Go Back   > > >
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Mar 5, 13, 8:51 pm   #1
Original Poster
  
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: YEG
Programs: AC: SE100K, Delta: P+, Nexus, SPG: Gold
Posts: 1,363
New Booking Classes

So I took the oppertunity to look at WestJets new booking classes today on their website. I played with a bunch of different routings and the cost seems very very excessive. When WJ annouced PE, I was very hopeful and excited that it would be rolled out like United Economy Plus.

For example:

YEG to YYZ
Econo $256
Plus $578!

That is over twice the cost for the oppertunity to sit at the front of the plane! The plus return total was ~$1200. That is $500 more than a flex ticket from AirCanada where you can accrue the status miles. The FF seat selection vouchers for freqent westjetters do not work for PE.

There "Program" to attract business flyers such as myself is going to be a complete fail as there is NO value in it. I would rather book Flex with Air Canada, Pay $30 for a premium seat (like exit row) and still come under WJ plus cost...
danapop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 5, 13, 11:59 pm   #2
  
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Calgary
Programs: Altitude E75K, dDiamond, WS Gold, Marriott Gold Elite, National Emerald, SPG
Posts: 1,163
Are you sure the "PLUS" is the same as their PE product? Have they even rolled that out yet?
capebretonboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 6, 13, 9:44 am   #3
Original Poster
  
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: YEG
Programs: AC: SE100K, Delta: P+, Nexus, SPG: Gold
Posts: 1,363
Plus is PE and yes it is rolled out as of yesterday.
danapop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 6, 13, 10:54 am   #4
  
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: YQR
Posts: 2,082
Quote:
Originally Posted by danapop View Post
Plus is PE and yes it is rolled out as of yesterday.
Westjet has done this in a confusing way. Plus gives acces to the PE seats and exit row, subject to availability. So, technically, Plus and PE seating are not the same. You need Plus to be eligible for PE. You don't actually buy PE. Flex also gives access to the exit rows, further muddying the status of the exit rows as PE seats (it looks like they aren't).

I expect there will be lots of confusion over this. On another thread, some WS insiders replied to my post about PE that there were four rows--first three plus exit. On the website, they aren't really marketing the first three rows as PE anyhow, and certainly not the exit row.

I do like the new fare levels as occasionally I have had to book a higher fare due to limited availability. At least now you get something for doing so be it more flexibility or access to better seats. The rollout seems very clumsy though and it isn't clear how they will lure business travelers away from AC, especially now that they are also limiting carry on.
arf04 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 6, 13, 11:38 am   #5
  
Join Date: Dec 2006
Programs: AMEX platinum, Marriott platinum, MPC Gold, SPG Gold
Posts: 15
I think that Westjet has failed with the launch of multiple fare classes/PE. I was planning on moving all my business travel this year to WS due to premium economy. But with the prices they are charging to get additional legroom through flex/plus I won't be flying them this year. I can book a flex fare on AC, pay ~$40 for the exit row and get full status miles. Not much of reason to fly WS again.

Not having the option in the base fare class to pay extra for more leg room is a deal breaker for me.
riggins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 6, 13, 12:29 pm   #6
Original Poster
  
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: YEG
Programs: AC: SE100K, Delta: P+, Nexus, SPG: Gold
Posts: 1,363
Quote:
Originally Posted by riggins View Post
I think that Westjet has failed with the launch of multiple fare classes/PE. I was planning on moving all my business travel this year to WS due to premium economy. But with the prices they are charging to get additional legroom through flex/plus I won't be flying them this year. I can book a flex fare on AC, pay ~$40 for the exit row and get full status miles. Not much of reason to fly WS again.

Not having the option in the base fare class to pay extra for more leg room is a deal breaker for me.
Exactly. You need to double your ticket price to have the luxury of selecting PE. They really should have looked closed at the United Economy Plus model.
danapop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 6, 13, 1:49 pm   #7
  
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: YQR
Posts: 2,082
Quote:
Originally Posted by danapop View Post
Exactly. You need to double your ticket price to have the luxury of selecting PE. They really should have looked closed at the United Economy Plus model.
Absolutely. WS isn't really offering anything more with the seats that UA is, but by bundling it with the more flexible fares they make it more expensive than necessary, possibly even than the market will bear. Will they be able to fill the front rows with high fare paying pax on YQR-YYC, for example, or will you just get those seats by checking in early?
arf04 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 6, 13, 3:27 pm   #8
  
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 309
Do we even know yet if one can cover these seats by checking in early? When flying YZF-YEG/YYC in the past I could get the exit row ~60% of the time if I checked in at t-24. But with the exit row and the front 3 now PE (and with the VERY high fare for what you get over a standard seat IMHO), I'm concerned that they'll be blocked off and go out empty.

All in all the changes at WS over the last year or so have certainly cooled my love for them as an airline overall. The changes seem like a radical departure from the formula that built them...
BMGfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 6, 13, 5:25 pm   #9
  
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: YYC
Programs: AC Basic, UA MP Gold, Marriott Gold Elite, SPG Gold, Amex Platinum
Posts: 2,900
My understanding is that once PE is available on allk aircraft, an al-a-cart option will be offered. It could be that PE is available as a stand-alone option for $100 from flex and $150 from Econo as an example.
WR Cage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 7, 13, 9:41 am   #10
Original Poster
  
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: YEG
Programs: AC: SE100K, Delta: P+, Nexus, SPG: Gold
Posts: 1,363
Quote:
Originally Posted by YEG Guy View Post
My understanding is that once PE is available on allk aircraft, an al-a-cart option will be offered. It could be that PE is available as a stand-alone option for $100 from flex and $150 from Econo as an example.
Even $150 is extortion. I was just playing with some flights for a vacation to vegas in the summer. TO book WJ PLUS the return is $1251. To book AC in Business Class, return is $1148. All prices INCL tax. IMO, WestJet is delusional.
danapop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 7, 13, 10:16 am   #11
  
