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Flair Airlines Review: Is Flair Air Worth It?

Flair Airlines Review: Is Flair Air Worth It?

Are you thinking of booking a flight on Flair? Read our Flair Airlines review to learn what you need to know based on our experience travelling with Flair Air.

You may already have heard of Flair Airlines. It’s an Edmonton-based, ultra low-cost carrier (ULCC) that’s been flying since 2017. Their slogan is “Plane and simple” and it certainly is. As is the way with all ULCCs, including competitors like Lynx and the recently departed Swoop, this is bare-bones flying. Amenities you may be used to having included with your fare on airlines such as Air Canada or WestJet (for example, carry-on luggage, printed boarding passes or an in-flight glass of water) are all an extra charge on Flair. But with bargain basement sale prices, like the advertised flight deal $19 for a one-way trip from Abbotsford to Calgary, it might just be worth it.

I flew return Edmonton-Vancouver in December, 2023. I didn’t luck into one of those dirt cheap seat sales, but with taxes and airport improvement fees, etc, I paid a very reasonable $210.

I booked my tickets directly through the airline’s website. I found the Flair Airline site to be clean and straight forward. There were several pop-ups offering amenities at an extra cost and warning that the fare I was booking was the most basic. It was a bit annoying, but as it is different from regular airlines, I can see why they are trying to give people ample warning.

An image of a Flair Airlines airplane taking off.
Flair Airlines has a fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft. It’s a no frills option, but there are things to consider when booking a flight with Flair. Photo by Flair Airlines.

Flair Airlines Check in – Booking Process and Ease of Reservation

Check-in is up to 24 hours before flying via the website or the Flair travel app. If you prefer to do it in-person at the airport, you guessed it…there’s a charge. There was a technical issue when I tried to check-in for my flight home from my phone, but the error message instructed me to take a screenshot and I would be checked-in at the airport for free. It wasn’t a problem in the end, but I can see it being frustrating, especially if you aren’t very tech-savvy.

An image of the Flair Airlines check in area at the airport - Flair Airlines review.
It’s best to check-in in advance on the Flair app for your flight. If you have an issue with the online check-in take a screen shot. They charge a fee to check in at the airport. Photo by Jen Mallia.

Flair Airlines Review – Luggage Restrictions on Flair Are an important consideration

If you know you want to bring a suitcase (checked or carry-on,) pay for it when you are making your reservation. You have the opportunity to buy a spot for your bag several times: when you book, on-line before you fly, at the airport at the Flair desk, or at the gate. The price gets more expensive the closer you get to boarding the plane.

Flair is very strict about luggage. You may only bring one personal item onto the plane for free. The maximum dimensions are 15 cm x 33 cm x 43 cm (6 in x 13 in x 17 in) and 7 kg (15.5 lb)—roughly the size of a laptop case. There is a sizing guide at the Flair check-in desk and another at the gate. You will have to prove your bag fits by putting it through the sizer and getting an “approved” tag. If it is too big, you have to pay. They don’t make exceptions. My pro tip is to get the size approval from the check-in desk rather than wait to do it at the gate when there is a massive line. If you get to the gate and find your bag is too big, you are looking at a $75 charge. I overheard one passenger complain that the carry-on charge was more than she paid for the ticket. Better to pay $45 when you book. [Note that the prices vary.]

An image of the interior of a Flair Airlines airplane.
The interior of the Flair Airplane looks like any other economy class cabin. Be aware that there are no outlets for charging devices. Photo by Jen Mallia.

In-Flight Comfort and Amenities

Well, newsflash, Flair doesn’t have Turkish Airlines-style Ferragamo amenity kits. The offerings on Flair are most kindly described as minimal.  If you want a snack or drink (including soft drinks) there is a charge. The in-flight entertainment system is pretty dismal. You need to download the Flair In-Flight app, which is different from the Flair Travel app.  From the app you have access to a handful of games and a selection of Superchannel movies and shows. There is no Wi-Fi nor places to plug-in/charge your devices.

