WestJet 737-700 main cabin (economy class) YYC-SAN

WestJet 737-700 main cabin (economy class) YYC-SAN

It wasn’t until the evening before this flight when I was trying to check in with the WestJet mobile app that I realized that I’ve been traveling domestically for far too long. I’m a big fan of checking in with mobile apps and getting a mobile boarding pass (it makes things so easy!), but I was bummed to discover that they didn’t offer it for this flight down to SAN. This is not a good way to begin another WestJet review!

Calgary, Alberta (YYC) – San Diego, CA (SAN)
Sunday, September 18, 2016
Aircraft: 737-7CT
Registration: C-FBWJ
Duration: 2 hours 48 minutes
Seat: 18F (main cabin / economy)

westjet 737-700 side view
WestJet 737-700 (C-FBWJ) side view illustration by norebbo.com
YYC to SAN route map
Our route from YYC to SAN today: OTARA Q931 IPTAN PIH DTA BLD TNP LYNDI4

I thought it was an anomaly at first, but I eventually realized that mobile boarding passes are largely a domestic US thing. I’m embarrassed to admit that I didn’t know that! Oh well – that just meant that I’d have to do things old-school and trudge on down to the departures hall just a few minutes earlier in the morning to get a paper boarding pass from a kiosk or (*gasp*)…a real human being!

Luckily there was a really nice check in and boarding pass printing station located right in the lobby of the Calgary Airport Marriott (where I stayed the night), so I took full advantage of that before walking over to the main terminal. Direct human contact avoided. Lol…

boarding pass print calgary airport marriott
Printing out my boarding pass at this convenient printing station at the YYC airport Marriott.

Arriving at YYC for the flight down to San Diego

Check in for US flights here at YYC are restricted to those that depart in two hours or less, so I had to wait until exactly 8:25 before I could enter the US pre-clearance customs hall in order to catch my 10:25am flight.

westjet check in yyc calgary airport
Having a printed boarding pass and no luggage to check meant that this WestJet review was off to a really great start! Especially since I could avoid the check in counters altogether. The queue doesn’t look so bad this morning though.
calgary airport main terminal yyc
I had to hang out a bit in the main terminal before heading through security and US customs.

There didn’t really seem to be a need to rush though, as the queue to enter was very short and I assumed that I would be through in minutes.

Unfortunately I assumed wrong. Passport control took just 5 minutes to pass through, but the security checkpoint was another story. The line for that wasn’t all that long, but it was moving extremely slow. It took 25 minutes to get through into the gate areas, and I felt especially sorry for the poor souls in the ever-growing line behind me. By the time I reached the scanner/x-ray, the line behind me had grown 5 times in length and it was moving glacially slow.

According to the chatter I heard from others standing around me, this seemed to me a regular occurrence here at YYC. At least the security personnel were coming through the line giving priority to passengers with the earliest flights.

First order of business for this WestJet review? Finding something to eat.

Once I made it into the gate area, priority number one became breakfast. It was shortly after 9am, and I was starting to feel weak from not having anything to eat or drink all morning. Food options are limited here inside the gate areas of YYC, but I did find a nice bagel shop and was able to enjoy and egg and cheese bagel as I decompressed from the stress of trying to get through security.

calgary airport breakfast
This egg and cheese bagel was a lifesaver. I was starving by the time I cleared security!
yyc airport interior
The interior of YYC ins’t all that interesting, but at least it’s bright with decent windows to the outside world (unlike MEX, for example).

After breakfast, I set off in search of getting pics of our aircraft for this WestJet review. And guess what? Remember how I mentioned before that I’ve been having strange “luck” this year with flying duplicate aircraft? It happened again.

The same aircraft that I flew from SAN to YYC two days ago would be the same one that would be taking me back to SAN this morning. This is the third trip this year in which that sort of thing has happened. Weird I tell ya!

westjet 737-700 C-FBWJ YYC
We meet again, old friend! C-FBWJ getting loaded up to take me back home to San Diego.
gate 34 yyc calgary airport
Gate 34 is our point of departure this morning.
sanspotter airport selfie yyc
I had some time to kill, so I found a quiet spot at the end of the terminal to relax for a bit.
yyc calgary airport seating
I love the seat colors here at YYC! So earthy…

The boarding process for WestJet flight number 1564 to San Diego

Boarding was called exactly on time, though I had to hold back a little bit since I had a Zone 2 boarding pass. No worries though – I never use the overhead bins anyway, so at least I don’t have to fight for space to put my things. Although I do suspect that this WestJet review would be a lot more exciting if I had to fight for overhead bin space…

westjet YYC-SAN boarding pass
Just for the memories, here’s a pic of my boarding pass for this flight.
westjet boarding pass
Passport in hand, ready as ever to get onboard.

The gate area seemed pretty full as boarding commenced, so I assumed this was going to be a very full flight. But once again (just as it had happened on the SAN-YYC segment), the middle seat was left empty as the boarding door closed. Yes!!

