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WestJet Boeing 737 MAX 8 financial system flight evaluation: Is it price it?


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Fast take: WestJet financial system class is a no-frills passenger expertise that could possibly be price it for budget-minded vacationers — however provided that you get your tickets for the suitable worth.

Execs

  • A la carte meals and beverage choices have been fairly priced
  • Wi-Fi pace was first rate, and WestJet’s digital leisure had an awesome film choice
  • Environment friendly, if not overly heat, service

Cons

  • Cabin inside was soiled and had very worn seats
  • Drink cups have been very small and beverage service was restricted, so you could wish to deliver your individual water or drinks aboard
  • Just one attendant on the check-in desk for non-priority passengers led to the road transferring slowly
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Seeking to journey to Canada, eh?

Except for Air Canada, WestJet ought to be in your radar. As Canada’s second-largest airline, this provider presents a no-frills, low-cost buyer expertise. However whereas some could think about WestJet a “finances airline,” the provider’s facilities nonetheless surpass that of low-cost U.S. airways like Spirit and Frontier.

Since I desire nonstop, round-trip flight offers over cheaper, layover-filled itineraries, I discovered myself perusing WestJet’s web site. Seeking to fly from Fort Lauderdale to Calgary, Alberta, in financial system, I discovered round-trip, nonstop flights for simply $292. To notice, this nonstop flight route doesn’t function year-round with the identical frequency.

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Seated in financial system class for roughly five-and-a-half hours, here is how my total WestJet expertise went.

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GABRIELLE BERNARDINI/THE POINTS GUY

How you can ebook financial system on WestJet

The WestJet Boeing 737 MAX 8 has solely financial system or premium financial system seats on board; due to this fact, there are not any business- or first-class fares accessible for flights operated by this plane.

WestJet sells three sorts of financial system fares on its Boeing 737 MAX 8 from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Worldwide Airport (FLL) to Calgary Worldwide Airport (YYC): Fundamental, Econo and EconoFlex. Here’s what is included with every.

Fare kind Change charges Checked bag charges Seat choice
Fundamental No adjustments allowed First checked bag:

  • Prepay: $35 to $42
  • Self-serve check-in: $45 to $54
  • Airport check-in: $55 to $65
Assigned a seat at check-in and may decide to vary seats for a price (5 to 250 Canadian {dollars}, or about $4 to $185)
Econo Change your flight for an extra price, and any distinction in fare will apply First checked bag:

  • Prepay: $35 to $42
  • Self-serve check-in: $45 to $54
  • Airport check-in: $55 to $65
Assigned a seat at check-in and may decide to vary seats for a price (CA$5 to CA$250, or about $4 to $185)
EconoFlex No change charges, however any distinction in fare will apply 1 free checked bag Select a regular seat at no cost; a most popular seat prices CA$5 to CA$236 (about $4 to $175), and an exit row seat prices CA$5 to CA$250 (about $4 to $185)

WestJet’s baggage coverage permits passengers to have one private merchandise and one carry-on merchandise without spending a dime when reserving in financial system, however its measurement necessities are a bit smaller than different comparable airways — extra on that later.

As a factors and miles fanatic, I initially tried to ebook my flight by way of an award redemption. Although Delta is a codeshare associate of WestJet, I couldn’t discover nonstop award availability utilizing Delta SkyMiles. Subsequent, I checked the costs on the Chase and Amex journey portals.

The money worth on each journey portals was greater than WestJet was charging immediately. Nevertheless, I had the choice to redeem Chase Final Rewards factors at a hard and fast charge of 1.5 cents apiece with my Chase Sapphire Reserve® by means of Chase Journey or my Amex Membership Rewards factors for 1 cent apiece by way of amextravel.com, because of carrying The Platinum Card® from American Specific.

I sometimes get extra worth from these transferable level currencies by transferring them to airline and lodge companions and redeeming them that manner; due to this fact, I made a decision to save lots of my factors for future redemptions because the money worth on the WestJet flight was so low.

Nevertheless, if you wish to use your factors for a nonstop WestJet award flight, I like to recommend utilizing Chase Final Rewards to get one of the best redemption.

*Editor’s word: Worth ranges have been accessible on the time of search and may fluctuate primarily based on demand, season and different components.

Class Fundamental financial system Economic system EconoFlex Premium financial system PremiumFlex
Money worth (spherical journey) $292 to $693 $318 to $746 $405 to $918 $778 to $1,579 $1,855 to $3,731
Chase factors (with Chase Sapphire Reserve) 22,000 to 50,000 28,334 to 52,334 29,334 to 63,800 54,400 to 107,800 126,200 to 251,266
Amex factors 29,200 to 69,300 31,800 to 74,600 40,500 to 91,800 77,800 to 157,900 185,500 to 373,100

Since WestJet had a 20% low cost on flights on the time of my reserving, I bought a round-trip, nonstop flight from Fort Lauderdale to Calgary in financial system for $292. I used my Amex Platinum card to ebook my flight because it earns 5 Membership Rewards factors per greenback spent on flights booked immediately with the airline (on as much as $500,000 of those purchases per calendar 12 months, then 1 level per greenback), whereas my Chase Sapphire Reserve solely earns 3 factors per greenback spent on journey purchases.

