Have you heard of Swoop Airlines and wondered about flying with them? Maybe you’re wondering why Swoop is so cheap and if it’s worth it?  This Swoop Airlines review will cover everything you need to know about flying with Swoop in 2023.

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What is Swoop Airlines?

Swoop is an ultra-low cost Canadian airline. It’s a subsidiary of WestJet and started flying in 2018. 

Why is Swoop So Cheap? 

Swoop prides themselves on making travel affordable and accessible to all Canadians. According to their website, they do this by keeping costs low and passing the savings onto the travellers with low unbundled fares and a customized experience. 

Basically, they offer ultra-low base fares, which includes the seat on the aircraft, and then offer the ability to customize flights by purchasing extra options if desired.

We’ll go over these extra options below. 

Swoop Airlines Review: 

In this Swoop Airlines Review, we’ll go over the following:

  • Booking Experience 
  • Extra Options
  • Check In and Boarding
  • Seats
  • Food & Drink
  • Service

Booking Process

The booking process with Swoop is very similar to other airlines. You can book directly on their website or through a travel agency. 

What’s nice about booking directly on their site is that you can see all of the available flights and fares in one place. Once you’ve selected the departure airport, the ‘to’ field will populate with available destinations. 

The departure and return date fields are also nice and straightforward. Simply select the month you’d like to travel and then choose the specific dates from the pop-up calendar. 

popup calendar(showing November 2022 and December 2022) with dates and fares for flights on swoop airlines

On the next page, you’ll see fares for the chosen date, as well as all of the available flights and fares for three days on either side. 

Extra Options

Once you’ve selected your flights and entered your information, you’ll be taken to a page to select your seat.

Here’s where the extra fees come in.

Swoop offers two types of seats; regular and extra leg room. If you choose not to select a seat, one will be randomly be assigned to you before the flight. 

box diagram of seat selection on swoop airlines. regular flights are in black box ranging from $26-$32 and premium extra leg room are $55

Saying that, we’ve haven’t selected seats and I’ve always been seated with my kids. Maybe that’s just luck. 

Another available option is to purchase ModiFly, Swoop’s option to book with flexibility.

ModiFly costs $18 one way, or a slightly discounted round trip, and includes the ability to change travel dates or times up to 24 hours before the flight.   

Baggage Fees 

Swoop charges for checked baggage (like many airlines now), but they also charge for carry on items. 

Personal Item

Each traveller is allowed one personal item, but that’s a small personal item. The website states it could be a laptop bag, small purse or tote bag.

Personal item: 41cmx15cmx33cm (16”x6”x13”) 

When we flew with Swoop, both boys had a backpack that was slightly smaller than the personal size limit, and mine was definitely an inch or two more, but luckily they didn’t measure it. 

two boys with hooded sweaters wearing backpacks that are personal size dimensions for swoop airlines

Carry-On Bags

Fees for carry-on luggage vary depending on the distance you are travelling and if you purchase it ahead of time or at the airport.

For mid-distance flights over 1000km, a carry-on bag is $60 if purchased with the initial fare.

Carry-on luggage can be a backpack or small suitcase. 

Carry-on: 52cm x 23cm x 38cm (21” x 9” x 15”) 

This is slightly smaller than other airlines carry-on dimensions, but is similar to sizes for European budget airlines.

Checked Luggage

With checked luggage, you’re allowed to check up to 4 pieces of luggage, but fees will increase in cost depending on how many bags you check.

If you’re just checking one bag, the fees will be the same as they are for a carry-on bag, but each additional bag will cost more.

Checked luggage  is allowed to have a combined dimension of 157cm (62”) and a maximum weight of 23kg (50lbs). 

It’s important to note that the fees for carry-on are the same as they are for checked luggage, which is different than most other airlines we have flown with.

On one of our return flights, I did check a large backpack and while it was heavy, it was under the 50lb limit and no one measured the dimensions. 

This may not be the case for every traveller, but we have flown with Swoop four times now and each time, my bags (personal or checked) haven’t been measured. 

Baby and Kids Allowances 

Interestingly, Swoop does charge extra to bring a stroller on board, which most airlines do not.

Any child, whether you’ve paid for a seat or have a lap-held infant, are allowed to check a car seat free of charge.

If your child has a seat on the flight, you can bring the car seat or an approved restraint system (like CARES) on board.

We have always carried our booster seats on board, but my guys use the small, portable mi-fold seats and they fit in the pocket on the back of the seat. 

Read more | The Best Car Seats for Travel in 2023

Family Seating 

While not guaranteed, Swoop airlines does try to keep families with young children together.

All children under the age of 5 will be seated next to the parent or guardian, at no additional cost. Children between the age of 4 and 11 will be seated in the same row as the parent or guardian, again at no additional charge. 

