Air Transat is Canada's third largest airline. Based at Montréal–Trudeau Airport, the company is Canadian owned, and has a strong reputation for customer service and general ethics, ranking highly as one of Canada's most popular employers.
5 million people fly with the airline annually, and travelers can choose from 60 potential destinations. Within Canada, Transat flies to Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Fredericton, Halifax, Winnipeg, Windsor, Regina, Thunder Bay - and various other regional airports.
Internationally, destinations range from New Orleans or London, to Havana and Cozumel. So Air Transat is a handy carrier to consider for sun vacations, business trips, and short haul city breaks alike.
The company has a small fleet, including 43 planes. Most of them are Airbus A321 or A330 models, but the fleet includes 8 Boeing 737-800 jets as well. According to the comparison site AirlineRatings, Air Transat also has a superb safety record, scoring a full 7/7. So the chance of accidents or even lost luggage should be very low.
More generally, Transat wins plenty of awards. For instance, it was named 2019's Best Leisure Airline in the Skytrax World Airline Awards - a title it also claimed in 2012 and 2018. This reflects the company's mission to meet customer needs and deliver an "extraordinary, enjoyable, and secure" experience - wherever passengers need to fly.
Air Transat is part of the multi-national Star Alliance, and has struck code-sharing agreements with other airlines across the world. This means that travelers can plot routes with Transat alongside American Airlines, Swiss, or even Ethiopian Airlines with ease. But there's no frequent flyer scheme - so earning air miles isn't an option.
Air Transat offers a simple range of cabin classes for travellers to choose. Broadly speaking, customers can either book Club or Economy Class. However, there's also an in-between class called Option Plus, which is essentially Premium Economy. In any case, expect comfort and first-rate service.
Air Transat Club Class
Club is Transat's premium service. Seats in this class come with a 91cm (36-inch) pitch, extra width, and padding to ensure total comfort. There's a specially curated Club Class menu from celebrity chef Daniel Vézina, travellers receive cocktails to welcome them on-board, and there's a sommelier-compiled wine list too.
Air Transat Economy
In Economy, travellers will enjoy a seat pitch of between 81-84cm (32-33-inches), while the seats themselves are leather covered, with specially engineered headrests for optimal relaxation. There are fewer free beverages or snacks, but duty free products can be ordered easily, and bistro food is also part of the deal.
Entertainment and Wi-Fi
All travellers on A330 planes benefit from touch-screen entertainment, with slightly larger screens in Club Class cabins. Other planes in the Transat fleet lack touchscreens, but passengers can log onto smartphone or laptop apps to stream the same wide range of movies and TV. However, in-flight Wi-Fi is not provided.
Lounges on the ground
The airline operates passenger lounges in Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Vancouver, Winnipeg, and Toronto. All feature comfortable seating, high-speed Wi-Fi, bars, reading matter, and showers to help travelers freshen up. They are available for all Club Class passengers.
If travelers check-in online, they will need to do so between 24 and 2 hours before departing.
If they check-in at the airport, they must arrive at least 45 minutes prior to flying for domestic services, and 1 hour for international flights. In-person check-in begins 4 hours before most services leave (3 hours for flights to the Caribbean or South America).
If travellers choose Club Class tickets, they can check in 2 items of luggage. Each one must weigh less than 70lbs (32kg) for flights to Europe, or 55lbs (25kg) for all other journeys.
Club Class passengers can take on board a single bag, as well as laptops or camera bags. There is no weight limit for carry-on bags.
In Economy, travelers can check in a single bag. Each bag must weigh less than 32kg (70lbs) when flying to Europe, or 25kg (55lbs) for other destinations.
Economy travellers can take a single bag on board along with any personal items. No weight limits apply.
As usual, if passengers breach Air Transat's baggage guidelines, charges will apply. However, in some cases, sporting goods and musical instruments may be added to luggage allowances free of charge. This tends to apply to journeys from Canada to Europe, not domestic routes.
The airline caters well for families too, offering a special "Kids Club" to occupy youngsters and designated check-in counters for those with children at some airports. On board, staff can warm up baby food if needed and bags with infant-care products can be provided. Families will all be sat together if requested, and infants up to 2 years of age won't require a separate ticket.
Finally, Air Transat does not run its own frequent flyer program, but passengers can still earn and use air miles as part of the airline's membership of the Star Alliance.