Flight Review Showdown: WestJet Versus Air Canada Rouge

by Anthony Losanno
WestJet Air Canada

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I flew between Tampa International Airport (TPA) and Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) roundtrip this week with one direction flying WestJet and the other on Air Canada Rouge. Both flights were in Business Class and I was seated in 1C for both segments. I pitted Canada’s largest and second largest airlines against each other for this flight review showdown.

WestJet Boarding


With Business Class tickets, we were in the first boarding group/zone for both flights. At Tampa International Airport (TPA), WestJet had lanes set up and we boarded after a lot of people with disabilities and one other couple in Business Class. For Air Canada at Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ), the lines were a bit more ambiguous. We were again onboard early and did not have much of a wait. The outbound from Tampa had a lot of wheelchairs and a ton of other people preboarding while the flight from Canada had only two people preboard.

Winner: Tie

WestJet Seat


Air Canada Rouge Seat


Our WestJet flight was operated by a Boeing 737-700 and the Air Canada Rouge flight was flown on an Airbus A319. Seats on both planes were in a 2-2 configuration in Business Class. The WestJet seats felt newer, but the Air Canada Rouge seats were better padded. I was seated in the bulkhead aisle for both (1C). Legroom was a bit better on the Air Canada Rouge flight.

Winner: Air Canada Rouge

WestJet Outlet


Air Canada Rouge Outlet


Both flights offered outlets and USB ports at our seats. I could not get my laptop plug to draw a charge from the WestJet outlet (even using an adapter). The Air Canada Rouge plug worked fine and charged quickly.

Winner: Air Canada Rouge

WestJet Lights

Air Canada Rouge Lights

Air Vents & Lights

Both flights offered individual air vents and lights. Each pair of seats had three lights and three air nozzles. These all worked on both flights.

Winner: Tie

WestJet Beverage


Air Canada Rouge Beverage


Air Canada Rouge Snack


Bottled water was waiting at our seats on both flights. WestJet offered a printed beverage menu and Air Canada Rouge had the flight attendant tell us what wines were available. I liked that WestJet offered a split of sparkling wine. WestJet served its beverages with a cookie and pretzels. Air Canada Rouge offered warm nuts.

Winner: WestJet

WestJet Menu


Air Canada Rouge Menu


Both airlines provided printed menus, which is a nice touch for a three-hour flight and something you don’t see in the United States. I expect this more in Europe and now I guess, Canada.

WestJet Lunch

On WestJet, I had the Chicken Cordon Bleu. It was served with a salad, bread, and Black Forest Cake. The bread was not warmed.

Air Canada Rouge Lunch

On Air Canada Rouge, I selected the Gemelli Pasta. It was served with warm bread, a salad, and a brownie. The pasta had olives in it. These were not mentioned on the menu (and I hate olives).

Winner: WestJet

WestJet Sink


Air Canada Rouge Sink


WestJet and Air Canada Rouge offered lavatories that were approximately the same size. Air Canada Rouge offered hand lotion and better soap.

WestJet Toilet


Air Canada Rouge Toilet

The toilets were in about the same condition and cleanliness.

Winner: Air Canada Rouge


Service on both carriers was warm and friendly. Flight attendants brought around drink refills and were accessible throughout the flights.

Winner: Tie

WestJet Wi-Fi


Air Canada Rouge Wi-Fi


WestJet charged $21.99 CAD for Wi-Fi during the entire flight. Air Canada Rouge offered Business Class passengers complimentary Wi-Fi for the flight. This is a nice touch.

Winner: Air Canada Rouge

Overall: Air Canada Rouge beat out WestJet by just a little bit. The Air Canada Rouge flight was delayed 30 minutes due to a mechanical delay. I preferred the food on WestJet (except I wish that they would warm the bread). Both flights were pleasant and I found the comfort on both about equal. Air Canada gets the nod for its free Wi-Fi and slightly more comfortable seat.

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