Review of WestJet flight Toronto Calgary in Economy

Airline WestJet
Flight WS671
Class Economy
Seat 23K
Aircraft Boeing 787-9
Flight time 03:50
Take-off 25 Aug 21, 18:15
Arrival at 25 Aug 21, 20:05
WS 35 reviews
CanadianWings
Published on 31st August 2021

Introduction


I had moved from New Zealand to Canada in early 2015 and have been living in Calgary, the home of WestJet, for 6+ years now, however I have never flown on the airline itself. For a reasonable price found online during booking, I have decided to finally try WestJet after hearing stuff from my friends about how good they are and better than Air Canada. There are multiple flights from YYZ to YYC daily, and I chose the 6:15PM departure time as it gave more time for me to explore Toronto, arrives in Calgary at a decent hour, and is the only flight operated by the Dreamliner.


Threshold Aviation


For those aviation enthusiasts (like myself) who collect model aircraft, Threshold Aviation (as well as Avworld Canada), located just outside the airport, is the place to go if you have a long enough layover in Toronto.


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I ended up purchasing an Alaska Horizon ERJ-175 model to remember my flight in 2019 when I flew with them on the SEA-YYC route.


toronto pearson international airport


Unfortunately, I found Pearson Airport to be one of (if not the most) confusing airport in Canada to navigate through and find my way around. I have been through YYC, YYZ and YVR and I'd have to put YYZ at the bottom of the list in terms of facilities and navigating through.

I didn't have any bags to check-in, therefore I went to a kiosk to confirm my seats and print out a boarding pass. Even though I already have a digital pass saved on Apple Wallet, I tend to be old school and prefer a physical copy to keep to add to my collection.


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The kiosk prints them on flimsy paper, which the ink can fade quickly. I went to the counter and asked the agent to print a boarding pass and managed to get another one on cardstock copy.


Planespotting 


There was not much to do before the flight, so I went around the terminal to do a little bit of planespotting to pass the time.


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boarding and departure


Security screening did not take long at all, and I was then airside in Terminal 3. There weren't many amenities available, so I just walked around the terminal passing time by. Spotted a Korean Air 787 bound for Seoul-Incheon.


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Soon after, my aircraft has arrived as WS706 from Vancouver. Aircraft registration was C-GUDH "Clive Beddoe", delivered in January 2019, which also happens to be WestJet's very first Dreamliner.


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Boarding the aircraft began at 5:20PM and it was going to be a completely full flight. Unlike during pre-covid times where the agent just scans and (sometimes) tears the boarding pass, passengers had to temporarily take off their masks to validate their ID with the agent. This accounted for a slightly longer boarding process, but the doors were still able to be closed before scheduled departure. 


onboard


First impressions of the Dreamliner were nice. Although this is the oldest 787 in the fleet, it was maintained well. It did cost more dollars to book this specific flight to YYC than other flights, but it was well worth it. 


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Settled in seat 23K, which has a great view of the wing. 


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Parked next to an Air France A350 bound for CDG. 


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Actual pushback time was at 6:12PM, three minutes before the scheduled departure. The safety video was played, possibly being the longest safety video I've watched at 7-minutes long. Interesting to mention too that "the exit signs are identified by a green symbol" message was mentioned twice. 


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inflight


Once cruising altitude was reached, the flight attendants started to do the service. I browsed the built-in IFE, which I found miles better than WestJet Connect. Headphones were available for purchase for $12.99. They also had various wifi plans, which I purchased a chat plan for $2.99. While the speed was not fast enough to send pics or browse websites, it was fast enough to send messages on various apps. It even worked decently for sending Snapchats! 

The flight attendants asked for our drink choices, and I went with green tea and Sprite. Drinks were served with a pack of pretzels. An announcement was made that masks were to be kept on as the crew serves the drinks, and can be taken off only when actively eating and drinking. 


