item such as a laptop bag, handbag, or briefcase. Assistive devices and outer garments do not count as personal items. All carry-on luggage must fit in the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you.

How wide are Air Transat seats? ›

Economy class
Seat MapsPitch & WidthWi-Fi
Airbus A321neo LR (321)31" - 18"No
Boeing 737-700 (73G) Domestic32-33" - 16.5"No
Boeing 737-800 (738) Domestic32-33" - 16.5"No
Boeing 737-800 (738) International32-33" - 16.5"No
2 more rows

Can you take liquid on carry-on Air Transat? ›

Liquids & gels (including alcoholic beverages) The maximum quantity of liquids, gels and aerosols permitted in carry-on baggage is 100ml/100g (3.4 oz) per container when placed in one clear, closed and re-sealable plastic bag no larger than one litre (one quart); maximum 1 plastic bag per passenger.

What is the difference between Class Y and J on Air Transat? ›

Y: Full-fare economy-class ticket. J: Full-fare business-class ticket.

How many meals on a 8 hour flight? ›

If the flight starts early in the morning and going west there are cases where 3 meals are served with one of them being a relatively light one but in most cases such a flight would have 2 meals. If it's an overnight flight then a dinner and breakfast is more likely.

Do air transat planes have chargers? ›

Montreal-based leisure carrier Air Transat has chosen a USB charging system from Inflight Canada for its 40-strong fleet of Airbus A321s and Boeing 737-800s. Inflight's FAST system offers a choice of USB-A (2.1A) or USB-C (3A) outlets mounted below each seat.

Does Air Transat board back to front? ›

It uses the classic row number boarding, from back to front, depending on which doors are used. At certain airports, especially down south or in Europe, passengers can board through two doors. Because it's a vacation airline, often with families travelling with children, Transat lets them board first.

What type of plane is Air Transat? ›

Airbus A321-200 (A321ceo)

What are Air Transat cut off times? ›

International flight: 30 minutes before departure. Domestic flight: 15 minutes before departure.

How much do Air Transat pilots make? ›

The typical Air Transat Pilot salary is $109,751 per year. Pilot salaries at Air Transat can range from $55,366 - $156,622 per year.

Is WestJet same as Air Transat? ›

TORONTO — Air Transat and WestJet have officially launched their new transatlantic codeshare. The two airlines first announced their plans to team up with a codeshare agreement back in November 2021. The news came seven months after the deal between Transat and Air Canada was terminated.

How many pilots does Air Transat have? ›

From a modest start in 1987, Air Transat now employs more than 600 pilots and 2,000 flight attendants.

How long can you legally be kept on a plane? ›

U.S. Tarmac Delay Laws

After a tarmac delay of two hours, passengers must be provided with food, water, operational lavatories, and medical care (medical care only if needed). After a tarmac delay of three hours in the U.S., passengers must be given the option to deplane.

What rights do I have if my flight has been Cancelled? ›

If your flight gets cancelled by the airline, you are entitled to receive either a full ticket refund or a new flight. If the flight is cancelled after you have already arrived at the airport, you are also entitled to care.

What does Air Transat Option Plus include? ›

Option Plus includes 1 x checked bag and 10kg carry-on, priority airport services, complimentary standard seat selection, welcome drink (sparkling wine), One complimentary snack & alcoholic drink during the flight, and an on-board comfort kit (includes a blanket, headphones & neck pillow).

Can you check in at the airport with air transat? ›

At the airport you will be required to drop off your baggage at the Air Transat Check-in Counter or Self-Service Bag Drop. ​If you cannot access your online check-in, you can check in at the airport.

Can you bring meals on a flight? ›

Solid food items (not liquids or gels) can be transported in either your carry-on or checked bags. Liquid or gel food items larger than 3.4 oz are not allowed in carry-on bags and should be placed in your checked bags if possible.

Does Air Transat give headphones? ›

“Bring your own food and headphones!” Headphones are not provided free of charge....

Does Air Transat include departure tax? ›

Yes departure tax also included with Air Transat Vacations.

What happens to air transat? ›

Transat will become a subsidiary of Air Canada and will have continued liability on its obligations to passengers with tickets cancelled due to the pandemic. Government has been clear that there will be no assistance to airlines without refunds for travel cancelled due the pandemic.

