Arajet Airlines has recently started flying out of Pearson International airport and we had the chance to fly Arajet on our recent Parents’ Escape to Chile. This budget friendly airline is offering some sweet deals right now so we had to jump on them. Having flown with them to Chile and back, Chris and I want to share our Arajet review with you to help you have the best Arajet experience.
Disclosure : While we did pay for our own flights we had some additional discount coupons provided
Our Arajet Flight Experience
When Arajet launched in Canada I had the opportunity to attend their launch party where I learned that Arajet has a goal to connect the Americas with the greatest efficiency possible-on new planes and with the high-quality service on board and at the best market price. Víctor Pacheco Méndez is the CEO and founder of Arajet and the airline has a home base in the Dominican Republic. Did our experience on board Arajet match the expectations set out at the event? Buckle up and read on!
Our Arajet journey started in Toronto where we were able to check in online 48 hours prior to our flight (way less stressful than trying to do it within 24 hours of your departure). Our bags were dropped off easily and with boarding passes in hand, we made our way to the lounge (perks of my American Express Platinum card) where we enjoyed lunch, filled our bottles with waters and grabbed a few snacks for the 4 hour flight to Santo Domingo.
On board, we sat towards the middle of the plane and I dozed off for the entire flight. Given that this is a budget friendly airline, you have to bring anything you may want (including water) or you can purchase it on board. The food options were mostly snacks but they did have some quick service warm items like instant noodles and mac n cheese in a cup. If you have dietary issues, definitely bring your own food on board. On this flight I did not find any charging ports by our seat but on the next flight every seat had a plug point to charge your devices. None of the Arajet planes have personal screens, so you have to bring your own entertainment.
Upon landing in Santo Domingo, we have to go through security to scan our backpacks and hand luggage and this did take a while. Just remember that you don’t go towards immigration if you’re only connecting to another flight. Just the security! We did encounter an hour long delay for our next flight but luckily there were a couple lounges to choose from at this airport so we popped in for a glass of wine and some dinner before boarding our 8 hour fight to Santo Domingo.
When it comes to boarding, it’s a free for all so it really didn’t make a difference whether we had priority or which row were were seated in. This happened during all 4 flights and so we quickly learned to chill in the lounge and be one of the last to board to minimize waiting in queues. This was a big difference compared to the row by row boarding offered by most North American airlines.
The 8 hour flight was very smooth because we had seats on row 2. I HIGHLY recommend paying extra for these seats (usually around 21USD) because these seats are wider, you will be the first to deplane, you have loads of leg room, you’re closer to the washrooms and you have charging ports on ALL the flights (not just the long haul ones). Honestly it’s totally worth it! I brought snacks on board so we didn’t end up purchasing any items but they did have options (including alcoholic beverages) if needed- but they only accepted USD and Dominican Pesos – so yes you need CASH!
The staff were friendly onboard and many of them left us alone unless we needed their attention. Going to Chile, on both flights our flight attendants didn’t come by at all (not even to collect the garbage) but on the return flights they came by to check in on us at the start and the end. For those, like me, who get on board and fall asleep for most of the journey, this is great because no one disturbs us. IF you need more attention, just hit the call button and they’ll come to you! Oh and we had ZERO issues with our checked luggage – honestly we’ve been fortunate in general when we travel so I wasn’t surprised but in case you were wondering, our bag arrived with us on all our Arajet flights!
If you find a great deal, you should absolutely book on Arajet without hesitation and that’s my Arajet review. Saving money to spend while in destination is definitely worth it. Did I miss some creature comforts and access to food and drink on board? Absolutely but the savings outweighed the inconvenience for me. Chris is still unsure and prefers his bougie life, so that’s his Arajet review!
Where Does Arajet Fly From Toronto?
Arajet flies out of Pearson International Airport which is something I want to highlight because some other low budget airlines say they fly out of Toronto but in reality they fly out from another GTA airport. I like this because I can now enjoy my American Express and Priority Pass lounge perks before the flight (to stock up on snack and such for the plane ride). Most Arajet flights have a layover in Santo Domingo (which also has quite a few lounge options). So this is something to keep in mind when you crunch your numbers – airfare from Toronto to Caribbean and South American destinations were certainly cheaper than my usual go-to airlines but it did involve a layover. Arajet connects 20 cities across 15 countries via Santo Domingo and they continue to expand their offerings. Chile, Argentina and Colombia were on my radar when Chris and I were exploring some Christmas holiday travels initially. They also fly to Guatemala, Peru, Mexico, Aruba, St, Martin, Jamaica and Costa Rica to name a few other family travel destinations. What you will have to keep in mind is frequency because most of these aren’t daily flights so you may on occasion end up with a long layover in Santo Domingo (which is a bonus in my opinion).
View this post on Instagram
Is Arajet a Safe Airline?