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There were no Biscoff cookies, unfortunately. When I asked, the flight attendant said that they discontinued serving the cookies since the Covid pandemic began in 2020. The pretzels, although a downgrade from the Biscoffs for some people, were still good.  I asked for another pack. 


inflight service


Having heard from friends about how WestJet's service is better than Air Canada, I had been observing throughout the flight if it mirrors what they said. The crew members on my flight were one of the nicest crews I've had flying domestic in Canada. While they may not be as detail-oriented and consistently attentive as my flights on foreign airlines, especially ANA, WestJet by far has the friendliest crews out of all my flights on North American airlines. 

I had a short chat with some of the crew members in the galley after service was over and there were some interesting things we talked about. One of the attendants on this flight had also worked the AMS inaugural earlier this month. The seniority of the crew was also interesting. The longest being 21 years, while the shortest only being 17 years of service with the airline. 
We continued to chat, until it was time to start the second service about 1.5 hours before arrival.  

Unlike my flight going to Toronto, where only one service was conducted, WestJet offered two drink and snack services on this flight. I opted for apple juice, Sprite (to which they were happy to give the whole can) and more pretzels.  


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The wonderful crew members serving my section, we had a short, fun chat while they were serving us drinks.


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Rear Economy cabin, taken before the seatbelt sign was turned on for landing. 


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Not a single bump from takeoff to cruise, until it was time for descent where things got a little choppy. 


landing and arrival


Approach into YYC International was a little turbulent. The speedbrakes deployed were on for a good portion of the descent. 


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Runway used was 17L to land, and taxi to the terminal only took a short while. Arrival time was only 2 minutes late, at 8:06PM. One last shot of the cabin before disembarking. 


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During the flight, I handed my logbook to one of the crew members and asked if it was possible to visit the cockpit after the flight, to which the pilots and crew members had agreed.


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787 cockpit, from the captain's seat.


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The aircraft had arrived at the International terminal, therefore it was quite a walk to arrivals. 

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Verdict

WestJet

8.0/10
Cabin8.5
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Buy-on-board menu7.5

Toronto - YYZ

6.9/10
Efficiency6.5
Access6.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness8.0

Calgary - YYC

8.0/10
Efficiency8.5
Access7.5
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

My first Dreamliner flight on WestJet was a great experience. Cabin was clean, snacks and drinks were decent, and the crew was simply outstanding. Compared to Air Canada, there was not really much difference in terms of amenities (headphones for purchase, PTV on the 787, drinks and snacks complimentary, meals for purchase). For the inflight service and cabin crew, however, WestJet scores higher marks than Air Canada in my experience. Looking forward to more flights on WestJet in the future.

Information on the route Toronto (YYZ) Calgary (YYC)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 4 reviews of 2 airlines on the route Toronto (YYZ) → Calgary (YYC).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Air Canada with 7.5/10.

The average flight time is 3 hours and 57 minutes.

  More information

2 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 579462 by
    NewYorker GOLD 169 Comments

    Hey CanadianWings, thanks for sharing this interesting report! Even in coach, WestJet's 787 looks very comfy. But $12.99 for headphones is outrageous! I'm surprised that the WiFi plan was so cheap... I'd have thought that headphones should cost $2.99 and WiFi $12.99. I've also heard that WestJet has great crews, better than Air Canada crews, at least. Awesome that you were able to visit that stunning Dreamliner cockpit! I'm curious, where did you get that logbook? I'd love to get myself one too if I can ☺️ Thanks again for sharing, and happy flying! ✈️

    • Comment 579514 by
      CanadianWings AUTHOR 31 Comments

      I'm surprised that the WiFi plan was so cheap...

      It was only $2.99 ($3.38 with tax), however it was only good for 60 minutes and fast enough for sending texts, messages, Snapchats, etc. Browsing the internet and social media apps was a different story.

      I'm curious, where did you get that logbook?

      Logbook was purchased here: https://knaviation.net/kn-aviation-log-book/

      Thanks for reading!

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