WestJet Review for International Flights Economy Class

Booking the cheapest airfare often means flying with carriers that I’m not always familiar with. So when WestJet offered the best deal for economy round-trip flights to Toronto, Canada ($195 USD), I thought why not! In the end, this cheap flight saved my summer Toronto budget. It was also a great opportunity to get to know this well-known Canadian airline. Second to Air Canada, WestJet is Canada’s second largest air carrier. WestJet services over 100 destinations worldwide in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe including my all-time favorites Bermuda and Barbados. In this WestJet review, I share my first impressions and experience flying WestJet “Econo”, the lowest fare.

Bermuda

WestJet is a low-cost airline offering cheap flights to the Caribbean and affordable domestic flights within Canada. Over the past two decades, WestJet has been instrumental in lowering airfare options for Canadians, making air travel more affordable and accessible.

WestJet also conveniently partners with American Airlines and Delta Air Lines. Through codesharing, you can earn AAdvantage miles (American Airlines frequent flyer miles) or SkyMiles (Delta Air Lines frequent flyer miles).

 

Related: How I Booked $75 Flights To Rome With Delta SkyMiles

 

WestJet Review: Flying Econo

Before we get into my flight experience, let’s start with WestJet’s online check-in.

The day before departure, WestJet emailed me information about my flight. This included baggage guidelines, optional services, and check-in cut-off times. Since I planned to only bring my CabinZero carry-on bag, I avoided the $25 CAD baggage fee.

Next, I followed the prompt to check-in online.

 

Online Check-In

WestJet’s online check-in is available 24 hours before departure. It was quick and easy. More importantly, I did not have to waste time at the airport. At the airport, I skipped the kiosk and went straight to the departure gate.

Since there was an earlier WestJet flight heading to Toronto, I could switch flights at no extra cost. I would have gone for it but unfortunately, I had to decline. I hope that I can take advantage of this offer next time.

 

Related: Virgin Atlantic Economy Review

 

WestJet App 

Before heading to the airport, I downloaded the WestJet app. The WestJet app is available on Android and iOS devices.

Within the app, I had access to my flight itinerary. I could see my flight duration, departure and arrival times. By enabling notifications, I also received flight updates. Although updates were supposed to be in “real-time”, when my flight to Toronto got delayed, the app did not update right away. It took over 30 minutes to show the change in status – there’s room for improvement here.

 

App Features:

  • View upcoming trips
  • View flight status
  • Check-in
  • Reference travel info
  • Book a trip
  • WestJet Connect

 

WestJet Connect

Within the app, WestJet Connect features an in-flight entertainment and connectivity system. It offers hundreds of free TV shows and movies. There are over 650 hours of free streaming content that you can stream on your phone, tablet or laptop. If you want to surf the web, an Internet pass is also available.

A 30-minute Internet pass costs $4.99 CAD.

If you didn’t get a chance to download the app before take-off, rent tablets onboard for $8.99 CAD.

 

Delays

Unfortunately, I have to report delays in this WestJet review.

My flight was delayed by over 50 minutes. This was extremely frustrating because we received little information about our expected departure time.

When I went over to the gate to ask for an explanation, the attendant suggested that I stick around since they were planning to announce the flight change soon.

Although we were supposed to arrive at Toronto Pearson International Airport at 9:30 p.m., we touched down at 11:00 p.m. My flight to Toronto from New York City was an hour long – just as long as the delay!

One thing I must say is that WestJet was responsive on Twitter. Within a few minutes, they responded to my tweet asking for more information. This made me feel like a valued “guest”.

 

 

Inflight Experience 

When we finally boarded the plane, the cabin crew welcomed me with a warm smile. The flight attendants were courteous, cheerful and had great chemistry amongst each other. Many spoke English as well as French.

The boarding process did not take much time.

WestJet’s Econo seats were comfortable. There was enough space between each seat and I did not feel cramped. Seats could recline (which is a big plus). I also charged my phone with the in-seat power.

In case you forget your charging cables, you can buy WestJet chargers on board. You can also buy earbuds.

One thing to note in this WestJet review, WestJet has put a lot of thought into the in-flight conveniences passengers need onboard.

 

WestJet Magazine

The WestJet Magazine is one of my favorite in-flight magazines. It’s a monthly Canadian travel lifestyle magazine that features inspiring and enriching travel stories about WestJet destinations including Canada, the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Europe.

The June 2017 issue was entertaining. The colorful and ethnic cover celebrated Canada’s aboriginal cultures. It piqued my curiosity and enticed me to read more.

I also loved that the cover said: “Keep Me”. This is the first in-flight magazine that I’ve seen where readers can keep the issue and take it home. That’s even if some of us keep airline magazines anyway.

The gorgeous photography and catchy headlines made flipping through the magazine a breeze.

During my one hour flight, I spent most of the time reading articles suggesting things to do and where to stay around the world.

Since I had plans to visit Hamilton, Bermuda again this summer, I looked forward to checking out Hamilton’s Front Street open-air festival on Wednesdays (through August). If I did not pick up the WestJet Magazine, I probably would not have found out about the masked Gombey troupes performing Afro-Caribbean dance steps on the promenade.

