Air only reservations with WestJet
WestJet does its best to accommodate guests with allergies; however, as our aircraft are open to the public, we cannot guarantee an allergen-free environment.
We respect the concerns of our guests who have allergies triggered by nuts, peanuts, or animal dander. The following information outlines the measures WestJet employs to address concerns of this nature, while maintaining a balanced guest experience approach for all guests.
It is our intention to provide a clear and transparent allergy policy, so guests can make informed decisions when travelling with WestJet.
Our aircraft are lightly groomed (e.g., removal of garbage, vacuuming if required, etc.) by WestJet pilots, flight attendants and employees at the end of every flight. Professional cleaning is performed on selected flights during the day, and all aircraft are professionally cleaned at the end of every day.
Our crews have 24/7 access to medical advice via MedAire's MedLink Global Response Center, which is accessible via radio-telephone from every aircraft, regardless of its location.
WestJet carries vials of epinephrine and syringes on board our aircraft, which are available for use during an emergency by any qualified health professional on board, or by a flight attendant under the real-time supervision of MedLink's medical personnel.
Starting early 2011, WestJet will stock EpiPen® and EpiPen® Jr epinephrine Auto-Injectors onboard its aircraft. These injectors feature the enhanced safety of needle protection before and after use. More information about EpiPen® and EpiPen® Jr can found at www.EpiPen.ca.
Information on WestJet's air filtration system
WestJet flies only Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft, and each aircraft is equipped with an industry-leading air circulation system containing a HEPA filter, manufactured by Donaldson Filtration Systems of Bloomington, MN. These filters achieve a viral removal efficiency of greater than 99.99909 per cent and bacterial removal efficiency of greater than 99.99996 per cent. This rating is based on the 0.3 micron contaminant benchmark – considerably smaller than animal dander, which is approximately 2.5 microns in size.
It is also important to know that WestJet's Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft introduces fresh air into the cabin every two to three minutes (20 to 30 air changes per hour). The idea that all aircraft air is recirculated is a common misconception.
What we do for guests with a nut or peanut allergy
WestJet can't guarantee an allergen-free environment. We do not serve nut products onboard our aircraft; however, some of WestJet's onboard snacks may contain traces of nuts or peanuts. Also, we do not screen any food items that other WestJet guests may bring onboard that may cause allergic reactions. As such, nut residue, oils or other allergens may be present on tray tables, seat cushions or elsewhere in the cabin, and may not be removed despite regular grooming.
Because WestJet understands the medical implications of severe nut or peanut-related allergies, guests who inform a flight attendant or member of the flight crew about having a severe nut or peanut-related allergy will be asked if they have an epinephrine auto-injector (e.g., EpiPen®, Twinject®) with them.
WestJet will request that other guests within two rows* of a guest with a severe allergy to nuts or nut products refrain from consuming food product(s) with nuts, nut products or peanuts that the allergic guest may react to. It is important to note that WestJet cannot enforce compliance.
*Please note the "two rows" does not include the row the guest is seated in. For example, if the guest with the allergy is in row 5, then guests in rows 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 will be requested to refrain from consuming foods with nuts or peanuts.
In addition, a public address Allergy Announcement will be made on board when a guest self identifies as being allergic to nuts or nut products and requests a cabin-wide announcement to be made. The announcement will be similar to the following:
"Sorry for the interruption. We have a guest travelling with us today who has a severe allergy to peanuts/nuts. We ask that you do not open or consume any peanuts, nuts or nut products during this flight. Thanks for your help."
What we do for guests with animal allergies
WestJet cannot guarantee an environment free of animal allergens. Our promise is to accept service animals and small animals in kennels. In order to minimize risk for allergic guests, we limit the number of pets permitted on each flight; however we do not limit the number of service animals onboard. Our aircraft are public environments where it is not possible to eliminate animal dander, as guests accompanied by a service animal are accepted to nearly every destination, and other guests' clothing may also carry these allergens.
