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Tuesday, March 5, 2019

WestJet has unofficially opened their first lounge in Calgary


According to this FlyerTalk thread WestJet opened up their first lounge on March 1st. Albeit this is only an interim lounge and a step for them opening up no less than nine lounges worldwide over the next few years.  This lounge is in Calgary and many will know it as the Chinook Lounge. Up until March 1st it was owned and operated by Swissport as a third party lounge that was utilized by WestJet, American Express, Priority Pass and numerous other lounge access providers. However you'll notice that if you go to Swissport's website it's no longer listed which seems to confirm this news.


The third party providers like Priority Pass do however list them on their sites still and still have access to the lounge.  What we are unsure about is whether it continues to be a lounge accessible under the American Express Canadian Lounge program. Based on the screenshot below it doesn't seem like it but remember the Platinum Card gives you Priority Pass benefits so that would count - just not your whole family like the Amex Canadian Lounge program provides. I have confirmed the lounge is no longer part of the American Express Canadian Lounge benefit.

Related: Rewards Canada's Guide to Business Classs Lounge Access

As you may know from an earlier post of ours in January the WestJet Rewards program recently had its latest revamp which included unlimited lounge access for Gold and Platinum members and it is stated as such for this lounge on WestJet's website:


 This interim step seems like one that ties in with the business class that is now available on the 787 that is flying between Calgary and Toronto on daily basis from the A portion of YYC which is where this lounge is located. It also provides ample time to train WestJet employees on providing services in the lounge seeing that all of the WestJet lounge partnerships are/were operated by third parties.

WestJet's new business class pod on the 787
Here's an update from WestJet:
Yes, I can confirm that WestJet has taken over the Chinook Lounge and has replaced Swissport employees with WestJet employees. The catering has been upgraded to feature hot breakfast items, hot lunch entrees, and more fresh items. The lounge will not be rebranded to a WestJet lounge so as to not confuse our guest with this lounge and the upcoming flagship lounge at YYC.

Unlimited access is provided to our Gold and Platinum guests as part of their benefits and Silver members can use their lounge vouchers to enter. Access to LoungeKey and Priority Pass members will continue as before and is pursuant to the individual access provided by each program. 


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