December 15, 2006 08:30 ET

WestJet Holiday Travel Tips

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 15, 2006) - WestJet (TSX:WJA) today issued its top 10 holiday travel tips to ensure its guests enjoy a smooth travel experience this special time of year.

"December is one of the busiest months for air travel" says Bob Cummings, Executive VP Guest Experience and Marketing. "In true WestJet spirit, we want to our guests to start the holiday season off right and these tips can help make their flights stress-free."

WestJet's Top 10 Tips for Holiday Travel:

1) Check your flight

Airports are busy this time of year so double check that your flight is leaving on time before you leave home. Up-to-date flight information is available through WestJet Flight Tracker feature on westjet.com. Guests can use this feature to check on the most current WestJet arrivals and departures.

2) Arrive Early!

Determine your home-to-airport travel arrangements ahead of time. Reserve your taxi or airport limo at least 24 hours in advance as these services book-up fast and are always busy during the holiday season. Valet parking may be delayed and airport parking could be near full so make time to park. WestJet recommends guests arrive at the airport a minimum of two hours prior to flight time due to the high volume of holiday travellers and heightened security requirements. Guests must be at the departure gate a minimum of 30 minutes prior to their scheduled departure time. Guests arriving at the gate less than ten minutes prior scheduled departure time, risks losing their reserved seat.

3) Choose the check-in option that is right for you!

WestJet offers three check-in options for your convenience;

- Web check-in! You can check-in up to 24 hours prior to your flight (domestic flights only) using our web check-in feature at westjet.com. Pick your seat and print your boarding pass at home! Remember to drop your baggage at the WestJet Bag Drop when you arrive at the airport.

- Self serve kiosks are available at most domestic airports (domestic flights only). These allow you to check-in, pick your seats and print your boarding pass on your own! Once again, if you have baggage to check, drop them at the WestJet Bag Drop counter.

- Airport check-in. If you prefer to check-in traditionally, or need to speak to a Customer Service Agent, guests can always visit a friendly WestJetter at the check-in counter.

4) Pack properly

All wrapped presents should go in checked baggage. Security will unwrap any wrapped items in carry-on baggage, causing delays at security for you and your fellow guests. Fragile and valuable items should be packed appropriately as WestJet is unable to accept responsibility for loss or damage to these items. We recommend bringing these items in the carry-on allowance whenever possible. Anything fragile that must travel in checked baggage should be packed appropriately and tagged 'fragile' at the airport.

5) Tag your bags!

Make sure your bags are clearly tagged and that there are no loose straps etc. WestJet allows two pieces of check-baggage per guest at 60lbs per piece. Any additional pieces (up to two) can be loaded on a space-available basis; however they are subject to a $75 excess baggage fee. Pack all essentials in your first two checked pieces as there is no guarantee that there will be room for additional baggage. Any overweight or oversized items will be charged a $40 fee. Sporting equipment such as skis and snowboards are considered to be part of the checked baggage allowance of two pieces.

6) Beware of carry-on restrictions

Since most holiday flights are filled to capacity, carry-on size and weight regulations are strictly enforced. Also, make sure you are aware of Transport Canada's restrictions for carry-on contents.

WestJet accepts two pieces of carry-on per guest at 22lbs each. Transport Canada will allow the following items in carry-on baggage:

- Liquids, gels and aerosols through security screening at Canadian airports provided that the items are packaged in containers with a capacity of 100 ml/100 grams/3.4 oz or less. The containers must fit comfortably in one clear, closed and re-sealable plastic bag (such as a Ziploc) with a capacity of no more than 1 litre (7" x 8" or 6" x 9"). One bag per guest will be permitted.

- Prescription medicine with a name that matches the guest's ticket, insulin and other essential non-prescription medicines will continue to be permitted.

- Baby formula, baby food and milk, when guests are travelling with a child aged two years or under, as well as prescription medicine and essential non-prescription medicines are exempt from the container size restrictions and are not required to be placed in a plastic bag. However, all such items not in a bag or in containers over 100 ml/100 grams/3.4 oz. must be declared to screening authorities.

7) Plan for your pets

Only, leak-proof soft-sided kennels designed for airline travel are accepted in the cabin. Duffle bags, gym bags, other non-kennels, or hard-sided kennels cannot be accepted. The animal must be fully enclosed in the kennel. Kennels taken in cabin must be able to fit under the seat in front of you and your pet must remain in the kennel at all times. With the amount of excess baggage that guests typically take over the holiday period, the cargo holds are full and do not provide a safe and comfortable environment for pets. Our holiday pet embargo for animals in checked baggage runs from December 15 to January 7 inclusive; however, cats, dogs, rabbits, and birds may be able to travel in the cabin of the aircraft (except flights to Hawaii).

8) Bring games and toys for kids

Make sure to pack some small games or toys for the little ones traveling this holiday. A long trip will pass much quicker with some entertainment. Remember that WestJet now offers live seatback television provided by Bell ExpressVu on the majority of its fleet.

9) Make sure to stay hydrated!

The aircraft cabin can be very dry, make sure to drink lots of water during your flight. WestJet offer complimentary refreshments plus a buy-on-board service with a variety of snacks and beverages to purchase.

10) Share a holiday joke with the in-flight staff!

WestJetters are always looking for new material! If you have an appropriate holiday joke that makes you laugh every time, feel free to share it on board and help us spread festive cheer!

For more details on holiday travel please visit westjet.com.

Contact Information

  • WestJet
    Deborah Knight
    Manager PR & Communications
    (403) 589-5852 or (416) 200-3577
    Natalie Green
    Communications Coordinator
    (403) 444-2274
    Website: www.westjet.com