In this WestJet review, WestJet Magazine gets two thumbs up!

Check out the latest issue of WestJet Magazine or download the app.

 

Complimentary Amenities

Since my flight was short, meals were not provided, however, the complimentary beverages and snacks were a nice touch. This included water, wine, soft drinks, juice, coffee, and tea.

I ordered a glass of Canadian white wine.

 

Final Thoughts 

Despite the flight delays, I would fly with WestJet again. Their no-frills service was straightforward, especially for price sensitive travelers. By the way, during my second trip to Toronto in June 2018, I flew with WestJet again and had a very similar experience.

Back in April, WestJet announced that by the end of 2017, it plans to launch a new ultra-low-cost-carrier (ULCC). I’m looking forward to seeing what WestJet has in store next.

I’ll leave you with this fun WestJet fact.

Did you know that 85% of WestJetters, WestJet employees, own stock in the company? I love that WestJetters are so invested!

 

Have you flown with WestJet? What would you add to this WestJet review?

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18 replies
  1. Lauren says:

    I have flown Westjet many times and I’d do it again! I find that the flight attendants and staff are always really helpful and friendly. I enjoy their service. Sorry to hear your flight was delayed though!

    Reply
  2. Janna says:

    Ive never tried westjet before. I recently just came across it while I was looking for tickets from Las vegas to BC. Seems like a nice alternative to Air Canada. I seriously hate delays. The most I can tolerate is an hour. But sometimes its unavoidable.

    Reply
  3. wyldfamilytravel says:

    Looks like an amazing option for those living in the USA. I love a good inflight magazine especially when they great articles to help pass the time away. If we ever make it to where westjet fly i am sure we would be flying them

    Reply
  4. Sandy N Vyjay says:

    I like the fact that this is an honest and candid review. Can understand that in most of the cases flight delays are beyond the control of the airlines. However what differentiates the good from the mediocre is how they handle the situation. Nice to see the cabin crew going out of their way to make the passengers comfortable. I am sure they would be aware that delays are bound to leave the travelers hassled and a smile and cheerful disposition goes a long way in mitigating the stress.

    Reply
  5. Christopher says:

    Everything sounded wonderful until you got to the delay. Although I’m not sure it’s totally WestJet’s fault if the delay is in New York. I remember being delayed in New Jersey when we landed Newark. I think the airspace in New York is crazy busy. Either way a delay that is as long as the flight itself sucks. At least they responded on Twitter. I’m glad you enjoyed Toronto and I can’t wait for you to come back. I found a cool beer pub in Kensington Market for use to check out next!!!!

    Reply
  6. Paige Wunder says:

    I often take flights on airlines that I’ve never heard of for the sake of budgets. I’m flying on EVA airlines next week (they’re more well-known) but it’s a first for me and I’m intrigued to see how I like them. I hate that you experienced delays and more ham anything that updates were unclear.

    Reply
  7. Ozzy says:

    This has been by far one of the best airlines’ review till date. An honest & concise one. Thanks for the information. WestJet is also known for providing quite affordable airfares for connecting North America with Europe, specially during high/peak season.

    Reply
  8. Chantell says:

    Wow I think this is the first airline review that I have read and it was super interesting! It amazes me that some airplanes don’t have a place where you can plug in a cable to charge your phone (many European airlines) so it is great to know that they have this available. I also love that you could change to an earlier flight if you wanted. That is a huge bonus.

    Reply
  9. Megan Claire (@mappingmegan) says:

    I had no idea that WestJet was Canada’s second largest carrier – I’m always hearing incredible things about them on the news though, they run some really impressive marketing campaigns like when they gave whole flights of people presents for Christmas – pretty sure that was them! Awesome that they offer cheap flights to the Caribbean and it sounds like they have some great partners, I love that you can earn miles with both Delta and American. Sounds like a great airline, and hey, delays happen all the time, across every company / airport – sucks, but part of the deal of flying right! Hopefully they take your feedback on board for improving the real time updates of the app.

    Reply
  10. Traveling Well For Less says:

    Wow, what a fantastic deal. I’ve heard so many good things about WestJet but haven’t flown them yet. Selling phone chargers is a smart move. It’s good that WestJet reminds people they can take the inflight magazine. All the airlines let you but a reminder is a nice touch.

    Reply
  11. Eric Gamble says:

    Love that the workers are financially invested. Makes everyone hopefully want to provide more and get the word out of their great service. Because more flyers on West Jet = More Profits = Raise in their Stock Value!
    I have never used an app for a specific airline before, I love that. Cause usually they text me but that doesnt always work in a timely manner.

    Reply
  12. Claire ? (@clairesturz) says:

    Sometimes budget airlines really offer just as good a service as more expensive ones, that’s why I tend to fly budget whenever I can. The delays are irritating but that happens with other airlines too – for me the main difference is the staff so it’s great to hear they were nice!

    Reply

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