Flying Onboard Boeing’s Rarest 737
Updated: Oct 17, 2019
Many people have flown onboard Boeing 737's, especially NG types such as the -700, -800, and -900. On top of that you can come across the now dying breed of classic 737's the -200, -300, -400, and -500, but the one you don't see that much rare Boeing 737-600.
Only two airlines in the world fly the 737-600. Those two are SAS in Scandinavia and WestJet in Canada. They are in fact a Boeing 737 NG meaning it has a glass cockpit and a redesigned wing. The -600 version was created to compete with the Airbus A318. Due to the small number of passengers the aircraft can hold Boeing never received large amounts of orders. In fact, only 69 were ever produced from 1995 until 2012 when Boeing dropped the aircraft from its price list.
When I was looking at flights departing one afternoon from Winnipeg, Canada I saw a great $109 CAD price from Winnipeg-Calgary-Vancouver-San Francisco. To most people, three legs would be torture, but to me, it is super fun. Especially when I found out my first leg was in fact onboard one of the world's rarest planes the 737-600.
My flight was scheduled to depart at 14:05 on WestJet flight number 739 to Calgary, leaving out of gate 6. YWG airport is stunning. You can refer to our airport guide on Winnipeg's airport here: https://www.worldtravelreport.net/winnepeg-mb-cywg-airport-guide The aircraft for our flight was registered C-GBWS one of 13 737-600's in the WestJet fleet. I had flown on WestJet before and enjoyed their service, so I was looking forward to the hospitality once again with the addition of the rarest aircraft I had ever flown.
I was surprised as soon as I stepped onboard by two things. 1: How short the 737 was! 2: How the -600 had not yet been retrofitted with the new slimline cabin, that is featured on WestJet's 737-700/800's. I actually did enjoy the older cabin. It featured in seat PTV's at every seat and was equipped with DirectTV service. Much like the kind jetBlue offers on their flights. I was seated in 8A and had a phenomenal view out over the wing and engine. It was a completely full flight for the 1:30-minute journey to Calgary. The aircraft features 113 seats. 101 standard seats with 33 inches of seat pitch and 12 "Plus" seats at the front of the cabin with 36 inches of seat pitch and the middle seat blocked off for extra comfort.
The aircraft, however, did not have power outlets or in-flight Wi-Fi.
The fantastic WestJet crew allowed me to look in the flight deck and it looked exactly the same as the other Boeing 737 NG aircraft. I asked the Captain and First Officer if the 600 flew any different than the other 737's and they both said: "it flew the same." As we cruised at flight lever 360 (36,000 feet), I gazed out my window on the crystal blue sunny day thinking about how lucky I am to be one of the very few people to have flown on such a rare plane.
Overall it was quite the experience to fly on the Boeing 737-600, and I was impressed at the way WestJet has configured theirs. Now all I need to do is hop on SAS's version and compare the two.