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Westjet Canada-Paris on 737 Max - UPDATE

Westjet's Canada-Paris has been on 737 Max's. As we all know, those have been grounded for over a year now. Does anyone have experience with:

  • what did Westjet do last year (when the 737 Max's were grounded)? Fly other aircraft? Or cancel the flights?
  • has Westjet announced what they are planning to do this year?

I'd like to book my tickets for Paris for July 2020, and want to use Westjet as we have points with them.

Posted by
8614 posts

You really should call westjet and ask what the plans are. If westjet cannot answer the question, then no one here has a snowball chance in 'you know where', of providing an answer

The latest news reports have me believing the plane will be flying by July. This is for US carriers.
What Canada and other countries will do about certification is unclear.

Posted by
27714 posts

Boing just announced today that they are ceasing production of the plane.

Posted by
221 posts

Because they have no place to park the completed planes. Boeing screwed up big time, but the plane will fly safely once all the politics are resolved.

Posted by
3199 posts

Don't count on the 737Max being back in service this summer. It might be, but it's far from certain. The announcement from Boeing that they are stopping production (that already was at a reduced rate) is not a good sign and might mean that they think it will take some time until it can return to service. I doubt it was just about running out of places to store the finished aircraft.

There are also rumours that FAA will not unground the Max until EASA and Transport Canada are happy with it as well. And both EASA and TC have stated that they will take a much closer look at the Max this time before certifying it.

Posted by
3932 posts

We didn't run into this with WestJet - but did with Air Canada - to London from Halifax we ended up being rerouted - either via Montreal, Ottawa (which is what I picked for the journey over) or TO.

Now - I will say - we had a couchsurfer who was supposed to fly WestJet from Halifax home to Paris over the summer. She wasn't even aware of the 737 grounding affecting her flight until we told her. She had booked via a 3rd party and received no notifications. (This was a week or less out from her returning home). So she was frantically contacting WJ and the 3rd party and finally got it resolved (I can't recall who resolved it) - but - she was rerouted via Montreal. Or she may have been rerouted even further west - out to Alberta or something. Point is - they were rerouting people to other airports - sucks for us on the east coast to have to fly west only to fly back east.

Posted by
2916 posts

the plane will fly safely once all the politics are resolved.

I don't think the issue is just politics. I think that safety is involved.

Posted by
2 posts

I have a friend who was booked to return on the non-stop Paris to Halifax with WestJet last summer. At some point they were notified they'd be flying Air France to Montreal and then on to Halifax.

Posted by
781 posts

UPDATE: Westjet proactively emailed us to make arrangements for alternates, as the 737 Max is now down until at least July. Westjet was amazing. They booked us through Toronto on Air France, on almost the same itinerary as we had before, and even changed our starting point from Halifax (where we would have flown from to get the direct flight) to Moncton (where we actually live and would prefer to fly out, since we can't get a direct flight now anyway).

Posted by
2311 posts

Good info Darren. I'm flying from Calgary to Glasgow via Halifax in June, both legs were supposed to be on the Max 8. I called WestJet last week after the latest announcement and I was told they'd get back to me as they're currently working on rescheduling. I'm glad to know Westjet is being proactive. Figured I'd given them another week and call again.

Posted by
327 posts

Allan, re your plans for this summer... Last summer, a friend was on the same WestJet routing in reverse and this "milk run" was totally exhausting with the layovers. On the outbound flight, she was on the B787 Dreamliner YYC to LGW. In hindsight, she wished she had booked her return from Glasgow to London, and then non-stop LGW-YYC on the Dreamliner.

If I were you, I would get on top of your flight arrangements with WestJet before they get back to you. (I say this from a recent WJ experience to and from Hawaii that was changed by them 3 times from my original booking - and not to my liking.) I realize that all airlines with 737 Max are dealing with scheduling issues, however, I would just avoid the problem by choosing another flight outright. Food for thought...

Edit: For those who missed the announcement on Jan. 21, 2020, WestJet has pulled the 737 Max from its schedules up to June 24, 2020.
Also, here are the WJ Dreamliner routes: https://www.westjet.com/en-ca/about-us/fleet/787-dreamliner

Posted by
2311 posts

Mardan, good idea. I've had a couple of Canadian flights altered in the past year and it's a pain in the butt. We almost didn't choose this flight anyway as we liked the KLM-Calgary to Amsterdam to Glasgow better, but I have a lot of WestJet dollars banked and the flight was half the price thanks to that. I was going to delay a week because a coworker who has a wife that works for WestJet says they're still sorting through the Maritime snowstorm and the havoc that created in rebooking flights.

Posted by
31471 posts

darren,

WestJet operates a few Boeing 767 and 787 aircraft on long haul routes, but it sounds like those planes are committed to other destinations. If it looks like the 737 Max is going to be "down" for awhile longer, I suspect they may buy or lease a few more of the larger planes. It's great to hear that they were able to reschedule your flights so well.

I normally use Air Canada for flights to Europe as it's usually the easiest solution from here due to their extensive Star Alliance partnerships. They can get me to just about anywhere in Europe in the shortest time possible.

Posted by
3185 posts

Mardan, not all airlines are dealing with Max 737 issues. Delta did not buy any, despite being chided by He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named for not buying planes from a US company.

Posted by
327 posts

cala, apologies, my comments were mentioned as a Canadian, as the OP referred to WestJet and another poster had commented on Air Canada. As far as I know, there are 13 WJ and 24 AC 737 Max aircraft parked on the ground. However, fortunately, there are other more convenient options to Europe from Canada that don't require a detour south to the USA first - in the case of Delta.

Posted by
3185 posts

Mardan, I can't believe you don't want to visit the Atlanta airport like the rest of us! You do know that when Southerners die (but fortunately not on a Max 737), we have to go to Atlanta on our way to heaven? But you can fly Delta out of Kennedy-I think Delta is the biggest carrier at that airport too. I didn't say it would be cheap, though.

Posted by
3932 posts

Allan - I was just looking at Halifax to Glasgow flights yesterday with WJ and it looks like they are flying a 737-700, not the Max 8...

Posted by
2311 posts

Thanks Nicole, I've been meaning to confirm with them. My reservation still says the max 8 so hopefully they've already gone to plan b and haven't told me yet. Now I have to hope they switch planes for my Calgary to Halifax leg.

Posted by
2311 posts

Update. As Nicole said, Halifax to Glasgow and back has been switched to the 737-700 and it appears Calgary to Halifax and back is now on the 737-800. I know this is the France page and not Scotland, but it appears anyone flying WestJet can be comforted that they are working on changes months in advance for all affected flights.

Posted by
3932 posts

No prob Allan - I sent them a message via Twitter as well and they confirmed for me. Glad you got it sorted. I'm actually going to use them now for our flights in May - was going to go to Scotland anyway, so now we don't have to be rerouted halfway across Canada with Air Canada only to fly back over our originating point to get to the UK - this will save us HOURS each way. :)