My First WestJet Flight – In-Flight Singing & Flirting for Free Baggage

Last Sunday marked my first WestJet flight, I flew on one of their 737-600 jets from LaGuardia (LGA) to Toronto (YYZ). Of course, Air Canada, American, Delta, and United (from EWR) all provide service on the route as well. I went with WestJet as it was the cheapest option, was from LGA (most convenient for me), I had never flow them before and wanted to try the “JetBlue of Canada”, and I would be earning AA miles (even though it was a DL codeshare flight).

WestJet departs from Terminal C at LGA (the old US Airways terminal) which Delta has done a really good job of updating. There’s still a lot of work to do and  active construction going on, but here are some of the improvements so far…

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Beirgarten, gourmet food stations, and Artichoke pizza!

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WestJet provides one free checked bag up to 50 lbs, but embarrassingly my bag was 68.9 lbs (I’m away for business and leisure for 3 weeks in multiple climates and countries including summer, fall, and winter temperatures). I also have no status with WestJet, and DL and AA status does not help in terms of baggage excess. Luckily, the WestJet counter was completely empty of other people besides the two WestJet workers. They were smiling at me for a while after informing me the bag was overweight. After some conversation between them, they asked whether I was single. I of course knew the right answer to that question! Question 2 – Where do you live? Question 3 – When will you be back in New York?  After answering all questions satisfactorily, I was told that the excess baggage fees were being waived and they expected to see me back at LGA soon! The agents were even at the gate to wave me off  😉

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OK, on to boarding. There were no groups, but boarding was orderly and quick. You have to pay a fee to select your seat in advance, but it becomes free 24 hours out. As such, I selected my seat at the 24 hour mark and had one closest to the front without paying additional fees for Plus seating

Boarding…

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…and again 2 weeks later

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All seats on the 737 are leather and have seatback monitors. They provide satellite TV as you approach the Canadian border and complimentary pay-per-view (new release) movies prior to that.

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On the short 1+ hour flight, we were provided drink service and a snack.

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As we approached Canada, the satellite TV was enabled and you could choose from Sunday Night Football or the Emmy Awards…

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The flight attendants were extremely friendly, clearly enjoy their jobs, and were always smiling. The coolest part of the flight, a goodbye WestJet song performance by one of the flight attendants (who announced she wants to be a singer and would we mind if she sung us off)…

We are exceptional, some of us are single, and if you marry me you can fly for free…here at WestJet,  WestJet the airline, if great fares and laughter is what you’re after, fly with WestJet …

 

500 miles posted to AA only 24 hours later

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Comments

  1. I flew the reverse one time, service was nice, and even though we experienced some major delays before the flight and even after boarding, the crew went out of their way to service the passengers. We got a few rounds of drink service on the ground, and then in the air they gave us free alcoholic beverages

  2. WestJet does partner with BA for codeshare purposes and interlining, but not yet for FF purposes as it does with AA (albeit not for status miles or elite benefits). The company’s strategy has been to become a feeder from smaller Canadian cities to gateways for CX, AF and BA, and on a continental basis with AA and DL. It has been introducing its quasi-premium seats (Plus) because these intercontinental carriers have demanded a “business class” seat for their premium feeder customers. These seats are sold at a small premium either ahead of time (at booking or OLCI) or at check-in, and will be part of WestJet’s assault on Canadian corporate accounts against AC. Like JetBlue, the airline’s strategy has been to build a national route structure flying an economy-only experience with a single aircraft type fleet (variations of the 737). It has just begun a regional airline within an airline, flying Q400s to smaller Canadian cities. Transborder flights to key US cities have been added over the years, along with vacation destinations in Hawaii, Mexico and the Caribbean.

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