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Everybody looks for flexibility when traveling these days. WestJet’s standby rules are a little different from that of other airlines. However, they offer you the flexibility you may need.
In this article, we’ll guide you through everything you need to know about flying standby on WestJet, from understanding the rules and restrictions to tips for making the experience as smooth as possible.
Here is everything you need to know…
WestJet Standby Policy?
WestJet has some rules that allow you the flexibility to make some changes on the day of your flight. Their standby travel, however, is only for their employees. Fortunately, they have other options similar to standby travel, so you still have some flexibility if you need to make last-minute changes.
Who Can Fly Standby on WestJet?
WestJet does not offer standby for regular passengers.
Its standby policy applies solely to its employees, their family members and dependents, and Buddy Pass holders.
WestJet does, however, allow same-day flight changes for people who want to fly on an earlier flight or may have missed their flight. There is a fee that will apply to this change.
WestJet Same Day Change Policy
If you have some last-minute changes to your travel plans, you may be able to get a same-day change with WestJet as long as you request it starting 24 hours before departure. You can opt to fly on an earlier or later flight for a fee as long as a seat is available.
Some standards apply, however:
- The flight must be from the same origin flying to the same destination.
- The flight must be on the same calendar day as the original departure.
- The flight must be operated by WestJet (including WestJet Encore and WestJet Link by Pacific Coastal).
- Your ticket must be under the following fares:
- Member Exclusive (Economy, Premium, or Business)
- A seat should be available in the same cabin as the originally-booked cabin.
- You haven’t checked in your luggage before requesting a same-day change. If you are traveling with just a carry-on you won’t have to worry about this.
Same-day flight changes are not available when:
- You purchased a Basic Fare;
- You are traveling on a charter flight;
- There is only one departure scheduled for that day; or
- There are no remaining departures for the day (i.e., you are on the last flight of the day).
Platinum and Gold WestJet Rewards members may contact WestJet until two hours after their original flight’s departure to move to another flight departing on the same day if seats are still available.
Where Can You Request Same-Day Change with WestJet?
You can make same-day change requests online through their website, the WestJet app, or the self-service kiosk starting five hours before your original flight’s departure time. Your request is subject to availability, so if a flight is full, WestJet may not be able to accommodate you on the earlier flight you want.
Westjet Same-Day Change Fees
If you are able to make a same-day change, a change fee (plus taxes) will be charged per guest. The difference in fare will not be charged, nor will any reduction in fare will be credited.
The table below shows the change fees per fare type. Basic fares are not eligible for a change.
Westjet Standby Rules for Missed Flights
If you missed your flight, WestJet may be able to accommodate you on the next available flight to the same destination on the same calendar (if a seat is available) for a fee. In some cases, however, the next available flight may be the following day or even later, depending on the destination.
Standby Rules for Employees, Friends, & Family
Currently, WestJet doesn’t oversell its flights. Employees, their family members, and buddy pass holders may book their standby flights up to two weeks in advance.
WestJet employees have “free” travel perks and only need to pay the associated taxes (which can cost approximately $60-100). Seats, however, are not guaranteed, and the employee has to fly on standby.
WestJet also gives their employees a number of buddy passes per year which they can give to family members and friends. They also have eight one-way 50% off confirmed flights. These buddy passes are also only for standby travel.
Standby travelers must follow WestJet’s business casual dress code policy. In some instances, WestJet may offer standby travelers an upgrade based on availability and priority.
WestJet Standby Rules for Upgrades
WestJet’s rules for upgrades are a little different from other airlines. There are no fixed rates or required miles flown. You get to submit an offer to travel in a higher cabin. You may do this until 75 hours before your scheduled WestJet flight departure.
The value of your upgrade offer is the additional amount you are willing to pay for the upgrade—including all taxes and fees—in addition to the amount you paid to purchase your original fare.
WestJet will check your offer by assessing the following:
- The original fare of your original booking
- Your WestJet Rewards tier status
- The number of seats available in the available cabin
- The number of guests in your original booking
WestJet will consider your offer and decide whether to accept your upgrade offer 72 hours before your scheduled flight departure. If your bid is successful, they will charge the amount of your upgrade offer to your selected payment method. If not, you will receive an email notifying you of the unsuccessful upgrade.
As WestJet will evaluate each offer, the upgrade “waitlist” depends on who gives the better offer based on the qualifiers listed above.
How Does the WestJet Standby List Work?
Because the standby list only applies to employees and buddy pass holders, they can see how many tickets remain unsold. This system lets them know their chances of getting onto a flight of their choice.
WestJet employees are given the highest priority in the standby list—all the more when they miss their first option. Coming next in terms of priority are parents of employees. Buddy pass guests and contracted ground handlers are the last passengers to be cleared for the standby flight.
Here are some more articles that explain how the standby list works on other airlines: