Flight and service disruptions

Welcome to the flight and service disruptions page for WestJet and WestJet Encore-operated flights. Think of this as your one-stop shop to find all the information you need, and want to know about your rights as a guest when travelling with WestJet and WestJet Encore. From lost or damaged baggage to flight delays, cancellations or schedule changes and from denied boarding to our tariffs and your privacy, we've got it all right here.

We are committed to doing our best to deliver your baggage on time — and understand the inconvenience that results when we don't. WestJet will make every effort to return mishandled baggage as soon as possible. We will also provide compensation for reasonable expenses related to delayed delivery, and reimbursing guests for any fee to transport a lost bag (please see Coverage).

You can also review our domestic tariff, specifically section 7.6 and 7.7 (Baggage delays and limitation of liability for baggage or goods) for more information.

WestJet's limitation of liability as a result of damage or loss is including incidental expenses up to 1,131 Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) per guest/per bag (approximately $1,800 CAD). Our team requires your assistance in determining the value of your goods, and once an agreement is reached, the value will be provided to you.

If you have purchased excess valuation - which is available at the airport, prior to departure, for a fee - the maximum liability is $3,000 CAD/USD (which includes the standard 1,131 SDRs).

In the event that a bag is lost, you will be reimbursed for your baggage fee in addition to settlement for the loss of baggage.

You can also review our domestic tariff, specifically section 7.6 and 7.7 (Baggage delays and limitation of liability for baggage or goods) for more information.

Also, you may view our International tariff, specifically rule 60 (Limitation of liability for baggage or goods) for more information.

While we do our best to make sure that you and your baggage arrive together, there are times when baggage may be delayed. If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, please take note of the following:

  • Delayed baggage must be reported to WestJet within 30 days of your flight's arrival.
  • A WestJet representative will create a delayed baggage report for you. You'll be asked for your contact information and a description of your baggage and its contents to assist in the search.
  • Once this report has been completed, a WestJet representative from Baggage Services will advise you of the next steps.
  • During the first five days, we will work to locate your baggage. If your baggage is not recovered in five days, our Central Baggage team will take over the search.
  • For flights within the Americas, you will be reimbursed up to $100 CAD/USD for the first 48 hours while your bags are delayed. After 48 hours, you will be authorized to be reimbursed a further $150 to a total of $250. This does not limit or reduce the passenger's right to claim damages, if any, under the applicable convention or under the law.
  • For flights into Europe, you will be reimbursed up to the equivalent of $100 CAD in either Euros or GBP.
  • For all flights, if after 21 days your baggage is still not found, you will be reimbursed up to the equivalent of 1131 special drawing rights (approximately $1,800 CAD depending on currency fluctuations) in replacement value for your baggage.

For more information, please visit our delayed, damage and/or missing baggage page. You can also review our domestic tariff, specifically section 7.6 and 7.7 (Baggage delays and limitation of liability for baggage or goods) for more information.

Also, you may view our International tariff, specifically rule 60 (Limitation of liability for baggage or goods) for more information.

Please see our domestic tariff for details on our liability for damaged baggage (Rule 7, section 7.7 Limitation of liability for baggage or goods). You can also visit our delayed, damage and/or missing baggage page.

Also, you may view our International tariff, specifically rule 60 (Limitation of liability for baggage or goods) for more information.

We know that any type of interruption to your schedule can be challenging and inconvenient. To minimize any inconvenience, we will do our best to keep you informed, and get you on your way as quickly and safely as possible.

To learn more about flight interruptions specific to flights departing, arriving or diverted through the United States, please have a look at delays, cancellations and diversions.

We are pleased to let you know that WestJet and WestJet Encore never intentionally overbook flights, a common practice in the airline industry. However, there may be times where substitutions of aircraft or seat configuration changes within aircraft may occur because of operational changes. This may result in larger aircraft being used for your flight, or smaller. Either way, we will ensure your experience and the effect on your travel is minimized.

We will attempt to notify you as soon as possible of flight delays, cancellations, and mitigating inconveniences that result from these flight interruptions. When we communicate any delay or cancellation, we will give you the reason for the delay, length of the delay and possible re-accommodation options, when applicable.

