WestJet review: 737-800 economy class Vancouver to Los Angeles

Who knew that writing WestJet reviews was so much fun? It’s been a few years since I’ve last flown this big little airline from the Canadian north, and I was quickly reminded of the fact that I’m not doing it often enough.

WestJet is making huge strides to become Canada’s national airline, but to me, whether or not they reach that lofty goal is irrelevant.

It’s been a lot of fun watching them try to knock the crown off Air Canada’s head over the past two years, and it’ll be interesting to see if they can do it without getting punched square in the face (and sent packin’).

Can y’all tell that I loves me a good airline rivalry?

WS1698
Vancouver, BC (YVR) – Los Angeles, CA (LAX)
Friday, November 22, 2019
Aircraft: 737-8CT
Registration: C-GAWS
Duration: 2 hours 16 minutes
Seat: 6A (economy +)

WestJet 737-800 side view

WestJet 737-800 side view illustration by Norebbo.com. Special livery FTW!

WestJet 737-800 seat map

Seat map of this WestJet 737-800 (courtesy of seatguru.com) showing my seat (6A) for this flight to LAX.

WS1698 flight track

Our route from YVR to LAX tonight as WS1698

My video review for this WestJet economy flight down to Los Angeles

Anyone new to my blog or YouTube channel knows that I’m no stranger to doing WestJet reviews. I made my first WestJet video way back in the fall of 2016, which feels like eons ago. That’s why I was especially excited to make another video with my new style of narration and editing.

It’s been a while since I’ve done a video review of a basic US or Canadian economy class product, and it was during the editing process that I realized once again how difficult it is. It’s not that WestJet was bad or anything, but It was really hard to make this video entertaining. Nothing exciting happened!

As always, I scored the soundtrack for this video from my buds over at Epidemic Sound. It’s a valuable resource that I highly recommend to all YouTubers who need music for their own videos.

Please note: some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. This means that I will get paid a commission if you buy something or take an action after clicking one of them.

How much did I pay for this flight to Los Angeles?

Finding a good deal on WestJet is generally not all that difficult. My first flights with them in 2016 from San Diego to Calgary (and then Calgary back to San Diego) were quite economical. This trip down to Los Angeles was no different.

I paid just US$274 for this one-way ticket – and that includes the price of spending $20 extra for an economy seat with extra legroom. A fair price to pay to be whisked down from Vancouver to LA in 2 1/2 hours in fairly decent comfort IMHO.

As always, I used my American Express Platinum Card to purchase the ticket, which always earns me 5X points for all airfare spend. That means I earned 1370 American Express Membership Rewards points for this flight (which can be transferred to a wide variety of other airlines).

If you’re curious, I credited the miles earned on the distance flown to my Delta SkyMiles account.

Pros and cons of WestJet 737-800 economy class

When it comes to flying economy on most major airlines, there really isn’t all that much difference between them. There’s only so much they can do with the limited space they have, and it seems hardly any airline is courageous enough these days to go out on a limb and offer very unique service.

However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that WestJet is completely void of character. As a matter of fact, they’ve got their good points and bad points just like any other airline. What good is a WestJet review (or any flight review actually) if I can’t weigh the pros and cons?

Pros

  • From what I’ve seen, WestJet economy class fares are generally quite reasonable, and they don’t seem to overprice for the product they offer.
  • Even though they have an extensive buy-on-board food menu, they also still offer free drinks and snacks.
  • The first few rows of economy (the rows with extra legroom) are quite nice and very spacious. See the pics below for an example of what I mean.

Cons

  • Remember what I just said about WestJet economy not being all that different from all the other airlines? That’s kind of a negative I guess.
  • This isn’t something related specifically to economy class, but it’s still worth noting: WestJet isn’t a particularly large airline, so you don’t get the benefit of a large network as you would if you were flying Air Canada. This is a big deal when flights get canceled due to weather or other such reasons and you need to get rebooked on another flight.

Full transcript of my WestJet 737-800 economy video (with pics!)

Hey everyone, it’s Scott again, and I’m here freezing my butt off in Vancouver this morning because (oddly enough), one of the most common requests I got in 2019 was to do more WestJet reviews. You Canadians are proud of your airlines, and I’m happy to oblige, so let’s do this!

The check in process for WS1698 to Los Angeles

Checking in for this flight down to Los Angeles was a piece of cake. I’ve done a couple WestJet reviews already, and since this wasn’t my first rodeo, I knew exactly what the check in process was going to be like.

YVR ticketing hall

The YVR ticketing hall, with WestJet kiosks for as far as the eye can see. This benefits me greatly since it means that I won’t have to walk very far to check in. #winning

WestJet check in YVR

Go ahead. Practice your pronunciation of “enregistrement” in your thickest French accent. You’ll sound suave and sophisticated.

WestJet check in kiosk

Waiting for something exciting to happen.

FYI, the interior of the Vancouver Airport is quite nice

You know, now that I think of it, I have a feeling that y’all probably wanted me to try the 787 on a long haul over to London and not a rinky-dink 737 down to Los Angeles. Dang it! Oh well. I am a master of misreading signals, and I do need to get home today, so a 737 review is all I’ve got for you.

