This is my first trip report on A.net, so if you guys have any suggestions feel free to leave them. Unfortunately I was unable to take pictures on this outing, but hopefully next time I'll snap a few shots! Other than that, enjoy!
This past spring break my family decided it'd be nice to travel out to Kelowna and spend a week at the Big White Resort, about an hour's drive outside of the city. I have to say, it doesn't disappoint and was some of the best snowboarding I've experienced in my life! Anyways, we booked with a WestJet AirMiles card (it gives great rates btw! ), but unfortunately their were no seats left on the direct YYZ-YLW flight. Instead, we had to connect through Calgary on the way there, which wasn't a problem (especially for me; I'm always looking to maximize my time on planes and in the airport).
Date: March 19, 2007
Aircraft: Boeing 737-800
Arriving at the airport on the Friday before March Break, it was definetly less busy than I would have expected. My family and I had checked in on the web already, so we dropped off our bags and quickly cleared security. I ran into some friends at the airport and chatted a bit, but other than that the wait to board was uneventful. We boarded the aircraft on time, and sat down in the comfortable leather seats that WestJet features. Immediately I was impressed with the extra legroom (34") provided on the -800, and I thought to myself "why can't all airlines be like this?" The doors closed, and WestJet began their signature safety demonstration, which I got to see for the first time and I must say, it sure beats the hell out of watching it onscreen. That's one thing I noticed on the flight, that the entire atmosphere on WestJet just seems to be livelier and more upbeat than some of the other displeasant airlines I've been 'fortunate' enough to fly. But that's not to take anything away from Air Canada, who routinely does seem more professional (and albeit sometimes BORING) than their lowcost counterpart. Anyways, for the most part it was a pretty uneventful flight, as I spent most of the time flipping channels on the LiveTV, as there isn't much to watch at 8:00EST (or dare I say it, 5:00PST!). The flight attendants came around twice offering drinks and your choice of Peak Freans or pretzels. I chose each once, and although they were just snacks, they were tasty enough to keep me satisfied. I'd also like to point out the extremely personable drink service, in which the purser actually came around and took our orders, returning later with our drinks on a tray! This is something I think other airlines should try, as it not only keeps the aisles clear for movement but it makes passengers appreciate the service (a few people around me were in awe of the personable service not usually found on airlines). Soon enough, the captain announced our final descent into Calgary, warning us that we may encounter some heavy turbulence. Sure enough, the last minute before landing was quite rough (felt like a heavy crosswind landing), but we made it in safe and sound. We arrived ontime in Calgary, leaving about an hour connection, plenty of time to grab a Frappucino at the Starbucks in Concourse D.
Aircraft: Boeing 737-600
Just after finishing my Starbucks, the gate agents announced boarding for the flight to Kelowna. My family and I boarded, and I was somewhat dissapointed with regards to the legroom after flying on the roomy -800 for a couple hours. By no means was it uncomfortable, but I definitely wasn't able to stretch out like I had on the first leg. Anyhow, I got to experience the WestJet safety demonstration a second time, and we were soon thereafter airborne ontime and on schedule. As it was a -600, there weren't LiveTVs installed yet but it hardly mattered on a flight this short: the seatbelt sign was only off for fifteen minutes! I did however, get a quick snack of pretzels and a carton of orange juice which although just a snack, kept me satisfied until I could find some lunch in Kelowna. Arriving in Kelowna, we had the pleasant surprise of deplaning via air stairs (something I got to experience for the first time!), which was nice as the sun was shining and it was quite warm out. Then we headed to the baggage claim, grabbed our bags and the rental car, and headed out. One thing about Kelowna's airport is that the baggage area can get quite crowded (three flights arrived within half an hour of each other), but I later found out on my return that they are planning a major expansion to the terminal so I can hardly blame them. More on the expansion plans will be included in my following trip report for the return flight, so check it out!
This was my first time flying with WestJet, and I must say I was pleasantly surprised. The service agents all around (check-in, gate agents, onboard) were cheerful, upbeat and genuinely willing to serve. It's something that's tough to find in the industry these days, and I definitely appreciated it. I'm wondering though whether this is due to a superior corporate culture at the airline, or because it's mainly new employees, or a bit of both? Anyways, I'll make sure to consider WestJet for my future travels, as it was a great experience (especially the LiveTV )