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Westjet a refreshing way to fly Domestic Canada

Westjet a refreshing way to fly Domestic Canada

Old Sep 7, 09, 5:11 pm
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Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: New York
Posts: 6,681
Westjet a refreshing way to fly Domestic Canada

Westjet Experience

Well just want to share a really short trip report on my first flight on Westjet! Westjet is the other Canadian airline and for years, I have wanted to give it a try especially hearing mostly positive reviews. I finally got a small opening at Vancouver and decided to hop over to Calgary, a new airport to me. Westjet definitely is a very good airline and I actually like it better than Air Canada. Here is my full report!

August 26, 2009
WS 570 YVR-YYC Lv1600 Arr1815 Boeing 737-700 Winglet C-FWSI

August 27, 2009
WS 491 YYC-YVR Lv1800 Arr1823 Boeing 737-700 Winglet C-GWBF

Westjet has a fairly good website and it is easier to navigate and my only wish is that they can display the type of Boeing 737s used on each flight. Anyway, I like the ability to reserve the exit row for a small additional fee. I think it is 100% worthwhile to get a more comfortable seat. I got an e-receipt shortly after completing the booking process. Very easy to use! (To give AC credit, their website is also good! But WS just allows me to reserve an exit row seat even though I have to pay.)

Westjet has a very simplified check-in process at both Vancouver and Calgary! You get your boarding passes from the kiosk and then follow the line to drop off your bag. The agent scans your boarding pass, asked you to place your bag on the baggage scale, and then attached the baggage label to your bag and then you drop it off at one of the two drop off belts. Very simple and efficient! All the agents are patient and as they advertise, there are plenty of smiles. Most passengers are also very polite and reasonable too. That made everyone happy! The whole check-in and even boarding process are so civilized and stress-free.

Boarding for both flights were on time and the boarding agents were all friendly and efficient. Boarding procedures are strictly enforced and they first boarded exit row passengers, and passengers with special needs. Then the aft cabin, followed by front cabin! The agent will enforce the rule, which is good and make boarding smoother! Westjet had a short turnaround time and both flights went out on time. For my last couple domestic US flights on AA and AS, it was obvious that the “check-in baggage” fee had created more problems with hand luggage stowage and on my last two AS flights, the F/As had to be proactive in being the hand carries police and had to end up checking last minute bags. On AA, things are less supervised and boarding ended up taking more than 30 minutes. I wonder if the additional time spend on ground ended up costing the airlines more money or not! But on Westjet, you still get two free check-in bags and most passengers are more willing to carry less on board, which result in a very efficient boarding process. I think the same applies to Southwest, which also is very good in delivering your bag to the claim too, and more passengers are willing to check in bags, which result in a very short boarding time.

In-flight Service:
Flight attendants are professional, nice and polite. There are greetings at the door, instead of F/As busy at the galley or ignoring you. With Canadian’s “One F/A for 40 pax” policy, there are four F/As on each of my Boeing 737-700 flight, and the service went smoother and more efficient. Beverages were offered (beer and cocktails for sale) and there is a free bag of Bits and Bites snack mix(which I like) or a cookie (Lifestyle’s Blueberry with Flax) offered. More substantial snacks are available for sale on longer flights, but you always get a free bag of snack mix. So which is better than AC, which offers no free snack.

Direct TV was offered on most flights, and my outbound flight had non, but return flight had one. It was quite nice and headsets were available for $3 CAD (I think), if you don’t have yours. It got the usual array of Canadian and some US TV channels. Reception is good and I have no complaint here. But unlike Jetblue and Delta, the Canadians do not allow headsets to be on during takeoff and landing. So TV was switched on during boarding (and off after demo), and then switched on after takeoff, and switched off as the pilot signaled the F/As final preparation to landing.

In general, I am very impressed with Westjet. The whole operation seems to run smoother than Air Canada, and everything aims to be simple and straightforward for both employees and passengers. No one is expecting anything fancy, but gets a realistic and good product. Bags are delivered within reasonable time to baggage claim and no one needs to stress over baggage fee and trying to carry too much thing on board. I like the Direct TV and the only thing that I miss is of course lounge access, but both Vancouver Airport and Calgary Airport have reasonable facilities to spend time. Both have nice food courts. There are plenty of smiles going around and employees are friendly! I won’t hesitate to book Westjet in the future! Air Canada is definitely not the only option and I actually prefer Westjet as I can prebook the exit row now!

Thanks for reading,
Carfield is offline  
Old Sep 8, 09, 6:39 pm
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TV offered by WestJet is actually Expressview, operated by Bell Canada, not DishTV. It is illegal in Canada to receive packaged US satellite services as content copyrights are held by Canadian broadcasters and specialty networks. However, you will still find a full diet of American specialty networks, as well as ABC, CBS and NBC affiliates, plus our own broadcast and specialty netrorks.
Shareholder is offline  
Old Sep 8, 09, 9:43 pm
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 101
Thanks for the report---I would like to try Westjet one day.
Teacherflyer is offline  
Old Sep 8, 09, 11:19 pm
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: TSV, Australia
Posts: 2,373
Thanks for the report Carfield.

Westjet sounds like a decent LCC style airline. Maybe like Virgin Blue style.
camsean is offline  
Old Sep 12, 09, 3:15 am
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 169
Nice report and information!

Thanks for writing,
debonairy is offline  
Old Sep 12, 09, 4:07 am
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: YWG
Programs: AC
Posts: 224
The WJ cabin crew are a friendly and funny bunch. I flew with them one time last year YWG-YYZ and while the FA was explaining the safety procedures, they cracked a couples jokes in it. It was during the part when they were explaining that aisle runaway will light up in case of an emergency or WestJet Fashion Show.
chatmax is offline  

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