YVR international terminal

Gate 82 is my departure point this afternoon, but I’m a little early yet. Time to find some food…

YVR airport food

In addition to having a knack for misreading signals, I have a super-human ability to seek out and destroy overpriced airport chicken bowls. Combined with a beverage, this one set me back exactly $13.22. A fair price to pay in my opinion, considering that it kept me satisfied all the way to LA.

YVR airport pay phones

When’s the last time you saw a bank of pay phones at an airport? The most impressive thing about this was the fact that they all looked well worn and very abused. I can’t say that I was just a little tempted to thumb through that phone book and give Pan Am a call…

YVR terminal

All jokes aside, the Vancouver Airport is absolutely stunning and Ive always enjoyed flying in and out of here. Especially the international terminal. It’s large, very well designed, and it feels as just as clean and modern as the city of Vancouver.

SANspotter westjet reviews YVR

I’m diggin’ it.

The WestJet boarding process

There really isn’t much to say about the boarding process other than it being extremely efficient. The WestJet ground staff are sticklers for making sure nobody boards until their group has been called, so it was entertaining to hold back and watch them deny boarding to anyone who tried to jump the line.

westjet 737-800

I know. This *would* be a lot more fun if I was about to step aboard one of WestJet’s brand new 787s, but I’m still quite looking forward to this 737 economy class experience.

westjet boarding pass

Think of this as an appetizer for the 787 review I’m eventually going to scratch off my list. Don’t worry – it’s gonna happen!

westjet boarding process

Hangin’ with the zone 3 crowd.

100th westjet 737

Seems as if I’m flying on the 100th Next-Generation WestJet 737 today!

westjet 737 boarding door

Out of curiosity, I just checked my flight log, and this was the 136th 737 that I’ve personally flown on. Does that make me better than WestJet?

westjet 737 extra leg room

Well, this might not be the 787 footage everyone was hoping for, but stay with me folks. Note that I paid $20 more dollars for a seat with a few extra inches of leg room, which (as you can see) is absolutely worth it.

westjet economy power ports

The power ports were a nice touch as well.

sanspotter more westjet reviews

Here I am demonstrating how difficult it is to get trip report footage in economy. It’s not like these seats are especially cramped or anything but I most certainly lack the finesse and coordination necessary to strap on my seatbelt while trying to hold a camera. This is hard, ok?

So far, WestJet 737 economy seems as every bit as decent as it was when I first experienced it on the flight from San Diego to Calgary in 2016.

sanspotter westjet review

The extra leg room is a nice touch – as is the fact that I *think* the seat next to me is going to remain vacant. by the way, if you like having empty seats next to you on airplanes as well, do be sure to read my article which explains how I’m consistently able to make it happen.

The departure out of YVR

I desperately wanted this to be one of the most picturesque WestJet reviews ever, so I was really biting my nails as the sun started dropping toward the horizon (as we were still parked at the gate). “Let’s go already!”

westjet 737-800 engine and wing

Oh heck yes. The seat next to me is unoccupied, and we are ready to go!

YVR international terminal

I just can’t get over how nice the International Terminal is here at YVR. I basically spent all day here today writing blog posts and eating overpriced chicken bowls, and I admit that I was kinda bummed that I had to leave.

YVR terminal

But what about the domestic terminal? I’ll have to check it out someday – preferably when I do my positioning flights for that long overdue WestJet 787 review you’ve all been so waiting so patiently for. Don’t worry – it’s coming!

The part of the flight before the snack service (what is that called again?)

Do you ever sit back and wonder how the person piloting your plane got to be in that situation? Interestingly enough, one my Patrons (Pilot Wright) is a 41 year old private pilot who is just starting the process of getting his commercial license. Best of all, he’s going to document the journey on his YouTube channel. That’s gonna be fun to watch.

westjet 737 takeoff

Speaking of wondering who our pilot is this evening, how *exactly* do I know that the person at the stick right now didn’t fail flight school 3 times before finally getting through on a technicality?

sunset takeoff from YVR

I guess I’ll never know, and that’s what makes this more thrilling and edgy than other WestJet reviews I suppose. lol

WesJet route map

This is really exciting isn’t it? Actually, I was shocked to see such an extensive route map as I was thumbing through the in flight magazine. The WestJet network is seriously impressive.

WestJet economy class food (yes, it exists)

It’s not like everyone else’s WestJet reviews are overflowing with food content, but I’ll admit I was hoping for a delicious surprise on this flight down to LA tonight. FYI, delicious surprises are the very best kind. Here’s how it all played out:

westjet food menu

If you’re curious, yes; there is food for purchase here in WestJet economy, and the menu seems to be very well stocked.

westjet menu pics

Uh oh. Cheese and crackers! I wasn’t planning on buying anything but that looks gooood…

sanspotter eating westjet snack

If this isn’t the most perfect demonstration of willpower, I don’t know what is. You see, this is the leftover (and very stale) bag of nuts I bought back at JFK two days earlier (purchased just before my Cathay Pacific flight to YVR), and somehow I was able to chose *this* over the cheese and crackers I saw in the menu.