Associated: How far prematurely are you able to ebook a flight?

Checking in and boarding financial system on WestJet

Earlier than my flight, I downloaded the WestJet app, simply checked in and obtained my cellular boarding move.

I sometimes desire to not test baggage and fly with a small suitcase as my carry-on bag and my backpack as my private merchandise.

Nevertheless, I double-checked the airline’s baggage coverage as a result of I’ve by no means flown with WestJet, and it said {that a} backpack with the scale of my bag would depend as a carry-on bag slightly than a private merchandise. Since I did not know the way strict the airline could be with their bag coverage, I made a decision to prepay $40 one-way for a checked bag as a result of if I have been compelled to test my backpack or carry-on on the airport, I might be charged an extra $10 anyway.

The WestJet gate brokers didn’t double-check that every buyer’s baggage match the suitable private and carry-on dimensions on the gate, however gate brokers at YYC did test on my return flight, so that you won’t wish to take any probabilities should you’re flying with the airline.

GABRIELLE BERNARDINI/THE POINTS GUY

At FLL, WestJet doesn’t have a kiosk the place clients can test in or print baggage tags and boarding passes. As a substitute, you could wait in line to drop off your suitcase in case you are checking baggage. WestJet has a precedence check-in lane accessible to business- and premium economy-ticketed passengers and Platinum, Gold and Silver elite members of its WestJet Rewards program. Since Delta is a associate of WestJet, in case you are a Delta Silver, Gold, Platinum or Diamond Medallion member, it’s also possible to entry the airline’s precedence lane.

I would not have standing with both loyalty program, nor was I flying in enterprise or premium class, so I received within the non-priority bag drop lane. There was just one WestJet worker servicing this lane, which made the bag drop course of a bit gradual. Whereas this was not problematic for me since I used to be the eighth visitor in line and arrived two hours earlier than my flight’s departure time, it might create additional stress if you end up on the very again of a protracted check-in line with just one attendant.

After swiftly getting by means of safety at Terminal 2 utilizing my Clear Plus membership and TSA PreCheck standing, I waited for my flight to begin boarding. WestJet participates in TSA PreCheck, so remember to add your Recognized Traveler Quantity earlier than check-in to hurry up your safety course of.

Surprisingly, my flight started boarding 10 minutes earlier than it was scheduled to take action. I’ve by no means been on a flight the place the boarding course of started early. Like most airways, WestJet boards precedence members, together with premium financial system passengers and people holding elite standing with the airline, first in Zone 1. Moreover, Delta Gold Medallion members and above are additionally in a position to board in Zone 1.

GABRIELLE BERNARDINI/THE POINTS GUY

As an financial system passenger seated behind the aircraft, I boarded in Zone 2. Apparently, WestJet boards the again of the aircraft in Zone 2 and the entrance of the aircraft — apart from premium clients — in Zone 3. The general boarding course of was fast and environment friendly, and we have been in a position to take off about 10 minutes sooner than the initially scheduled 3:30 p.m. departure.

Associated: A evaluation of Delta Air Strains in first-class on the Airbus A321neo from Los Angeles to Seattle

How snug was WestJet financial system?

GABRIELLE BERNARDINI/THE POINTS GUY

The plane for my five-and-a-half-hour flight was the Boeing 737 MAX 8 with the next seat depend and structure in financial system.

Variety of seats 174 (12 premium and 162 financial system class)
Cabin structure 3-3
Economic system seat pitch 30 inches
Seat recline About 3 inches
Seat width About 17 inches

I used to be seated in 28E — a center seat simply two rows forward of the final row on the plane. Sadly, after I received to my center seat, I seen a small, empty alcohol bottle within the seatback pocket, which additionally had a noticeable crack. Looking round, it appeared like all of the seats have been nicely worn, and the flooring have been noticeably soiled with crumbs that I assumed have been meals. I could not assist however marvel in the event that they did not clear the aircraft in any respect earlier than we boarded.

GABRIELLE BERNARDINI/THE POINTS GUY

Should you worth flight consolation, financial system on WestJet might not be for you. Whereas the financial system seat pitch on this Boeing flight is 30 inches — the usual for many airways — the seat’s cushioning was minimal and solely reclined about 3 inches. I did not discover any rips or scuffing on the seats, however the unfastened cloth and physique imprints present that these seats are a bit worn.

GABRIELLE BERNARDINI/THE POINTS GUY

Every seat had a USB-A port and a common plug situated simply above the seatback pocket. A plug to cost my telephone was crucial on this longer flight, because the provider solely presents wi-fi leisure to stream by yourself gadgets slightly than a seat-mounted inflight leisure system.

