A popular feature that many WestJet travellers take advantage of is the companion voucher, which offers a discounted base fare for a second passenger when the first passenger pays full price.
When we were recently exploring some redemptions with the companion voucher, we noticed some unusual patterns that form when comparing fare breakdowns with and without the companion voucher applied.
As it seems, there may be some additional fees associated with using a companion voucher to some destinations, which could warrant further investigation.
A Closer Look at WestJet’s Other ATC Fees on Companion Voucher Bookings
Whenever you redeem a WestJet companion voucher, it’s important to always compare the cost of a booking with and without the voucher applied.
This is because the companion voucher only offers a reduced base fare for the second passenger, and you’re still on the hook for what WestJet terms Other ATC (Air Transportation Charges) – a catch-all category for fuel surcharges and other fees added to your booking.
Recently, we were comparing the price breakdowns of bookings for two passengers to various destinations, and we noticed some discrepancies between the amount of Other ATC fees with and without a companion voucher applied.
For example, for a round-trip booking between Calgary and Toronto without a companion voucher, we see the following fare breakdown:
In this example, we see a total cost of $784 as the base fare for two passengers, or $392 each. In the Other ATC field, we see $0 in fees.
However, with a companion voucher applied, we see the following breakdown of costs:
Under Air Transportation Charges, we see a $119 companion voucher fee for the second passenger (expected), as well as a $392 base fare for the first passenger (expected).
However, there’s a $20 fee in the Other ATC field, which is unexpected, since it isn’t there when booking the same flights without the voucher applied.
Importantly, this isn’t just another airport improvement fee or other government-imposed charge, as those all appear under the “Taxes, fees, and charges” section. As we expect, those are the same in both breakdowns with and without the voucher.
Curious to see if this was just a one-off charge, we conducted a few more searches to see if there’s any sort of pattern.
WestJet also offers direct flights between Toronto and Vancouver, which is one of the most popular…