Westjet future B787 flights to LHR over LGW

Old Apr 13, 19, 7:00 pm
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Westjet future B787 flights to LHR over LGW

Seeing as how Westjet is trying to go head-to-head with AC in providing TATL service with a proper business class product, I wonder if they will end up flying to LHR? It seems that they are attempting a complete rebranding, and moving away from the original low-cost concept that brought them so much success. I don't really see how they can continue to improve while still flying into Gatwick (yuck) over Heathrow.

Perhaps a lack of available slots at Heathrow is the most obvious answer, but I would still like to see Westjet pursue this a little more in the future. They are definitely improving now, but it is essential that they begin to move away from these low-cost airports if they are going to continue this trend!
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Old Apr 13, 19, 7:23 pm
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Several reasons I think it is unlikely WestJet will move from LGW to LHR:

- Even if WestJet could get slots at Heathrow, the going rate for a slot-pair is about CAD$50m going by the selling price over the past 10 years, so CAD$200m for the current slot needs, this would increase ticket prices by about $80 just to amortise this cost over 10 years based on annual volume of 250,000 passengers each way.
- If LHR slots are not used continually (typically 80% over 6 months), they can be lost, this greatly complicates trying to have only seasonal service.
- They have no alliance hubs at LHR at the moment, so feed is not the greatest.
- For those whose destination is London, the rail and tube ride to the City (Canary Wharf area) is actually about 5 mins faster from LGW than LHR.
- They don't have to exactly follow the business model of other airlines and only have half the business class seat capacity in the 787s as other airlines anyway.
- Other than business travellers, more people seem to dislike LHR more than LGW.
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Old Apr 13, 19, 8:37 pm
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As a business traveller, I avoid LHR at all costs. Honestly, I hope they stay at LGW. The train in is painless.
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Old Apr 13, 19, 9:04 pm
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The fact that WS don't fly into LHR is a selling feature to many people. LHR is the seventh circle of hell.
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Old Apr 13, 19, 11:25 pm
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Originally Posted by codfather View Post
Seeing as how Westjet is trying to go head-to-head with AC in providing TATL service with a proper business class product, I wonder if they will end up flying to LHR? It seems that they are attempting a complete rebranding, and moving away from the original low-cost concept that brought them so much success. I don't really see how they can continue to improve while still flying into Gatwick (yuck) over Heathrow.

Perhaps a lack of available slots at Heathrow is the most obvious answer, but I would still like to see Westjet pursue this a little more in the future. They are definitely improving now, but it is essential that they begin to move away from these low-cost airports if they are going to continue this trend!
I don't see how flying into LHR would benefit them over LGW. As a Brit and ex Londoner now based in YYC, I, like many others prefer LGW over LHR. For tourists heading to Central London, Gatwick although further, is actually easier to get to. Direct train service to St Pancras (for Eurostar to Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam etc), London Bridge and Victoria are massive draws. Not to mention the on site car hire at LGW, which for me is the reason I fly WS. If you fly into LHR you have to wait for the shuttle, then its a 10 to 15 minute journey to the car hire office. At Gatwick you jump on the monorail and a 2 minute walk and you're there. I know, Gatwick is a bit grimey in places but I would choose it every time over Heathrow. If you're reading this Westjet , don't you dare move!
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Old Apr 14, 19, 12:46 am
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Since it seems utterly implausible that WestJet would align with oneworld and wish to shack up with British Airways I just can't see any reason they would to move to LHR in the first place. Although it was disheartening to see the US airlines stampede out of Gatwick as soon as they were able so I guess anything is possible, it would disappoint me.
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Old Apr 14, 19, 12:54 am
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Originally Posted by aerobod View Post
- Other than business travellers, more people seem to dislike LHR more than LGW.
I don't think I have met a business traveller who likes LHR for any reason other than their preferred lounge. While most of the complaints I head about LGW from British people are trivial to ridiculous.
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Old Apr 14, 19, 2:24 am
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Originally Posted by Error 601 View Post
I don't think I have met a business traveller who likes LHR for any reason other than their preferred lounge. While most of the complaints I head about LGW from British people are trivial to ridiculous.
There are reasons why LHR would be preferred to over LGW, particularly if you fly *A airlines like AC and have elite status:
  1. The terminal is brand new
  2. Access to 4 *A lounges at the airport (AC,UA,SQ,LH) whilst flying in Y some of which are miles ahead of the Number 1 and similar lounges found at LGW
  3. Access to fast-track security whilst flying in Y
  4. Speedy immigration starting this Summer when Border Force opens the eGates to Canucks, Yankees, Ozzies and Kiwis
  5. Complimentary upgrade to First Class on Heathrow Express
  6. Cheap travel from central London to Heathrow on the Jubilee line.
That being said, for an airline like WS, I don't really see the point in them making the switch. The slots they need to have to land in to LHR will no doubt be expensive to purchase and besides point 4 and 6 there really are no benefits for the typical WS business traveller. Much better for them to invest in lounges and on-the-ground facilities that have been sorely lacking from their network for decades. One of the reasons I chose *A over the likes of WS and OALs is the fact I'll get business lounge access whilst travelling in any class. Being able to print out documents before a meeting or take a shower whilst connecting on a long haul journey are way more important than specifically the airport I'm taking off from.