GABRIELLE BERNARDINI/THE POINTS GUY

The tray desk on my WestJet flight was common measurement, about 15 to 16 inches extensive and simply deployed. Whereas I might comfortably match my 17-inch laptop computer on the tray desk, it isn’t preferrred for these desirous to take pleasure in a beverage or eat whereas utilizing your laptop.

GABRIELLE BERNARDINI/THE POINTS GUY

WestJet’s 737 MAX 8s have three toilets: one on the entrance of the aircraft and two on the again. That made for some prolonged wait occasions throughout sure stretches of the flight. Since this flight is greater than two hours, I recommend reserving a minimum of 5 rows away from the bogs behind the aircraft.

I had moved to the aisle seat earlier than takeoff since nobody was sitting there. So, beginning about two hours into the flight, there have been continually folks standing subsequent to my seat ready for the amenities. I attempted to nap on the aircraft, however this made it onerous with folks brushing previous me.

GABRIELLE BERNARDINI/THE POINTS GUY

General, the bogs on this WestJet flight felt akin to different home U.S. flights concerning measurement and cleanliness.

Facilities in WestJet financial system

Do not anticipate many facilities on WestJet financial system flights. Whereas there are not any seatback screens, WestJet means that you can use your wi-fi machine to look at motion pictures and TV reveals without spending a dime on its app by way of Wi-Fi streaming. The airline had a wide selection of recent motion pictures, together with “The Marvels,” “Oppenheimer” and “Barbie.”

I bought a Wi-Fi move that I might use for the whole lot of my flight for CA$23.09 (about $17). Whereas inflight Wi-Fi will be spotty regardless of which provider you are flying, my WestJet Join labored surprisingly nicely. I used to be in a position to watch YouTube movies, ship texts, reply work emails and use social media apps with no drawback.

Associated: Maximize your airfare: The most effective bank cards for reserving flights

How was the meals in WestJet financial system?

GABRIELLE BERNARDINI/THE POINTS GUY

Inflight meals service began about half-hour after departure. The crew got here round to ask if anybody want to order from the a la carte menu. Complimentary beverage service started shortly after the crew completed taking passengers’ orders from the a la carte menu.

GABRIELLE BERNARDINI/THE POINTS GUY

Since this was an almost six-hour flight, I opted to strive the pink Thai curry cup with coconut rice and the three-cheese pasta cup with Italian spices for my dinner. These two gadgets every price about $7.

Uncertain of what to anticipate, I waited because the attendant introduced out two microwaved cups of meals from Meal of the Second, a model that produces on the spot meals. The pink Thai curry was flavorful for being a dehydrated on the spot meal. Nevertheless, the three-cheese pasta cup was bland, and the Italian spices created an odd taste profile when added to what amounted to watered-down on the spot macaroni and cheese.

GABRIELLE BERNARDINI/THE POINTS GUY

If eating on dehydrated on the spot meals doesn’t sound appetizing, it’s also possible to buy snacks similar to a Equipment Kat, beef jerky, Pringles and gummy bears.

Except for WestJet’s a la carte menu, financial system passengers can select from a collection of complimentary drinks, together with water, juice and sodas, and a free snack — both pretzels or a chocolate biscuit.

Alcoholic drinks, similar to a glass of pinot grigio or merlot, price about $7. Beer, together with Coors Mild and Molson Canadian, prices about $6.

Clients weren’t given a whole can of soda or a beverage of their selection. As a substitute, I needed to accept a small plastic cup crammed with ice and a bit of liquid after I ordered a ginger ale. Maybe that is WestJet’s manner of making an attempt to restrict rest room breaks.

GABRIELLE BERNARDINI/THE POINTS GUY

After only a few sips, I completed my drink and needed one other. The flight attendants got here round twice to move out complimentary snacks and drinks, and after I requested if I might have each pretzels and a chocolate biscuit, the attendant fortunately obliged. Drinks apart, a minimum of they weren’t being stingy on the snacks.

The second inflight service happened a bit of over an hour earlier than the aircraft landed. Since there are solely two inflight beverage providers on this flight and the pour-size is restricted, I recommend bringing your individual nonalcoholic drinks.

Associated: Is United Airways premium financial system price it to Europe?

Is WestJet financial system price it?

GABRIELLE BERNARDINI/THE POINTS GUY

It is true what they are saying, “You get what you pay for.”

My worldwide financial system flight to Calgary was bare-bones however nonetheless price it. Although the inside cabin might have been cleaner and higher maintained, my seat had sufficient legroom to take a seat by means of my five-and-a-half-hour flight from FLL to YYC. This plane jogged my memory of an older JetBlue or American Airways aircraft.

For future WestJet flights, I might make sure that to purchase snacks and drinks on the airport so I would not have to depend on the inflight service. I might additionally make a degree to maintain my gadgets charged forward of time in case there are any points with the in-seat energy retailers after I wish to stream leisure.

General, if this round-trip financial system flight had price greater than $600, I might have been disenchanted within the total buyer expertise. However as a result of I paid lower than $300 for a slightly lengthy round-trip journey between two smaller cities, I deplaned happy if not overwhelmed.



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