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Mini Trip Report: WestJet 787-9, Transcontinental Business Class (YYZ-YYC)

Mini Trip Report: WestJet 787-9, Transcontinental Business Class (YYZ-YYC)

Old Feb 20, 19, 6:06 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Aug 2014
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Programs: BA Gold
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Mini Trip Report: WestJet 787-9, Transcontinental Business Class (YYZ-YYC)

Flight Number: WS655
Date: February 20, 2019
Seat: 1A

I thought I would share my experience on WestJet's inaugural commercial flight for the 787. I didn't have time to take many pictures, but I'm sure there will be a flood of photos in the coming days.

Check-in:
I checked in via the app and was hand baggage only so I didn't interact with any people or machines.

Lounge:
It was still unclear to me whether a business class ticket on a domestic flight included lounge access. I didn't get to find out, anyway, due to a delay on the Union Pearson Express causing me to be later on arrival than I would have preferred.

Gate / Boarding:
There were a number of cheerful WestJet employees surrounding the gate area, C35, when I arrived 1 hour before scheduled departure, and boarding had already commenced some time ago; there were hardly any pax lingering in the waiting area. However, there was a special area cordoned off for premium and status pax at the gate, with complimentary refreshments and snacks on offer. There was a scale model of the plane, C-GUDH on the counter. Upon entering the hallway to the bridge, there were more WestJet employees offering cupcakes to all passengers.

Gate C35

On-board cabin seat, service, and cabin:
I was seated in 1A, a Super Diamond seat. I didn't find anything physically different about this window seat compared to other airlines' Super Diamond pods, except for the fact that it had been sat in only a handful of times previous to myself. The colour scheme is quite pleasant. The inboard seat pairs have a movable divider making them very suitable for couples and individual travelers alike. At my seat, there was a reasonably thick blanket (maybe even a duvet, I didn't open it), a pillow, noise cancelling headphones, and a bottle of water. No amenity kit was provided on this flight.


Intimate business class cabin


Super Diamond in WestJet colours

At my seat, the FA greeted me by name and offered to show me the features of the Super Diamond seat pod. Not that I needed it, but I welcomed it. This is a first for me. I don't think I've ever had a CC member offer to show me how this stuff works, which in some cases could be quite helpful (like not too long ago when I was fumbling around for what seemed like hours trying to find the headphone jack on an AA 77W while my daughter was impatiently waiting for cartoons...). I also partook of a visit to the flight deck before departure, where the WestJet captain and the Boeing First Officer were very enthusiastic to speak about the aircraft and the overall experience.


Welcome aboard!

WestJet now has a safety video. I personally think that safety videos aren't far behind the cabin crew in introducing people to the flavour and feel of an airline. I think it's perfect for WestJet's target market (or what I think is their target market). I understand this video will be available on YouTube shortly.


One of the stars of the new safety video

I selected the omelette for breakfast, which came with a croissant, yogurt, granola, and a berry bowl. It was all actually quite tasty. I think I received the first WestJet business class meal ever as a revenue customer! Breakfast was served 1 hour after takeoff, which I think is a bit long, but this is the first time they were doing it, so I do not fault them at all. The table was cleared nearly immediately after I finished eating, with a smile.


Breakfast - Omelette

The IFE system seemed to be reasonably extensive and high quality, but I didn't poke around too much as I generally only watch 1 movie per long haul flight and bring my own entertainment for the rest. I'm unsure of the brand of the supplied noise cancelling headphones, but they were as sufficient as any other headphones I've tried in other airlines' J cabins. A snack basket came around mid-flight, which had the same contents as the Plus snack basket on 737s. It is my impression overall that on this flight, Business Class and Premium Economy had the same inflight food and beverage selection.


Interactive map

I thought it was a nice touch that the lavatory products were from Rocky Mountain Soap, a Canmore based company.


Business Class lavatory stocked with Rocky Mountain Soap products

I received this scale model of C-GUDH from WestJet's social media team onboard. I love it!


A wonderful souvenir from WestJet's social media team

Waiting for us in Calgary was another large crew of excited WestJet personnel. The CEO, Ed Sims, was waiting inside the terminal building personally thanking all of the passengers as they exited the bridge. I could see another display of cakes (?) in the shape of the numbers 7-8-7 and more refreshements beside the gate, but unfortunately at this point I needed to skedaddle back to work.

In summary, I think that if WestJet keeps up these small touches they will be noticed and they will make passengers very happy with the inflight experience. There were a few minor things that I'd provide for areas of improvement, but they are so minor that I won't mention them here but rather provide them on a survey if I get one...The enthusiasm, courtesy, and professionalism of the crew was second to none. Did I feel like a valuable customer on this flight? Yes!
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Old Feb 20, 19, 6:10 pm
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Thanks for posting!! How was the soft product in the front? More polished?
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Old Feb 20, 19, 6:18 pm
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Join Date: Nov 2014
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Thanks for posting this. Ive been eagerly awaiting the first TR all day!
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Old Feb 20, 19, 7:58 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by YXUFlyboy View Post
Thanks for posting!! How was the soft product in the front? More polished?
There were a few nervous moments as I could tell they were trying to get everything perfect on the first try, but overall very polished and professional. No different than I have experienced on other carriers in long haul business class. As I mentioned in the report, I was addressed by "Mr..." on each service, and I did feel like a valued customer right through my journey. The excitement and enthusiasm of the crew was evident at all times. That isn't always the case. Sometimes I feel like a piece of luggage that gets a comfortable place to sit/sleep if travelling in J.
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Old Feb 20, 19, 11:56 pm
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Originally Posted by YYCCL3 View Post
....
I selected the omelette for breakfast, which came with a croissant, yogurt, granola, and a berry bowl. It was all actually quite tasty. I think I received the first WestJet business class meal ever as a revenue customer! Breakfast was served 1 hour after takeoff, which I think is a bit long, but this is the first time they were doing it, so I do not fault them at all. The table was cleared nearly immediately after I finished eating, with a smile.


