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Air Transat flights on SmartWings planes

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
352 posts
138 reviews
Air Transat flights on SmartWings planes

Should I be rather dismayed to find that 2 days after booking a 9 day package, (YYZ>VAR / Wed.>Fri.) the outbound flight has suddenly changed from TS620 (as per my booking confirmation) to TS2620 which indicates a "code-share", as well as the booking website now indicates "Operated by SmartWings" in the flight segment description box, whereas when I booked, it simply showed "B737-800 TS" (aka 738) as the aircraft being used. This compares to "A310-300 TS" (aka 313) for the return flight. The "TS" is the indicator of the operator.

Another funny thing is that after I had booked on Tuesday 10th., as of Wednesday and for a day after, the seat selection option no longer functioned for ANY booking with an outbound flight to VAR on any Wed. and then for on Friday, booking a package with a Wed. outbound went to an error message and died. Come Saturday it was pretty much back to normal, you could pre-select seats and add Option Plus if you so desired. BUT...the seat map for the outbound on the B737 was still showing the original AT layout, still showing the Club Class that is being discontinued by November. ( booked for Jan.)

So as it seems that AT is up to something here, I solicit feedback on these SmartWing wetlease flights to see if we are going to get what we booked (front end extra legroom seats with Option Plus added) or are we in for a nasty surprise? (the return flight in Club should be a given)

Please note that ONLY the flights from Canada via Air Transat apply as I've already read the numerous reviews about how bad SmartWings are in Europe which is probably a whole different matter.

34 replies to this topic
Level Contributor
13 posts
2 reviews
1. Re: Air Transat flights on SmartWings planes

for the winter air transat brings in extra 737s into canada from europe. in exchange they send 330s to europe. Your flight is still operate by AT and your FAs will be AT flight attendants.

Amsterdam, The...
Destination Expert
for Amsterdam
Level Contributor
45,262 posts
80 reviews
2. Re: Air Transat flights on SmartWings planes

If you mean Varadero in Cuba then that airport code is VRA. VAR is the code from Varna in Bulgaria

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
352 posts
138 reviews
3. Re: Air Transat flights on SmartWings planes

Yes I did, too early in the morning to catch the auto-correct entries before going beyond the Edit time window.

TA really needs to fix that....

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
352 posts
138 reviews
4. Re: Air Transat flights on SmartWings planes

Thx Tiger2099, that gives me some comfort. My big concern is the seating now.

Apparently seat maps for SmartWings are very MIA on the Internet. Almost like they don't want people to know something.....

ontario canada
1 post
5. Re: Air Transat flights on SmartWings planes

I have always loved air transit and booked based on them, now to see this new smartwing, with NO option plus availability for a March flight to Samana was very disappointing.,

Concerned now they will be no different then the Rouge :(

Level Contributor
28 posts
6. Re: Air Transat flights on SmartWings planes

I have been contemplating booking a trip out of Hamilton to Punta Cana and have discovered that the flights are now operated by SmartWings. I am concerned also and wondering if things such as Option Plus will still be available. I have contacted Air Transat but have not received a response. Has anybody had any experience with Transat being operated by SmartWings. (Still hoping to get a response from Transat)

Edited: 27 October 2017, 09:07
Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
82 posts
4 reviews
7. Re: Air Transat flights on SmartWings planes

I to have booked a flight on Air Transat to Samana in April and now I notice it is operated by SmartWings and I have concerns also with that. I pay extra for Option Plus which I believe I will get however, what about inflight movies on your iPad? Do I still get a meal? Read to many bad reviews regarding SmartWings.

Keep us posted if you hear back from Air Transat.

Level Contributor
7 posts
20 reviews
8. Re: Air Transat flights on SmartWings planes

I too was going to book for Varadero and was angry that I was quoted a high amount for SUB service,. I just spent 3 hours on the phone with Transat and got a run around on every question I asked them. I called in yesterday and was told it was a Transat plane, extra leg room seats, etc. Was given a quote #, flight etc. and then this A.M. get an email about flight changes.

So I was going through the website and was puzzled as to what the hell is Smartwings? Looked up the reviews from Europe and the ratings are very poor. They call it a LOW budget plane... so why is Transat charging us more for LESS!

I am not going to book and will probably never use Transat again!

Edited: 01 December 2017, 12:04
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
352 posts
138 reviews
9. Re: Air Transat flights on SmartWings planes

FWIW, in my sussing out of the whole "SmartWings" conundrum, I have determined that; a) the aircraft will be a B737-800 and the current seat map posted on Transat at the point in the booking process to chose seats (only if you see a 4 digit flight number beginning with AT2xxx) is correct. b) There are "extra-legroom" seats, but that would be Row 15 & 16 (were we are currently located) being the exit rows as well as Row 1 ABC and Row 2 HJK as these are at the front bulkhead. c) The usual assortment of 12 to 15 front-end E-L seats that AT normally provides do not seem to available.

d) Option Plus is still available as along with all the other perqs, it only included a general seat selection, not any specific seat such as an E-L seat.

e) The on-line reviews of SmartWings and/or Travel Service (parent company) are all based on their European operations based in Prague and are not really applicable to the temporary wet-lease (allegedly) operations provided to AT. Hence the reason for my creating the OP in this topic.

f) The backstory to this equipment jiggery-pokery is that AT has found that they had too many unfillable Airbus on winter routes so they swap them out with SmartWings for some of their Boeings as SW needs the increased capacity for holiday long-haul to the Caribbean. This has been going on for a few years now, they even partially re-paint the swapped aircraft so they show both AT and SW names/logos.

The only loose end is to determine if AT crew run the show, or have they taken Czech crew as well? (that's true definition of "wet-lease") I'm ok with pilots (as they are 737 pilots flying their "regular" aircraft) but would prefer to get the homegrown AT flight attendants.

Final thought, it's a shame that Transat could not do a deal for the SW equipment that has a regular biz-style section in the front, that would have been almost a seat-for-seat match for regular AT Boeing planes for extra-legroom, etc.

Edited: 02 December 2017, 07:33
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
352 posts
138 reviews
10. Re: Air Transat flights on SmartWings planes

Re: #7 - The comment by JD, " what about inflight movies on your iPad?" the answer is yes, as the AT Boeing aircraft do not have on-board entertainment for movies like AC rouge does. What you do is after you download the "Cine B" (get it? B for Boeing...) app from Google Play / Apple Store, you then go into the AT website just prior to flight date and there you have the means to download the "entertainment" into your tablet. Therefore you will have movies on whatever equipment Transat brings to the gate. It will later auto-delete sometime after your full journey has concluded.

"Do I still get a meal?" That is a yes (unless the world goes mad) and it will be the same menu as per the website. Bistro pre-order, special meals and still the posh menu if one leg of your trip still includes Club on the Airbus. (we booked 9 days specifically to return home on the only A310 running to VRA this winter)

Edited: 02 December 2017, 07:50
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