Effective immediately, WestJet says it is slashing its highest fares by an average of 25% to reduce “volatility” in the airline industry.
According to the airline, the move means travellers won’t have to hold out for a seat sale to get a low price. “Feedback from our guests shows that they are frustrated at the unpredictability of fares with seat sales only available up to a few months in advance,” said Hugh Dunleavy, the airline’s executive vice-president of strategy and planning.
“As part of this new strategy, fares at the higher end of the spectrum will be reduced. For those guests who, for one reason or another, have to travel at the last minute or at peak travel times like Christmas, we’ve significantly reduced those fares to make them more affordable,” Dunleavy added.
Judging from reader comments to a story on the new pricing initiative posted at CBC.ca, there’s a fair bit of skepticism among Canadians about the announcement.
One reader wrote: “I don’t think the “guests” were frustrated at the “unpredictability” of fares. The only ones frustrated were Westjet, at the predictability of the fact that they keep selling most of their capacity at the seat sale level. This will give Westjet a huge increase on their average fares and total revenue, while making travel more expensive for Canadians.”
Another represented the views of several commentators by saying that it is unlikely WestJet passengers had complaints about seat sales. “As a long time supporter of Westjet, I must say I find this incredibly disappointing news. I doubt anyone complained about their seat sales…”