WestJet Introduces #SmartSeats (April Fool’s Joke)

I’m generally not a huge fan of April Fool’s day. It’s too much not-so-funny all at once.

That being said, you can always count on WestJet, the Canadian low cost carrier, to come up with a great concept for the day. This year they’re announcing #SmartSeats, their new concept in boarding flights. Here’s how it’s described:

After years of research and testing, we are excited to announce SmartSeats, a new concept in boarding flights. SmartSeats are guaranteed to change the way people fly. How? Your SmartSeats in the boarding lounge will also be your seats on the plane. Just sit back, relax and let SmartSeats do the work.

And here’s the video:

It’s definitely funny, though I think some of WestJet’s videos from past years were better.

Last year Westjet’s April Fool’s joke was that they would be converting to metric time (probably my favorite):

The year before that, their April Fool’s joke was the introduction of the #FurryFamily program:

Three years ago, Westjet’s April Fool’s joke was their introduction of child-free cabins:

Kudos to WestJet for their creativity. And it’s not limited to April Fool’s, as their holiday videos are just as good. In both 2013 and 2014 they had amazing “Christmas Miracle” videos (the in 2013 may be my favorite airline promotion ever).

What has been your favorite WestJet April Fool’s concept?

Comments

  1. Though you’re not a huge fan of April Fool’s day, you are a fan of pulling off late April Fool’s jokes! šŸ˜‰ I forget which year but I recall reading a blog post of yours about finally flying la Prem TATL! I’m just glad it’s finally April!!!!

  2. I’ve actually done some (serious) work on studying the viability of palletised pre-seating for quick turnarounds. In reality, you don’t gain much efficiency versus the traditional process and that also assumes no outliers in the boarding process who have to be seated outside of their pallet sequence. Great idea in theory, but not really practical.

  3. For those of us that fly Westjet, trust me when I tell you the words “low cost” were removed as a descriptor for them years ago. They’re just another Canadian carrier now.

  4. The second I saw how well dressed the passengers were I knew it was an April Fool’s joke.

  5. The kids-free cabins would be a great idea, esp. flights to/from MCO. Due to Hurricane Sandy, the first flight back to FL I could get was to MCO… never…again.. Which is a shame because MCO’s a nice airport and the Residence Inn near the airport is outstanding. Cheap (~$80-90/night), rooms which look like they belong in a Park Hyatt rather than RI, and they offer a park & fly service.

  6. @Sean M

    Silly question perhaps, but how would secure the palletised seats to the deck in quick and secure manner?

    Know there are convertible cargo/passenger planes out there still, but does that not take a while to configure the cabin from passenger to cargo and vice-verse?

    Just assuming here that would would need some kind of cargo door to board since normal doors would be too small?

  7. The BIG difference between a pax interior and cargo interior is the overhead bins/air vents/ and especially oxygen masks. While it may be possible to make a quick-change setup, getting the regulatory agencies to sign off on it would be a major challenge.

    I do like the idea of palatalized seating though.

  8. @Alex

    I think the idea is that convertible cargo/passenger planes keep overhead bins/air vents/ and especially oxygen masks in place and just change out the seating. Cargo like say mail is probably more dense than passengers so would not be able to use all the volume anyway. Fly passengers during the day and mail during the night, know there was airlines that used to do that.

    Oh and the regulatory agencies have sign off on it.
    http://boeing.mediaroom.com/2000-09-07-FAA-Certifies-Boeing-Next-Generation-737-700-Convertible

  9. @Alex

    Cargo door with bins etc
    http://www.airlinereporter.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/4044263827_194d819231_o-640×425.jpg

    As this article says most of them have gone to the Us Navy
    http://www.airlinereporter.com/2014/07/the-unique-boeing-737-700c-gets-some-love/

    Essentially it’s a Boeing Business jet built for cargo.
    http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/first-civilian-application-for-boeing-737-700-qc-141581/

    Video from Jet Time in Denmark demonstrating the whole process, including the containers that allow the bins etc to remain in place.

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