An update on travel from Diederik Pen, WestJet’s Chief Operating Officer

By WestJet | | 3 min read

The following was sent to WestJet guests on Thursday, May 26

In less than a month, it will be the official start of summer. After two uncertain years of the pandemic wreaking havoc on travel, we understand how important your travel plans are and we want you to know they are equally as important for all of us at WestJet.

As we prepare for the busy months ahead, we are committed to doing everything we can to deliver the WestJet experience you expect. At the same time, we want to be up front on some of the challenges that could impact our operations and your travel.

The current state of unacceptable service from government agencies at our major airports continues to be a problem, whether it is security screening before your flight or Canada Border Services Agency on international arrival. Rest assured, we are advocating strongly for immediate improvements on your behalf and regret the current situation. The government is currently assessing all processes and we are hopeful that you, our valued guests, will see improvements very soon. 

In the weeks ahead, our number one priority is our summer readiness plan. Our proactive efforts have included meticulous planning to ensure our aircraft are all flying in peak performance and hiring more than 1,000 people across all operational areas including our contact centre. We are also introducing technology enhancements, including digital vouchers and pre-paid options to self-serve and save time at the airport.

We continue to urgently work with all stakeholders, including the Federal Government, airport authorities and our third-party providers, to address these critical matters. There are some things you can do to assist us: 

  • Give yourself lots of time along the way and arrive early (2 hours before a domestic flight, 3 hours before an international flight)  
  • Check your identification and travel documents, ensure you understand the entry and exit requirements for your destinations 
  • Plan for things to take longer than expected as there may be longer lineups or unexpected delays 
  • Be kind, we’ll do the same. Pack your patience and please understand that this may be the first time in more than 24 months someone has travelled or that it might be someone’s first day on the job 
  • Get through security screening more quickly by anticipating what’s coming: remove electronics and liquids from your bag; anticipate removal of shoes and belts; empty your pockets 
  • Self-serve when available, use the WestJet app or communicate with Juliet, our digital travel assistant  
  • Travel with carry-on or pre-pay your bags in advance; important items like prescription medicine should be carried on  
  • Visit our comprehensive Get Travel Ready hub for additional information  

We will do everything we can to deliver the travel experience you are expecting and hope that this information helps you navigate and understand any unexpected challenges that may arise. On behalf of the 9,500 of us at the WestJet Group, we deeply appreciate your business and thank you for choosing WestJet. 


Diederik Pen 

Executive Vice-President & Chief Operating Officer