WestJet Introduces UltraBasic Fares


In late May 2024, WestJet announced its plans to soon introduce a new ultra-low option to its lineup of fares, which came on the heels of the debut of Extended Comfort.

The time has come, and WestJet passengers are now able to choose an UltraBasic fare when making a booking. UltraBasic fares have replaced Basic fares, and come with a number of incremental restrictions.

WestJet Introduces UltraBasic Fares

WestJet has introduced UltraBasic fares – a new, unbundled fare – to the options it presents to passengers. This new fare is the lowest in WestJet’s family of fares, replacing the former Basic fare, and it also comes with the most exclusions and restrictions in the lineup.

UltraBasic fares offer the lowest price to passengers, and WestJet describes them as “no-frills fares” on its website. 

 Specifically, if you book an UltraBasic fare, you’ll be subject to the following restrictions:

  • No carry-on bags for flights in North America and Central America (unless Extended Comfort has been purchased for all flights per direction of travel)
  • No changes, cancellations, or refunds (unless made within 24 hours of booking)
  • No seat changes or seat selection at the time of booking or at check-in without an additional fee
  • No earning WestJet Rewards or qualifying spend
  • No Platinum and Gold benefits (no same-day flight changes, no free seat changes, no free seat selection at check-in, no complimentary upgrades)
  • No Silver benefits (no free seat changes, no free seat selection at check-in, no complimentary upgrades)

In other words, an UltraBasic fare gets you a seat on the plane, but not much else. 

In fact, WestJet also notes that you’ll be assigned a seat at the back of the aircraft, and that if you’re travelling with another passenger, you may not be seated together. (This doesn’t apply to families with children, who must be seated together as per Canada’s Air Passenger Protection Regulations.)

UltraBasic fares have officially replaced Basic fares; however, if you booked a Basic fare prior to the launch of UltraBasic fares, you’ll still have all of the inclusions that were in effect at the time of booking.

Are WestJet UltraBasic Fares a Good Deal?

With the introduction of UltraBasic fares, WestJet is offering passengers the ability to choose the lowest possible price for a flight.

It appears that UltraBasic fares are a stripped-down version of the previous Basic fares – the only differences are that you can’t bring a carry-on bag (on many routes) and that you’ll be the last to board the plane.

UltraBasic fares are similar to the most basic fares offered by ultra-low-cost carriers, in that it only includes a seat on the plane and a personal item that must fit under your seat, but nothing else. 

If you find an UltraBasic fare that’s comparable to a similar fare offered by an ultra-low-cost carrier, one advantage of booking with WestJet is that you’d likely be better off in the case of flight delays or cancellations, given that WestJet has a stronger network.

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WestJet has introduced the UltraBasic fare

If you’re considering an UltraBasic fare, be sure you’re comfortable with any added costs that will come if you need anything else. In the vast majority of cases, you’re likely better off paying for a higher fare to begin with, rather than paying for each additional item on an à la carte basis.

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On one hand, some passengers like having the choice to buy a completely unbundled fare, since it offers the lowest possible price. This is especially so if they’re not at all concerned about earning WestJet Rewards, and they’re be comfortable sitting at the back of the plane and travelling light.

On the other hand, some passengers dislike unbundled fares as they feel like they’re lured in with a low price that winds up being much more as they add more services.

Conclusion

WestJet has replaced Basic fares with UltraBasic fares, which offer passengers a low price in exchange for a “no-frills” fare. 

You’ll need to pay extra for everything aside from your seat and a personal item, so be sure to consider any added costs you might incur if you book an UltraBasic fare.

For more information about UltraBasic fares, you can consult the WestJet website.





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