How do I waive my checked bag fee? ›

How to avoid paying checked baggage fees
  1. Know the fees. ...
  2. Use the right credit card. ...
  3. Book first or business class. ...
  4. Get elite status or fly with someone who has it. ...
  5. Use a military discount. ...
  6. Check your bag at the gate. ...
  7. Pack light.
Apr 12, 2023

What happens if your luggage is over 23kg? ›

If you need to take a checked bag that is heavier than your 23 kg ticket allowance but still under the airport team handling limit of 32 kg, you will have to pay a charge at the airport known as a “Heavy Bag Charge”.

Is a backpack a personal item? ›

Domestic carry-on policies. A good rule of thumb is that if your carry-on bag fits under the seat in front of you, it's considered a personal item. This includes small backpacks, purses, briefcases, laptop bags, etc. Larger bags, including suitcases, must fit in the overhead bin compartment.

Is Air Transat a small airline? ›

Sunwing Airlines, Air Transat and Porter were classified as large, but are currently considered small.

Is Transat owned by Air Canada? ›

(Note that Air Canada and Transat agreed to merge in 2019, but the deal collapsed in 2021, after European Union competition regulators signaled their disapproval).

What Air Transat flight ran out of fuel? ›

Air Transat Flight 236 was a transatlantic flight bound for Lisbon, Portugal, from Toronto, Canada, that lost all engine power while flying over the Atlantic Ocean on August 24, 2001. The Airbus A330 ran out of fuel because of a fuel leak caused by improper maintenance.

Are Air Transat planes comfortable? ›

A most enjoyable flight and excellent flight crew in both directions. They made our air travel very comfortable and relaxing. We would recommend Air Transat to anyone flying to use .

Which airline has the smallest seats? ›

Air Asia has the shortest seat pitch in economy, at 29 inches. Forty years ago, seat pitch was 31 to 35 inches. Seat width was approximately 18.5 inches. Today it's 17 to 17.5 inches.

Which airline has the smoothest landings? ›

PAL has the smoothest landing of an aircraft everywhere. No bounce. Just smooth touchdowns always. The service is one of their main advantages.

What is Air Transat known for? ›

Air Transat is Canada's number one leisure airline.

Does Air Transat have any crashes? ›

On the 24th of August 2001, a fully loaded Airbus A330 on a transatlantic flight from Toronto to Lisbon ran out of fuel over the middle of the ocean, forcing the pilots to attempt a harrowing 121-kilometer glide to a remote island airfield.

Is Air Transat a low cost carrier? ›

Air Transat is a low-cost Canadian airline founded in 1986 and it operates out of its main aviation hub in Quebec, Montreal.

Who wants to buy Air Transat? ›

Air Canada to buy Air Transat for $520 million.

Does Air Transat give you food? ›

On flights to and from South destinations, the U.S. and within Canada, Air Transat offers a selection of bistro-style meals such as sandwiches, light meals and snacks, available at affordable prices. Bar service will offer soft drinks, juice, water, coffee and tea.

Does Air Transat allow food? ›

If properly packed and in compliance with customs and security regulations, it will be accepted as carry-on or checked baggage depending on the size. Excess charges may apply.

What is the difference between Transat and Air Transat? ›

Air Transat is a Canadian airline based in Montreal, Quebec. Founded in 1986, it operates scheduled and charter flights serving 60 destinations in 25 countries. Air Transat is owned and operated by Transat A.T. Inc., with a fleet of 31 aircraft.

When was the last air transat crash? ›

Air Transat Flight 236 was a transatlantic flight bound for Lisbon, Portugal, from Toronto, Canada, that lost all engine power while flying over the Atlantic Ocean on August 24, 2001. The Airbus A330 ran out of fuel because of a fuel leak caused by improper maintenance.

How many times has Air Transat crashed? ›

However, a Transport Canada official said the 14-year-old airline has an excellent safety record and has never had a fatal accident or lost an aircraft.

What is first class called in air transat? ›

Welcome to Club Class

Sit back and relax in an exclusive cabin with spacious and comfortable seats. Travel in style with two pieces of checked baggage and priority services at the airport.


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