WestJet says it is a low cost carrier and its passengers don’t expect to have free meals if it means added costs.
The good news is you can get a direct flight from Vancouver to London, the bad news is you don’t get a free meal. “Within Canada, we are the only carrier charging for hot meals in the economy section of our aircraft,” said WestJet spokesperson Robert Palmer.
In response to this industry first, consumer advocate Gabor Lukacs said, “Instead of improving services and making [an] aircraft more efficient and decreasing costs by actually making the whole industry more efficient, they are just doing a race to the bottom and offering less and less services for the same price.” He suggests that Transport Canada should enact some kind of minimum standard for food on flights. In the past Gabor Lukacs has been successful going up against Air Canada and other carriers to get them to improve their customer service.
Westjet, which calls itself a budget airline, says it’s not fair to compare it to other airlines like Air Canada, British Airways and Air Transat that are offering free meals, saying they operate on a different business model. Instead they say that Norwegian Air’s flight from New York to London, a shorter route, also doesn’t offer free meals.