By Nick – Random Segments
Coming back from my recent trip to Toronto, I was able to book an itenerary that gave me the chance to try out a new airline, WestJet. For those unfamiliar with this airline, it is the Canadian low cost carrier. Many people in Canada will bash Air Canada and rave about WestJet, because of this when I found an itenerary that allowed me to earn miles, as well as try them out for the same price as the other options, I jumped on it.
First off, they charge a lot more for extra legroom than the traditional US carriers. I paid for it since this is a vacation and I wanted to see what the product was like. The cost for a flight from YYZ-LGA was $45! Shocking when other airlines charge just $9 for the extra legroom on a segment that length. Below you can see the legroom, keeping in mind that I am 6’5″.
Also, if you book through Delta or American, and have something that waives the bag fees, be prepared to pay the bag fee. While WestJet offers the first bag free on their flights, they charge the baggage fees of the selling carrier, without the exclusions for elite or credit card.
The seats are standard, with Satellite TVs in the seatbacks, controlled by buttons on the armrest. Unfortunately for this flight, the Satellite TV was not working, but the moving map was (With a ton of advertising).
However, what will set this experience apart and actually make it a pleasant trip is how the crew handled the delays we experienced even trying to get off the ground. There was weather in New York, and so they initiated a Ground Stop. Most airlines they announce this and then hide. Here the crew sprang into action with a water and snack service. As this was going on, another flight attendant came around and gave everyone who desired free headsets (normally $3). Once we took off, they continued the excellent service by providing free alcoholic beverages to everyone. These are simple things, but still nice touches. Especially when you consider the service we are used to the service in the States where we get nothing for a delay until it reaches the federally mandated times.
The real surprise is that with all the delays before boarding and after boarding, my 2 hour connection was down to just 30 minutes. I was prepared when I made it to my next flight (which seemed to be the only flight Delta offered that was not delayed) to not have my luggage meet me upon arrival. And yet it did. Amazing what a well run airline can do even in such a situation.
Overall, I would consider my WestJet experiment a fun change. Though in all honesty I probably will not fly them again because LGA is not a pleasant connecting station especially with all of the non-stop flights I have based out of Atlanta. And I still have my love for Air Canada. Maybe next time I will figure out an itenerary to try and fly Porter.]]>