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 309
Quote:
Originally Posted by danapop View Post
Even $150 is extortion. I was just playing with some flights for a vacation to vegas in the summer. TO book WJ PLUS the return is $1251. To book AC in Business Class, return is $1148. All prices INCL tax. IMO, WestJet is delusional.
I couldn't agree more.
BMGfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 7, 13, 12:08 pm   #12
  
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: YYC
Programs: AC Basic, UA MP Gold, Marriott Gold Elite, SPG Gold, Amex Platinum
Posts: 2,900
Quote:
Originally Posted by danapop View Post
Even $150 is extortion. I was just playing with some flights for a vacation to vegas in the summer. TO book WJ PLUS the return is $1251. To book AC in Business Class, return is $1148. All prices INCL tax. IMO, WestJet is delusional.
Westjet is clearly playing around with their fare bucket strategy and seeing if AC RMS system will take the bait. FOr example, today WS has blown out most Econo tickets and placed Flex as the lowest fares available. Tow days ago Econo was on all flights. That econo is zero'd out also occurs for July fares, so its not just no seats available due to previous purchases.

To its credit the AC RMS system has not taken the bait, AC will match WS consistently in the Tango fare bucket.

Overall I expect more shenanigans as WS ties out their new revenue management toys.

It will also be interesting see where WS lands on the theory that fare categories should have fixed prices with lower fare categories zero out or whether all fare categories are available on every flight. AC started out with the concept that Tango fares would only be available at the lower price points. However what they found was a large number of customers who would not book with AC once the Tango fares were closed. To remedy this situation AC implemented a policy that Tango fares are always available up to the point of Y cabin capacity.

Current (i,e, today) WS policy appears to follow that Econo is only for seat sales and Plus is the only option once 80% of the plane is sold.
WR Cage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 7, 13, 2:21 pm   #13
  
Join Date: Dec 2006
Programs: AMEX platinum, Marriott platinum, MPC Gold, SPG Gold
Posts: 15
I noticed the same while looking for flights between YYZ-YYC in early July. There are only about 10 flights total between July 4th and 14th that have seats in Econo. They lost my business to AC Flex fares for these segments already. I have to imagine many others are doing the same.
riggins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 7, 13, 9:07 pm   #14
  
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: YQR
Posts: 2,082
Quote:
Originally Posted by riggins View Post
I noticed the same while looking for flights between YYZ-YYC in early July. There are only about 10 flights total between July 4th and 14th that have seats in Econo. They lost my business to AC Flex fares for these segments already. I have to imagine many others are doing the same.
What's interesting to me is that many infrequent travelers that I know in town here automatically default to WS on the premise that they are A) cheaper and B) better than AC. I've had a few employee that I've forced onto AC due to a more suitable schedule, much to their dismay, only to be later told that AC was surprisingly decent. Now, these folk look at all their options which they never would have done before. One has to wonder whether more people who never had any cause to look to AC because they were loyalists will now look there due to the lack of Econo seats.
arf04 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 8, 13, 10:37 am   #15
  
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: YYC
Programs: AC Basic, UA MP Gold, Marriott Gold Elite, SPG Gold, Amex Platinum
Posts: 2,900
Initial reaction to WS Fare Bundle.

Assumptions:
- Altitude status removed for AC category.
- AC Executive fares removed. Comparison between AC Tango/Fex/Lat and WS Econo/Flex/Plus.
- Only looking at hard quantifiable items that are directly comparable.
- Removed items only applicable to one airline (for example earning status miles and segments is not factored as WS does not have status, upgrade potential is another item not factored).
- Analysis on stated rule basis as per AC and WS websites.
- Y+ product analysis excluded on basis that WS has not officially rolled out PE. Further AC product is longhaul widebody only at present, therefore the two Y+ products will never compete side by side basis.

Things that are better at AC:
- Complementary seat selection on AC Flex. WS Flex is paid seat selection.
- Complementary same day standby on Latitude. No provision for SDS at WS.
- Advance seat selection (for a fee) to Exit row is provided by Tango, Econo cannot select exit row.
- Latitude includes meal voucher LT07. No similar provision for Plus.
- Latitude is fully refundable to original form of payment. Pus includes a service charge.
- Latitude has priority checkin, Boarding, bag handling.
- MLL Day pass is cheaper ($25) for Latitude fares than Plus (which does not scale lounge access according to fare purchase.

Things that are better at WS:
- WS allows name change on Econo and Flex. ***
- Name change complementary on WS Plus.
- Econo same day change fee is cheaper (WS $75 < AC$150) than Tango. Excludes rapidair routes.
- Econo pax can access lounges for a fee.
- WS Flex lounge pass cheaper than comparable AC Flex lounge pass (WS about $35, AC is $50).
- 2 checked bags complementary on Plus. AC only allows 1 checked bag.
- WS Rewards earn 100% on Econo fares.

***Allowing name change could potentially be a negative under certain circumstances. In the instance where an employer pays the airfare and the employee is subsequently terminated prior to departure the rules favour the employee on AC and employer on WS. On AC the terminated employee gets the remaining dollar value in a future travel voucher. On WS the employer could transfer the travel bank credit to another employee.

Last edited by WR Cage; Mar 8, 13 at 10:47 am
WR Cage is offline   Reply With Quote
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Thread Tools
Search Thread
Go to Top
Forum Jump
Contact Us - FlyerTalk - Archive - Top