The fleet is made up of Boeing 737s which have two columns of three abreast seats. According to SeatMaps, they have a pitch of 71-74 centimetres (28-29 inches) and a width of 43 centimetres (17 inches). I have pleasant curves and short legs and I didn’t notice that this was any smaller than usual. There are seats (at a cost) with extra legroom at the bulkheads and exit rows if you need a little more.

Flair Air Reviews from Passengers: How Bad Is Flair?

Flair Airlines does not get overwhelmingly excellent reviews. CBC reported the Canadian Transport Association received the most customer complaints about Flair Airlines in the first quarter of 2023, with 20.9 complaints lodged for every 100 flights (compared with 10.7 for WestJet, 5.8 for Air Canada, and 5.2 for Lynx Air.)

Most of the complaints focus on the lack of customer service in response to a problem, for example Kitt P, a TripAdvisor reviewer who was re-booked on a flight a week later than their original flight and not offered the compensation passengers are due under the Canadian Air Passengers Protection Regulations. I didn’t run into any interruptions, cancellations or lost luggage, so I’m not able to comment on the customer service I received (or didn’t!).

An image of the Flair Airlines bag measuring device.
Flair Airlines is very strict about luggage. If your personal item is too large, you will be charged for a carry-on. Photo by Jen Mallia.

Flair Airlines customer service

Here’s a link to Flair Airlines Customer Service. You can contact Flair via a chatbot or reach them by phone at: 1-833-711-2333 between 7 am and 9 pm MST. Like many airlines, it can be difficult to reach them by phone.

Flair Airlines Review final Verdict: Summing Up the Flair Air Experience

Here’s our final verdict for this Flair Airlines Review. In my opinion, flying Flair Airlines is fine. I’ll do it again as long as the price is right.

My suggestion to anyone considering flying a ULCC is to add up all the extras you are going to pay for and compare that price to the regular airlines’ fare. I was able to avoid baggage fees by cramming everything into my tote bag, but if I had needed more room, the fare plus the baggage charge would have made the price the same as WestJet, and honestly, I probably would have opted for them, if only because I like the in-flight entertainment app and pretzels with a glass of tomato juice.

Because I knew what to expect and didn’t face any problems that necessitated having to deal with customer service, I was okay with getting what I paid for: in both cases, not much. But the plane was clean and safe, the service was pleasant, and we departed and arrived more or less on time. For my money, I’d say it’s worth it.

29 Comments

Flair has got to be the worst airline to fly with.
My first experience with Flair was when we had a family emergency and had to comeback early. (Death in the family) and they would not help us in anyway. They also wouldn’t refund any of our flight since we had to book with another airline to get home. We sent all the information they needed but they would not response after we sent them the info.
But we decided to book with them again because it was the only airline that had space. We paid almost $200. for 1 checked bag and 1 carry on. On yhe way back repaid $203. For 1 checked bag and 1 carryon. The workers in Fort Lauderdale were nasty to deal with. Upon boarding the plane we were informed that we couldn’t even get a glass of water. They didn’t have time to reload or clean yhe plane fir that matter. Once the people were unloaded from the plane they started loading us. That’s one of the ways covid spread so fast. The seats are torn and dirty. I wouldn’t use the trays because of the dirt on them.
I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND FLAIR TO ANYONE!!!! The next time I fly if Flair is the only available option I will cancel my trip.

I’m really sorry to hear about your negative experience with Flair Airlines. It sounds incredibly frustrating, especially during such a sensitive time with a family emergency. It’s understandable that you wouldn’t recommend them to others. Hopefully, Flair Airlines takes your feedback seriously and makes improvements in the future. Thank you for sharing your honest review.

Terrible terrible, terrible. At least that is printable on a family website. Our flight last week to Fort Lauderdale from Toronto was delayed 4 hours. Coming home, it was delayed 2 hours. Zero customer service at ground level. Total disorganization and lack of communication by ground staff. Would I fly Flair again? No way.

