Ultimate Guide to Pacific Coastal Airlines

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Hey, solo travelers! Welcome to the Ultimate Guide to Pacific Coastal Airlines. This guide journeys into the heart of Western Canada with Pacific Coastal. I’ve got all the details on this regional gem, plus a personal review of my own recent flight with them from Vancouver YVR to Comox YQQ.

PACIFIC 8P747

Beechcraft 1900D

Vancouver – Comox (YVR-YQQ)

Seat: 4A (Economy)

Duration: 35m

Overview of Pacific Coastal Airlines

Imagine an airline that’s small, friendly and gets you to locations to which few other airlines venture. That’s Pacific Coastal Airlines for you. Since 1987, they’ve been taking passengers to beautiful, off-the-beaten-path locations in British Columbia. They’ve got a neat lineup of short-haul planes including Saab 340A/B and Beechcraft 1900C/D.

Booking and Pricing

Booking with Pacific Coastal Airlines is as easy as spotting the wildlife on Vancouver Island! I tend to use Skyscanner to get an overview of routes and times, but you can easily use Pacific’s website or a third-party site. The vibe is very much no frills economy, although two pieces of carry-on are permitted. Prices can vary depending on the popularity of your dates, but considering the alternative (ferry + bus to Vancouver Island), then it may well be worth it.

Check-In and Baggage Policies

Checking in is hassle-free with options to do so online, on their mobile app, or right at the airport. As for baggage, you’re allowed one carry-on and a personal item on board. Each item can weigh 10kg, which is pretty decent. There are 3 fare types: Bravo, Classic and Encore. A checked bag is included with Classic and Encore, or is $31.50 for Bravo passengers.

Onboard Experience

It’s good to bear in mind that Pacific operates small aircraft on short journeys to smaller airports. We could say that the journey is the destination! That means there is no in-flight entertainment, no drinks or snacks and no reading material beyond the safety card. However, with the stunning British Columbia coastline as your backdrop, what else could you need!

Frequent Flyer Program

While Pacific Coastal Airlines doesn’t have its own frequent flyer program, it does have a discount programme for frequent fliers called QuikPass. The program gives a minimum 20% discount off certain fares alongside other benefits. Read more about Pacific Coastal QuikPass here.

My Personal Experience with Pacific Coastal Airlines

Now let’s get personal. I took a Pacific Coastal flight from Vancouver South Terminal to Comox in 2023 and it was an experience to remember. I had tried to fly from Campbell River to Vancouver in early 2022 and sadly fog got in the way. This time it all went much better.

Booking was smooth, though a bit more expensive than I expected at $157.11 CAD. One of my carry-on bags was overweight when I reached the counter and I was politely informed how much extra I’d need to pay. I’m too embarrassed to disclose how much!

Once onboard the Beechcraft 1900D, I found the cabin clean but fairly well worn. In fact, this aircraft had its maiden flight on 1 February 1992. The pilots are responsible for guiding people on board and closing up the doors. They were both very friendly and professional.

Yes, there was some turbulence, but the pilot steered us right through and at no point did I have any concerns.

With no amenities to speak of (the one air conditioning vent wasn’t functioning well), everything focuses on the views and those are breathtaking if you don’t get heavy cloud. Vancouver Island is one of my favourite places on earth.

There’s no doubt as to why the most searched-for term about the airline is “Pacific Coastal Airlines Flight Status” as the weather in Western Canada gets in the way of even the best intentions. Happily, on this trip, it all went smoothly.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a unique way to discover Western Canada, Pacific Coastal Airlines should be on your list. They’ve got a straightforward, friendly service that’s all about showing you the hidden gems of British Columbia. Based on my experience, I can definitely see myself flying with them again. Though next time, I’d pay more attention to the baggage weight limits!

Now, it’s your turn. Have any of you flown with Pacific Coastal Airlines? I’d love to hear about your journey. Drop a comment below!

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