May 18, 2022 - Things to Do

Bargain airline offers cheap flights to Toronto

Airplane cabin
The cabin of a Swoop plane. Photo courtesy of Swoop

A handful of new economy airlines are offering crazy low fares on certain routes from select cities, Axios' Joann Muller reports.

Driving the news: One of those low-cost carriers, Swoop, starts flying between O'Hare and Toronto for as low as $59 each way starting May 30.

How it works: Swoop says it keeps prices low by cutting out perks. Snacks, checked bags, additional leg room and WiFi all require an extra fee.

What they're saying: While some bargain airlines can be notoriously late and unreliable, Swoop aims to bust that reputation.

  • "In 2021, Swoop carried almost 1 million travelers and completed 99.4% of scheduled flying, with 82% of flights departing on time and 78% arriving on time," head of finance Bert van der Stege tells Axios.
  • For comparison, American and United had 85% and 83.5% on-time rates in 2021, respectively, which ranked third and fourth best nationally, according to a report from the Official Airline Guide.

If you go: Van der Stege has some suggestions for Chicagoans to try in Toronto.

Indulge: "Toronto is known for its incredibly diverse and authentic cuisine. Check out these highly recommended spots:

Take a ferry to the Toronto Islands: "You'll find yourself on beautiful, car-free paths where you can explore historic landmarks, stroll through parks and beaches and take in the spectacular view of the Toronto skyline. For those who love the outdoors, a day spent on the islands will never disappoint."

The CN Tower, Toronto's most notable landmark: "Grab tickets and ride the glass elevator to one of three observation decks that boast floor-to-ceiling windows, glass floors and even an 'EdgeWalk' experience for the daredevils who want to take a 20-minute walk around the perimeter of the main pod — no fence, no window, just you tethered to an outdoor track."

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