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Wednesday,  June 12, 2024 11:09 AM 

WestJet to unveil new fare for travellers willing to fly without carry-on

  • Air
  •   05-23-2024  9:47 am
  •   Pax Global Media

WestJet to unveil new fare for travellers willing to fly without carry-on
Pax Global Media

WestJet is planning on launching a new and cheaper fare for travellers willing to fly without a carry-on bag.

CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech referenced the plan while addressing a business audience in Calgary on Wednesday (May 22), reports the Canadian Press.

The "ultra-low" fare will be introduced within "a couple of weeks" and will appeal to budget-conscious travellers, von Hoensbroech reportedly said.

He said the move should free up overhead bin space, which has become a pain point for many airlines as more customers opt out of checking their luggage.

Those who purchase the cheapest fare will not have the option to put a bag in the overhead bins (but will be permitted to store a knapsack, purse or small personal item underneath the seat in front of them), CP reports.

A discounted "no carry-on" fare is something ultra-low-cost-carrier Flair Airlines does – the Edmonton-based airline lets passengers fly with one free small bag or personal item that can be stored under their seat, but any bag headed for overhead bin space has a fee.

Segmenting travellers within the aircraft

von Hoensbroech has been hinting at a plan like this since last year when the integration of Swoop, the company’s now-defunct low-cost carrier, took place. In April 2025, Sunwing Airlines, which WestJet now owns, will undergo the same process.

The integrations of both airlines will result in aircraft reconfigurations – a move that will densify cabins to distribute costs across more seats.

As PAX first reported, WestJet’s 737-800s and MAX 8s, including legacy WestJet, Sunwing and Swoop planes, will be reworked to feature 180 seats – up six seats from the current configuration – including 12 Premium seats.

READ MORE: WestJet to densify cabins, serve “broader spectrum of guests” following Swoop closure

WestJet's Max 10s – there are 70 on order for the next five years – will also add 13 seats, totalling 212.

The idea is to create a low-cost option within the aircraft. 

“We will not segment our guests by airline [like through Swoop], but segment our guests within the aircraft,” von Hoensbroech said at a Toronto Region Board of Trade meeting last October. “For a market like Canada, that makes most sense.”

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