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Thursday, October 3, 2019

WestJet confirms their first flagship business class lounge will open in Calgary in summer 2020


For several years now WestJet has made it known that they plan on opening and operating their own business class lounges in key cities across their network. This has all played out as WestJet made the transition to an airline that offers a true business class on their Boeing 787 Dreamliners and move to a true premium product on their 737s. We know that WestJet's current plans are to open nine of their own lounges across Canada and in Europe. I believe Paris is in the cards and I wouldn't be surprised if London Gatwick is also part of the mix seeing that is WestJet's number destination in U.K. and Europe.

Earlier this year, WestJet took over the Chinook Lounge in Calgary's Concourse A so that they could have their first pseudo-lounge (see our March post WestJet has unofficially opened their first lounge in Calgary)  This was done more so for the training of their employees and to also find what works and doesn't work for their passengers prior to opening of the new Calgary flagship lounge in summer 2020, which of course got its official announcement today:

WestJet today announced that work has begun on its first proprietary flagship lounge at the Calgary International Airport (YYC).
As the airline with the most departures, destinations and seats from Calgary, the construction of the lounge underscores WestJet's ongoing commitment to growing its premium presence and guest experience.

"As WestJet continues its accelerated journey to becoming a global network carrier our new flagship lounge in Calgary will give top-tier WestJet Rewards members, Business cabin guests and select partner travellers a home within our home in Calgary," said d'Arcy Monaghan, WestJet's Vice-President, Loyalty. "This lounge will showcase WestJet's award-winning hospitality, refined style, elevated products and premium experience our guests have been enjoying with the launch of our new Dreamliner."

Working in partnership with the Calgary Airport Authority, WestJet's new lounge will be located near Concourse B to conveniently serve guests travelling from Concourses A and B in the Domestic Terminal, and from Concourse D in the International Terminal.

"Whether guests are starting a journey, or connecting, this premium lounge will elevate their experience," said Rob Palmer, CFO and Vice-President, The Calgary Airport Authority. "YYC is already proud to be home to WestJet, its Dreamliner hub, and now we're excited to welcome this flagship lounge at our airport. Congratulations to WestJet."

Designed in partnership with Gensler, world-class design and architectural firm, the lounge will seamlessly blend contemporary interior design with refined mountain living. This custom Canadian-inspired space brings together exceptional local food and beverage, along with business amenities designed to keep travellers connected. Once complete, it will be a place for guests to work, relax, rejuvenate and collaborate in comfort and style, reflective of WestJet's ongoing premiumization of its Boeing fleet and award-winning hospitality and service.

WestJet flagship lounge is scheduled to open in late summer 2020. Platinum, Gold and Silver WestJet Rewards members with complimentary lounge access benefits, along with guests travelling in the Business cabin, will be among the first to enjoy the new space.
WestJet's 787 Business Class Pod

What is unknown at this time is if WestJet will follow Air Canada's lead and only have the lounge available to their guests or if they will open it up to Priority Pass and other lounge membership programs. Personally I don't think they will knowing how many WestJet travelers alone will use the lounge (and their partners like KLM) just as we see with Air Canada's Maple Leaf lounges. There is a chance the Chinook Lounge, which WestJet took over, will revert back to a third party lounge once the new lounge opens in which case it would most definitely be part of Priority Pass and other lounge programs. I have reached out to the Calgary Airport Authority to see if this will be the case or not.

Are you looking forward to this new lounge? Let us know in the comments below!

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

 

Title image courtesy of WestJet, all other images via Rewards Canada

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