When looking to book flights to Canada who would you fly with? We had to visit Toronto recently and with limited options for direct flights we thought we would try Air Transat.
If you are looking for flights to Canada you can choose an airline you know, choose an airline because of its services, choose an airline because of the aircraft it flies or buy the cheapest ticket.
We had looked at taking a trip on the new 787 to Toronto but instead we saved almost £200 per ticket after deciding to try Air Transat. It was easy you can book through the airline and Canadian Affair online.
This charter airline not only flies direct from Gatwick Airport to Toronto but also from Glasgow and Manchester to various destinations across Canada. They also fly from various European cities too.
If you fly with them from Gatwick you will find the check-in desks on the lower level (Zone B) in the South Terminal. The whole process, once we found Zone B, was swift and easy. At Pearson Airport, for the return flight, there seemed to be a delay with getting enough check-in desks open, probably due to the number of Air Transat flights departing from Toronto. Again once the queue started moving the check-in staff we helpful and professional.
On board the airline’s Airbus aircraft you will find newly refitted cabins with comfortable economy style seats and on the A330, the latest touch screen on-demand inflight entertainment systems, We flew out on the A310 which had the shared screens, these aircraft have had a part re-fit as they are being phased out of the fleet.
The main economy cabins are light, spacious and have plenty of storage and with the newly covered seats ( a leather material look) which certainly all help to create a modern comfortable look. Each aircraft also has a Club Class cabin that provides more legroom and a few more facilities for not a lot more money.
Airlines pride themselves on their latest aircraft, on-board facilities and their staff / crew. The problem is that often the consistency of the crew let down the whole flying experience. Sometimes you look forward to a flight that you paid for months ago, only for it to be let down by a wrong attitude or lack of customer service. NOT SO with Air Transat!
We’d heard that the cabin crew service was consistently good with this airline and after our return trip we can vouch for it too! Our flights were almost full (we certainly didn’t see any empty seats) which would be 249 passengers with just 5 flight attendants and the two cabin directors on the outbound flight (and 342 passengers on the return). What’s more, when boarding, the cabin crew even offered to help with putting hand luggage in the overhead lockers – unlike some airlines we could mention! Nothing seemed too much trouble.
During the flights the new purple ‘mood’ lighting also added to the relaxing atmosphere – very Dreamliner!
Even with full aircraft the passenger meal and drink services were swift in delivery and even with a seat near the tail we didn’t miss out on our chicken, beef or pasta choices. Wine was served if you wanted it with the main meals and there was plenty of coffee, tea and soft drinks available throughout too.
Once we had touched down at Pearson Airport we had collected our bags and were waiting for our driver in under an hour.
If you have not been to Canada then do make sure you go! We experienced the Blue Jays play baseball under the CN Tower, we also visited Lake Huron, Owen Sound and the Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance. If you are really into aviation then you should get along to Hamilton Airport and visit the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum where you can actually take a flight in a Lancaster!
We flew back to the UK on a night flight back into Gatwick Airport and importantly managed to catch a few hours sleep to help adjust to reduce any jet lag. The return aircraft was the huge A330 and again very comfortable with the upgraded cabin and on-demand IFE to help pass the time.
The landing was the smoothest we have ever experienced – I had to look out the window to see that we were actually on the tarmac!
We would certainly recommend Air Transat – they are great value for money, with the latest IFE on most of their aircraft and caring, friendly staff. You can pay for your seat selection when you make your booking and there is a charge for headphones if you need them (adults only) although we brought our own. These extras should still bring your ticket price to below the national carriers but do book early as these flights fill up quick! We’re not knocking the national carriers but if there are a few of you travelling together every penny counts these days.
For more information visit the airline and Canadian Affair websites. Return flights to Toronto and Vancouver start from just £321 per person.