We flew on four of their planes and live to tell the tales, so I say “YES”. Arajet promises a safe, reliable and efficient travel experience. I really liked the fact that their fleet is brand new Boeing aircrafts. Yes they do have the Boeing 737 MAX but obviously it has since gone through all the rigorous tests and is now a safe vehicle. The Arajet fleet is supposed to be the world’s most fuel efficient and environmentally friendly (offering a 14% fuel reduction over today’s most fuel-efficient single-aisle airplanes). The planes we were on were clean and because we’re short we didn’t have any leg room issues even in the regular seats. We encountered quite a bit of turbulence (and had window seats to one of the best lightshows we’ve seen from the skies) and felt safe on all occasions. If you look closely you’ll notice that each of the planes will have the name of a protected area in the Dominican Republic instead of a model number – this is to raise awareness for the area and not only boost tourism there but also foster preservation of the area.
Which Arajet Fare Option is Best?
Arajet has designed their fares to give us the flexibility to pay for only what we need and they also have bundles. If you’re a carry-on only person you’ll want to read carefully because I definitely stressed about the dimensions before our travels – no one weighed or measured our backpacks in the end despite me being meticulous when purchasing my new backpack! Unlike some low budget carriers, Arajet offers everyone the ability to bring a personal item at no extra cost. For a weekend trip, I can easily choose the Smart plan and be happy.
Arajet has 3 fares to choose from when booking your flights from Toronto.
The Smart Plan includes a personal item and the ability to check in online (not all fares give you the opportunity to check in at the airport – only baggage drop is allowed). You cannot make any flight changes or check in at the airport.
All Arajet passengers can carry one small personal item (backpack, purse, computer bag) into the cabin, no larger than 15”x9”x7”/40x25x20cm and weighing no more than 6kg.
Comfort Plan includes a personal item, online and airport check-in, one checked baggage, the choice of your preferred seat and the option to change your flight by paying only the fare difference.
You should know that checked bags (suitcases or boxes) cannot be larger than 158cm/62” when adding up all three dimensions. Trust me… I pulled out our tape to measure our large Samsonite hardcase!
If you want all the bells and whistles, then the Extra Plan includes a personal item, online and airport check-in, the freedom to have carry-on and checked baggage, seat selection, priority boarding access and the flexibility to make up to three flight changes for the difference in fare.
Please note that the carry-on baggage (large backpack, or small suitcase) cannot be larger than 56 x 46 x 25cm / 22”x18”x10” or weigh more than 12kg. But this would be in addition to the personal item and you will bring this into the cabin with you.
Can you book the smart plan and then add one checked bag for your entire family? Yes you totally can and that’s what I usually tend to do but keep in mind that the earlier you add the checked bag, the cheaper it may be and it’ll also be cheaper if you do it yourself via the web instead of calling the support centre. You can find more details here about the cost of bags on Arajet.
Choosing the Best Seats on Arajet
Having sat in the main cabin and the front two of rows of Arajet flights, I can tell you that the front two rows are honestly the best for long haul flights. I would absolutely upgrade to rows 1 and 2 for long haul flights (like our 8 hour flight from Santo Domingo to Santiago) without hesitation. And because I liked to have my bag next to me, I prefer row 2 over row 1!
Is Arajet Pet Friendly?
YES! We saw quite a few cats and dogs on Arajet and you can find more details here.
Is Hand Luggage Included in Arajet Fares?
Anyone flying with Arajet can bring a personal item on board. If you want an additional hand luggage, then you have to opt for the Comfort and Extra plans.
Tips for Flying Arajet | Our Arajet Review
You’ve now read my personal Arajet review and heard all about our Arajet flight experience. While I’ve peppered some tips throughout the article, here’s a quick summary on how to prep yourself for the best Arajet flight! Having flown many budget carriers, I find that if you have prepped for the trip, it makes a huge difference for the better!
- Measure your suitcases, personal items and hand luggage to ensure you meet the requirements
- Bring your own food and drink (including water). Definitely flex those lounge access perks if you have them
- Remember that your ticket may not have airport check-in features if you bought the Smart travel tickets so you can go to security/immigration/boarding gate directly unless you have purchased additional checked bags and need to drop it off
- Pay extra to book seats in rows 1 and 2 if possible – this is my biggest Arajet review tip!
- Bring your own devices with downloaded movies/songs/shows etc and have your chargers with you. Please bring your headsets – we noticed many watching their devices with their speakers on full volume!!! (gah)
- Once on board if you need to chat with a flight attendant remember that you will have to use the call button as they may not be walking around frequently
- Remember that you will have to go through security in Santo Domingo before catching your connection and you will also need to get on a bus when you de-plane in Santo Domingo for your connection
- Don’t stress about missing any connections – if you’re connecting with Arajet, they are aware and will help you (we thought we missed it but it ended up being an hour delayed).
Chris and I had an amazing time in Chile and we’ll soon share stories from our Parents’ Escape with you. For now, I wanted to share our Arajet review with you because they have some great deals to various Caribbean and South American destinations and even though Chile itself was on the pricier end, we saved money on our airline tickets which made it possible for us to stick to our travel budget.