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Low-Cost Carrier WestJet Launches Fares with Premium Perks

Aug 21, 2013 8:59 am

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Branded fares, such as WestJet’s new Plus option, have really caught on among airlines globally, giving leisure and business travelers more choice in the services they want to pay for.

— Dennis Schaal

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WestJet's took delivery of its 100th Boeing 737NG aircraft. Boeing

Low cost carrier WestJet, following in the footsteps of its larger rival, Air Canada, introduced a premium fare type that includes extra legroom, two checked bags, and advanced boarding to beat the crowds and secure overhead bin space.

WestJet’s new Plus fares, geared for business travelers in light of its introduction earlier this year of additional legroom (36-inch seat pitch) in its 103 Boeing 737NG aircraft, also offers flight changes and cancellations without fees; a complimentary food item and alcoholic drink; and priority security screening at select airports.

The Canadian low cost carrier now offers Econo, Flex and Plus fares on WestJet.com.

How much does a Flex fare cost?

One August 38-30 Montreal (YUL) to LGA roundtrip flight on WestJet includes an Economy fare for $299.57, a Flex fare for $331.07 (extra fees for advance seat selection and no free change and cancellation fees), and a Plus fare for $373.07.

Air Canada, which offers Tango, Flex, Latitutde, Executive Class Lowest, and Executive Class Flexible fares, in 2004 was the first airline in North America to introduce such branded fares, giving travelers more choice in the services that would be included in their ticket purchase.

WestJet is obviously seeing red, as well, given the recent launch of Air Canada’s low cost carrier Rouge, which like its parent offers branded fare options.

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