I’m really sorry to hear about your experience with Flair Airlines. Delays and poor customer service can definitely make travel stressful. It’s good that you’re sharing your feedback—it can help others make informed decisions.Thanks for sharing, and I hope your future travels are more positive.

DO NOT FLY FLAIR!!!!!

we arrived at the Cancun airport 3 hours early and were met with a massive lineup to checkin, we get to the front of the checkin line only to find out that we have to pay for our checked bags to the tune of $327.12 CDN. this was included in our expedia travel booking and I was given extreme attitude and rude service when i expressed my frustration. after finally paying the ridiculous fee we got to the security line which was very long and took over an hour. we finally got thorough and raced down to the terminal only to find out that the gate had changed and this took us several minutes to find where the gate had been changed to. NO text message of the change, NO email of the change and zero announcements were made to notify us of where the new gate was located. After asking several people where the new gate was we arrived with 25 minutes remaining before the flight would be departing. the young man that was at the keyosk was very rude and had a smug look on his face like he was going to stick it to us.He informed us that the door had been closed and that we would NOT be getting on the plane as the 20 minute time had passed. i showed him my watch and explained that we still had 25 minutes before takeoff and he shrugged and smiled and said NOPE, its closed. the plane sat at the gate for another hour and there was more than enough time for us to get on the plane. This is by far the worst experience that i have ever had with any airline and i travel a lot for my job. I found out from friends that were on the flight that our seats had been given to stand by people and that they had zero intentions of ever letting us on that plane. I will never flay FLAIR AGAIN!!!! I want my baggage fees that i paid back and i want compensation for the miss treatment we received. I will be making reviews on all major travel review sites and i will be discouraging anyone i know who travels not to use flair airlines. Absolutely disgusting that the customer service reps would treat people who spent thousands of dollars to vacation this way. My hotel for the night was $400 USD and my flights home cost me $3400 CDN.

I had my flight with Flair Airlines just a week ago and this is the most Worst Airlines that I have taken in my life! They lost my baggage on my flight to Edmonton and they can’t even tell me on how they will find my baggage and do not even know where is the location of my baggage! The staff are the worst Customer Sevice that I have ever seen in my life, they are not happy to talk to Customer, they are all rude and no “customer service” skills!!!! I keep on sending email on what they will do as I did spent a money to buy all our clothes and the clothes for a wedding in Edmonton!!! Everytime I called up in their number, the people answer the call can’t help you or even can’t guide on you on how the next process they will do after the baggage is lost or mishandled from their end!!! If you sent an email same answer you will get which is they just apologize for the lost baggages but no re-assurance on how they will get your baggage back to you!!! WORST and UNPROFFESSIONAL Staff they hired in this Flair Airlines !!! DO NOT TRY to Use this airline if I were you, they give stress and trouble psychologically and financially !!!!

This airline charges a cheap ticket. But they cause inconvenience to the traveler. My last two trips have been a nightmare. The first one went to Mexico and was cancelled. The second is here at Victoria Airport. I am writing about the bad experience I had as a passenger of this Flair airline. I got stopped in a rude way When I was trying to fit my backpack into the required dimensions.the airline worker from his desk started yelling at me that” I would had to pay for the carry-on luggage”. This worker, after yelling and adding stress to my flight, did not give me my boarding pass and told me that I had to get back in line. I want to clarify that I was waiting in that line for an hour. I didn’t want to create more problems. But I decided to talk to his supervisor because he had not given me my boarding pass. Supervisor finally helped me get my boarding pass. Finally I’m in the waiting for my flight. Terrible experience.

On boarding, people who paid priority check in were not announced to board first. How hard is that to do, very incompetent

Terrible airline the worst of the worst
If i know i will pay $1000 and take any airline i will do it
They are people get hired by asking them only one question
-Are you mean person?
-Yes
Congratulation, you get hired as employee for flair airlines
But what would you expect for a Canadian? this is the service they can offer.
Canada feels like in 2001

I was late for connection in Vegas , the man on registration desk , start to check my personal items and order me check sizes of my bag , however 2 airlines on the same tickets aready check it, and I was registered on the flight , just missed place where to board Trains . You must fire him , he did this to all passengers this is unacceptable.