Please note, if you booked your trip through a third-party such as a travel agent, airline partner, travel site or AIR MILES®, we recommend that you contact them.

The following are various ways you can stay informed on potential changes to your trips.

Before you arrive at the airport:

  • via email, as long as you have provided WestJet with your WestJet Rewards ID or email address. Otherwise, we will not be able to send you email notifications about your flight status or itinerary, or messages may be sent to your travel arranger instead. As a reminder, if you booked your trip through a third-party such as a travel agent, airline partner, travel site or AIR MILES®, we recommend that you contact them, as you may not receive direct communications from WestJet, or you may receive modified version of these communications.
  • on our website through flight status or travel advisories. To receive an up-to-date email confirmation, please retrieve your itinerary.
  • WestJet app, so long as you enable the app notifications

 

At the airport:

  • during check-in
  • by the departure and arrival screens located throughout airport terminals
  • announcements at the airport
  • updates provided every 10-30 minutes before boarding

 

On the aircraft:

  • announcements every 10 minutes (when safe for our pilots to do so)

We strongly recommend that you ensure you, or your travel arranger, has provided us with your WestJet Rewards ID, an email address, or current phone number.

You can also review our domestic tariff, specifically section 4.3: Communications for delays and cancellations.

There may be instances where your WestJet flight may be delayed or cancelled due to reasons outside our control: uncontrollable reasons (e.g. inclement weather, medical emergencies, air traffic control, airport ground delays, bird/lightning strikes, airport facility issues, security issues, or unruly passengers, etc.) or for reasons within our control: controllable (e.g. mechanical issues, IT system failures).

Some delays may require WestJet to re-accommodate you to another flight to minimize the impact to your arrival time. If your flight is cancelled, we will re-accommodate you on to the next available WestJet or WestJet Encore flight. For circumstances where our re-accommodation options do not meet your needs, we will do our best to offer you other options available to help you get on your way.

Uncontrollable (outside of WestJet’s control) delays or cancellations

In the event that something happens outside of WestJet’s control, we will provide you with alternate options (if required) to accommodate you.

  • 1. Attempt to rebook you for no additional charge:
    • on the next available WestJet or WestJet Encore flight. We can also change your return to match the same length of stay if desired; or
    • on a flight that is travelling to/from another destination that is geographically close to your original destination (e.g., neighbouring city to Hamilton is Toronto).

 

Changes to flights outside of the option above could result in you paying the difference in fare(s) and/or applicable change fee(s).

  • 2. If an appropriate flight accommodation option is not available on a WestJet or WestJet Encore operated flight, we will:
    • rebook you on the next available flight operated by an airline that WestJet has a partner agreement with, if circumstances permit
    • offer to cancel the reservation and offer you the option of retaining the unused portion of your ticket and using it towards future travel with WestJet; or having the unused value (refunded) to the original form of payment.

 

WestJet does not issue a travel credit, pay for ground transportation or pay for tickets with an alternate airline.

Third party or codeshare flights:

If you’re travelling on a codeshare flight operated by another airline, or you booked your trip through a third-party such as a travel agent, airline partner, travel site or AIR MILES®, we recommend that you contact them directly as they may be in a better position to make the appropriate arrangement for re-accommodation or refund options.

Controllable (within WestJet’s control) delays or cancellations

In the event that something happens within WestJet’s control, we will provide you with the same rebook or accommodation options as uncontrollable delays or cancellations. In addition, we will:

  • assess and offer additional services such as hotel accommodation, meal vouchers and ground transportation to/from your hotel (please see Services provided during controllable delays or cancellations, for more information)
  • rebook you on the next available flight operated by an airline that WestJet is not partnered with, if circumstances permit
  • assess potential compensation to which you may be entitled
  • for compensation inquiries, please see Compensation for controllable delays and cancellations below for more information


Third party or codeshare flights:

If you're travelling on a codeshare flight operated by another airline, or you booked your trip through a third-party such as a travel agent, airline partner, travel site or AIR MILES®, we recommend that you contact them directly, as they may be in a better position to make the appropriate flight accommodation. For hotel, meals and ground transportation, we will assist you directly, or work with your travel arranger (on your behalf).

