WestJet is great at the details!

Post ImageOn my recent trip to Toronto, I flew there on WestJet and back on Air Canada. I didn’t specify that arrangement, it’s just the way our travel agent ended up booking the trip. From now on though, I think I’ll specify WestJet. I think I have preferred WestJet to Air Canada for quite some time now, but it wasn’t until this last trip that I actually reflected on why. I think it’s because WestJet does a better job of the details than Air Canada, you know, the little things.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s lots of other reasons that WestJet is better. You know, lower price, a TV in front of every seat, no business class (as far as I know), and well, they are almost always on time. Even on this last trip our WestJet flight arrived on time while the Air Canada flight was late – a good half hour late. Despite these things however, I think the details are more important:

  • WestJet flights have normal headphone jacks! There’s a reason I have expensive, noise-cancelling headphones, and I can use them on WestJet. Air Canada, for some reason, does not have standard headphone jacks meaning you have to use their crappy ones.
  • Ever laugh on an Air Canada flight? It’s rare, I know. With WestJet, the crew always seems happy and usually make a few jokes at the beginning and end of the flight. Goes a long way to keeping everyone happy.
  • Comfortable leather chairs on WestJet, uncomfortable cloth on Air Canada.
  • I love how the controls (light, air, etc) are easily reachable on a WestJet flight, while they are impossibly far away on Air Canada – instead of being right overhead, they are above the seat in front of me almost!
  • I like getting a Coke on the flight. What I don’t like, is having to wait til the very end of the flight to get rid of my can and/or cup! On WestJet, the crew comes by a reasonable time after handing out the drinks to pickup the garbage. They never came on the Air Canada flight, I had to shove my can into the hand of the lady picking up their awkward headphones.
  • Part of the problem on Air Canada with the garbage is that they don’t have enough crew members! I counted three, and one seemed to be serving business class exclusively. WestJet on the other hand has four, all serving the entire plane.

Now perhaps some of the things I have mentioned are more related to the type of plane and less to the airline. Regardless, that means WestJet still picked better planes, and thus do a better job of minding the details.

What do you think? Do you prefer WestJet or Air Canada?

10 thoughts on “WestJet is great at the details!

  1. Most likely because WestJet has newer equipment/planes and Air Canada can’t afford any upgrades. I’ve never been on WestJet, but I can say that Air Canada is still very behind on equipment. Having to hand out DVD players in business class on every Canada-UK flight I’ve been on, is a big indicator.

    In 1994 I flew UK to Florida on Virgin and every seat in the whole plane had video screens and Nintendo, so there are choices in play for sure, but I guess they have to wait a few years to make new choices.

    I wish other airlines flew internationally (other than to US) out of Ottawa

  2. Yep, WestJet. I tried them for the first time this trip to Mesh. I was very, very impressed. I thought the pre-flight joking was just a fluke on my way out, but man it really makes for a nice flight.

    And hey I could watch the hockey game AND American Idol on the way home!

  3. One thing I like about Air Canada is flight times. If I had to fly to Ottawa or Halifax, it’s a hell of a lot easier to get a flight at a reasonable hour on AC. That’s all they got going for them though. WJ is the way to go, that’s for sure.

  4. I was booking a trip to TO and I was deciding on whether to take WestJet or Air Canada since they were both the same price. So I asked my friend for her opinion and she said WestJet for sure. Why? Her reason was that the staff are younger and better looking. Needless to say, I went with WestJet.

  5. Good call Andrea 🙂

    The other great thing about WestJet – their commercials! I love the one where everyone is laughing at a TV show, and the guy can’t find the channel, so a crew member walks up and gives him a folded paper note with the channel everyone is watching so he can join in. DETAILS!

    I think you’re right Colin, it has a lot to do with WestJet having "North America’s most modern fleet" as their billboards say. Air Canada’s planes are horribly out of date.

  6. I have flown Westjet numeruous times when flying across the country and even to the US. They are the absolute best in Customer Service and I always make my travel arrangements with Westjet. The very first flight I was on the cabin crew sang a song and asked the passengers to join in with them. The atmosphere is much better than Scare Canada and I will never fly Air Canada again.

  7. Ok, but how are the seats? Are they bigger/roomier than the matchbox sized holes you get on AC? Never flew WestJet but I might want to if the seats are bigger (wider – big guy here 🙂 )

  8. I will never book with Westjet again. The reason that I will not book with this airline, is that if you have to cancel, they hold your money, and if you can’t travel again within a year, you lose it.

    Book Air Canada, cancel if you have to and pay the minimal penalty, and receive your refund. At least you end up with something. With Westjet, you have nothing (not even the airport taxes)

    I was in the travel business for many years, arranging tours for Canadian school students. I am posting this to warn other travellers. Never in my years of travel (through the war in Kuwait, and 9/11) did I ever withhold payment and say that it had to be used within one year!

    Westjet – smarten up!!

  9. I will never book with Westjet again. The reason that I will not book with this airline, is that if you have to cancel, they hold your money, and if you can’t travel again within a year, you lose it.

    Book Air Canada, cancel if you have to and pay the minimal penalty, and receive your refund. At least you end up with something. With Westjet, you have nothing (not even the airport taxes)

    I was in the travel business for many years, arranging tours for Canadian school students. I am posting this to warn other travellers. Never in my years of travel (through the war in Kuwait, and 9/11) did I ever withhold payment and say that it had to be used within one year!

    Westjet – smarten up!!

    Book Air Canada, cancel if you have to and pay the minimal penalty, and receive your refund. At least you end up with something. With Westjet, you have nothing (not even the airport taxes)

    I was in the travel business for many years, arranging tours for Canadian school students. I am posting this to warn other travellers. Never in my years of travel (through the war in Kuwait, and 9/11) did I ever withhold payment and say that it had to be used within one year!

    Westjet – smarten up!!

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