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Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Happy 10th Birthday to WestJet Rewards! We look at where the program is now and reveal some great birthday offers!


Yes, it has been 10 years since WestJet launched their frequent flyer program! Rewards Canada was there when WestJet entered the world of airline loyalty. If you are feeling nostalgic you can read Rewards Canada's first review of the program which was posted the same day the program launched - March 4, 2010. At that time the program was called WestJet Frequent Guest (as all passengers were called guests) and re-reading what I wrote then to what the program has become now is really interesting! The program has really come a long way in the past decade. We even have an interview with WestJet when the program turned one so it is only fitting to cover the program on its 10th birthday!

Now that the program is a decade old WestJet is celebrating with some special offers and Rewards Canada had the opportunity to speak with d'Arcy Monaghan who is WestJet's Vice President Loyalty and Guest Strategy d'Arcy Monaghan.

We kicked off our discussion talking about the growth and evolution of the WestJet Rewards programs. d'Arcy let me know that they now have over 6.5 million members in the program. This number is bigger than the last known numbers out of Aeroplan and is second only to AIR MILES in terms of Canadian based travel rewards programs. He also stated that there are also no signs of the program slowing down its growth. This is evidenced with the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard enjoying a record year in 2019 with its biggest growth ever and that's despite fierce competition in the market.

Next up was a discussion about the most recent changes to the program - namely those surrounding the elite tiers. The past year saw a lot of focus on priority services for elite tier members like priority bag delivery and priority boarding. The former I can attest to working pretty well for us, I would say that three quarters of the time the Rewards Canada family has had our bags come out within the first few minutes of bags arriving on the carousel.

A little over a year ago WestJet launched it's new top tier elite level, Platinum and d'Arcy told me that it is being well received by members, especially those enjoying the unlimited upgrade program at check in and also with gate available upgrades. He also said more enhancements will be coming to the upgrade system for elite members as well as to the milestone awards that were just recently improved this past December.

He told me that we will see further enhancements also coming to WestJet Rewards Member Exclusive fares. One of which I had actually learned about during a meeting with the WestJet Rewards team several years ago and is now coming to frution. That enhancement is Member Exclusive business class redemption options. They are slated to come late this year or early next year and will be available on WestJet and WestJet's partner airlines.

I asked about the addition of more partners to the program like hotel and car rental companies and while on their radar d'Arcy did say this is something that is more likely going to happen next year. He explained for this year their focus is on expanding the utility of WestJet dollars - that is being able to use them for more than just your base fares. As d'Arcy explained to me they are looking at adding options to use your WestJet dollars for seat selection, upgrades and more. This is would be an awesome addition to the redemption side of the program!

Finally WestJet is really excited about their flagship business class lounge that will be opening later this year in Calgary. According to d'Arcy it will be the best domestic business class lounge in North America. If that's the case, we can't wait to see it and try it out!

All I can say is that is has been exciting watching WestJet launch, develop and evolve their frequent flyer program over the past 10 years and I am looking forward to the next 10. Happy Birthday WestJet Rewards!

And now on to the WestJet Rewards Birthday offers!

There are two offers as follows and take note of the Silver for Summer offer - be one of the first 10 to qualify and you Get Gold for Summer:

Get Silver for Summer
Earn Silver status for this summer when you register and book a minimum $800 qualifying spend before March 10, 2020 for travel within Canada between April 14 – June 24.* Plus, the first 10 members that qualify will be upgraded to Gold status. Register for this offer here.


WestJet Seat Sale + 20% off discount code
To celebrate their birthday WestJet is running a seat sale for travel within Canada and between Canada and the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean but also offering a 20% off discount code for Basic and Econo fares. Both offers must be booked between today and March 6. The travel periods do differ however. The discount code is good for March 11 – April 30, 2020 with blackouts on April 8-10 and 13. The seat sale has no blackouts and is good for travel May 1 - June 24.
Click here for details on the discount code and here for the seat sale


All images via WestJet

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