WestJet

WestJet was founded in 1996 by a team of partners with the idea that paying less doesn’t have to mean getting less. The company started with only three planes, five destinations, and 220 employees. They have come quite a long way since then! Today they fly 767 planes to more than 88 destinations. Plus, theirs is one of the youngest fleets of Boeing 737 Next Generation aircraft. They now employ nearly 10,000 “WestJetters” dedicated to providing a great guest experience. WestJet’s vision is to be one of the five most successful international airlines in the world by 2016. 

Rank Chart Our Score User Score
#1 8.4 8.8 Read Review
#2 7.7 5.6 Read Review
#3 7.5 8.5 Read Review
#16 5.9 -- Current

The Good

  • Awards
  • Rewards program
  • Insurance

Awards and positive recognition are always impressive and important to consumers. That said, WestJet secured a spot in Waterstones' study of Canada's 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures for four years and was inducted in to its Hall of Fame in 2010. The next year, in 2011, WestJet was designated a J.D. Power Customer Service Champion; they were one of only two companies in Canada and the only airline to receive this honor. The company ranked 3rd in Aon Hewitt's best employers in Canada and was selected as the Canadian airline with the best flight attendants by flightnetwork.com. As if that wasn't enough, WestJet was also chosen as Canada's preferred airline.

Earn up to 5% back on all WestJet flights when becoming a member of WestJet Rewards. This free-to-join program has three different tiers with benefits dependent on a member's tier status. Awards and benefits vary and include things from one free companion flight to advance seat selection vouchers to free checked baggage. Points are earned by flying with WestJet or their partner airlines, American Airlines and Delta Air Lines. Points may also be earned when booking a rental car or hotel online through WestJet.

RBC Insurance provides several travel insurance packages when flying with WestJet. Packages range in price depending on destination, age of travelers, and number of travelers being covered. Quotes may be generated online for more specific details, including pricing and exact coverage.

The Bad

  • Flight statistics
  • In-flight services

From May 15, 2015 to July 15, 2015, WestJet was on time with 79% success. Records show that flights were late 6% of the time, very late 3% of the time and excessively late 8% of the time. Additionally, 1% of flights were cancelled altogether. The inconvenience of a late flight, or a cancelled flight, is something no traveler cares to be bothered with. WestJet can certainly improve in this area.

WestJet is in the process of installing WestJet Connect in all of their aircraft, which is their most comprehensive in-flight entertainment offering yet. This system brings the Internet and the best in entertainment straight to passengers' laptops, tablets or smartphones. The downer with this neat feature is that not all planes have an updated system. Some offer other less-impressive features while others offer no in-flight entertainment whatsoever. For instance, some planes have the option to pay for onboard Wi-Fi for approximately $8; some have the option to rent a tablet with preloaded movies and TV shows for about $7; some kindly invite you to bring books and coloring pages because they have no entertainment options available. This leaves a good chunk of WestJet travelers with comparatively subpar in-flight entertainment options. This will be a fabulous feature for WestJet once the entire fleet has been upgraded, but passengers on a plane with anything but WestJet Connect really are losing out.

The Bottom Line

Although their on-time percentage could use some work and their entertainment options need to be made more equally available, there are many more positives than negatives in regards to flying with this company. Not only are they well enough established to offer a great frequent flyer program and multiple travel insurance packages. Travelers can count on WestJet to provide a great flying experience.

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