So I’ve got my nuts…on a 737…and I know! This video would be SO much better if I had cheese and crackers on a 787 instead. Don’t worry. It’s coming!

westjet economy snack

A partial “delicious surprise”? In addition to the food for purchase options, they were still providing free drinks and snacks. Nothing fancy, but it was very well-appreciated. Thanks WestJet.

Mt Baker

Mt Baker!

Mt Hood

25(ish) minutes later: Mt Hood!

WestJet 737-800 cabin

Nobody else seemed to care about the volcanoes right outside my window.

WestJet in-flight entertainment

So I’ve got a question for you: when I do end up flying the WestJet 787, which would you rather see? An economy review? Or something that shows what the business class experience is like? Please say business class!

Also worth mentioning is that all video entertainment on this flight was of the streaming variety, accessible via the WestJet mobile app.

westjet in flight map

It also included a moving map feature, which showed us heading north out of Vancouver for the entire flight. Remember what I said earlier about questionable pilots?

Arrival into Los Angeles

I do realize that WestJet reviews are a lot more fun when they end in a snowy North Pole-like destination. Today (unfortunately) it’s going to have to be the concrete jungle known as Los Angeles.

los angeles basin

We’re descending low and slow into the Los Angeles basin now, which is the perfect opportunity to practice my pronunciation of “ATodosLados Aviation”. Not easy for a gringo like me, but I’m still really glad he became a SANspotter Patron late last year. Welcome to LA by the way.

Well, let’s see here. What can I say about WestJet 737-800 economy class as we glide into 24R at LAX? I guess it was fine. Nothing special, though I do highly recommend spending a bit more for a seat with extra leg room.

I think you’d be a fool not to spring for the cheese and crackers as well…

flying over downtown LA

Downtown LA looking as sparkly as ever.

LA stadium construction

A common sight on approach into LAX for the past 2 years. When are they ever gonna finish that thing?

WestJet premium seats

Can someone please remind me to try these WestJet premium seats sometime? Thanks.

westjet 737 bulkhead wall

Thanks for coming along with me on this two and a half hour ride down to Los Angeles tonight!

Speaking of thanks, a big fat dose of love and support goes to all my Patrons, who so graciously support this channel to keep the content flowing. Lauren Kolligs, Joshua Bedel, and to everyone else: thanks so much!

Anyway, I appreciate you watching all the way through to the end. I’m so sorry that this wasn’t a 787…and…I’ll catch you in the next one.

FAQs about flying WestJet 737-800 economy class

Hopefully all the pictures above answered all your questions about flying WestJet 737 800 economy. However, my primary goal is to make one of the most thorough WestJet reviews ever, so I do believe it’s necessary to take it a step further and include a list of answers to some frequently asked questions.

Please note that you can always ask additional questions in the comment section below. I’m always happy to help!

Where is the best place to get a good deal on WestJet economy class tickets?

I’d start by looking at Google Flights, since they show prices of several major booking agencies all in one place. If what you find there doesn’t satisfy you, I’d suggest taking a look at discounted booking agencies such as X or X.

Do they serve food in WestJet economy class?

As you saw in the pictures above, yes. They do. However, it’s very basic food and it’s not going to satisfy anyone with a big appetite. Don’t expect anything more than a beverage and a small cup and a bag of pretzels.

If you’re feeling spendy, note that their in-flight menu of food for purchase items is quite extensive. It’s also quite pricey, so you’re probably better off stocking up with food in the airport before the flight.

Is there anything truly unique about the WestJet economy class experience?

To be brutally honest, no. I know, WestJet reviews are a lot more exciting if the author is able to wax poetic about all the ways that the airline is the best ever, but I’m coming up blank on this one.

The WestJet economy experience is essentially like flying American Airlines but – all the announcements are in French. Seriously. That’s the only thing I can think of is when somebody asks me how WestJet is different from all the others (at least in North America).

Is it really worth it to pay extra for an economy seat with more legroom?

In my opinion, yes it is. The standard WestJet 737 economy class seat offers decent amount of space and comfort, but I could definitely see it becoming an issue yes you’re over 6 feet tall.

If you’re curious, check out the review of WestJet 737-700 basic economy from Calgary to San Diego that I wrote several years ago. That should give you a pretty good idea of what to expect in a standard seat on this airline.

What about video entertainment? is it any good?

I was actually quite impressed with the catalog of streaming video entertainment options on WestJet. Of course it’s not anywhere near as nice and extensive as a catalog you’re going to find on Cathay Pacific, but it’s perfectly adequate for any  flight under three hours (which most WestJet flights are).

From what I could tell, the streaming quality was decent. I didn’t watch anything for longer than 10 minutes, but it never once skipped or buffered on me the entire time.

Do you (SANspotter) have any plans to write any more WestJet reviews?

If you couldn’t tell already, I am just a wee bit excited about trying the Westjet 787 in all three classes (economy, premium economy, and business class). You bet your bananas that there’s going to be more WestJet reviews on SANspotter.com in the coming year or two!

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