Value like art is subjective and what is a reasonable cost to one consumer is an impossible extravagance to another but there can be few who would disagree on the overall affordability of last minute upgrades to WestJet’s roomier economy cabin called Plus as it’s a fraction of the regular price with almost all the perks.

The airline made me an offer I couldn’t refuse when I checked in online for a recent nonstop flight Edmonton to Kahului, Maui, namely a $150 one-way upgrade from my economy seat to a Plus seat for the duration of the 6.5 hour flight which after a refund for the $20 economy seat assignment I’d paid months before, the complimentary in-flight meal and drinks worth $30 dropped the total spend out-of-pocket to $100 or roughly a quarter of my original ticket cost and a fraction of the regular price of Plus seats as my seatmate lamented when we exchanged pleasantries upon boarding. The choice however is completely the passenger’s as paying the regular Plus seat pricing in advance is the only way to guarantee your travel in this seat type as there are no guarantees these seats will be available when online check-in opens 24 hours prior to departure. It should be noted that the price to upgrade to a Plus seat at time of online check-in will vary depending on the length of the flight as shorter hops under 300 miles will only cost $15,  $50 for routes 301-1000 miles,  $100 for 1001-2000 miles, $120 on 2001-3000 mile flights and $150 for flights over 3000 miles.

Unlike WestJet’s Boeing 737 aircraft which has one cabin with Plus seats in the first few rows the larger and longer-range Boeing 767 the airline recently introduced into its fleet has a separate cabin for this upgraded category with two seats in the left, center and right rows.


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The room between rows and the seat width was quite comfortable compared with economy but it isn’t the full-on business class pods found on other airlines. WestJet has however created a neat amenity kit for the Alberta – Hawaii routes with socks, eye mask, toothbrush and tiny toothpaste tube and ear buds.


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I’m sure I’ll put the light cloth amenity bag will be put to good use storing odds & ends on future trips such as cords or flight accessories like ear buds and eye masks.

As there aren’t seat-back TV’s WestJet encourages passengers to download their Westjet Connect and watch in-flight entertainment on their iPad or smartphone. A limited number of rental iPads are available for a low $8 rental fee and I considered renting one but as I’d downloaded the app to my Samsung Galaxy 4 phone I did try and watch the movie The Martian but gave up after half an hour as I found the screen too small and tired of having to hold it up and at the right angle to make viewing possible.  As I travel prepared I whipped out a good book and enjoyed that old-fashioned form of in-flight entertainment.

Plus tablet

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After settling in to my comfortable Plus seat the friendly flight attendant handed out the morning menu.

Plus breakfast

As tempting as the Traditional meal was having already had a large breakfast earlier in the morning instead opted for the lighter Continental for this mid-morning flight. The yogurt with granola, croissant and fruit plate were pretty standard fare but the meal’s star was the moist and delicious banana bread.


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Snacks were offered before landing and included a choice between a small can of Pringles, cookies or a more substational Spicy Italian sub sandwich. As alcoholic beverages were included as part of the Plus perks I couldn’t resist having a local Hawaiian beer, the Kona Brewing Company’s Longboard Lager, or two to get into the holiday mode.

WestJet’s in-flight service was outstanding on this flight as it has been when I’ve flown them in the past and helped add to the overall very pleasant experience validating my small splurge to upgrade to Plus which I would definitely recommend for anyone offered it at time of online check-in but especially on the longer flights onboard the Boeing 767-300ERW aircraft. For a look inside this aircraft there’s an excellent video here.


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