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Photos: WestJet Introduces New Flagship Lounge at Calgary Airport

The opening of the WestJet flagship Elevation Lounge. Image courtesy: WestJet

The opening of the WestJet flagship Elevation Lounge. Image courtesy: WestJet

WestJet is taking yet another step in creating a world-class experience for flyers, as part of a two-year journey to reimagine luxury service. With the opening of their flagship Elevation Lounge, the airline is creating a space focused on the customer experience, ranging from business travelers to families.

Canadian airline WestJet will soon open a brand-new lounge experience for flyers traveling through their home terminal at Calgary International Airport (YYC), with a unique flair only the airline could provide. The carrier gave FlyerTalk a virtual sneak-peek at the new Elevation Lounge space, opening to all travelers on Nov. 2, 2020.

Elevation Lounge at Calgary a Work Two Years in the Making

For WestJet chief commercial officer Arved von zur Muehlen, creating a flagship space for flyers was one of his key initiatives after joining the airline in 2018. After introducing the premium cabin aboard their Boeing 787 Dreamliner and continuing cabin retrofits on their fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft, the new lounge brings the in-flight experience to the ground, for flyers to enjoy prior to travel.

“We have learned from lounges all around the world. We have listened to our guests on what the key needs are, and how should we build such a lounge,” von zur Muehlen said in comments during the virtual reception. “It’s a place where you can relax, where you can rejuvenate, but it’s also a place where kids can be kids, and families can relax.”

Combining stone and wood elements to create a modern rustic feel, flyers are welcomed with a dynamic entryway. Two self-check-in kiosks will allow WestJet Rewards elites and Dreamliner business cabin flyers to enter with ease. The lounge will also be open to members of Priority Pass, LoungeKey, LOUNGE CLUB, Diners Club and those who wish to buy a day pass.

The opening of the WestJet flagship Elevation Lounge. Image courtesy: WestJet

The opening of the WestJet flagship Elevation Lounge. Image courtesy: WestJet

Two wellness areas are available to flyers, featuring extended chairs and privacy panels. These areas allow flyers to stretch out and relax before boarding.

One of two Wellness seating areas for lounge guests. Image courtesy: WestJet

One of two Wellness seating areas for lounge guests. Image courtesy: WestJet

The centerpiece of the dining area is an open buffet, where the lounge chef will create custom meals and engage with travelers. The airline created the open design to be welcoming and not cramped.

The lounge dining area, capped by the open buffet at the end. Image courtesy: WestJet

The lounge dining area, capped by the open buffet at the end. Image courtesy: WestJet

The horseshoe-shaped bar is designed to create social interaction among flyers transiting to their final destination. The bar will feature six beers on tap, including three local breweries and a special “Elevation” beer brewed specially for the bar. A fireplace keeps the area cozy, because as the airline notes: No Canadian house should be without a fireplace.

The horseshoe bar at the WestJet Calgary Elevation Lounge. Image courtesy: WestJet

The horseshoe bar at the WestJet Calgary Elevation Lounge. Image courtesy: WestJet

Families have two areas to rest and relax. A dedicated kids room features insulated walls, a reading and play area, and two video game stations loaded with options suited for all ages. Just outside the family area is a living room-style lounge, ideal for a group or families to stop and rest as they make their way to their final destination.

The family room at the WestJet Elevation Lounge in Calgary. Image courtesy: WestJet

The family room at the WestJet Elevation Lounge in Calgary. Image courtesy: WestJet

For business travelers, two phone rooms and a full-service meeting room are available. While the phone rooms are designed for those taking calls or conferences, the meeting room can be booked ahead of time, with a television, whiteboard, and computer hook-ups available.

The meeting room, complete with television and whiteboard. Image courtesy: WestJet

The meeting room, complete with television and whiteboard. Image courtesy: WestJet

No top-tier lounge is complete without a shower, and WestJet delivers on that as well. The two shower units are designed to create a mini-spa space, allowing showers to relax and clean up before a long flight. The showers will be available for booking ahead by calling the lounge, or asking upon arrival.

One of two shower rooms at the WestJet Elevation Lounge in Calgary. Image courtesy: WestJet

One of two shower rooms at the WestJet Elevation Lounge in Calgary. Image courtesy: WestJet

WestJet Focused on Ways to Make Lounge Accessible to America-Bound Passengers

When the lounge opens for the first time, it will be missing elite flyers from their partner Delta Air Lines, and flyers heading towards the United States. While Delta SkyMiles Medallion elites will not have reciprocal elite access to the lounge, airline executives say that due to logistics, those traveling to the United States will not have access to the lounge.

Because U.S. Customs and Border Protection has a pre-clearance facility at Calgary, those flyers are cleared through security, before getting cleared by Customs and effectively entering the U.S. The airline says they are exploring future options to make this or another option available to those flyers in the future.

Feature image courtesy: WestJet

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