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.
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).
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.
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
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.
- View upcoming trips
- View flight status
- Reference travel info
- Book a trip
- 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.
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”.
We’re sorry to hear you’ve been delayed. What flight are you on?
— WestJet (@WestJet) June 10, 2017
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.
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.
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.
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?
Danielle is a travel finance strategist, author, speaker and podcaster. She paid off $63,000 of student loan debt in 4 years, bought a house at 27 and has traveled to 26 countries. She refuses to let her financial responsibilities hold her back from living life on her own terms.