EconoFlex to the US

Old Mar 23, 19, 9:15 am
  #1  
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EconoFlex to the US

I got caught out a couple of weeks ago by EconoFlex when flying to the US. My schedule has been changeable for the last couple of months so I started booking EconoFlex for, well, flexibility. I didn't read read the page on it at WestJet's site so this is my fault.

https://www.westjet.com/en-ca/travel...-fares/options

I a nutshell, the "Flex" part doesn't apply to US or International flights, only domestic. So when I went to change my flight I was dinged with a heavy change fee.

With EconoFlex you get:
  1. WestJet Rewards earn
  2. Flight changes or cancellations (exclamation point at site when booking, but no links to anything)
  3. Standard seat selection
  4. 1 Checked bag
As a Platinum flyer I already receive seat selection and checked bags, and everyone gets rewards earn with Econo bookings. I might get upgraded to Premium but I have found those have been less and less lately, even when there are open seats in Premium when I fly. Looking at example fares from their site for the same route: Econo is $319, EconoFlex is $410, and Premium is $450. There is no reason for frequent flyers to book EconoFlex, it literally shouldn't be offered. Pick Econo if you're trying to save money, otherwise choose Premium. You may pay somewhat less for changes ($100 with EconoFlex) but it really isn't worth it. It's basically an overpriced insurance policy.

Overall, shame on me for not reading the details but I've been suckered into paying $100's extra for Flex fares when they were useless. Be smarter than me and avoid them if you're flying to outside of Canada.

Last edited by jkordyback; Mar 23, 19 at 10:20 am
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Old Mar 23, 19, 11:03 am
  #2  
 
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$25 or $100 is not really a "heavy" fee for an airline (or anything other than something that costs less than $25 or $100 as the case may be). If the fare difference is $91 and the fee is only $25 over 60 days out it still saves you $65 over non flex. I assume the premium fare ($450) quoted is non flex? Or can you get premium flex on this route for only $40 more than econo flex? In which case who would pay $40 less for that much less service?

The shame in this is the horrible way they lay out that page instead of a simple matrix for the change types and the type of fare. It must be 10 pages long and for no reason.
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Old Mar 23, 19, 6:32 pm
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Agree the EconoFlex is largely useless for US flights. Handy for domestic though.
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Old Mar 23, 19, 7:19 pm
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Originally Posted by YXUFlyboy View Post
Agree the EconoFlex is largely useless for US flights. Handy for domestic though.
​​​​​​

Fully agree.
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Old Mar 23, 19, 7:27 pm
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Originally Posted by ricktoronto View Post
$25 or $100 is not really a "heavy" fee for an airline (or anything other than something that costs less than $25 or $100 as the case may be). If the fare difference is $91 and the fee is only $25 over 60 days out it still saves you $65 over non flex. I assume the premium fare ($450) quoted is non flex? Or can you get premium flex on this route for only $40 more than econo flex? In which case who would pay $40 less for that much less service?

The shame in this is the horrible way they lay out that page instead of a simple matrix for the change types and the type of fare. It must be 10 pages long and for no reason.
To change the flight to earlier in the day cost $153 by the time we were finished. It caught me out honestly, but I hope someone else reading doesn’t make the same mistake.

I do agree that the layout is nuts. ;-)
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Old Mar 24, 19, 11:42 pm
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Hmm, last year on a standard economy fare flight from LGA-YYZ, I got to the airport earlier. Not only did they put me on an earlier flight, they put me in Plus! At no charge! As a gold customer. Really strange the changes we have seen so far this year. Not sure the flex fare is worth the extra $$$!
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Old Mar 25, 19, 1:03 pm
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I have been denied upgrade on 4 trips over last month to Premium even when there were plenty of empty seats at departure. I was told to pay for it if I wanted the seat even though I have already paid for it by buying the EconoFlex fare. The supposed benefit of upgrade has become a lottery with WJ holding all the cards.
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Old Mar 25, 19, 1:19 pm
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Originally Posted by Sunny Day View Post
I have been denied upgrade on 4 trips over last month to Premium even when there were plenty of empty seats at departure. I was told to pay for it if I wanted the seat even though I have already paid for it by buying the EconoFlex fare. The supposed benefit of upgrade has become a lottery with WJ holding all the cards.
How did you already pay for Premium by buying a non-premium Y fare?
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Old Mar 25, 19, 9:55 pm
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Originally Posted by Sunny Day View Post
I have been denied upgrade on 4 trips over last month to Premium even when there were plenty of empty seats at departure. I was told to pay for it if I wanted the seat even though I have already paid for it by buying the EconoFlex fare. The supposed benefit of upgrade has become a lottery with WJ holding all the cards.
Perhaps they should rename the "EconoFlex" Fare to/from the USA to "EconoNotSoFlex" fare!

Which is rather odd because on a flight from DEN-YYC this past January I was on a EconoFlex fare and got automagically upgraded to Plus at T-30 hours! But I had to call the platinum line to get myself upgraded for the YYC-DEN segment a few days prior after explaining the absurdity of paying extra for an EconoFlex fare when I could have booked the Economy fare and paid the same amount of $$$ to upgrade at T-48. Is there something "sacred" about the flights to/from USA?
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Old Mar 26, 19, 10:47 am
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I didn't know you can call the Plat/Gold line to get upgraded. That is good to know if this happens next time. I only asked at the airport at the gate.
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Old Mar 26, 19, 6:57 pm
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Originally Posted by Sunny Day View Post
I didn't know you can call the Plat/Gold line to get upgraded. That is good to know if this happens next time. I only asked at the airport at the gate.
Yes, it's a great benefit, you can call between T-48 and T-24 to secure your upgrade before the regular public has access to the plus seats. But it would be really nice if the automatic upgrades would be more consistent.
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