If the parent chooses to pay to select their seat, they can select their child’s seat at no additional charge. 

As I always fly solo with my kids, I’ve been seated beside both of them on every flight, but other families have been separated (while always keeping one parent with the child, but sometimes the other parent is sitting a row or aisle away). 

More information on travelling with children or pets can be found here.

Check In 

Check-in is allowed 24 hours before your flight. Swoop sends an email when to let you know when you’lre allowed to check in.

When you check in, you’ll see your seat assignments, and have the option to purchase extra baggage if needed. 

Airport Check In

If you have checked luggage, you will have to check in at the airport. I prefer to do this anyways, and Swoop doesn’t charge you to issue the boarding pass. 

If you’ve checked in online, you can still check in at the counter to get your baggage tags if yo’ure paid for carry-on luggage, or you can show your pass at the gate to get your tags. 


Boarding is easy and like any other airline.

Families with small children are allowed to board first, and anyone who needs extra time or assistance. Then it’s general boarding by rows.

There are overhead bins above every seat, so you don’t have to worry about not having space for your carry-on luggage. 

As you enter the aircraft, you may be handed a sanitary wipe to clean seats and arm rests.

At first, this made me wonder about Swoop’s cleaning procedures, but we have flown on 4 different airlines in 2022, and each airline did the same. 


Once on board, you’ll notice the bright pink everywhere. It’s actually kind of fun and refreshing.

The seats are slim and space is limited, but that’s to be expected with a budget airline. I found them to be quite comfortable (but being short, I don’t need a lot of legroom either). 

rows of empty seats on a swoop airlines flight. all seats have a pink square over the headrest

There is no inflight entertainment but there is a USB port for each seat.

You can purchase wifi for an additional fee.


As a budget airline, Swoop does not include meals or snacks on board. Not even water!

There is water and other snacks available for purchase and prices seem reasonable, but we always fill our own bottle before boarding and bring a few snacks of our own anyways. 

In-Flight Service 

The service has always been great on Swoop. The staff, including cabin crew, were friendly and helpful,  offering assistance with anything we needed. 

Customer Service

While I’ve heard of other stories of not-so-great customer service, I haven’t personally experienced that.

In fact, other than slow wait times to speak with someone (but to be honest, that’s quite a few airlines at the moment), I had great customer service experience with Swoop airlines. 

Two days before our first flight with Swoop, my kids tested positive for covid and I had to contact customer service to cancel our flights (I hadn’t purchased the modiFly insurance).

While there is a contact number, they prefer to communicate over Facebook messenger. And while it’s better than being on hold, I still waited well over an hour to speak with anyone.

They offered, at no cost, to rebook our original flight for a date after quarantine was finished and we were cleared to fly. (In our case, we were going for more than a week, so they volunteered to change our first flight, but not our return flight so it just shortened our trip.)

I was surprised by this to be honest, and as I also had to change a second flight on another airline, plus we were losing days out of our travel plans, the easy and helpful customer service with Swoop airlines was a welcome relief that made things so much easier. 

white plane on tarmac with sun setting behind. plane has pink letters and logo spelling swoop

FAQ about Swoop Airlines

Why is Swoop so Cheap? 

As we mentioned at the beginning of this Swoop Airlines review, the fares are so cheap because basically you’re paying for your seat and nothing else. Anything, and everything else, from bags to seat selection, to food and snacks will be an extra charge. 

So be sure to factor these costs into your total flight cost. We found that our flights were still cheaper than others, but we also don’t purchase all the extra add-ons. 

Where Does Swoop Fly? 

Swoop flies to many Canadian and US cities, as well as some international destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean. 

Here’s a map of Swoop’s destinations:

map of swoop airline destinations

Do Swoop Flights Get Cancelled?

Although there are plenty of stories of cancelled flights in previous years, we’ve flown with Swoop a few times in 2022, and haven’t had any flights cancelled.

Our first flight was delayed, but I did receive an email a few hours ahead of time, letting me know that it would be an hour later than anticipated.

Our return flight, and both other flights later in the year, went without any delays or cancellations.

Final Thoughts: Is Swoop Worth It?

To sum up this Swoop Airlines review, even with the extra costs, I think flying Swoop is worth it!

It’s great value for your money. Just do the research and know what to expect (don’t be surprised with extra fees at the airport). 

In fact, we’ve flown with them multiple times, and will fly with them again. 

I also really like the fact that Swoop flies into smaller airports. For us, this is a big bonus, as we can fly to Hamilton and avoid the craziness of flying into Toronto, or the traffic to get to and from Pearson airport. 

And since Canada isn’t known for cheap domestic flights, it’s nice to have a budget airline like Swoop as an option. 

Have you flown with Swoop Airlines before? What was your experience? Let us know in the comments below!

For more tips and tricks on travelling and flying with kids, be sure to check out these posts:

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