WestJet has officially launched its "plus" fare option, which includes access to its premium economy seats as well as additional amenities.
The fare option gives passengers access to 18 seats with 36in pitch in the first three rows of the carrier's Boeing 737 cabin. It also includes additional amenities, such as free flight changes and cancellations, an extra baggage allowance, complimentary food and beverages as well as priority boarding and security screening.
"Plus is the answer for a growing market of travellers who have asked for more choice and flexibility at lower fares than exist today," says Bob Cummings, WestJet's executive vice-president, sales, marketing and guest experience.
The carrier started selling the premium economy seats as part of a soft launch in April through upgrades available 24 hours before each flight. With the commercial roll-out, passengers will be able to buy the seats further in advance.
The carrier originally configured the premium economy section to have 24 seats when including the emergency exit row, but decided to keep those seats a part of the standard economy cabin after implementing the soft launch.
The "plus" option is one of three fare bundles that WestJet has introduced, along with the cheapest "econo" fare and mid-level "flex" fare. Each bundle allows for varying levels of flexibility, but the reserved premium seating is unique to the "plus" fare option.
WestJet will sell upgrades of unoccupied Plus seats within a day before scheduled flights to passengers choosing other fare types, said Cummings during a 30 July investor call. The prices will vary depending on how many other seats have been filled, the stage length of the flight and the route, The carrier has a goal of filling at least six of these seats on each flight, he said.