Preparing for holiday travel
The holiday season is the busiest time of the year at airports around the world. Our tips on packing and preparing for holiday travel can help make things go as smoothly as possible for you during this time.
1. Check out your check-in options.
WestJet offers four convenient check-in options. Web, mobile and self-serve check-in is available from 24 hours to 60 minutes before scheduled departure and our friendly counter WestJetters are happy to check you in at most locations starting three hours before scheduled departure.
- Web check-in is available at westjet.com.
- Check-in on your mobile device using our Android app, iOS app, or mobile website.
- Self-serve check-in kiosks are available at most Canadian and U.S. airports in WestJet's network, and may also offer self-serve bag-tagging, allowing you to print and attach you bag tags as part of your check-in process.
- Traditional counter check-in is available in all airports.
Paying for baggage fees ahead of time can speed up your airport experience. You can pay for any applicable baggage fees with a credit card when you use web or mobile check in.
2. Be fashionable, not fashionably late.
Due to the high volume of holiday travellers, please be prepared for longer wait times at the airport. We recommend that you arrive at the airport a minimum of two hours before your scheduled time of departure. Receive flight reminders or notification of flight changes by visiting westjet.com. You can also check your real-time flight status and add trips to the WestJet Android or iOS app to stay current. Guests must have their boarding passes (printed or electronic), baggage tags and baggage dropped off before our cut-off times. Please be through security (and customs if travelling outside Canada) and at your departure gate at least 40 minutes before the scheduled time of departure. Unfortunately, guests who do not meet our minimum cut-off times for check-in or baggage drop will be denied travel and/or baggage acceptance, with no exception. If you arrive at the gate less than 10 minutes before departure you risk losing your seat.
3. Even Santa needs ID to fly.
Please ensure you have the proper identification and travel documentation for everyone on your reservation, including children and infants. Each country on your itinerary may have different entrance requirements. Before leaving for the airport, make sure the documents you use to get you there are sufficient to get you back home and for all countries on your itinerary.
Packing a passport? Don't forget a passport if you're travelling to any destination outside Canada. Be sure your passport is in good condition. Passport Canada recommends that you apply for a new passport if your current passport is damaged or inaccessible. Guests travelling with a passport that is damaged in any way could face significant delays, be denied entry at border crossings or be denied boarding on flights altogether.
4. We all carry a little baggage – help ensure yours fits on our aircraft.
Each guest is permitted one piece of carry-on baggage and one personal item. Carry-on bags may not exceed 53 cm x 23 cm x 38 cm (21 in. x 9 in. x 15 in.) and the personal item cannot exceed 41 cm x 15 cm x 33 cm (16 in. x 6 in. 13 in.). WestJet's standard carry-on allowance also applies to guests travelling between Alberta and Hawaii on WestJet's leased Boeing 757-200 aircraft from Thomas Cook Airlines.
Additional bags may be accepted on a space-available basis to most destinations, a fee may apply. Remember that excess baggage fees are combinable. For example, an extra item that is oversized and overweight will be charged both an oversized fee and overweight fee. Guests are encouraged to visit the baggage section of our website for details on sporting equipment, restricted items, special items and more – it's packed with information.
5. If you love something, don't set it free.
For safe keeping, we strongly encourage bringing identification, prescription medication, mobile devices, keys and jewelry in your carry-on personal item. Each guest in a confirmed seat is allowed one free piece of carry-on baggage and one personal item, total. Items which do not fit into the sizing device or exceed our carry-on allowance will be placed in checked baggage and applicable baggage fees may be collected.
6. We prefer rapping over wrapping, especially at airport security.
Wrapped presents should go in checked baggage. Airport security (CATSA) may unwrap any wrapped items in carry-on baggage, causing delays at security for you and your fellow travellers. If you have additional questions about security screening, please visit www.catsa-acsta.gc.ca.
7. Give Fido the first-class treatment.
Although we do not accept pets for travel in checked baggage between December 15 and January 6 inclusive, certain small animals may be able to travel in the cabin of the aircraft. Visit our pets page for full details..
8. Remember toys for girls and boys.
Make sure to pack some small games or toys for little WestJetters travelling this holiday. A long trip will pass quickly with some entertainment. We recommend bringing books, magazines, portable DVD players or toys for your little WestJetters. You can also enjoy up! – our inflight magazine – available in the seatback pockets.
9. Eggnog is best consumed responsibly.
Help create a remarkable guest experience for everyone on board by consuming alcohol responsibly. Canadian aviation regulations prohibit us from allowing a guest to board an aircraft when a guest may present a hazard to the aircraft or those on board.
Alcohol that isn't served by a flight attendant cannot be consumed on board the aircraft and will be confiscated. If you would like to enjoy a drink on board, our aircraft are licensed to serve alcohol and we offer a great selection of buy-on-board items.
10. Bring the cheer.
Share a holiday joke with your inflight crew – 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 the cheer.
If you have more questions about how to make your holiday travel even more stress free (including check-in, identification requirements, seating and baggage), please use the links under Travel Info.
Wherever your travels take you, WestJet wishes you and your family a happy holiday season.