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westjet

Air Canada Beats U.S. Competitors in Satisfaction Study—WestJet Not So Much

By SHANNON KELLY

Photo: Matt Thorpe

A study just released by marketing firm J.D. Power and Associates indicates an overall decrease in customer satisfaction with “traditional” airlines in the past year and, among other data, reveals that travellers hate first-checked-bag fees and love mobile check-in. (more…)

WestJet Will Launch Regional Airline in 2013

Photo by Richard Eriksson

In a landslide vote yesterday, WestJet employees approved an initiative to launch a regional airline making short-haul flights to small cities and towns in Canada, beginning in 2013. Ninety-one per cent of employees were in favour of the move. (more…)

WestJet Considers Launching a New Low-Cost, Regional Airline

Photo by Martin Cathrae

WestJet announced Monday that it is considering starting a low-cost airline with regional flights to smaller towns and cities across Canada as early as 2013. A Toronto Star article suggests that destinations could include British Columbia’s Cranbrook, Prince Rupert and Fort St. John; Brandon and Thompson in Manitoba; and in Ontario, Sudbury, Sarnia and Timmins. (more…)

Preferred Seating on Airlines: the Joke’s on the Customer

You'll pay more for bulkhead seating on some flights. (Photo by caribb)

An article yesterday by Peter Greenberg, travel editor for CBS News, and Scott McCartney, the Wall Street Journal’s airline industry reporter, lambasted the preferred seating plans many airlines are employing these days.

(more…)

Most Pet-Friendly Airlines Revealed

Photo by Erik (HASH) Hersman

Flying with your pet can be rife with stress. Worrying about how they’ll do in their carrier or whether there’s space for them to settle in comfortably can be enough to give up on travelling together, all together.

To facilitate the process, each year Petfinder.com rates US airlines on their pet-friendly practices, and this year they’ve expanded their list to include Canadian carriers.

(more…)

Travel Unravelled: New Air Travel Restrictions

Q:  I am travelling to the United States next month for business and need to do work on my laptop during the flight, but with the recent attempted terrorism attack I’ve heard that travel restrictions have changed, what exactly am I allowed to bring on the plane?–Scott Maxwell, Victoria, B.C.

A:  Travel restrictions have become a norm for air passengers since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The attempted terrorism attack on December 25, 2009, has introduced even more changes to security protocol and measures at airports for travel in the United States–there are now even more restrictions for carry-on items. Some of these restrictions may be temporary, but currently they are being enforced.

Carry-On Items

For air travel in Canada, you are still permitted to have one litre of liquids, gels and/or aerosols in containers 100 ml or less. These items need to be in a clear, closed and re-sealable bag. These items include but are not limited to, hand lotions, cleansers, moisturizers, suntan lotions, antibacterial gels, contact lens solution, shaving cream, perfume and cologne.

For any travel over the U.S. however, you are restricted to bringing only personal items like a small purse, camera, laptop and stroller as well as essentials that include medical devices, canes, crutches, walkers, medications or other special needs items.

For more specific, up-to-date information there are Government sites like Canadian Air Transport Security Authority and the U.S.’s Transportation Security Administration you can visit that will help prepare you for your trip. It is also good to check out local airport or airline websites. WestJet, for instance, has a link on their homepage charting the new regulations.

Body Scanners

In Canada we will soon have full body scanners and behavioural screening in major airports including, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Halifax. All passengers travelling to the U.S. from Canada will have to go through body scanners. Currently there are about 19 airports in the U.S. already using body scanners. These new procedures will increase the time it takes to get through security. Airports are recommending that you arrive three hours in advance of your flights versus the previously recommendation of 90 minutes in advance.