Finally! West Jet will begin flying to Kamloops, B.C. ! That is the good news. Friends and relatives in Kamloops have been longing for the day that West Jet will come to town to give them a choice in air carriers. Finally! Yes!
The not so good news is the new route, via Calgary Alberta (YYC), is set to begin December 15, 2008. Though this date will undoubtedly gladden the hearts of Christmas travellers, it's a few months too late for the early September trip that my mom has planned.
The closest she can get flying West Jet to Kamloops (YKA) in September is to fly to Kelowna, B.C. (YLW) and either take the bus, or have someone in Kamloops drive down to meet her plane, and then take her back to Kelowna for the return trip. It's about a 2-hour drive each way, and a major inconvenience.
In any event, I went to the West Jet site to see what the current fares were for her September trip. Here's what I found: Total including taxes is $665.00 CAD, just as far as Kelowna (gas or bus fare to Kamloops is extra).
And then over to Air Canada to compare fares. I selected the Tango class (the cheapest) with no meals (you can prepay $6.00 for a meal/snack voucher). Total: $735.35 to Kamloops via Calgary.
Air Canada also flies to Kamloops via Vancouver, but this routing adds another 2 or more hours to total travel time as you retrace your route.
So as it stands now, mom will likely choose to pay the $70 fare difference and take Air Canada so she won't have to worry about buses or having someone transfer her to and from Kelowna. But come next year, she will most likely choose to fly Westjet. We'll decide once we see the routing, the fares and the planes. But if customer satisfaction counts for anything, West Jet should win the route hands down.