Having flown WestJet on a number of occasions and almost always avoided advance seat selection fees by checking in online within 24 hours of departure and choosing my seat for free at that time it was a case of a little too much haste and not enough attention when checking in for a recent WestJet flight Winnipeg to Edmonton that came back to haunt me when I boarded the flight and occupied my seat.
WestJet marks an “L” on the seats that are less desirable as they have a tighter seat pitch, which is the distance between rows than other rows, as well as no seat recline but in my hurry I ignored the icon legend selecting a window seat in row 9 as it was as far forward as possible with the thought being that it may allow for faster embarkation and disembarkation than seats toward the rear of the aircraft.
Pilling into my window seat it was impossible not to notice the missing inches in seat pitch which went from mildly uncomfortable before take-off to mildly torturous when we reached cruising altitude and the passengers in row 8 reclined their seats into my lap.
After sharing a nervous smile with the fellow passengers beside me who were in the same predicament and glancing at my watch trying to work out the flight length a temporary reprieve arrived as the flight crew came around with in-flight snacks and drinks and as a courtesy to others kindly asked the travellers in row 8 to put their seat backs be in the upright position.
The flight seemed even longer than scheduled because of both the tight confines and the flaky and quite inebriated lady one row ahead who barely stopped talking to seat mates and crew long enough to order another drink which didn’t come as much of a surprise despite the early morning departure time.
Some lessons are learned painfully and chalk this up as one of those as it was easily the worst WestJet flight I’ve experienced but mercifully also one of the shortest.