Last updated March 12, 2019 at 18:15 MST
We understand our guests may have questions about their travel plans and steps WestJet is taking to ensure the safety of our guests and crew in response to Coronavirus (COVID-19).
If you still have questions after reading below, please consider contacting us directly.
Is it safe to fly?
Safety is WestJet’s top priority and we are committed to providing our guests and WestJetters a safe travel and work environment.
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has assessed the public health risk associated with Coronavirus (COVID-19) as increased. Public health risk is continually reassessed as new information becomes available. Please consult the Coronavirus (COVID-19) page on travel.gc.ca for the latest information including travel advice.
We encourage our guests and WestJetters to travel with their own regulation-size hand sanitizers or disinfectant wipes (in containers 100 ml/100 g or less) and to engage in effective preventative measures.
Our most recent travel advisories are available here.
What if I’m concerned about booking a flight or trip?
What if I’m travelling on a flight with one of WestJet’s partner airlines?
Where can I find out more information?
Our global partners are working diligently to provide guests with the most up-to-date information. You can find out more from their pages directly below.
How are aircraft cleaned?
The safety of our guests and WestJetters is and always will be our top priority and since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, WestJet has implemented a number of policies and procedures to ensure our guests can travel with greater peace of mind. WestJet has built a robust framework to ensure Canadians can travel safely and responsibly through the airline’s Safety Above All program. Safety is at the forefront of every decision we make and as our industry adapts to a new normal, we will continue to adjust our health measures to ensure the safest travel experience. We believe these robust safety initiatives are an effective control mechanism that will allow Canadians to travel our country in a safe and responsible manner.
How clean is the air on the plane?
The idea that all aircraft air is recirculated is a common misconception. All WestJet aircraft (737, 767, 787 and Q400) are equipped with an industry-leading air circulation system containing a HEPA filter, similar to what is used in hospital environments. These filters achieve a viral removal efficiency of greater than 99.99909 per cent and bacterial removal efficiency of greater than 99.99996 per cent. This rating is based on the 0.3 micron contaminant benchmark – considerably smaller than animal dander, which is approximately 2.5 microns in size.
These aircraft also introduce fresh air into the cabin every two to three minutes (20 to 30 air changes per hour).
How can you protect yourself?
Human Coronaviruses cause infections of the nose, throat and lungs. They are most commonly spread from an infected person through:
- respiratory droplets generated when you cough or sneeze
- close, prolonged personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
- touching something with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands
We encourage all guests to engage in preventative measures as outlined:
- wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
- stay home if you are sick
- when coughing or sneezing:
- cover your mouth and nose with your arm or tissues to reduce the spread of germs
- immediately dispose of any tissues you have used into the garbage as soon as possible and wash your hands afterwards
More information is available here
How and when should masks be worn?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), if you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected 2019-nCoV infection or if you are coughing or sneezing.
Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water. If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly.
More information on masks is available here on WHO’s website.
What happens if someone is sick on my flight?
Should a guest present ill or fall ill during travel, our frontline teams and crews are trained to handle multiple scenarios and situations that can arise on the ground or onboard our aircraft and have access to real-time support of physicians at MedLink when requested.
It is the crew’s duty to assess, refuse or move anyone who is exhibiting signs of not being fit to fly due to illness.
What do I do if I am not feeling well on a flight?
It’s important to self-identify so that our WestJetters can ensure your safety along with the safety of other guests and crew. Frontline WestJetters are trained to handle multiple scenarios and situations that can arise on the ground or onboard our aircraft and have access to real-time support of physicians at MedLink when requested.
Where should I go to find out more information?
Public Health Agency of Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health.html
Government Travel Advice and Advisories: https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories
Government of Canada Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html
World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus
IATA – Air transport communicable diseases: https://www.iata.org/en/programs/safety/health/diseases