Sunday,  May 31, 2020  1:08 pm

Social distancing done right: WestJet temporarily stops selling middle seats

  • Air
  •   04-02-2020  10:25 am
  •   Christine Hogg

Social distancing done right: WestJet temporarily stops selling middle seats
WestJet is selling less seats to give travellers more space. (WestJet)
Christine Hogg

Good news for anyone who’s ever been trapped in the dreaded middle seat—in light of COVID-19 and the general social distancing rules, WestJet is selling less seats to give travellers more space.

From now until May 4th, 2020, the middle seat on WestJet’s Boeing 737s and 787s, and every other seat on its Bombardier Q400s will be unavailable to book.

As COVID-19 continues to affect Canadians’ travel plans, WestJet has taken a series of precautionary measures to ensure its guests remain safe and healthy during this time. Recently, the airline announced the suspension of its commercial operations for all transborder (United States, including Hawaii) and international (Europe, Mexico, Caribbean, Central America) flights as of Sunday, March 22nd for a 30-day period.

Although it’s heavily reduced its domestic schedule, too, WestJet is “committed to providing essential air service to all of the Canadian markets we serve,” a statement read. 

The airline also recently implemented a flexible change policy. Travellers can now change or cancel their flights up until two hours before scheduled departure. Flight refunds will be returned as a future travel credit in the form of a Travel Bank, valid for 24 months. 

Vacation refunds will be returned as WestJet dollars, valid for 24 months. For full details on changes or cancellations, click here

What’s flying where?

WestJet has revised its flying schedule from Mar. 22nd through May 4th, 2020, which includes reductions by 50 per cent. However, as of March 23rd, the airline says it will continue to offer flights to all of the cities we currently serve in Canada with decreased frequency.

The following schedule represents March 22nd through May 4th, 2020 and includes all current frequency adjustments. These adjustments are temporary and could change as more information becomes known. 

For full details on domestic routes currently available, click here

Safety first, always

In compliance with Transport Canada regulations, all WestJet guests will be required to respond to a health questionnaire at the time of boarding. This regulation came into effect as of  Mar. 30th, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. MDT.

WestJet would like to remind guests of the following:

  • We urge guests to respond truthfully as providing false or misleading information could result in a $5,000 fine under the Aeronautics Act.

  • If you are displaying COVID-19 symptoms, or feeling unwell, you cannot board a flight.

  • If you have been ordered by provincial or territorial government or local public health to self-isolate or quarantine you will be denied boarding and will not be permitted to travel for a 14-day period.

  • If you are denied travel, we will rebook you to travel at least 14 days after the original date. To travel earlier, a valid medical certificate stating that you not affected by the COVID-19 virus is required.

The airline has also taken additional precautions to expand and enhance its sanitization measures across the fleet to protect guests. 

WestJet is using approved products, including Sanicide (disinfectant) for galleys and lavatories, along with Celeste 8500 for all-purpose cleaning. In addition to these cleaners, the airline also uses hospital-grade Clorox wipes and spray to disinfect tray tables and general areas. 

Newly introduced, effective March 23rd, WestJet began fogging all 737 and Q400 aircraft in Calgary with disinfection spray as part of its overnight cleaning and sanitization regimen.  It is expected to expand to other bases shortly.

The new process consists of fogging an entire aircraft (inside) to provide a complete disinfection using a hydrogen peroxide-based solution cleaner and takes approximately 15 minutes to complete with the product dissipating within 20 minutes.  

For the latest news on how WestJet is working to slow the spread of COVID-19, click here


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