Guests who are seated beside an animal may notify a flight attendant or member of the flight crew of their allergy and request to be moved to another seat, if one is available. WestJet allows the following animals to travel in the cabin:
- Small birds
- Service animals (accompanying guests with disabilities or impairments)
With the exception of service and some emotional support animals, all animals are transported in enclosed kennels beneath the seats. Since the animals are in enclosed kennels, exposure to animal dander is minimized. When possible, WestJet will seat guests with service animals at the front of the aircraft, and guests with a pet in a kennel at the rear of the aircraft. However, guests are able to purchase seating and may select seating near the middle.
Guests with a severe allergy to cats should notify WestJet of their restriction a minimum of 48 hours prior to travel and at all stages of their journey - including during the reservation process, at check-in, at the departure gate and upon boarding. In cases where notification is not provided 48 hours prior to travel, WestJet will make a best effort to accommodate as outlined below.
WestJet will ensure that a buffer zone of five rows* is maintained between the guest with the severe allergy to cat dander and any cat located onboard. In order to facilitate this buffer zone, guests with severe allergies to cat dander will be encouraged to board last. WestJet will ensure the guest with the severe allergy to cat dander has access to a lavatory without passing by a row with a cat in a kennel.
*Please note the "five rows" does not include the row the guest with the allergy or the row where the cat is located. For example, if the guest with the severe allergy is in row 7, then the guest with the cat will be seated in row 13 or beyond.
Recommendations for guests with allergies
Guests who have allergies to nuts, peanuts or animals should pack any necessary medication they require (e.g., antihistamines, EpiPen®, Twinject®, asthma inhalers, etc.) in their carry-on baggage, not in their checked baggage.
While our food items do not contain nuts or peanuts, some of WestJet's on board snacks may contain traces of nuts or peanuts, and we recommend that guests with severe allergies to nuts or peanuts bring their own food items. Please note that we do not have microwaves or refrigerators onboard.
Guests who are not comfortable with the possible exposure to allergens in the aircraft cabin may wish to consider an alternate means of transportation in order to avoid the risk of a reaction.
Guest notification and information
When guests identify themselves to WestJet as having severe allergies at the time of booking, we are able to provide clarity on WestJet's policies and procedures relevant to allergic/asthmatic reactions.
WestJet requests guests who are planning to bring animals in the cabin to notify us 48 hours in advance. When booking a flight, guests who have an allergy to animals can call WestJet and ask how many animals are currently booked on their flight. It is important to know that, while this number will be accurate at the time it is requested, it may change, due to last-minute flight purchases, refunds or exchanges. Guests can request this information prior to flight departure by calling WestJet at 1-888-937-8538 or asking at the time of check in.
Options available when allergens are present
Although WestJet is unable to provide compensation or make special provisions for guests who have severe allergies to nuts, peanuts or animals, we do offer the following options if the guest identifies that their allergen will be present on their flight (confirmed visually by the guest upon boarding or once on board the aircraft) and they:
a. Are not comfortable travelling on their reserved flight WestJet will book them on the next available WestJet flight to their original destination at no additional cost; or
b. Elect to not travel at all, in which case WestJet will provide a full refund for the cost of the flight (base fare plus all taxes and surcharges applicable to the fare). WestJet will not issue a refund for the flight after it has departed.*
*Please note: Any guest who booked their travel through a tour operator (including WestJet Vacations) should contact the tour operator regarding any changes. Any change to the WestJet flight can impact other components booked in a package, such as hotels, transfers or tickets to events. Not all components of a vacation package can be changed or cancelled without penalty.
WestJet does not accept any responsibility for any allergy-related complications, missed connections to other flights or cruise ships, or any impact to vacation packages.
EpiPen, EpiPen Jr are registered trademarks of Mylan Inc. licensed exclusively to its wholly-owned affiliate, Dey Pharma, LP. of Napa, California USA.
WestJet Vacations package bookings
Guests with special needs are welcome to book WestJet Vacations packages on the website; however, after completing your booking, we require you to call us at 1-877-737-7001 so we can request the additional services you require. Some WestJet Vacations hotel properties may not be able to accommodate certain services or requests.