How strict is WestJet with carry-on luggage?
WestJet is not very strict on carry-on luggage. Firstly, WestJet does not have a maximum weight for carry-on bags. Secondly, you are allowed to bring both a carry-on bag plus a personal item such as a handbag or purse onboard the aircraft. It is rather rare for WestJet passengers to have to pay excess baggage charges because their hand luggage is too large. What happens from time to time, however, is that you still have to have your large piece of hand luggage checked in at the gate, as there is not enough room on the plane for it. In addition, the space in the overhead bins on WestJet flights is often quite tight, and so at least the personal items often have to be stowed under the front seat. All in all, WestJet cannot be classified as a strict airline for hand luggage and many passengers even wished there would be more frequent hand luggage checks, so people would bring less on board the aircraft.
Pay attention to the carry-on size
One thing you need to look out for at WestJet are the hand luggage dimensions. The maximum allowed dimensions are 53 x 38 x 23 cm. With a length of 53 cm, WestJet is not exactly generous here, as many airlines allow a little more, often 55 (Lufthansa, for instance) or even 56 cm (Delta Air Lines & United Airlines, for instance). If you are unlucky and your hand luggage is a little too large, you may have to pay excess baggage charges at check-in or at the gate and your hand luggage may have to be checked in as checked baggage.
Two pieces at most
Another thing you should keep in mind is that you are only allowed to bring two pieces of hand luggage, one large piece of hand luggage and one personal item. If you are carrying three pieces of hand luggage, you may be forced to store the third piece of hand luggage in either your big carry-on or the personal item.
However, this regulation is absolutely standard and can certainly not be regarded as particularly strict. This regulation applies to most airlines worldwide.
Nevertheless, many airlines allow additional accessories to be transported in addition to the regular hand luggage allowance. This category often includes umbrellas, cameras, medical aids and sometimes bouquets of flowers.
If your hand baggage is too large and must, therefore, be transported in the hold, excess baggage charges of around 30 dollars will apply (this actually corresponds to the cost of a regular checked luggage piece). Depending on whether the violation was noticed at check-in or the gate, the cost may be (slightly) lower or slightly (higher).
The overhead bins are pretty small
According to experience reports from the Internet, the overhead bins on many WestJet planes are rather small and often do not offer enough storage space for passengers’ hand luggage. For example, WestJet occasionally requires passengers to stow part of their hand luggage (usually the personal item) under the front seat.
You might need to check your hand luggage in
If the aircraft is fully booked, you may be asked (usually at the gate) to have your large carry-on baggage transported free of charge in the hold.
This practice is understandably not very popular with passengers but is now practised by many airlines. On the one hand, passengers, in this case, may have to take certain items out of the large piece of hand luggage and stow them in the personal item, which can lead to stressful situations, as the time at the gate to do so is often very short.
On the other hand, passengers have to pick up baggage at their destination at the baggage claim, which of course takes further precious time.
All in all, WestJet does a good job with hand luggage
All in all, WestJet can be described as a fair, reliable and reputable airline when it comes to hand luggage. Excess baggage charges are rarely levied, which of course benefits passengers on the one hand, but is also criticised by others, as this, of course, leads to a tendency for passengers to take much more hand luggage with them than is actually permitted.
If one compares the Canadian low-cost airline WestJet with low-cost airlines from Europe, one can say that the regulations regarding hand luggage are a lot looser than with various comparable airlines in Europe.
Just the fact that there is no weight limit for hand luggage at WestJet shows the loose regulations for hand luggage at WestJet. However, it must be said that it is not common in Canada and America to define upper limits for hand luggage.
In Europe, however, this is quite different, as hand luggage is often limited to 6 to 8 kilograms, sometimes even including the personal item. Only easyJet has no weight limit for hand luggage in Europe. British Airways is also very accommodating here, as 23 kg per piece of hand baggage is permitted.