Compensation for controllable flight delays and cancellations:

If your flight delay or cancellation is due to controllable reasons, on a flight operated by WestJet or WestJet Encore, we will offer compensation in the form of a travel credit using WestJet dollars. WestJet’s promise is to offer compensation for controllable flight delays and cancellations that delay your arrival to your final destination by two hours, or longer. If your flight qualifies for compensation, our promise is to send you an email notification within one week, outlining the value of the flight compensation provided. For this to occur, we strongly recommend that you or your travel arranger has provided us with your WestJet Rewards ID or email address.

WestJet dollars issued for compensation will expire 12 months from the date of issue. You can redeem your WestJet dollars (1 WestJet dollar = $1 CAD) toward travel with WestJet or WestJet Vacations at any time, for travel on any date, to any destination, with no blackouts. They can be used to pay for all or part of the published fare of a WestJet-marketed flight or WestJet Vacations package, except for WestJet Vacations group bookings. WestJet dollars cannot be applied against taxes, fees or charges and can only be used for new bookings. Other restrictions may apply.

You can also review our domestic tariff, specifically section 4.5: Compensation provided for delays and cancellations.

EU Fixed Value Compensation

In line with guidelines set out by the European Air Passengers Rights Regulation (261/2004), you may be entitled to compensation for an interruption in your travel plans. Compensation amounts are based on the length of the delay and the distance of the flight, to a maximum of 600€ (or the cash equivalent in CAD or USD). Flights departing the European Union (EU) which are delayed may qualify for the following compensation values:

Distance of flight Delay under three hours Delay between three and four hours Delay over four hours
Less than 1500 km €0 €250 €250
Between 1500-3500 km €0 €400 €400
Greater than 3500 km €0 €300 €600

Please see our EU alternate dispute resolution process or International and transborder tariff for more information.

Third party or codeshare flights:

If you booked your trip through a third-party such as a travel agent, airline partner, travel site or AIR MILES®, you may not receive a direct communication; however, you may still be eligible, so please contact us directly, or have your travel arranger contact us (on your behalf).

Submit the European Air Passengers Rights Regulation form

In the event that your flight encounters a controllable delay or is cancelled, WestJet will – depending on the situation - provide certain services to eligible, confirmed guests. These services may include providing meal vouchers and hotel accommodation (when required) until your new WestJet or WestJet Encore flight (time) departs. We will ensure that we assist any guest with special needs accordingly.

WestJet’s promise is to offer:

  • meal vouchers for any posted or estimated departure delay of three (3) or more hours up to a maximum of three (3) meal vouchers per day
  • a hotel voucher, one (1) meal voucher and airport transfers if your travel is delayed eight (8) hours or more, and you did not start your air travel at that airport
  • in circumstances where you may already be on the aircraft, if a delay occurs, and it is safe, practical and there is adequate time to do so, we will offer drinks and snacks onboard. If the delay exceeds 90 minutes, the aircraft will return to the gate and you will have the option to leave the aircraft
  • if you miss a WestJet or WestJet Encore connection flight because of a controllable delay, we will offer you the choice of:
    • another flight to either the intended destination or point of origin using WestJet or WestJet Encore, an interline or code-share partner of WestJet/WestJet Encore, or another carrier as deemed necessary;
    • a travel credit, in an amount to be determined by WestJet
    • a refund for the unused portion of your ticket

Expenses

Should you incur out-of-pocket expenses for a controllable flight delay or cancellation, you may submit a request to WestJet for reimbursement. WestJet will review requests for reasonable expenses that meet certain criteria and supporting, itemized receipts will be required. If approved, you will have the choice of receiving reimbursement via international money order (for mailing addresses outside North America), a prepaid WestJet credit card, or WestJet dollars deposited into your WestJet Rewards account. It’s your choice. Our general guidelines are:

  • Hotel costs: in situations where WestJet was unable to secure a hotel room, or you did not accept the hotel re-accommodation option WestJet has offered (and you book your own hotel), WestJet will reimburse you up to $150.00 CAD ($200.00 CAD for non-Canadian destinations) per night/per reservation. In-room movie costs, tips/gratuities and long distance telephone charges will be excluded.
  • Meals: in the unlikely event meal vouchers mentioned above are not available during your controllable delay, we will reimburse you to a maximum of $45 CAD per day/per guest. Alcoholic beverages and tips/gratuities will be excluded.
  • Transportation: if transportation was not available by WestJet, we will reimburse the cost incurred for transportation between the airport and the hotel.