Safe Travels,

James
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Old Apr 14, 19, 8:11 am
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Originally Posted by j2simpso View Post
There are reasons why LHR would be preferred to over LGW, particularly if you fly *A airlines like AC and have elite status:
  1. The terminal is brand new
  2. Access to 4 *A lounges at the airport (AC,UA,SQ,LH) whilst flying in Y some of which are miles ahead of the Number 1 and similar lounges found at LGW
  3. Access to fast-track security whilst flying in Y
  4. Speedy immigration starting this Summer when Border Force opens the eGates to Canucks, Yankees, Ozzies and Kiwis
  5. Complimentary upgrade to First Class on Heathrow Express
  6. Cheap travel from central London to Heathrow on the Jubilee line.
That being said, for an airline like WS, I don't really see the point in them making the switch. The slots they need to have to land in to LHR will no doubt be expensive to purchase and besides point 4 and 6 there really are no benefits for the typical WS business traveller. Much better for them to invest in lounges and on-the-ground facilities that have been sorely lacking from their network for decades. One of the reasons I chose *A over the likes of WS and OALs is the fact I'll get business lounge access whilst travelling in any class. Being able to print out documents before a meeting or take a shower whilst connecting on a long haul journey are way more important than specifically the airport I'm taking off from.

Safe Travels,

James
Heading into the UK, Heathrows has little benefit. Connecting beyond, on both AC and WS there are better options, Frankfurt and Paris to be specific.
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Old Apr 14, 19, 9:03 am
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Originally Posted by Fiordland View Post
Connecting beyond, on both AC and WS there are better options, Frankfurt and Paris to be specific.
Respectfully disagree. FRA is an absolute mess of an airport for connections with plenty of unmarked difficult to get to places needed to make connections. Every time I've connected through FRA I've either gotten lost, went down a dodgy corridor only to be questioned by the German Federal police or accidentally clear immigration. From what I hear Paris is no better with flights scattered throughout its various terminals.

That being said, yes there are other airports in London that are easier to get to and less of a hassle for kettles. I'll be flying into LuCY next week from ZRH and look forward to seeing how smooth the experience is there as I have a connecting train at KGX.

The one thing LHR has going for it is the fact that all *A partners are housed in the same darn terminal with domestic flights (read EU) being grouped in one area and international flights grouped somewhere else.

-James
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Old Apr 14, 19, 10:17 am
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WS will not moving to to LHR. There are plenty of airlines (AC and BA) that fly into LHR from almost all major Canadian airports if you want to go there.
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Old Apr 14, 19, 11:09 am
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Sorry James, I can't agree on your points supporting LHR.

1. The terminal is brand new
Nice, but not nearly enough of a reason to make me put up with everything else involved with routing through LHR.

2. Access to 4 *A lounges at the airport (AC,UA,SQ,LH) whilst flying in Y some of which are miles ahead of the Number 1 and similar lounges found at LGW
Couldn't care less since (1) *A network is of little interest to me (and I would venture, many other WS pax), and (2) London is inevitably a destination and not a connection, so I'm in and out of the airport as quickly as possible. Personally speaking, I try to avoid spending any more time in airports than absolutely necessary. Unless you're forced to wait out a longer connection, hanging out at the lounge seems a terrible waste of time.

3. Access to fast-track security whilst flying in Y
Never had an issue getting through either security or customs at LGW. Not even once.

4. Speedy immigration starting this Summer when Border Force opens the eGates to Canucks, Yankees, Ozzies and Kiwis
See above. Never been an issue at LGW.

5. Complimentary upgrade to First Class on Heathrow Express
Fine, if you need to go to Paddington. Victoria is far more convenient for me, so it's Gatwick Express every time. Downtown in 25 minutes.

6. Cheap travel from central London to Heathrow on the Jubilee line.
See above.

Hey man, to each their own. There are plenty of existing options to LHR. I appreciate being able to avoid all of that. Westjet ... please .... don't even think of changing!
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Old Apr 14, 19, 11:46 am
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[QUOTE=Symmetre;30999148]

6. Cheap travel from central London to Heathrow on the Jubilee Piccadilly line.
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Old Apr 14, 19, 11:50 am
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Originally Posted by Symmetre View Post
As a business traveller, I avoid LHR at all costs. Honestly, I hope they stay at LGW. The train in is painless.
Not me, I avoid LGW at all costs. LGW is basically London B class airport. Just As Westjet avoids YYZ at the start, they will end up in LHR.
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Old Apr 14, 19, 12:07 pm
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Originally Posted by 5mm View Post
Not me, I avoid LGW at all costs. LGW is basically London B class airport. Just As Westjet avoids YYZ at the start, they will end up in LHR.
You, like James, are not going to be flying WestJet anyway even if they fly into LHR ;-)
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