West Jet – the other Canadian Airline

Don’t you think it’s the most fascinating thing how an aircraft comprised of tons and tons of steel (with wings like a bird that don’t really flap) can lift all that weight, all those lives, way up into the air? Fly at incredible speeds and take you far away from your starting point to reach a destination that’s always more magical than the one you left from?

Commercial aviation is one of the most amazing things to me. I find it so fascinating – most people think I’m nuts and simply say ‘Hey, it’s an airplane. That’s what it does’. That may be true but the ability it has to transform our lives pretty quickly is something that calls for appreciation.

In Canada the main airline is Air Canada. Hands down. They’re the giant, the leader of commercial aviation in our country and they’re great. Not everyone loves them, but from my perspective they’re solid, safe, structured, all business. And I love to fly with them. They’re my first choice amongst anything else. So when I found out we’d be flying West Jet (the ‘other’ Canadian airline) I started asking questions. I’m sort of crazy like that. :)

I spent a lot of time checking them out, asking questions, getting opinions from others who’d flown with them before. To summarize – I didn’t find anyone that had anything bad or remotely negative to say about West Jet. Everyone was happy with their experience with them! Here’s the basics…

Their fleet is mainly comprised of Boeing 737 aircraft. Not really a fleet that’s going to take you across the Atlantic anymore but definitely reliable. And I have a small bit of adulation for Boeing anyways, so plus one for that. Although the equipment wasn’t up to par on our flight, the TV in the back of our seats were out, the flight attendant offered to find us a seat with a TV that was working, and he did. He was very nice about it and made sure we were comfortable.

The commercials are out there – West Jet owners love what they do because they don’t only work for West Jet, they’re owners as well. The atmosphere is definitely more relaxed on West Jet than it is on Air Canada. Not to say one is bad over the other, but West Jet employees absolutely seem as though they love their job. They’re very candid on board, joking and being sincere. It’s refreshing and helps ease anyone with jittery nerves about flying for sure.

The perception is that the price of flying anything BUT Air Canada will be cheaper. While my costs were covered for my West Jet flight, I tried doing a random search between Toronto and Fort Lauderdale with both airlines, and found Air Canada to be $60 dollars cheaper after taxes. Not to say this is indicative of all their pricing, but both airlines are on par with each other.

Would They Take Care of You?
Perhaps it’s just my perception but West Jet feels as though they would extend an olive branch if you did have a bad experience. Their Twitter staff is great and always engaging with their passengers. They have incredible seat sales once a week. Overall they seem to care about your experience with them. Who wouldn’t want that in a large corporate company that you’re dishing out your money to, and trusting your life with?

After flying with them I have to say I’m really impressed! In comparison to Air Canada their staff is more relaxed and laid back. Less ‘official’ and more in line with ‘your friendly flying companion’. And the best part? On the way back, I was able to watch LIVE TV. Air Canada doesn’t offer that! Yes, I was able to catch the NBC Game of the Week. Philly and the New York Rangers. At least it was hockey, and live hockey.

So West Jet is definitely an option I’d consider again. I do have a rewards card and rewards credit card with Air Canada (saving points for my big European trip) so I would look at their flights and prices first. But within North America, West Jet is fantastic!

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