Review: Westjet Airlines B737-6, Calgary – Abbotsford.

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From its primary strong hold base in Calgary – Alberta, Canada, Westjet Airlines developed into a formidable competitor to Star Alliance founding member Air Canada. While Westjet Airlines lacks a fulsome lounge network, an expansive frequent flier program and a large airline alliance, it offers home town charm and strong service levels. We’d get an opportunity to try out their short haul service after an international connection today.


This post is one chapter on our trip to the isolated country of Cuba. This trip was planned through Westjet Vacations. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Review: Westjet Airlines B737-6, Calgary International Airport – Abbotsford International Airport.


We arrived into Calgary International Airport off Westjet Airlines Varadero – Calgary and cleared Canada Customs at around 7 P.M. At this later hour, we wandered over to the domestic Westjet terminal. It was quite a walk and it seemed Westjet wasn’t really set up to deal with this many connecting passengers in the early evening.

Wandering from Calgary International to Domestic
Joining the Connections / Check In Queue at Calgary Westjet Airlines Domestic
Westjet Airlines Domestic Check In
Westjet Airlines Domestic Check In

After we collected our next boarding cards, we dropped the bags and headed through the mostly deserted departure halls.

Heading to the Departure Gates

We passed through Calgary’s officious CASTA security check points and into a surprisingly busy departure hall for 8 PM in the evening (on the secure side). It’s been a while since I’d been into the Westjet Terminal Wing, since I’m usually flying from the smaller Air Canada wing. The Westjet “A” Concourse was the nicer concourse between the other domestic “B” Concourse. Although, keeping expectations in check, it’s a pretty dated facility and is far from an aspirational place to be.

Westjet Departure Gates at “A” Concourse, Calgary International
Calgary “A” Concourse Domestic Departures
Westjet
Economy Class
YYC-YXX (Calgary International Airport – Abbotsford International Airport)
WJ 105
November 12, 2016
Booked: Bombardier Q400
Flown: Boeing 737-6
Departure: 8:55 PM
Arrival: 9:20 PM
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On Board Westjet Airlines:

There was prompt and on time boarding of the aircraft tonight. Since we were unable to get a seat assignment in Varadero (or via any form of online check in from Cuba) we were relegated to the last row of the aircraft in the seats that don’t recline. Ugh!

Boarding Our Short Hop to Abbotsford

After drawing the short straw on the seat assignments, the seats themselves were comfortable and reasonable for the short one hour flight from Calgary to Abbotsford. Being the Westjet Airlines Boeing 737-600 series aircraft, the seats were heavily padded and plushy.

Westjet Airlines Crew Seats at the Back
A Long View Towards the Front

It was a pretty straight forward flight with the usual older in flight entertainment system. We had an easy after dark departure and a short flight down to Abbotsford.

Westjet Airlines Television Monitor with Moving Flight Map
Thanks for Flying With Us

We had a dark departure from Calgary.

During the flight, there was a brief drink service. Being at the back, we didn’t pay much attention to it as we were among the last to be served.

After our brief one hour flight, we landed at quiet Abbotsford airport and parked next to one of the Flair Air charter aircraft that is operating as New Leaf.

Arriving to Abbotsford International Airport
Very fortunately, It’s honestly been a while I’ve had this view

We landed at quiet Abbotsford airport and parked next to one of the Flair Air charter aircraft that is operating as New Leaf.

Flair Airlines Initial Charter Aircraft
Westjet Boeing 737 parked at the Gate

After we made it off the plane, we collected our checked bags from a quiet baggage claim area.

Baggage Claim: Abbotsford International Airport
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My Thoughts on the Westjet Airlines Regional Short Haul Service from Cuba:

Overall, Westjet is a fun quirky airline that still seems to appeal to a lot of leisure travellers. Like Alaska Airlines, the staff have lots of heart and soul in what they do. They would be a reasonable alternative from Air Canada if they only had a proper alliance affiliation and frequent flier program.


If you’ve flown with Westjet Airlines on short haul flights, did you find their services comparable to their main competitor Air Canada ?

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