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Tuesday, March 24, 2020

WestJet Rewards extending elite status and providing voucher extensions


Last night an email went out to WestJet Rewards members detailing what they are planning for to those who have elite status expiring soon as well as vouchers that were set to expire shortly:

Tier Status Retention and upgrades
For elite status extensions and/or upgrades WestJet is focusing on those members whose elite status is set to expire in March, April or May:

You may have questions on how a reduction in travel may impact your ability to retain your status or move to the next tier. Since our program has a variable qualification period unique to each member, our actions to date have been focused on those who are impacted in the near term. We have proactively extended or upgraded members who were on track to achieve status in March, April or May. Rest assured; we will similarly look after those whose tier status may be impacted in the months ahead.

When I checked all of my family's accounts we are all still showing our Gold Elite status expiring on April 30 and May 31. With our April trip on WestJet cancelled our qualifying spend isn't near the re-qualification mark for Gold status for all four of us. Hopefully we'll see that extended but honestly there is no rush as WestJet and all the other airlines have more important issues to attend to.


Companion Voucher expiry
WestJet also provided details on what is going to happen to companion vouchers that come from the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard and WestJet RBC Mastercard or issued as Milestone awards. The following vouchers will be extended at this time, although WestJet does not state until when:
  • Unredeemed vouchers expiring in March, April or May
  • Companion vouchers with an earlier expiry date that were redeemed for travel between March 1 and April 30, 2020 where travel was cancelled due to COVID-19
These extensions are set to be completed by March 31 or within 14 days of your travel being cancelled. WestJet advises that you check your account online for details. The flights we just had cancelled utilized our companion vouchers which have an expiry in September. They haven't shown back up in our account yet but based on the above I figure they should be back in our accounts by the first week of April. I also don't expect to see extensions on them until September closes in and only if the current situation we are in continues.

Lounge Access and vouchers
WestJet also provided the following in the email:

We have decided to temporarily close the Chinook Lounge, in partnership with the Calgary Airport Authority, effective immediately. In addition, all lounge access benefits for Platinum, Gold and Silver members will also be temporarily paused, effective Monday, March 23 at 11:59 p.m. MDT. Some airport lounges operated by our partners, including Plaza Premium, may still be open, however your lounge access benefits will remain temporarily paused in all airport lounges until further notice. Please know that we do not take the pausing of member benefits lightly. Safety has always been our top priority; the safety of you and our WestJetters is not something we are willing to compromise. We will provide an update on the re-opening of the Chinook Lounge and resumption of lounge benefits as soon as we can. 

I would also assume that this could potentially mean a delay in the opening of WestJet's new flagship lounge in Calgary. It was set to open early this summer and again I'm sure that will be dependent on how everything unfolds over the next few months.

What wasn't addressed in WestJet's email is what is happening to seat selection vouchers and guest lounge vouchers that are also awarded as a benefit to elite members. Chances are these will be treated the same as the Companion Vouchers but we'll check with WestJet for confirmation.




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