WestJet Premium: Coming Fall 2018

Filed Under: Other Airlines

WestJet is undergoing quite a transformation at the moment. Historically they’ve been a low cost carrier, though going forward they seem to be going in two different directions:


WestJet’s new 787 business class

As part of their transformation into a more premium carrier, a bit over a month ago I wrote about how WestJet planned to introduce a true premium cabin on their 737s. Currently WestJet’s top cabin on 737s is WestJet Plus, which features extra legroom, a blocked middle seat, and free food and drinks.


WestJet Plus seats on the 737

As the airline continues to become more premium, it’s making more and more sense why they’re introducing an ultra low cost carrier.

While we knew that WestJet would be introducing a new premium cabin experience on 737s, up until now the details were limited. More information has now been revealed.Ā WestJet’s new premium cabin will be called WestJet Premium, and it will replace WestJet Plus. Here’s a video highlighting what WestJet’s new 737 MAX cabins will look like:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2aCj56mLPls

While a splash of color in the cabin would be nice, overall the cabin looks elegant, in my opinion.

WestJet Premium will feature 20% more room than WestJet Plus, and will feature:

  • In-seat power at every seat (though no personal televisions — instead there will be streaming entertainment)
  • A divider between WestJet Premium and the rest of the cabin, which there currently isn’t with WestJet Plus
  • A dedicated flight attendant for the cabin
  • Glassware, flatware, and linen, and hot meals, so that will be a big upgrade compared to WestJet Plus

It’s so cool to see this transformation for WestJet, as they create a true premium experience for passengers. These new cabins should be debuting in the fall, and over the course of the next couple of years, it’s my understanding that most of the 737 fleet should feature these new seats.

I’ll also be very curious to see how they price the cabin, and whether they offer upgrades. Delta and WestJet are finalizing a transborder joint venture agreement, and Delta is all about consistency with their joint venture partners. Delta offers complimentary upgrades on flights to Canada, so something makes me think that upgrades will be available on WestJet, in order to create as much metal neutrality as possible.

That also makes me wonder if WestJet will just start introducing unlimited complimentary upgrades for their own elite members, which would represent a new era for Canadian loyalty programs. Air Canada is by far Canada’s biggest airline, and they don’t offer unlimited upgrades (instead elite members receive a certain number of credits that they can redeem in a variety of ways based on their fare class, type of upgrade they want, distance of the flight, etc.).

Even if WestJet does introduce unlimited upgrades, I wouldn’t expect Air Canada to follow, given their more extensive route network.

What do you make of the new WestJet Premium cabin?

Comments
  1. ‘A Divider’ oh thank goodness! God forbid if I was made to visually share cabin space with the normal folk at the back of the aircraft

  2. Looks like Westjet is following the Virgin Australia model as opposed to the Southwest model of its origin. I wonder if they’ll launch their own lounges to go with their new premium in-flight product or if they’ll stick to the contract lounges that most major Canadian airports have.

  3. WestJet has committed to building lounges in Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver in domestic, transborder (US bound) and international departure areas. Most Canadians have argued WestJet lost the “LCC” moniker years ago. They cost pretty much the same as Air Canada and are morphing into a full service carrier more and more.

  4. Westjet currently focuses its US transborder flights on vacation destinations. I wonder if with the Delta JV they’ll start flying more routes to Delta hubs like Detroit, Minneapolis, Seattle, Atlanta and JFK… Also, does this presage an eventual application to Skyteam?

    Minor point: Air Canada does have a more extensive route network relative to Westjet in almost every regard except in Western Canada. In the four western provinces, Westjet has a more thorough route network.

  5. This is because Delta and WestJet have a pending joint-venture. WestJet needed to align its offering with Delta.

  6. It’s been funny watching Low-cost Carriers and Full-service carriers essentially trade places with each other over the last few years. LCC’s starting with JetBlue have been introducing premium cabins and some are even building lounges and I think WestJet is the most prominent example of this. Meanwhile, mainline carriers are shrinking or outright eliminating premium cabins while introducing basic economy tickets.

  7. With a house in Nova Scotia and a house in the South of France I’m delighted WestJet is now flying between Halifax and Paris. (Two weeks ago I flew Montpellier – Paris – Toronto – Halifax and my door-to-door travel time was almost exactly 24 hours…)

    I’m a life-long fan of Air France (I still miss the Caravelles!) but I’ll be saying au revoir to the French carrier and crossing the pond on WestJet – no matter what kind of service they offer. It will cut my travel time n half.

  8. WestJet left the ranks of ‘low-cost-carriers’ long ago. During the last year alone I have compared their domestic and Canada-US flights against Air Canada and have yet to find one instance where WestJet was less. In two instances, WJ was almost double the fares on comparable AC flights! This was especially so when comparing WestJet ‘Plus’ versus true, full service, comfortable seat Business Class on Air Canada.

  9. Westjet has always focused on the Toronto market with its pricing. In the west Air Canada has won the price battle – or Alaska on southern flights. The other problem was its lack of premium seating and lack of any frequent flyer program of any value.

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Westjet and Aeroplan were to form an alliance in 2020. With the new premium cabins I will consider Westjet if they have a reasonable FF program, but not until.

    I have also considered flying with airlines that are using Westjet as a feeder. But I am not willing to pay a J price for a long flight that includes 5 hours in a WJ Y cabin. No bloody way. But with the new cabins I can see flying Condor or Cathay etc with WJ as a feeder.

  10. Oops, someone in marketing jumped the gun when they moved their 2nd Quarter call ahead one week šŸ˜‰

  11. Hello Can you do an updated story about this? The have re-named it to premium from plus, but nothing has changed on the planes. The cost has gone up, but still same old crappy seats with the middle one blocked and crappy food and again they have raised the price of the so called premium seats. Here it is nearly the end of 2019 and no changes have been made, maybe asking west jet to explain themselves would be a good story.

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