Please note, WestJet does not reimburse expenses for cellular roaming charges, missed entertainment/sporting/excursion events, lost wages or missed connections to non-partner airlines or cruises.

These guidelines do not limit or reduce your right to claim damages, if any, under the applicable convention or under the law.

Third party or codeshare flights:

If you booked your trip through a third-party such as a travel agent, airline partner, travel site or AIR MILES®, you may submit directly or have your travel arranger submit the details (on your behalf). If completed by the travel arranger on your behalf, all information provided must contain the traveler details in full and refunds will only be addressed to the travelling guest.

For further detailed information please see section 4.4 of our domestic tariff.

To submit a request, please fill out and submit the online reimbursement request form in full. One of our Guest Support specialists will review the request and process it, if approved. Submit expenses from a disrupted flight

Changes to your flights 72 hours or more before departure time

Changes to flights within three (3) days (72 hours) of departure are referred to as flight delays or cancellations. Schedule changes are adjustments to flight times and destinations which may apply to flights departing more than three (3) days (72 hours) prior to departure, including weeks or months in advance of departure. Unfortunately, even though we prefer not to make schedule changes, they do happen. Generally, schedule changes are made because of adjustments to air traffic routes, airport requests, construction at airport facilities, security constraints, market forces, partner airline schedules and so on.

Should you experience a schedule change, WestJet will make every effort to contact you in a timely manner (via email) to advise you of a change. The email will contain information about your old flight itinerary and your new flight itinerary. Depending on the magnitude of the schedule change, the email may also include the option to accept the change, decline the change (and request a refund), or instructions on how to make a change to your new flight itinerary.

For flights booked directly with WestJet (westjet.com, contact centre, etc.), Please refer to the chart below, which displays how WestJet contacts guests in most schedule change situations.

WestJet schedule change communication Schedule change criteria
  • One (1) schedule change email will be sent 90 days prior to departure
  • Flight is departing no more than one hour later than the original flight.
  • Flight is departing no more than 15 minutes earlier than the original flight.
  • Departure time remains the same but connection times are different (up to three hours).
  • Flight time remains the same but flight number has changed.
  • Up to four (4) schedule change emails will be sent starting 90 days prior to departure
  • Phone call if there is no guest action resulting from emails, or if the schedule change requires alternate planning directly with the guest (including WestJet Vacations or Group Bookings)
  • Flight is departing 16 to 30 minutes prior than the original flight.
  • Flight is departing 1 to 3 hours later on the same day.
  • Direct or non-stop flight was changed to a connecting flight.
  • Up to four (4) schedule change emails will be sent within 72 hours of when the change has been made
  • Phone call if there is no guest action resulting from emails, or if the schedule change requires alternate planning directly with the guest (including WestJet Vacations or Group Bookings)
  • Flight is departing more than 3 hours later on the same day.
  • Flight is not departing on the same day.
  • Flight now has an overnight connection.
  • Flight is departing more than 30 minutes prior to original departure.

You can also review our domestic tariff, specifically section 4.2: Communications for schedule changes, for more information.

If you booked your trip through a third-party such as a travel agent, airline partner, travel site or AIR MILES®, WestJet will notify them directly of all changes and they will be responsible for providing you updates.

We do not overbook our flights. However, in certain circumstances we may have to deny you boarding.

Guests will be:

  • Re-accommodated on the next available flight when time permits, or;
  • Asked to volunteer to be re-accommodated on another flight, or
  • Selected for re-accommodation based on time of check-in and identified passenger requirements (e.g. SSR codes, available re-accommodations)
  • Issued a form of compensation acceptable to the passenger based on the duration of the passenger's delay;
  • The Carrier will inform guests of the amount of cash compensation that would be due and that the passenger may decline travel credits and receive cash or equivalent;
  • Under certain circumstances compensation may be offered to guests who are denied boarding involuntarily.

Please see our domestic tariff, section 4.6 (Denied boarding compensation) for more information.

If your flight is departing the European Union (EU), and is operated by WestJet, then you must request compensation from WestJet. Please see our EU alternate dispute resolution process or International and transborder tariff for more information.

