I recently had the pleasure to take a little vacation down to Florida. I decided that I would do a review of my WestJet experience for both the trip down to KMCO and the one back to CYYC.
I’ve never really done, or even thought about doing a review or article like this before so please forgive me if I’m a little “sloppy”.
My journey began waiting at the gate in Calgary, CYYC. Nothing too special to report here, the security was fast and efficient and I was checked in by the smiling WestJet agents as you would expect. The boarding went smoothly also.
Once on the aircraft, a Boeing 737-800 equipped with the new Split Scimitar winglets I was greeted by another smiling WestJet flight attendant and was able to find my seat without any troubles. I was sitting with my family so there’s nothing really special to report about who I was sitting beside, although throughout the flight the lady sitting in the seat behind me continually rested her naked feet on the arm wrest of my chair, making for a not-so-pleasant experience in regards to that.
About halfway into the flight, which was about four and a half hours total, we were presented with our in-flight snack and beverage, along with the option to purchase something from the on-board menu. Always one of my personal favorite points in any flight, I was pleasantly surprised with what was presented to me. I was given the choice between “cookies” or “pretzels”, I chose the cookies and had a cola to drink.
One thing I noticed about this flight (along with other recent flight of mine with the airline) is that they have opted to move away from their old entertainment system, which included a seat back television in every seat. Instead on their new aircraft you can either use your own device or rent a WestJet tablet pre-loaded with a rather weak selection of about 9 mediocre movies, and 8 television series’, 4 of which are children’s cartoons. The cost of renting an on-board tablet is $5 Canadian.
Overall the flight there wasn’t too bad, the snacks were decent, and the crew was very friendly. I did notice though that the cabin of the aircraft was rather filthy, and there was some (actually quite a lot) of spilled food items under the seat in front of mine. Also I personally am not a fan of the new Boeing 737 seats, I thing their pretty uncomfortable, certainly not as good as the older seats, I’m not sure why the whole thing just seems a little more uncomfortable, perhaps even a little “cheaper” made. Also the fact that I was unaware of the change in cabin configuration, and didn’t bring any devices of my own loaded with anything interesting to watch made for a pretty boring flight, hence the reason I’m decided to note down some of this review mid-flight.
My journey home was not a direct flight, we actually had to stop in Toronto to go through customs, however the stop was extremely short (about 45 minutes) and so uneventful that I decided to sort of merge the Orlando-Toronto and the Toronto-Calgary legs of my journey.
The boarding of the aircraft went as any would, I approached the gate (my “zone” was one of the first to get on), my ticket was scanned, and I walked on the aircraft. Again I was flying on a 737-800, this time with the regular winglets. We had the same aircraft and crew for the Orlando-Toronto and the Toronto-Calgary legs of our journey.
This time, when boarding the aircraft in Orlando I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that this aircraft was still equipped with the “normal” interior and had the more comfortable seats, in addition to the seat back, free, in-flight entertainment system which streams regular satellite tv to your personal screen.
The flight from Orlando went smoothly, and the in-flight snacks were the same as on my trip down to Florida. I had “cookies”, although they were more of a coffee wafer and cola. I was much more relaxed and entertained during this flight, because of the tv’s and of course the much, much more comfortable seats, WestJet should have really tried to keep the old Boeing interiors. I was actually so relaxed that during this leg I was able to catch up on some much needed sleep, good thing too because once we got to Toronto…
Toronto was a real rush. Once we got off the jet we had to rush to get through customs, then pick up our bags, then get back through security and to our new gate, all in less than an hour at Canada’s busiest airport. Luckily we did make it to our gate, with about 10 minutes to spare and since we had the same crew from the other flight they were in pretty much the same rush we were in.
One thing I enjoyed about my stop in Toronto was that I got to see some aircraft and airlines that I wouldn’t normally get to see back home (I’m from Saskatchewan). Although it’s almost painful to admit being a self-proclaimed “aviation nerd”, Toronto was actually the first time I got to lay my own eyes on a real Boeing 787 (in this case operated by British Airways).
The flight from Toronto to Calgary was again very nice. The staff were all very nice and the in-flight snacks were decent. This time I had the pretzels and a water.
Once landed in Calgary we disembarked the aircraft and quickly ran to our next gate to catch the 737-700 home (to Saskatoon CYXE). By that point I was pretty much sick of airplanes and flying for the day, and I decided to just have a nap (sorry no pictures of this flight).
Overall both of my flying experiences with WestJet were good (I’m counting the two flights back as one), and if you’re going flying in, or to Canada, or anywhere that WestJet fly’s, then I highly recommend that you give them a try. The staff are always very friendly and eager to help you out. The on-board snack and food are always good, and the fares are decent too.
The only thing I would say negative is the new interiors of their aircraft (TERRIBLE, UNCOMFORTABLE SEATS), and the poorly developed in-flight entertainment system. The old interiors were much more comfortable!
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Check out more on their Facebook page.
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