Flair Airline is the worse airline ever, first I waited 2 hours at the Calgary airport just for the checking. Second when I land to the Toronto airport I waited for almost 4 hours and couldn’t find my baggage’s. Moreover, when I asked the customer service they just gave us a form to fill. What’s the point of doing this? How can we spend our days without having any cloths and other necessary things?

I will suggest everyone not to travel with the flair Airlines ever. This is the worst experience I have ever had.
Y’all sucks🤢.

Worst airline I have ever encountered! On May 26, I made 2 separate reservations for the same flight from Calgary to Abbotsford. My sons sole purpose of this trip, was to try out for a Junior A hockey team. Trying to save money on this trip, we didn’t pay for any carry-on bags and paid ONLY for his hockey gear and sticks. It cost more to send a hockey bag to Abbotsford, than it does a person. We ended up paying for his friend to go as well to keep him company. The whole process from start to finish was excruciating. I didn’t get email confirmations of either booking and it was very difficult to find out what the reservation codes were. I tried asking the support chat on the website, but none of my questions could even be understood. I called the 1800# but none of the options pertained to my question and they needed to have my reservation code to continue (which is why I was calling!) I only found it because I (luckily) hadn’t closed the browser after booking. On May 31st I tried to check in for both flights. I tried MANY times to enter in the surname and the 6 digit alphanumeric number, but neither of the bookings worked. I followed the instructional message on the 1800# to clear the browser and try again. Still didn’t work. I tried calling for assistance and using the chat bot for help and neither could help me. After 2hrs and at least 20 attempts I miraculously was able to check in for both flights. Upon arrival in Abbotsford, he found out that his hockey bag and sticks, did not leave Calgary. He missed his entire first ice time for the tryout which was the SOLE PURPOSE OF GOING! I called the 1800# and was on hold for 2hrs and 13min before anyone answered. I submitted a claim as per the employees adice, and was told I would receive an email back starting a conversation about getting his bag to Abbotsford. That call ended at 1352. It is now 22:52 and I have heard NOTHING. My son took an Uber to the airport in Abbotsford to see if it had maybe arrived on the later flight from Calgary, in hopes that he may have been able to make the ice time the next day. I spent over 6hrs (2hrs unpaid @work) trying to talk to someone who could help me. I called Flair as soon as they opened at 7am, hoping to avoid being put on hold. I was still on hold for over an hour. I spoke to someone else who kept saying, “I am really sorry but there is nothing more we can do”. I asked to speak to a manager and was told he has a queue of people waiting. Shocking, I know! She told me he would call me back in 30 -60 min. Remember this was at 8am. At 1630, I called again. At this point, my son has missed both ice times and the trip was for nothing. I was on hold again for an hour when I finally spoke to a manager. He said the same thing. Bagged claim department doesn’t do any communicating over the phone. It’s all through email. He found my claim, said he would personally make sure I get an email communication back as soon as possible. I asked what the ETA on that was and he said, 24-48 HOURS!!! I am in complete shock and I will be putting a claim in for the ENTIRE cost of the trip including hotel, Ubers, flights, etc. I have never been more angry at the lack of service of a company.

Hi Tara, Sorry to hear about your bad experience with Flair. It’s unfortunate that your son’s hockey equipment was lost and his journey did not turn out as well as the journey our correspondent experienced. Thanks for sharing your experience. Budget airlines like Flair are not a good choice if you are attending an important event. The customer service and the number of daily flights are just not the same as they are with Air Canada or WestJet. If your flight is canceled or your luggage is delayed with Flair or another budget airline, they may only have one flight per day and may not be able to get you or your luggage on another flight the same day. Flair might be worth considering if your travel plans are very flexible. Thanks again for sharing your experience. It’s a cautionary note for others. I’m sorry you and your son had so many issues with Flair. I hope they do the right thing and compensate you. Sincerely, Debbie – managing editor, Wander Woman Travel Magazine