And come to think of it, this was my third flight in a row with an empty middle seat. First it was SFO-SAN on VX, SAN-YYC two days ago on WS, and again today for the return to SAN. Economy class isn’t so bad with an open adjacent seat.

calgary yyc airport jet bridge
There’s something about walking into a jet bridge that always pumps me up. A new adventure begins!
boarding westjet 737-700
It’s even nicer when there isn’t a long queue to get onboard. I always feel a bit like a rock star whenever I can walk down the jet bridge and step onboard without stopping. :-p

Detailed pics of WestJet 737-700 economy class

Westjet 737-700 economy class
WestJet 737-700 economy class. WestJet 787-9 business class it is not.
WestJet 737-700 economy class seats
WestJet 737-700 economy class seats 18 D, E, and F. If you’re not liking the way this looks, check out my Swoop Airlines review (an airline owned by WestJet) before making any judgements.
WestJet 737-700 economy class seats
WestJet 737-700 economy class seats 18 D, E, and F.
westjet 737-700 economy class seat pitch
Obligatory leg room (seat pitch) pic for this WestJet review – even though I posted the exact same thing for the SAN-YYC segment. Just being thorough!
westjet 737-700 interior
I’m a bit further back on this flight. Row 18 is nearly 3/4 of the way back here in the main cabin.
westjet 737-700 interior
I was hoping for a row all to myself, but then 18D showed up (photobombing a seat pitch pic I was trying to get).
WestJet reading material
WestJet reading material in the seat back pocket in front of me.

The departure from YYC

It was a beautiful sunny morning in the Calgary area, which provided for some nice views of the surrounding area as we departed.

calgary airport YYC westjet
Pushing off the gate.
YYC calgary airport westjet
Looks like we’re being trailed by a company 737-800…
westjet 737-700 departure YYC calgary airport
And we’re off!
westjet 737-700 departure YYC calgary airport
I was a bit bummed that I was (once again) on the wrong side of the aircraft to get a good look at the Canadian Rocky Mountains in the distance. So much for a WestJet review with award-winning photography…
westjet 737-700 departure YYC calgary airport
Nothing but flat farm land on this side!
westjet 737-700 departure YYC calgary airport
Despite the flat terrain, it sure was pretty down there. We don’t see this kind of flat open land in southern California!

Climb out was smooth and uneventful, so much so that the guy in the aisle seat never once twitched during the entire process.

sleeping on airplane
Knocked. OUT.
recording take off with GoPro camera
My GoPro hard at work capturing HD video of the departure.

What’s the service like in WestJet economy class?

The snack and beverage service began 15 minutes after departure, with two carts (one at the front, and the other at the rear) being started at the same time. They both met in the middle approximately 25 minutes later. And yeah – I went for the salty snack and a cup of water (no ice) of course.

westjet economy class snack service
The WestJet in flight snack: salty, matched with a selection of fine Canadian Water (which was probably just tap water from Pittsburg).
westjet economy class drinking cups
flying over montana
Somewhere over Montana. Looks nice down there, and someday I hope to get a closer look (from the ground).
westjet 737-700 seat back pockets
The only thing worth noting about these seats is when the tray table is down, any loose paper in the the seat back pockets tends to fall out on the tray. Very important stuff to know (and vitally important to include in a decent WestJet review.

The comfort of WestJet 737-700 economy class

westjet 2016 route map
I had a look at the in flight magazine while enjoying my snack, and I was amazed by the WestJet route map. I had no idea they were this large of an airline! Impressive route network indeed.
WestJet 737-700 winglet
WestJet winglet pic – a good looking winglet indeed.
sanspotter airplane selfie
Killing time trying to get some selfies for this trip report.

The rest of the flight was completely uneventful and not all that interesting. I spent a lot of time napping in between taking pics for this trip report, but the sleep wasn’t all that good considering there was a crying baby nearby and someone was watching an action movie a few rows away without headphones.

KLINKKLANKCRASHBOOMKAPOW!!!!! It was highly annoying, but I’m thinking that someone called them out on it because it eventually stopped. A big “thank you” goes out to whoever that was.

westjet 737-700 cabin interior
Wide angle overview of the entire cabin as we make our way south towards San Diego. The guy in 18D is still face down in his tray table…
western US mineral deposits
I’ve flown across the western US too many times to count, but I have never seen anything like this. Does anyone know what this is?
flying over utah
According to the GPS data on this photo, we are flying directly over Beryl Utah at this point (don’t worry – I’ve never heard of it either).

Arrival into San Diego

As we made our decent and approach into SAN, I became very thankful for having already cleared US customs up in Canana. I was feeling pretty groggy at this point, and not having to deal with the hassle of that was quite nice.

westjet flying over California desert
Starting the descent over southern California.
southern california desert and mountains
Where the desert meets the mountains.
Flying over eastern San Diego county
Flying over eastern San Diego county and getting set up for the approach into SAN.
flying into san diego
Dodging a few mountain tops along the way…
westjet 737-700 san Diego
Over top of Balboa Park and the 163 freeway – welcome to San Diego!
westjet 737-700 arrival san diego airport
Crossing the threshold for runway 27.
westjet 737-700 arrival san diego airport
Pulling up to gate 34 here in terminal 2 east. It just occurred to me as I’m writing this that gate 34 was the same number that I departed from this morning at YYC…
westjet 737-700 interior
Thanks for a great flight WestJet!

And that wraps up my inaugural experience with WestJet (and my first ever WestJet review). I have to say that both flights were pretty much what I had expected: cheap, friendly, no frills service. Of all the airlines I’ve flown over the years, I guess I would have to say that they reminded me of Sun Country the most.

While not a true bare bones low-cost experience like Allegiant or Spirit, they aren’t exactly an innovative airline with loads of perks. But then again, what airline is these days?

Comments (4)

  1. Brandon S

    October 17, 2017
    • SANspotter

      October 17, 2017
  2. Chicken

    April 24, 2019
    • SANspotter

      April 24, 2019

Give a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.