I flew Canada’s new “ultra-affordable” Lynx Air and it’s like the Dollarama of airlines

This essay article is part of a Narcity Media series. The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Narcity Media.

Anyone who has traveled within Canada knows that airline prices can be extremely high, but that is about to change.

Canada now has a brand new “ultra-affordable” airline and I was able to join Lynx Air for their first ever flight from Calgary to Vancouver.

Lynx Air prides itself on having flights with base fares starting at $39 and an “à la carte” pricing system. I’ve flown with a few budget airlines in the past, so honestly, I didn’t have particularly high hopes.

The onboarding process

Charlie Hart waiting to board the Lynx flight.charlie hart | Narcity

My time at the Calgary airport was pretty standard. Got my boarding pass, had my vaccination documents checked, walked through security to the gate and stopped for a coffee of course. Other than a few balloons at the check-in counter, there wasn’t much to show that anything exciting was going on.

However, when I arrived at the gate, I began to realize that this was not just an average flight. It was filled with media, YouTubers, plane spotters and many Lynx employees. People were super excited about this flight.

What does the plane look like

When I boarded, I was immediately struck by the smell of a new plane. Lynx has a brand new fleet so everything was amazingly clean.

Once I got to my seat, I was struck by how comfortable it was. I’ve flown with many budget airlines in the past, and usually the seats are cramped, no legroom and there’s always someone in front who tilts their seat just enough to make the whole flight unbearable.

Lynx’s seats were actually quite roomy and I had no issues with legroom. I could move around pretty freely without worrying about kicking the seat of the person in front. If you’re taller, you might still find legroom an issue, but you can get a seat with more legroom for a fee.

The flight

Something I found quite unique about Lynx Air is that you cannot buy food or drink on board. They notify customers of this in a pre-boarding email. Lynx suggests that you purchase drinks and snacks in the terminal before boarding. They gave a glass of water during the flight but that’s it.

The view from the airplane window over Calgary.The view from the airplane window over Calgary.charlie hart | Narcity

For a short flight like Calgary to Vancouver, it really wasn’t a problem and I was glad I wasn’t paying for an unnecessary meal. But if you’re going on a long flight like Toronto, it’s definitely something to keep in mind and make sure you’re fully stocked.

There is also no in-flight entertainment or WiFi on board. If you’re traveling between coasts, make sure you’ve downloaded a book or movie, as it would get pretty boring otherwise.

I was lucky that it happened to be a beautiful day outside, so although I didn’t have much to occupy myself with, I had some amazing views over Calgary and the Rockies.

The cost

I wasn’t expecting much because Lynx’s base rate is so low. But beware, this base rate only includes “one personal item” like a handbag or a small laptop bag and things get more expensive from there.

You have to pay for suitable carry-on luggage (starting at $29.99) and the costs increase depending on the duration of the flight. You pay more if you want to check baggage and for priority boarding. Even making changes to your reservation over the phone could actually cost you more.

For a short flight, Lynx gives its competitors a serious run for their money, especially if you don’t need to bring a lot of stuff with you. But watch out for extra charges, because you might end up paying as much as any other airline.

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