WestJet announces UltraBasic fare with no carry-ons, no seat choice and no points

WestJet announced that it has introduced an ultra low-cost fare — and if you like carry-ons, seat choice and earning points, there’s a catch.

The UltraBasic fare will replace the airline’s basic fare option, and it comes with “some restrictions,” according to an email that was sent to WestJet members.

Carry-on bags aren’t permitted unless a passenger is on a transatlantic or transpacific flight, or bought the airline’s extended comfort option, the email said.

Passengers can check a bag in advance for an additional fee, and bring a personal item that fits under the sit in front of them. If you arrive to the gate with a carry-on bag, you’ll be hit with both the checked bag fee and an additional service fee.

Going UltraBasic also means you won’t earn WestJet points for that flight through the airline’s rewards program.

You’ll also be assigned seats (including middle seats) at the back of the plane, with no guarantee that you can sit with travel companions. You have the option of choosing your seats if you pay a fee.

Passengers who pay the UltraBasic fare will be the last to board the plane, and there are no changes, cancellations or refunds for your flight.

“We believe these changes will help us continue to provide competitive air travel options while focusing on operational excellence,” the email said.

“By expediting the boarding process and optimizing cabin space, we aim to enhance on-time performance and improve your travel experience.”

CBC News has reached out to WestJet for comment.

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