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West Jet

Hi all,

We are planning a trip to the U.K. from Arizona in the spring and West Jet is offering by far the best prices. However, we are unfamiliar with this Canadian-based airline. Does anyone with actual experience have anything good, bad or ugly to say about West Jet? Their "unknownness" makes me leary, especially for international flights, but maybe they are great. Help!

Posted by
249 posts

I have used west jet with Canada and loved them. On domestic flights you o not get feed but not sure on international ones. They are making a big push to be an international carrier. Employees are owners so that may help with customer service.

Posted by
1259 posts

I'm not a big fan - that said, I would still use them if the fare is good.

I have flown West Jet a lot to and from several Canadian cities, and have had very positive experiences. I would not hesitate to use them.

Posted by
2297 posts

Here's another Canadian who's flown with Westjet quite frequently. Only positive experiences so far. My daughter prefers Westjet over Air Canada. We've only used Westjet for domestic flights to date.

Posted by
11271 posts

My one Westjet flight was from Calgary to Newark. It was unremarkable, which these days is good (no trouble = the best you can hope for on such a flight). I'd certainly take them again within North America; I know nothing of the overseas service.

Posted by
31303 posts

Westjet has been in business for quite a few years and have been very reliable (as much as any airline can these days). They're the second largest carrier in Canada next to Air Canada. For many years they operated only 737's on domestic routes in order to keep parts inventory and training consistent to one type of aircraft. However in recent years they've expanded somewhat by offering service on shorter domestic routes using Q-400's (under a separate brand, Westjet Encore). They've also recently (this year as I recall) purchased a number of 767-300's so they could compete on the international routes. I believe they currently fly to Dublin and Glasgow, but will add Gatwick next spring. In the winter they'll probably switch their long haul flights to service the sun destinations (Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Mexico, Cuba and Hawaii).

When they initially started service to Europe, they were flying Newfoundland to Dublin direct with 737's. I attended a travel event this spring and asked one of their Pilots about the long time over water in a 737, and his answer was "we're over water longer on the Hawaii runs so it's not a problem". Good, logical answer.

I haven't seen the specifics of their pricing model on international routes yet, but it could be similar to the "no frills" service of Air Canada Rouge, where every amenity is at extra cost (entertainment via iPads, no meals, etc.). I suspect the low prices that you're seeing now are a "loss leader" to promote their new international service, and they will eventually increase.

During my trip planning every year, I always look at a variety of carriers which includes Air Canada, Westjet and Air Transat, and I wouldn't have a problem travelling with any of them. However, I just about always find that Air Canada is the only one that has the flights and code share connections to get me where I want to go, at the time I want to go (that was again true this year). I did travel with a Westjet / KLM codeshare one year, and everything went well. This year my trip "over the pond" was Vancouver to London on Air Canada Premium Economy and they were among the most comfortable flights I've ever had (but not cheap).

In the same situation, I'd probably try the Westjet flights if saving money was high on the priority list, but at the same time realizing that they may have a few "bugs" to work out in getting their international service up and running, so there could be a few minor problems.

Posted by
1437 posts

Another positive vote for Westjet. I have flown them in Canada and the US. I have used them twice for long-haul flights to Hawaii as well.

Posted by
4 posts

Thanks very much for all the replies. I'm still a little nervous, but may give West Jet a try because of the cost difference between them and other airlines at this point. I have read, however, that you cannot get assigned seats on West Jet. Is this true? I am travelling with my children and do not want to take the chance of not being seated with them.

Posted by
1437 posts

Yes, you can pre-select your seats, either during the check-out process or after the purchase by going into the "manage my bookings" section. There is a fee, which varies according to the seat's location. The usual seating configuration is 3-3. Check out SeatGuru.