Imagine flying over 9 hours in Economy and not getting a measly meal!
Westjet isn’t offering free meals in economy class on its new long-haul route and it’s the first carrier to do this on a direct flight from Vancouver to Europe. It takes nine to nine and a half hours to get to London’s Gatwick airport.
“Within Canada, we are the only carrier charging for hot meals in the economy section of our aircraft,” WestJet spokesperson Robert Palmer said in an emailed statement.
The airline started flying to London from Vancouver on May 6 and it’s running the non-stop service six times weekly until mid October.
“Our guests have always told us that they do not want to pay for things they do not need or want, and that includes expensive meals,” said Palmer.
WestJet considers itself a low-cost carrier and says its major competitor, Air Canada, is a legacy carrier and uses a different business model.
“Fares will include more features, but they’re also more expensive. Comparisons between the two types of carriers are problematic because you’re comparing two different business models,” said Palmer.
WestJet also points to the Norwegian Air flight from New York to London, on which the company does ask for meal payment on certain fares.
But other low-cost airlines such as Air Transat, with non-stop service from Vancouver to London, do offer free meals on all flights to Europe.
Transport Canada says there are no rules around providing free meals on flights.
How much do these meals cost anyways?
What do you think? Is this is a dealbreaker for you (all things being equal amongst carriers)?