Breakfast - Omelette

!
Critical question that everyone want to know. The omelet on AC is a staple, it has been perfected over the decades and has been unchanged for years. Yes the odd time someone tries to make it more healthy for a time buy adding some vegetable to the platter but over time they recognize the errors in their ways and go back to the authentic Canadian business class omelet.

How does the WS omelet compare?

The WS potatoes look more refined, the AC ones more restic.

It appears to have mushrooms instead of that red salsa thing that comes with AC omelets? Interesting.

The other thing that looks odd, is no turkey sausage.

The yogurt also looks to be served on china. A step up in presentation from AC that uses a single serve pre-packaged container.

This is looking promising. WS has developed a reputation for not understanding how to do a meal service. This completely blows that reputation out of the water.
Fiordland is offline  
Old Feb 21, 19, 4:36 am
  #6  
 
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A few additions! I was in 2A on 655 and then flew back in 2D on 670.

I had the other breakfast option - the chocolate banana bread french toast. The yogurt was served in china and came with some granola. This was all served on one tray and it looked like premium for the same or very similar meal service. International flights will feature the plated restaurant style service as well as the amenity kits.



Meal options on the way back - I had the ginger beef.






In terms of a couple other impressions...
- I found the window seats had more foot room than the middle ones
- It also felt like both seats on Westjet had more foot room and more side-sleep legroom below the tray table than AC
- The blanket was thick and warm - not a duvet, but a lined fleece blanket
- The pillow was also really nice - very plush and good amount of support.
- Crew was very professional and seemed thrilled to show off the new product
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Old Feb 21, 19, 6:49 am
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That's an awesome report! Thanks so much for posting that.
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Old Feb 21, 19, 8:19 am
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Thanks for sharing your experience, Hoping to read a review on the premium cabin from someone soon,.... cause that is my price range
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Old Feb 21, 19, 8:51 am
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Fiordland View Post
Critical question that everyone want to know. The omelet on AC is a staple, it has been perfected over the decades and has been unchanged for years. Yes the odd time someone tries to make it more healthy for a time buy adding some vegetable to the platter but over time they recognize the errors in their ways and go back to the authentic Canadian business class omelet.

How does the WS omelet compare?

The WS potatoes look more refined, the AC ones more restic.

It appears to have mushrooms instead of that red salsa thing that comes with AC omelets? Interesting.

The other thing that looks odd, is no turkey sausage.

The yogurt also looks to be served on china. A step up in presentation from AC that uses a single serve pre-packaged container.

This is looking promising. WS has developed a reputation for not understanding how to do a meal service. This completely blows that reputation out of the water.
Here is a copy of the breakfast menu. The omelet was significantly more appetizing then the old standby AC omelet. I mean, it's still airplane food, but it tasted pretty good. It's the first time in a while that I ate literally everything on my plate on a plane (that wasn't a dessert).



@anorg90: Nice to have flown with you! Too bad we didn't know earlier that we were both FT'ers :-)
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Old Feb 21, 19, 10:46 am
  #10  
 
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Originally Posted by YYCCL3 View Post
The omelet was significantly more appetizing then the old standby AC omelet.
Thanks for posting the trip report!

Very impressive!

Though I am one of the lovers of the oh-so-old AC omelet.....Still look for that thing all the time

I have never flown WJ, but this could sway me!!
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Old Feb 21, 19, 12:39 pm
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Originally Posted by YYCCL3 View Post
Here is a copy of the breakfast menu. The omelet was significantly more appetizing then the old standby AC omelet. I mean, it's still airplane food, but it tasted pretty good. It's the first time in a while that I ate literally everything on my plate on a plane (that wasn't a dessert).



@anorg90: Nice to have flown with you! Too bad we didn't know earlier that we were both FT'ers :-)
Yes, that does sound good. Clearly WS is figuring out how to executive the business class experience. Very well done.
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Old Feb 21, 19, 1:51 pm
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I know they still have the snack basket but just the one dessert option for dinner is kind of weak. Do they have cookies? I wish they had some real cookies onboard.
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Old Feb 21, 19, 5:17 pm
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Is there any prospect of the 787 operating WS 656 or 676? I would like to give this a shot but I can't take an impractical mid-day flight just to try a new plane.
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Old Feb 21, 19, 8:47 pm
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Originally Posted by Error 601 View Post
Is there any prospect of the 787 operating WS 656 or 676? I would like to give this a shot but I can't take an impractical mid-day flight just to try a new plane.
With Tail 902 delivered and going into service in the near future, one has to wonder what it will be doing. Maybe you will get your wish!
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Old Feb 21, 19, 10:09 pm
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Originally Posted by YYCguy View Post


With Tail 902 delivered and going into service in the near future, one has to wonder what it will be doing. Maybe you will get your wish!
I think it is silly and a waste to have two 787 that serve good looking omelets both doing YYC-YYZ when YVR-YYZ is being under served omelets and Nanaimo bars.

It is also well understood that 787 aircraft like heading to Vancouver as frequently as they can. It above -30 C. What can one say.
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