June 13th, 2024

WestJet announces UltraBasic fare with no carry-on bag

By The Canadian Press on June 4, 2024.

WestJet Airlines says it is replacing its basic fare with a new category that does away with a free carry-on bag and other perks once thought of as a given. A WestJet Encore Bombardier Q400 twin-engined turboprop aircraft is prepared for a flight in Kamloops, Saturday, June 3, 2023.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

CALGARY – WestJet Airlines says it has replaced its basic ticket tier with a new category that does away with a free carry-on bag and other perks once thought of as a given.

The airline says the UltraBasic category, its lowest of seven, is a no-frills fare that will result in lower-priced tickets across its routes.

Travellers flying UltraBasic get pre-assigned seats at the back of the aircraft and will have to pay extra to select a seat, even when checking in. They will also board last.

WestJet says the no-carry-on-bag category will mean faster boarding, though UltraBasic travellers can still bring a personal item to be stored under the seat, and a carry-on is included for trans-ocean routes.

WestJet committed to providing affordable options after shutting down its ultra low-cost airline Swoop and buying the low-cost Sunwing Airlines.

WestJet is not the first airline in Canada to offer a “no carry-on” discounted fare, as Edmonton-based Flair Airlines’s standard fare only allows a free personal bag.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 4, 2024.

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