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My Honest (and Surprisingly Positive) Air Transat Review

My Honest (and Surprisingly Positive) Air Transat Review

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. complimentary beverages and entertainment. 

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

Air Transat Destinations 

Glasses set on a map

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

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

Suitcase and passport

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 to check 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 

View out of the plane from the window

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

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 

Tray filled with airline food

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 the Caribbean, 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 on Air Transat

Guy sitting on an Air Transat plane

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 experience and Air Transat review

My Air Transat review after a 24 hour delay

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.

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 no problems flying 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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Tuesday 20th of June 2023

My initial experience with Air Transat was positive, but upon arriving in Montreal, I had to walk several miles to catch my connecting flight and stand in long lines. Because of I have a learning disability and anxiety (and Air Transat does not offer assistance), I had to rely on asking Air Transat agents at the terminal for help. I eventually sat where I was advised to sit, which was to the left of the gate, where I could not hear announcements... and missed my window to board. While the agents on site were very understanding, the Air Transat hotline that I was told to call offered no assistance. I was not given the option to rebook the flight. Instead, I found myself stranded at the airport for 48 hours (!) and had to pay for a brand-new ticket. I repeatedly called the customer service hotline, but agents there were very rude and offered no assistance. After 200+ flights, this is the first really bad experience I've had.


Wednesday 3rd of May 2023

Canada has one national flag carrier and that is Air Canada, which is also one of the founding members of Star Alliance. They fly to 51 domestic and 136 international destinations. West Jet is the second largest carriern flies to 24 countries and Air Transat flies to 60 destinations globally. While Air Transat does have some interesting prices in economy class, they are not a low cost airline. I have been flying since the early 70s to 98 countries and have flown on the 3 main carriers and have had good and not so good experiences. Nowadays, pretty much every airline can be a hit and miss affair for passengers. Safe travels to you.


Wednesday 15th of March 2023

Good review. Have travelled with them several times. They are a Jekyll and Hyde airline. When they are good can be a breeze boarding, the flight crew and dare I say the food too. But when they are bad......the worst. Three and a half hour delay from Europe with no compensation and denial of delay. Asked to check your carry size at the boarding gate and not during check in. Oh by the way expect you to pay for oversized carry on even if you are travelling club. Bunch of rip of merchants.


Monday 17th of January 2022

Im glad you had a nice experience...but...Let me preface by saying...I am NOT a complainer, nor am I someone who leaves negative reviews. I am generally VERY positive and give the benefit of the doubt for businesses. But this experience was just horrible, and I strongly caution anyone that's planning to book with AirTransat to do your research first. We booked a flight about a month ago. We were told we needed to call the airline to add our infant to the flight...and so we tried. For 3 weeks, we called just about every day. We waiting on hold for 8 hours or more, often to just have the call dropped after being on hold for so long. Believe it or we got a call back..2 hours after our flight LEFT!!! Could you imagine? Shame on your Airtransat.

Ingrid Broomfield

Tuesday 25th of August 2020

Air Transat. Flown with them several times from 2016. Going back to UK with them October 2020. Brilliant airline. Staff fantastic . Food excellent. Nothing to much trouble for them. Recommend them all the time.