Canadian low-cost airline introduces ultra basic fare with no hand luggage and you board last

Canadian low-cost airline WestJet is taking affordable travel to a new level with its new “UltraBasic” fare option. It replaces the former lowest ticket offering, the “Basic Fare”, with the aim of creating the most simple, straightforward travel option for passengers not requiring hand luggage or any other extras.

The UltraBasic fare still includes the option to take a personal item onboard to be stowed under the seat as well as access to onboard provisions such as food and drink offerings and in-flight entertainment system. The main differences are that passengers are not permitted to bring a carry-on bag, are the last to board the plane and are assigned seats at the back of the aircraft. The only exception is for transpacific and transatlantic routes where passengers are still able to bring a carry-on bag.

UltraBasic does provide the option to purchase a seat and check-in baggage for an additional fee. Also, the Extended Comfort service can be purchased with features such as extra leg-room and priority boarding. Flexible bookings are however exempt from the service, meaning bookings cannot be modified nor cancelled beyond 24 hours of booking confirmation. The fare also doesn’t entail flight points through WestJet’s rewards program.

The purpose of the new fare option is to provide a reduced price point across all domestic and international routes to cater to more client needs. The expectation is that this new ticket format will speed up the boarding process which will contribute to an overall improvement in on-time performance of the airline.

“With UltraBasic, guests can tailor a travel experience that meets their needs, without paying for additional services they don’t value. We are delivering on our low-fare promise and believe UltraBasic will give more Canadians the opportunity to fly,” said WestJet Group Executive Vice-President and Chief Commercial Officer, John Weatherill.

WestJet brought UltraBasic into effect on 4 June 2024 and have stated that passengers who purchased Basic Fare tickets before this date are still able to bring cabin baggage. Distinct messaging about the fare change is clearly communicated on the website to ensure customers are conscious of the new limitations.



Source TravelTomorrow