No you are not sorry because it keeps happening. What a useless set up this company is. Its a joke. They charge extra for everything and make excuses for them and you can’t speak to a real person other than a customer service representative that has flight details. Everyone else is to afraid because so many people have been anger over this useless, lack of customer serviced company!
They turned me a way from taking my flight because they told me I was too late. They do things on the edge of what’s legal and illegal. I should only need to be at an airport 45 mins before the flight and the shit for brains at the counter couldn’t even look me in the face when I spoke to her. Awesome training! They charged me 77 dollars for one small checked bag. Yes go with west jet. There isn’t any hidden fees and they won’t sell your seat because you didn’t pick one and pay extra. Flair is a money grab. This should be all over the news again.

Hi Jackie, I should note, that our website is not affiliated with Flair Airlines at all. One of our correspondents flew with the airline and wrote a review based on her experience. When I said I was sorry, I meant it. On another note, you cannot arrive at the airport 45 minutes prior to departure and expect it to be okay. That’s too close to the departure time and security can take longer than that. These days, I arrive at the airport 2 hours prior for a domestic flight and 3 hours prior for international flights. Of course it really depends on the airport and the destination. It’s better to give yourself more time. Thanks, Debbie

Jen, I was shocked by your review. Perhaps at some point Flair Airlines was ‘fine’ but on what authority can you say the plane was “clean and safe”? If they are so hard up for money that they have to charge $4+ for water I find it hard to believe they are going the extra mile when it comes to safety. They are absolutely the worst airline I have ever come across from their useless website to the absolutely non existent customer service to the rudest and most arrogant of employees at the airport. I found them far from ‘fine’.

Worst flight experience, ground staff at calgary airport was very rude. They seriously need to take some courses in customer service etiquettes. We are never going to fly Flair again.

Momma said if you cannot say something nice don’t say anything at all…..this time I’ll make an exception….worst experience from the ground crew at Cancun/Toronto to the flight crew on board…..save your money and fly a different carrier….

Worst service ever! I paid for priority booking & seating for my daughter & her cat to fly home. She was there 4hrs early & was unreasonably held up by security for no good reason. Though I feel it’s because she’s Trans & that they were treating her poorly because of it. They wouldn’t page the boarding crew of her delay due to their pucking on her; so she missed the flight by mere minutes. Then refused to help her at all at the front desk afterward. Sent her on a goose chase all over the Toronto airport (which is huge) with her cat and carry on baggage. We called customer service & followed their instructions only to be ignored by the front desk staff and their obvious lack of caring, compassion & help was obvious. They continue to refuse to give us a refund on the ticket; even though it was their fault she was held up. As well forced us to pay for another ticket for her & her cat to get her home. That flight was a 5hr wait. Her cat was already sedated and it was hard on them both. Her baggage came in on her original flight, yet they claimed her as a “no show”. I feel that they are crooks, thieves & liars! I would NEVER recommend using their airlines or services to ANYONE!!! Spare yourselves the extra cost, lack of care or help & their bullying in security of Trans or gay ppl! Flair is the WORST airline ever!!! DO NOT USE THEM!!! My entire family will never use them again! Worst experience ever!!!!

Stay far away from this airline. My personal item was exactly the size indicated on their webpage and they charged me $77. for it as my purse was considered (by them) to be my personal item. As a senior on a meager pension and the fact that I will also have to pay this on my return flight is disastrous for me.

Hi Nancy, If you can get your purse to fit inside the other bag and if it is still within the size restrictions for a personal item, you might not be charged for the carryon bag on your return flight. You are allowed one personal item only. Having a purse and a second item means they will charge you for a carryon bag. I hope your return flight goes better. Sincerely, Debbie – Wander Woman Travel Magazine.

