A comprehensive history of WestJet April Fool’s jokes

Ask any WestJetter about our founding values and they’ll tell you that we take our jobs seriously, but not ourselves. So it’s no surprise that April Fool’s jokes have become an annual tradition at WestJet. Let’s look back at how our April Fool’s jokes have evolved over the years, starting with our first one in 2006.

2006 – WestJet Asks Guests to Assist in Realizing Fuel Efficiencies

For our first April Fool’s joke we issued a news release asking guests to assume the winglet position upon takeoff to help us realize the benefits of improved fuel economy.  This was a nod to the recent addition of blended winglets on our Boeing 737NG aircraft.

2007 – WestJet launches Sing and Fly promotion

In 2007 we evolved our April Fool’s joke to include a call-to-action to phone us to take advantage of a discount – in exchange for a song. After calling a special toll-free number on April Fool’s Day, 2007, a guest could sing Stevie Wonder’s hit song “I Just Called To Say I Love You” to the WestJetter on the other end of the line to receive $20 off any new round-trip booking or $10 off any new one-way booking made that day.

2008 – WestJet introduces sleeper cabins

Our 2008 April Fool’s joke was the first time we realized that offering a believable and desirable new service is a good way to fool people. Our news release stated, “by offering our existing overhead bins as sleeper cabins, guests will now have the opportunity to lie down for a period of time and arrive at their destination refreshed, rested and ready to go.” For a mere $12, guests could reserve a place in the overhead compartment to sleep in during their flight.

woman laying in overhead compartment on aircraft

2009 – A temporary pause

We paused our April Fool’s tradition in 2009 while much of Canada was facing the deepest recession in decades.

2010 – WestJet introduces Clapper Technology

As Canada emerged from the economic slump of late 2008 and 2009, we felt that some fun would be a good distraction. Continuing our tradition of issuing a news release with a photo, we tricked Canadians into believing that we were ready to offer revolutionary new “clapper” technology on board.

“Guests wearing the transmitting device while seated can clap once to activate the reading light in the console above their head, clap twice to change the channel on their live seatback television, or clap three times to illuminate the flight attendant call button.”

2011 – Helium in the cabin – a revolutionary fuel saving technique

2011 marked a new era for our April Fool’s jokes as we released our first April Fool’s video. We’ll let the video speak for itself!

2012 – Kargo Kids – child free cabins

Perhaps our most popular April Fool’s joke of all time, Kargo Kids promised a child-free experience on board.

2013 – Introducing Furry Family program – easing restrictions on pets in the cabin

Pets are an important part of the family, right? As important as children? Some think so. That’s why our 2013 joke focused on easing restrictions to allow a variety of new family pets to come into the cabin. We featured a bear, a caiman, a duck, a monkey and a rascally racoon.

2014 – WestJet converts to Metric Time

Time is a huge part of our daily operation. So to make it more seamless for all, we joked in 2014 that we would be converting to metric time.

2015 – Smart Seats – the best way to board the plane

There’s a popular topic that surfaces every so often. You may have seen it yourself; a new study or theory that proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the best way to board an aircraft. The only problem with those studies is that they’re all wrong. Smart seats are the fastest way to board the plane. Our Smart Seats video was also our fastest ever video to reach 1 million views on YouTube, doing so in less than 24 hours.

2016 – R.A.L.F.H. – WestJet’s newest innovation in inflight comfort

Innovation often focuses on a new product or service that can be added. In 2016 we flipped innovation on its head by thinking about what we could take away. Another feature that many people actually wanted to see, April Fool’s 2016 saw the introducing R.A.L.F.H., our Robotic Automated Light Food Handler.

2017 – WestJet rebrands as Canada Air –the #MostCanadian airline ever

Our 2017 video celebrates Canada’s 150th birthday with a video that shows what it means to be Canadian. We’re friendly, warm, caring, generous, polite, proud and compassionate. Since WestJetters display these traits on a daily basis, we joked that we would rebrand our airline to become “Canada Air”, the #Most Canadian airline ever.

2018 – WestJet introduces voice-activated digital assistant and new WestJet Rewards tier

In 2018, we threw a bit of a curve ball with a double April Fool’s joke: a voice-activated digital assistant called “WestJetter”, complete with a bonus for our WestJet Rewards top tier “titanium diamond” members. Instead of the base digital assistant, our top tier members could gain access to a WestJet doppelganger who would take their place at real-life events; perfect for the busy traveller.

2019 – WestJet #FlyreFestival

According to some of our fans, our 2019 April Fool’s joke was one of the the best. #FlyreFestival is an immersive music festival at 35,000 feet. Prepare to be immersed in the music.

So what do you think? What’s your favourite WestJet April Fool’s joke of all time?