Denied boarding compensation

If you are travelling:

  • Outside of Canada (not departing from the EU), arriving into your final destination between one and two hours after the scheduled arrival time; or
  • Within Canada, arriving into your final destination one to four hours after the scheduled arrival time,

You will be offered:

  • Fixed-value cheque, for 200% of the total price of the one-way flight, including fees and taxes, up to a maximum of $675; or
  • Service credit for at least 300% of the amount of the cheque, or, if applicable, the last amount offered to volunteers, whichever is greater.

If you are travelling:

  • Outside of Canada (not departing from the EU), arriving into your final destination more than two hours after the scheduled arrival time; or
  • Within Canada, arriving into your final destination more than four hours after the scheduled arrival time.

You will be offered:

  • A fixed-value cheque for 400% of the total price of the one-way flight, including fees and taxes, up to a maximum of $1350; or
  • A WestJet Travel Bank credit for at least 300% of the amount of the cheque, or, if applicable, the last amount offered to volunteers, whichever is greater.

As we remain committed to providing a great guest experience, we've developed a plan in accordance with the Enhanced Protections for Airline Passengers U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations (14 CFR Part 259) to help us do so. The following details comprise our guest service plan for both WestJet and WestJet Encore operated flights.

Whether you call us, book through our website or walk up to the WestJet counter at one of our airports, we'll always offer you our lowest available fare. We don't have minimum or maximum stay-over requirements and we quote our fares on a one-way basis including applicable taxes, fees and charges. For more information, please see our fares.

If you change your mind and want to cancel your flight, we offer you the option of cancelling within 24 hours of booking at no charge provided you made your reservation at least 24 hours before the scheduled departure time (where flights are departing on the same day of booking, we require two hours-notice). Your refund will be processed based on how your reservation was made, and the fare level you purchased. For details on how the refund will be processed, please see our service fees. Although we process all refund requests no more than seven business days after we receive a request, it may take your credit card company a little longer to credit your account. For cancellations to a booking purchased with cash at one of our airport locations, we will refund to cash when available or by cheque within 20 days after we receive a refund request. We will refund fees paid for unredeemed optional services due to an oversale situation or flight cancellation.

Our rules, restrictions, and redemption information is available here.

Information on our aircraft configuration is available through our agents at our airport locations, by calling 1-888-937-8538 and under our fleet. We provide details about the location of the lavatories onboard, the seat width and the pitch of the seat (which is a fancy way of saying how much legroom you'll get).

Unlike most airlines, our flights are not intentionally oversold. In the unlikely event that this does occur and we can no longer accommodate you on a flight to/from or within the United States, we will put you on the next available flight or offer you a WestJet Travel Credit or a refund of your fare. We will also provide a refund for any pre-paid optional/ancillary services lost due to a cancellation or overbooking.

We know that any type of interruption to your schedule is inconvenient. We strive to keep you informed, provide you with information and minimize the inconvenience. For flight disruptions to flights departing, arriving or diverted through the United States, please see delays, cancellations and diversions for more information.

We're happy to provide additional service for our guests with special needs, including transportation to, from or between gates (by wheelchair or by WestJet folkswagon). From assistance at the airport, on our aircraft, boarding and deplaning to assistance during delays, cancellations or diversions, we will ensure that your needs are properly accommodated.

We do our best to deliver your baggage on time — and understand the inconvenience that results when we don't. WestJet will make every effort to return mishandled baggage within 24 hours. We will also provide compensation for reasonable expenses related to delayed delivery, and reimbursing passengers for any fee to transport a lost bag. Please see our delayed, damage and/or missing baggage page for more information.

We're proud to have agreements with our code-share partners that ensure you receive excellent service whenever you travel on a WestJet ticket. Information on our partner airlines' current policies and procedures can be accessed through a link to their website from our airline partners page.

We appreciate hearing about your experience with us. If you would like to provide us with feedback, please see our contact us page.

Canadian Transportation Agency

If you'd like to learn more about your rights as a traveller to, through or within Canada, please contact the Canadian Transportation Agency.

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U.S. Department of Transportation

For more information about your rights when travelling to, through or within the United States, please contact the U.S. Department of Transportation.

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