Check in staff at Abbotsford BC airport were rude, unprofessional and just doesn’t care. My husband I and were the first to check in our luggages and we were given seats that were far apart;reason being was “WE HAVE TO PAY FOR OUR SEATS”. This statement was being rubbed in our faces. Three staff had nothing much to do but argue with us. It would have been ok if we were dealt discreetly.Three staff taking turns to talk to us. As I was pleading for my case, I also asked how could the check in staff overlook that we were together. We are not young couple either. And for being told that if I behave and argue that I could be denied in the plane, such a blatant disrespect. I was simply asking for help, for ease if they could do something. To be dealt with such kind of staff is not worth a penny. Flair airlines staff in Abbotsford don’t have the professionalism to at least be kind when dealing with stressed clients. Never fly with Flair. It’s not worth it. Cheap but garbage. This was the first time in all my flights that we were given seats that were largely apart. (We’d flown with Flair before). At least make it clear to your customers that the seats are NOT FREE as what I am told. I feel that Flair is cheaply unfair and racist. A couple of customers told me that they were given seats that were closer together and they didn’t pay for their seats.

My husband first time ever flying with flair, had to pay for both carry on and check on 183$..got to jamaica was told bag wasn’t on flight, note fligh was empty, sll back seat full middle empty weird 🤔…told bags will be drop off at his home on Wed, 3 days later….Thursday still no bags, call customer service was told bags not there yet…should go online to check status…seriously..now no clothes to wear to his event…Flair you will be paying back that 183$….this is the worse I’ve ever heard of…hopefully he gets the bags before the trip is over kmt…which is 2 more days…kmt

For your own credibility, I would suggest that you take this post down or at least update it so that people aren’t left with the impression that flying on Flair is “fine”. In October we booked a vacation for late April departure, early May return. 3 months before we left, they moved our departure date, return date AND departure airport. We were able to work everything out with Flair, our hotel, our car rental and our work schedules to make something work. Then a month before our departure, they did it AGAIN. This time moving our return date ahead by 4 days. I requested a full refund on March 21st. We were forced to drive 2 hours to fly out of Buffalo just to salvage our vacation (luckily the cost was about the same). I’ve send them at least 50 emails since then. I’m thinking that their “support” people have a list of excuses they tick through to avoid processing refunds for as long as possible. 2 1/2 months later, still no refund. Just read a couple of days ago that Stephen Jones their CEO is “retiring” at the end of this month – after months of sending out press statements talking about how great things are going and that they will be serving Canadians for a long time to come. They are actively searching for a replacement. This is not how CEOs announce their retirement at reputable companies who are doing well, unless said CEO has a major health issue to address. It’s usually announced months in advance with a successor already identified. I suspect he was told to quit or be fired, perhaps with an additional severance bonus if decided on the former so as not to rattle the flying public as much. They owe $67 million in unpaid taxes, cut their schedule drastically just ahead of peak flying season and 777 Partners (their primary benefactor) is under investigation for fraud. They will be in receivership by autumn. Not fine.

Thanks for your comment, Jeff. Your experience with Flair sounds absolutely terrible. Our correspondent had a good experience on her short flight with Flair. That’s why she said that it was fine. That was her opinion based on that particular flight. I appreciate your comment showing that it’s not always fine. This airline has definitely had problems. I hope they get their act together. We don’t have enough competition and choice when it comes to airlines in Canada. Sincerely, Debbie, managing editor at Wander Woman Travel Magazine.

The worst airline ever! We were stuck on one of their toothpaste tubes with wings for 11 hours, it was a 3.5 hour flight. The pilot circled for over an hour, to the point we had to fly to Halifax to refuel, only to fly around Newfoundland for a few more rounds and then to fly home. They charged for food, then ran out of food. When we landed after 11 hours no one was in sight. The employees just disappeared with zero information about what was going on. Now they don’t want to reimburse anyone because they state that we were only 20 min late on our flight that never landed at our destination. You could see the staff being uncomfortable on the plane which came out as rude and disrespectful. Seriously how are they still in operation? They owe the govt 67 million in back taxes WTF?

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