Flying WestJet Airlines with Babies, Toddlers & Young Children
WestJet is a Canadian airline that started out as a no-frills, low-cost alternative to Air Canada. Now they are Canada’s second-largest airline, with scheduled and charter air service to over 100 destinations in Canada, the United States, Europe, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.
WestJet Carry-On Baggage Allowances:
Each WestJet passenger in a confirmed seat is allowed one free piece of carry-on baggage and one personal item, total. Items that exceed the carry-on allowance will be placed in checked baggage and applicable baggage fees may apply.
If traveling with an infant, a diaper bag (that contains items specifically for said infant) may be brought on board in addition to the baggage allowance. Approved car seats may be brought on for use in a seat that’s been purchased for your baby or toddler.
Westjet Checked Baggage Allowances:
Fees for checked baggage vary depending on your destination and the level fare booked. WestJet flight fares from “EconoFlex” to Business include a free checked bag. If your WestJet flight is part of a WestJet Vacations Premium Economy package, your fare includes two free checked bags. All flights booked with Basic, Econo, or Member Exclusive fares charge $30-$35.40 for the first checked bag. The fee is charged in CAD or USD, depending on departure country.
The weight limit for checked bags on WestJet is up to 23 kilograms or 50 lbs
If traveling with a lap infant, two pieces of infant equipment are permitted free of charge and may be gate-checked at boarding. For an infant with a full-fare ticket, one piece of baby gear is permitted free of charge in addition to the checked baggage allowance.
WestJet Check In Procedure:
Online check in for WestJet flights begins 24 hours before departure, although some international destinations do not offer online check in. At the airport, check in at a WestJet kiosk 24 hours or fewer before your flight or with an agent three hours or fewer before departure. Select airports have a self-serve baggage tag kiosk.
If you are travelling with children under 12, contact WestJet immediately after booking and, if seats are available, they will assign seats next to at least one adult on the reservation, free of charge. If seats together are not available notify the WestJet gate agent or crew and they will do their best to accommodate seating changes at boarding. Air Canada does this as well. Although we’ve had to wait on hold, we have never had an issue with our seats being separated.
Fees for WestJet‘s advance seat selection vary between CAD $5 – $100, depending on fare level booked and seat selected.
WestJet now offers a number of upgrade options. When booking a flight, choose between Basic, Econo or EconoFlex, Premium or PremiumFlex, and Business or BusinessFlex. Business and BusinessFlex are only available on the 787 Dreamliner. Premium and PremiumFlex offer more leg and elbow room, and meals and beverages included in the fare. A Basic fare is simply that. Any extras are charged accordingly.
Policies for Infants & Children on Westjet Airlines:
You’ve got to love an airline that includes this line in their online information about infant policies:
“WestJet recognizes the likelihood of your lap-held infant playing peek-a-boo with other guests as being pretty much 100%, and generally fun for everyone involved.”
WestJet will seat children under 12 with their parents with no additional seat selection cost if you contact them right after booking your airfare. It’s worth waiting on hold to do this!
An infant is considered a baby who is over seven days-old and not yet turned two. WestJet‘s regular seats are actually decent in terms of size and pitch. Almost every seat comes with seat-back entertainment. It’s usually live TV show but there is always a kids’ channel or two. Sometimes it doesn’t work all that well if you’re out of sattelite range, but for a time my kids enjoyed watching the little plane cross the map 🙂
When travelling with an infant, WestJet allows you to check in a car seat and stroller at no additional charge. (But please don’t check your car seat as luggage!) A playpen or travel crib may be substituted for either a car seat or stroller.
WestJet is one of the few airlines that still offers pre-boarding for families traveling with small children.
OnBoard Amenities for Infants on WestJet:
One of the washrooms at the rear or the aircraft will have a change table. They don’t carry infant meals or baby milk onboard, nor do they offer regular milk as a beverage. On a flight home from Jamaica my son drained his bottle and I was VERY tempted to try to make one out of coffee creamers. My son was not a fan of Cuban milk so flying home from Cuba was also a bummer with no access to milk.
There are airplane bassinets on WestJet‘s 787-9 aircraft only. Request a bassinet when booking your flight or go to any WestJet counter at the airport. The infant must be a maximum of 9 kilograms/25lbs, a maximum length of 66cm/26 in., and unable to sit upright unassisted.
Although there is no fee or taxes for lap infants, proper identification is required.