United Airlines vs Air Canada: Which is the better Travel Choice?

Choosing the best Airline, United Airlines vs Air Canada is tricky because choosing the airline will depend heavily on your needs and priorities. Both airlines have pros and cons, which rely on their route, price, loyalty program, services, amenities, aircraft, safety, and other factors. So, if you seek its pros and cons shortly, consider the below things.
United Airlines
  • Pros- Larger network, more hubs within the US, potentially cheaper fares on some routes.
  • Cons- Customer Service satisfaction scores and older aircraft on some routes can be lower.
Air Canada
  • Pros- Generally higher customer satisfaction ratings, newer aircraft on some routes, strong presence in Canada.
  • Cons- A smaller network within the US means potentially higher fares on some routes.

United Airlines vs. Air Canada check-in

Both United Airlines and Air Canada offer online and mobile check-in, airport Kiosk, or counter check-in, in which specific details of the check-in process may vary on your ticket and the airport from where you are departing the flight. Thus, one must consider the following things to learn about the comparison of the check-in policies for United Airlines and Air Canada.
Online check-in: 
  • Both Airlines allow online check-in starting 24 hours before your flight.
  • You can check in online at the airline's website or mobile app
  • You are able to print your boarding pass or download it to your mobile device when you check in online.
Airport check-in: 
  • United Airlines allows you to check in at the airport kiosk or the check-in counter.
  • Air Canada allows you to check in at the airport kiosk, check-in counter, or curbside.
  • The most delinquent you can check in for a national flight is 45 minutes before your flight at the airport.
  • The latest you can check in for an international flight at the airport is 60 minutes before your flight. 
Checked Baggage: 
  • Both Airlines charge for checked baggage.
  • The prices for checked baggage differ depending on the weight and size of your bag. 
Carry-on baggage:
  • Both airlines allow one carry-on bag and one personal item.
  • The altitude and consequence limits for carry-on baggage vary on the airline and the fare category you bought.

Which is the safest airline, Air Canada or United Airlines?

Air Canada and United Airlines are considered safe airlines with excellent safety records. Determining which is objectively "safer" is complex and depends on some key factors, which are stated below.
  1. Safety Ratings- Both airlines hold the highest possible safety rating on highly reputed websites like Skyscanner, indicating the best and most excellent safety performance across various metrics.

  2. Incident History- Both Airlines have experienced incidents and accidents, but neither has had a major fatal accident in recent years. You can find detailed historical data on their safety records from organizations like the Aviation Safety Network.

  3. Fleet Age- Both have relatively young fleets with modern aircraft known for their safety features. 

  4. Pilot Training- Both have rigorous pilot training programs that meet or exceed international standards. 

  5. Maintenance- Both airlines prioritize aircraft maintenance and adhere to strict safety regulations.

Thus, the safest airlines reliably depend on the passenger's specific needs or priorities that they need while flying.

United Airlines vs Air Canada Frequent Flyer Program

Choosing between United MileagePlus and Air Canada Aeroplan relies on your travel habits and priorities. So, there is some differences between Air Canada vs United Airlines frequent flyer programs, you need to read the below-mentioned points.
Earning Miles
  • United offers more earning opportunities through credit cards, co-branded cards, and partnerships.
  • Air Canada- Recently added Chase as a transfer partner, opening up more earning options.
  • United uses a dynamic pricing model, meaning award prices fluctuate based on demand and season. It can be cheaper for domestic flights and specific routes.
  • Air Canada uses a fixed award chart based on distance and class, offering more predictability. Often cheaper for international flights and premium cabins.
Other benefits 
  1. United- A more extensive network within the US and Star Alliance.
  2. Air Canada- Strong presence in Canada and Start Alliance, good for trans-border travel.

Is Air Canada as good as United?

Rather than saying one airline is definitively better than the other, it's more accurate to say that each airline has its strengths and weaknesses, and the better choice for you will rely on your specific needs and priorities for your trip. Hence, there are some factors that you should consider.
Routes and Network
  1. Air Canada: Strong Network in Canada and to Europe, good connectivity within Star Alliance.
  2. United Airlines: Extensive domestic US network, a strong presence in Asia and Latin America, part of Start Alliance.
  • Air Canada: It can be slightly cheaper on some routes, especially within Canada.
  • United Airlines: Can be more competitive on specific routes, particularly within the US.
Customer Service
  • Air Canada: Reviews are mixed, with some praising friendly service and other reporting issues.
  • United Airlines: Customer service satisfaction has improved, but negative ones remain.
Onboard Experience
  • Air Canada: Generally considered to have slightly better in-flight service and amenities in economy class.
  • United Airlines: Newer fleet offering more variety in seating options and inflight entertainment.

