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What Are the Best Airlines in Canada? The Answer May Surprise You.

By Edited Dec 20, 2013 1 1

Would You Fly With These Guys?

I spend a lot of time on airplanes. I love flying. I love airports. Most of my travel is within Canada, and a lot of that is up to the Arctic, which I freely admit has a say in my top choices.

I based this rating system on service. These are airlines that fly in difficult conditions and go above and beyond to ensure your flight is pleasurable.

Are you ready? Fasten your seatbelt. Here's the list.

Tied for First Place

First Air and Canadian North are tied for first place. I really could n

First Air
ot choose between these two airlines. They set the standard for customer care and service.

The two airlines service northern Canada including the capital of the Northwest Territories (Yellowknife) and the capital of Nunavut (Iqaluit)

I flew out of Iqaluit with First Air in July. It was an afternoon flight and lunch was served. I chose the seafood dish which was made with local Arctic Char. The wine was free and dessert included a hot chocolate chip cookie and the airline's famous Franklin coffee. It's made up of coffee, Kalhau, Bailey's and Grand Mariner.

The announcements are also made in Inuktitut which is the language of the Inuit who live in Nunavut.

Canadian North
I flew out of Yellowknife not long ago with Canadian North. It was only a three hour flight, but dinner was served, with a choice of hot entrees and the beverage cart never stopped moving.

I took some time at the end of the flight to tell the flight crew what a wonderful job they were doing. (Really..we should do more of that when we fly)


Pick #3 Air Canada

Every year I get an email announcing that Air Canada has been selected as the top airline in North America.

Air Canda

Canadians love to hate Air Canada. It's the biggest player in the field and everyone has a horror story about lost baggage, and flight delays.

Air Canada is quite simply, consistent. I fly with them so often I have enough airmiles points to go anywhere in the world.

Here's why I really love Air Canada. When I leave the country, whether it's a quick trip to Las Vegas or a couple of weeks in Spain I love seeing that blue jet with the maple leaf logo. As soon as I get onboard I feel like I'm home. I know I'm on foreign soil, but I feel safe.

If you are American you probably feel the same way when you board one of your national carriers.


In 4th Place..Air North

Air North's slogan is "The Yukon's Airline".

Air North

If you live in the Yukon, chances are you have a deep loyalty to this carrier. They have done a remarkable job in branding themselves to the territory.

The company has sold shares to Yukoners. For $5,000 you get a share in the company and two free flights a year.

Air North hires staff who are friendly and outgoing. It is quite simply a pleasure to fly with this airline.

In Fifth Place --- Westjet

I wish I could have ranked Westjet higher, but so far I haven't had a lot of experience flying with them.

If you live on the west coast they  are a better choice for vacations in resorts like Disneyland and Costa Rica

If you are planning a sun holiday they are worth checking out.

Life in the Air


  1. Are the person who flies in economy and puts their seat back? Put your head close to your computer screen. Closer.  Thunk!!!  That’s me slapping your head. The few inches of happiness you get is causing a whole lot of pain for the person behind you. I’m a pretty small person and when someone hijacks my small amount of space on an airplane  it makes me crabby. You don’t want that.

      2. One of my favorite stories. I flew up to the Yukon with my three young sons, aged five, two and four months. The trip involved two flights and lots of airport time. All in all, it took 16 hours of travel and by the time we got on the plane to Whitehorse the kids were pretty wired. One nice lady took my five year old and read to him. Another took the baby. No one offered to take the two year old, which is probably a good thing. At that point, I was exhausted and I probably wouldn’t have taken him back!


    The Point Is….

    We’re a bunch of strangers stuck on a big tin can, hurtling through the air. We can take the time to help each other out. We can take the time to be polite to the crew. It makes flying so much better.



Jul 25, 2013 6:35pm
This comment has been deleted.
Jul 26, 2013 5:53am
If you are going to Whitehorse or Yellowknife the starting points are Vancouver and Edmonton. Expect to pay about $200 each way. If you are going to Iqaluit you'll leave from Ottawa or Montreal. The cost is roughly $1000 each way. (really)
Thanks for taking the time to comment.
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