There was a time when fliers felt valued by their airlines. When I was a kid, I can remember being welcomed onto a flight and having wings pinned to my tiny chest by smiling flight attendants. Comfortably seated, my apple juice came in a real glass and we were served food that resembled meals you’d find in a restaurant. I’d sit back and relax…until the cigarette smoke hit me!
Yes, there were wonderful things about the flights of yesteryear, but wellness wasn’t exactly a priority back then. While we’ve gone through some rough patches with the air industry, we’re starting to see some airlines realizing that focusing on the health and well-being of travelers is a win for everyone. One of those companies is WestJet.
Headquartered in Calgary, the Canadian airline has been making waves for years through its commitment to promoting a healthier, happier community with initiatives that connect families, encourage wellness and protect the environment. They’ve also tugged on many heartstrings through their viral campaigns.
It’s no surprise, then, that WestJet has been named Best Airline in Canada and one of the Best Low-Cost Airlines in North America by TripAdvisor for three years in a row. They’re not letting the success go to their heads, though. Instead, they are doubling down on their efforts to make each and every flight an enjoyable experience for guests.
Headspace In-Flight Meditation
There are many things about travel that make people anxious, including a fear of flying. Deep breathing and visualization are some of the ways that passengers can feel calmer during air travel, which is why it’s great that WestJet has partnered with Headspace.
The Headspace meditation app offers hundreds of guided, themed sessions for everything from stress to anxiety. Headspace has created an in-flight channel and audio exercises to help travelers relax (and maybe even sleep!) at 30,000 feet. Best of all, even those who have never meditated before can learn a new skill they can use when facing life’s challenges, whether at cruising altitude or in their everyday lives.
Refreshed Onboard Experience
When WestJet successfully launched Dreamliners from Calgary to London (Gatwick), Paris and Dublin, they wanted to upgrade the onboard experience for passengers. Now, guests traveling across WestJet’s global network can enjoy elevated amenities, allowing them to arrive at their destinations feeling rested and refreshed.
Showcasing uniquely Canadian products to reflect the airline’s history and award-winning commitment to excellence, WestJet has south to elevate the entire flying experience for their international travelers from the moment they step on the plane. During boarding, fliers will be greeted with music from Canadian artist, Sean Jones, as he performs original music as well as soulful covers of iconic songs by The Band, The Guess Who and Sarah McLachlan.
Along with healthful meals, guests in the Business cabin heading to Europe will receive tan-colored amenity kits designed by Montreal’s Matt & Nat, while navy-colored kits will be provided on the journey back to Canada. Inside, passengers will find organic skincare products from Toronto’s Province Apothecary, which sources high quality ingredients from provinces all across Canada.
In the Premium cabin, guests are given kits featuring handmade products from Rocky Mountain Soap Company. The simple, natural ingredients are intended to promote healthy, beautiful skin — essential after spending hours in an airplane!
To keep everyone on board feeling fresh and clean, WestJet has put Rocky Mountain Soap Company’s line of lavatory products — including foaming hand wash, hand cream and wellness sprays — in the Premium and Economy cabins throughout most of their fleet. On top of all that, guests will continue to see updates rolled out on WestJet flights over the next year!
In addition to considering the health and well-being of passengers, WestJet looks at wellness on a global scale by protecting the environment. As they continue to expand, with a goal of becoming one of the top five airlines in the world, WestJet acknowledges that, as operations grow, so does their carbon footprint.
To offset the environmental impact, WestJet strives to operate their fleet and ground infrastructure as efficiently as possible. They currently fly one of the youngest and most fuel-efficient fleets in North America and their head office in Calgary was designed to maximize natural resources. Earning a Gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Award in 2011, WestJet’s headquarters feature geothermal heating, efficient fixtures and rainwater reclamation tanks.
WestJet and Carbonzero have also teamed up to give guests the opportunity to purchase carbon-offset credits to reduce the environmental impact of their travels. Passengers can use the flight calculator to determine how many credits they should buy before pledging.
Valuing Customers, Uplifting the Community
Year after year, WestJet has shown a deep commitment to the community and has created initiatives such as WestJet Cares for Kids (in support of eight national charities that positively impact the health and well-being of children), WestJet Live Different Builds (a humanitarian program to build new homes for families living in extreme poverty) and WestJetters Caring for Our Community (volunteering in local communities).
From time-to-time WestJet also goes viral for making an effort to brighten people’s lives by doing things like reuniting a dad and his sick child for Father’s Day, creating catchy songs about being the Most Canadian Canadian Airline and, of course, their tear-jerking Christmas Miracle moments.
In today’s travel industry, most of us are just grateful when our airline gets us (and our luggage!) to our destination on time, but WestJet shows that we ought to expect so much more. Aside from ensuring our safe travels, the Canadian carrier has shown a commitment to promoting wellness for guests on-board, within local communities, to those in need around the world and for the Earth itself. That’s the type of airline we can all get behind!