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Discount airfare does not always mean cheaper flights

September 25th, 2017  |  Travel

Several Canadian airlines, including WestJet, Air Canada, and Canada Jetlines are gearing up to offer discounted airfare. However, these “no frill” flights may not be worth their low price tag.

"The airlines call it basic economy. Misery class is more accurate," Boston Globe travel columnist Christopher Muther wrote in an article recently.

While the cost of the stripped down flights these airlines are offering may seem desirable at first, customers have been realizing that they are missing out on some basic amenities such as usage of the overhead bins or the ability to sit with travel partners. Those planning on taking advantage of discounted carriers can expect to pay extra for carry-on baggage, and forgo the ability of reserving seats ahead of time.

"Anything you want in terms of comfort, convenience and flexibility, you can bet you're going to pay [extra] for it," warns Calgary-based aviation consultant Rick Erickson.

No frills flying had become popular in the US, however it is relatively new to the Canadian market. WestJet has announced that their “ultra-low-cost” airline will be launched next summer, and newcoming, Canada Jetlines, is set to launch a discounted carrier, flying out of Hamilton and Waterloo Ontario. Air Canada has also decided to join the fray, saying that they are planning to expand their already discounted carrier, Rouge.