Loyalty Programs

  • Air Canada: The Aeroplan program offers good value for partner airline redemptions, but the award chart needs to be revised. 
  • United Airlines: The MileagePlus program has also undergone devaluations but offers more predictable pricing for saver awards.
Baggage fees: Both airlines charge for checked baggage, so consider this.
Seat comfort: Reviews for both airlines are mixed, so it's worth checking specific seat reviews for your chosen aircraft.
Schedule: Consider which airlines offer the most convenient flight times and connections for your trip.

United Airlines vs Air Canada Economy

There is a comparison of the United Airlines and Air Canada economy class; you must read it promptly.
  • United Airlines has slightly lower fares than Air Canada, but it can vary by route and time of the year.
  • Both Airlines offer basic economy fares, the cheapest option, but have restrictions such as no seat selection and no refunds.
Seat Pitch and Width
  • United Airlines' economy seats have a pitch of 30-32 inches and a width of 17-18 inches.
  • Air Canada's economy seats have a pitch and width between the two airlines.
In-flight Entertainment
  • United Airlines and Air Canada offer several movies, TV shows, and music on their personal entertainment systems.
  • Both airlines offer complimentary headphones.
Food and drinks: United and Air Canada offer various snacks and drinks for purchase on their flights, offering complimentary water.
Other Amenities: Both can offer Wi-Fi on most of their flights for a fee while offering power outlets at some seats.
Hence, both are significant airlines with similar economy-class offerings. However, your best airlines will rely on your individual needs and priorities. Therefore, if you seek to take the cheapest fare, United Airlines is the best option, but if you need to get more comfort on the seat or a more comprehensive selection of in-flight entertainment, Air Canada is a good option.

Air Canada vs United International flights

Choosing b/w United Airlines vs Air Canada international flights can be challenging, as both airlines have their different options, 
Air Canada: 
  • It has an extensive network within Canada and Europe.
  • It is known for its friendly and helpful customer service staff.
  • Air Canada has invested in its fleet recently and has several modern premium cabins.
  • It is a member of the Star Alliance, which gives you access to a broader network of destinations, lounge access, and frequent flyer miles.
United Airlines:
  • It has an extensive network within the US and in Asia.
  • It can be cheaper than Air Canada on popular routes.
  • It charges fewer fees than Air Canada, such as checked bags and seat selection.
  • United's network within the US is very strong, so you are likely to find a flight that works for you if you are flying withing the US.

Air Canada vs United Business Class

Choosing between Air Canada and United Business Class depends on several factors, including your priorities, route, and budget. There are some key features to help you choose. You should consider the differentiation points below simply. 
Air Canada: All Air Canada Signature Class suites offer fully flat beds with 6'7" sleeping space, individual 18" touchscreens for entertainment, and aisle access for every seat. However, some older aircraft, like the Boeing 777-200LR, have reverse herringbone seating, which means some window seats lack direct aisle access.
United Polaris: The business class seats also offer fully flat beds with 6'6" of sleeping space and direct aisle access. However, the seat width varies depending on the aircraft, ranging from 20" to 26". The Polaris offering on the Boeing 777-300ER is considered the best, while the Polaris seating on the 767-300ER is less favourable due to its angle-flat configuration.

Food and Beverage:

  1. Air Canada: Air Canada's Signature Class dining features regionally-inspired menus created by chefs like David Hawksworth. You can expect multiple-course meals with a focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients. Wine pairings are also available on select routes.
  2. United Polaris: It offers a chef-curated à la carte menu with globally-inspired dishes. There's also a pre-flight snack basket and mid-flight snack service. Wine pairings are available for purchase.
  • Air Canada: It is known for its friendly and attentive service. Flight attendants are typically bilingual in English and French.
  • United Polaris: Its service is generally professional and efficient. However, some passengers have reported inconsistency in service quality.


Both airlines have their perks of travelling, so saying. one is better than another will be biased, but you can choose between Air Canada and United Airlines based on your travel needs.
Also Check:
  1. Air Canada Vs American Airlines
  2. Delta Airlines vs United Airlines

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