United States flight and service disruptions

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. Should you incur out-of-pocket expenses for a flight delay or cancellation within our control, you may submit a request to WestJet for reimbursement.

The following outlines our guest service plan in the event of delays, cancellations and diversion for flights departing, arriving or diverted to the U.S.

We remain committed to providing a great guest experience. Should a flight interruption occur, your safety and comfort remains our priority. The following plan has been developed in the event of an extended tarmac delay for flights in the U.S. This contingency plan has been developed in accordance with the United States Department of Transportation Enhanced Protections for Airline Passengers regulations (14 CFR Part 259).

Delays at the airport

If you have not yet boarded your flight and a delay caused by WestJet exceeds three (3) hours, we will issue you a food voucher. Likewise, if WestJet causes an overnight delay and you did not start your journey at the airport where the delay has occurred, we will provide you with a hotel voucher, airport transfers and food vouchers. Please note that we will only issue a maximum of three meal vouchers per guest, per day.

Flight status changes on the day of your flight (in effect for delays, cancellations or diversions)

We will inform you of changes to your flight's status within 30 minutes of the time we are notified of the change. This information will be available through our flight status tool or by contacting us. We also provide updates at the boarding gate area, and continue to provide updates every 30 minutes. Also, if you provided your email address or WestJet ID in your flight reservation you will be eligible to receive flight status notifications automatically via email. We will attempt to notify you should your flight be delayed 15 minutes or more, within 3 hours of your flight's scheduled departure.

On-board departure and arrival delays

During an extended delay on board the aircraft, we will provide you with:

  • Notifications beginning 30 minutes after the departure time (including any revised departure time that guests were notified about before boarding) and every 30 minutes thereafter to identify the reason for the delay and provide a tentative departure time.
  • Notifications every 30 minutes that you have the opportunity to disembark from the aircraft that is at the gate or another disembarkation area with the door open if the opportunity to disembark actually exists. If you choose to disembark you should be aware that you are doing so at your own discretion and the flight could depart at any time without you.
  • Functioning lavatory facilities.
  • Access to medical attention (if or when necessary).
  • Food and water. This is provided no later than two (2) hours after the aircraft leaves the gate (for departures) or touches down (for arrivals and diversions), unless the pilot-in-command deems that safety or security precludes such service. Depending on aircraft catering provisions adequate food may be a snack item.

Plan requirements

WestJet's contingency plan provides that guests will be given the opportunity to disembark a delayed flight within four (4) hours unless the pilot-in-command determines that a safety-related concern prevents the aircraft from returning to the gate or air traffic control advises that a return to the gate or disembarking at another location is not possible.

The plan also ensures that we have sufficient resources that meet the United States Department of Transportation's (U.S. DOT) requirements for extended tarmac delays in the United States, including diversions. WestJet's Operations Control Centre (OCC) is responsible for managing the plan and ensuring that it meets all required standards. WestJet's OCC will also handle oversight of the plan in the instance of an event and have coordinated implementation of the plan with airport authorities, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Transportation Security Administration at each U.S. airport that we serve, including diversion airports. WestJet customer service agents, flight operations personnel and inflight staff will carry out the plan at the airport and flight level.

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.

Within 24 hours of the original booking time, any changes you make to your booking will only be subject to any difference in fare. If you cancel your flight within 24 hours of the original booking, the full cost of your flight will be refunded to you in the original form of payment. If your travel was scheduled within seven (7) days of your booking, the full cost of your flight will be refunded to you in the form of a travel credit, except in the case of flights that are scheduled to depart within 24 hours of the time of booking (i.e., same-day flights). 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.

We will provide you with information on the policies and promises that affect your travel including:

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

Information on our aircraft configuration is available through our agents at our airport locations, on our aircraft page, or by contacting us. 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.

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.

We will do our best to acknowledge any written complaint within 30 days and to send a substantive response within 60 days.

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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