BBWorld 2016 – Flying WestJet for the first time

My second conference for this year is BBWorld for 2016, it is being held in LasVegas Nevada.

Due to a few delays in budgeting and approval, my normal flight company of Air Canada became too expensive for my entire team to go. As we were being a bit lost and puzzles, our admin assistant provided an alternative solution, WestJet airlines!

WestJet’s home terminal at the Pearson International airport is Terminal 3. I seriously haven’t been here since the mid 90s. Terminal 1, I am familiar with, Terminal 3 on the other hand is as foreign to me as any other airport I have been to in the last thirty or so years, including my once home port, Hong Kong International.

So, me acting as if a tourist, was literally asking for help form everyone I ran into whom I believe can give me some info.

The main lobby seems familiar, maybe that is because I was here when my grand father flew back to Hong Kong after a summer vacation with us, back in the late 90s. It was pretty nice back than, but now it felt a bit old.

Since this was my first time on a WestJet flight, at least one that I can remeber, I had loads of questions. My boarding pass wouldn’t print, I don’t know where to go, what to do, what are the proceedures, and what to expect. The WestJet staff are very nice and answered all my questions in relations to the airline. One note they told me was, I was randomly selected for a detailed inspection to ensure I don’t have drugs or illegal substances. Now that’s a first.

To be honest, not sure if it is because Terminal 3 hardly deals with foreigners, who are some time rather uncourteous, the terminal 3 staff are super friendly! Even the customs people were smiling. That was even more interesting when they ‘pat down security’ was telling me about their standard proceedures. Or when the US custom officer finding out I am heading to Las Vegas and my tone towards the weather report I just queried prior to entering the gates. Terminal 3 seems to be more human when compared to Terminal 1. At least the ones I remeber  from the last two years, since I got a feeling they were over worked.

Of all the good things about Terminal 3, one thing I really hope the authorities would consider changing. There is only one Timmy’s! Scariest part? It is locked behind a different section of the waiting room!?

Some moose for those who are departing Canada and is heading back to their home country… I just find it fitting since it reminds me of the D2L moose..

I walked the entirety of section A and saw a Starbucks and a few places that will sell you alcoholic beverages, but what I really wanted was nothing more than a bagel with a cup of Tim’s, especially since I only had three hours of sleep the night before. Tim’s!!!! Please!! How can you leave Canada with Starbucks and Wendy’s?

It seems Terminal 3 is filled with WedtJet planes, that plane with the propellers is a bombardier plane. The one I will be flying on is a Boeing 737.

Boarding bridge is similar to those in Terminal 1, but the bathrooms were definitely from an older era. The entire airport resembles the really old ones I remeber as a kid.

How did I know from the cabin? That’s how! ?

The cabin is actually pretty spacious and I didn’t feel like a sardine at all. The crew is very strict when it comes to following rules, bags MUST be store over head or under the chair in front. I even have to put my camera on the cabin floor, this is very different from AirCanada, as sometimes, I can get away with minor things like that…

All in all, WestJet’s prices are very competitive. For my flight to Vegas, the round trip cost on WestJet would only buy a single ticket from AirCanada. That maybe partially related to the fact that my approval came in too late for the weeks ahead discounts, but WestJet’s cost was so much lower. I will consider them when I need to fly to some destinations where they have a direct competition with AirCanada from now on.

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