DL and WS New Transborder Joint Venture

Old Sep 11, 19, 8:45 am
  #76  
 
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lets see what changes when onex takes over
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Old Sep 11, 19, 9:00 am
  #77  
 
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Originally Posted by cirrusdragoon View Post
lets see what changes when onex takes over
Both Onex and WestJet leadership have said pretty clearly that the acquisition will not change WestJet’s strategy or direction. The Onex “takeover” is relevant from a corporate finance perspective, but they’ve said repeatedly that it won’t change the product. Just a different set of shareholders.
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Old Sep 11, 19, 9:02 am
  #78  
 
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Originally Posted by keitherson View Post
But not being in Skyteam sucks, no other way to say this.
This announcement yesterday really is bloody frustrating.

To publicly declare “we’re not joining SkyTeam, but we’re focusing on a JV” might seem kind of benign. And it probably is, from an internal, WestJet strategy perspective.

But from a customer perspective, yesterday’s announcement is essentially “Here’s what our customers will not be getting.” Period.

He gave zero indication (at least from what little I could find) about the other side of the coin ... what frequent flyer customers who’ve been waiting will be getting. That leaves a lot of silence.

Alliance membership gives elite-level customers a large and clearly defined set of pretty valuable benefits. Saying “we’re not doing that” ... but then crickets ... damn frustrating, as a WestJet customer.
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Last edited by FlyerJ; Sep 11, 19 at 9:32 am
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Old Sep 11, 19, 9:24 am
  #79  
 
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Originally Posted by FlyerJ View Post
Both Onex and WestJet leadership have said pretty clearly that the acquisition will not change WestJet’s strategy or direction. The Onex “takeover” is relevant from a corporate finance perspective, but they’ve said repeatedly that it won’t change the product. Just a different set of shareholders.
Ahh but time will tell. what they say and what they actually do are two different things. The new board of directors may choose to go in different directions. Onex can say whatever they want and do something else.
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Old Sep 11, 19, 11:44 am
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Definitely frustrating. Just some faint hope of a deeper relationship with Delta and KLM. What I want is a partnership that allows me to connect with Air France or KLM from one of Westjet's YHZ TATL flights. Get me to AMS. Get me to DSS. Booking on the Westjet website. Using real money.

Still waiting.
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Old Sep 11, 19, 12:13 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyerJ View Post
Both Onex and WestJet leadership have said pretty clearly that the acquisition will not change WestJet’s strategy or direction.
If you believe that I have an ugly and routinely vandalized red bridge to sell you.
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Old Sep 12, 19, 5:21 am
  #82  
 
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Originally Posted by FlyerJ View Post
NO SKY TEAM?!? OK . . . this is concerning. This snippet came in to my Google News feed. It's apparently from today (Sept 10) at the CAPA Canada Aviation Summit that took place yesterday and today in Winnipeg.

https://www.google.com/url?rct=j&sa=...aH7CFlC_-PeGbQ
This contrary to a statement that someone posted on here recently that WS joining Skyteam is a done deal and a photoshoot had been done for the launch. Sounds like that was bad information.
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Old Sep 12, 19, 8:33 am
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Originally Posted by Frequentlander View Post
This contrary to a statement that someone posted on here recently that WS joining Skyteam is a done deal and a photoshoot had been done for the launch. Sounds like that was bad information.
Yep.

Since the full article and transcript from the conference are behind the paywall - for members and attendees only - something could have been lost in translation. The couple of sentences that Google News showed might have missed some of the context. I really hope so.

But, assuming the quotes are accurate, it would seem they’ve soured on SkyTeam (or maybe were never that close in the first place).

It would be nice if WestJet would be open with us customers ... an update, even if they can’t give specifics, is overdue. I think a big segment of their business travel base is anxiously waiting for news on the JV and/or SkyTeam (and specifically what it means to us). We’ve been waiting and anticipating for months. As I’ve said before - repeatedly - this is frustrating.
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Old Sep 12, 19, 4:23 pm
  #84  
 
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I would think that WS would wait until any regulartory approvals are made before making any public commitments for such a deal. Up until that point, it can be pure speculation or outright denial that are the only responses they are allowed to make on an official basis. I can only hope at this point!
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Old Sep 12, 19, 9:44 pm
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No regulatory approvals are needed to provide reciprocal benefits to customers. Nor is regulatory approval required to join an airline alliance. Those are marketing programs, which fall outside of the rules regarding competition.

Countless airlines do it, with no JV. Delta and Alaska previously had strong ties with a very high level of reciprocal benefits for their customers. There was no JV, and never any regulatory approval. Today, United and Marriott offer reciprocal benefits to each others’ elite level customers (Marriott Platinum members get MP Silver benefits on United, and UA MP members get Gold status benefits in Bonvoy.) There is no JV between them, and none of that required “regulatory approval”.

WS and DL do have to wait for approval on any JV before coordinating pricing and scheduling.

But marketing programs like benefit reciprocity? Nope.

They could absolutely communicate now, if they had anything to communicate and if they chose to.
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Old Sep 20, 19, 12:51 pm
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https://liveandletsfly.boardingarea....-delta-rebuff/

Link to a discussion about Delta and Skyteam. There is a lot in common with the recent discussion above. It appears that all of SkyTeam is reflecting on their value proposition and transforming the alliance to make it more relevant.
Quote from Ed Bastian talking to Bloomberg
One of the things that has not been successful in the airline world are the alliances. We, self-critical, SkyTeam alliance I don’t think we’ve brought a lot of great value to customers, I don’t think we’ve brought a lot of great value to our member airlines. And we’re going at this thing in a very different approach.

We’re going at it through Delta making bilateral investments in the most important partners. We own 49% of Virgin Atlantic, we own 49% of Aeromexico, the two closest carriers to us on either side of the country. We’re invested in Air France KLM. We invested in Korean. We invested in China Eastern. We invested in Gol down in Brazil.

As a consequence what you see is this network of influence that we’re having within those companies. Those companies want to know what Delta has learned about operational efficiency and prowess and premium, we want to learn what it takes to win in those local markets. And over time while we can’t own them in terms of whole-owned consolidation we can have meaningful enough investment that we create an international network of carriers that will be uniquely tied where you have Delta as the centerpiece. That’s our goal.
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Old Sep 20, 19, 1:37 pm
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Originally Posted by keitherson View Post
If they want to do a relationship similar to what Delta has with Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia, and GOL, that's better than nothing. It might even work for most people.
Now that they've said a definitive NO to SkyTeam, this looks like the probable path. (It sure would be nice if WestJet would just say something. Anything.)

If so, I think it's safe to assume that WestJet Gold and Platinum members will get the same or similar benefits on Delta as Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia customers receive today. That pretty much equates to getting Silver Medallion benefits when flying on Delta -- minus the possibility of J upgrades. That's the basic stuff: J check-in, priority boarding, better baggage allowance. Nice, but not exciting. Free upgrades to Delta Comfort+ (extra legroom seats in the Y cabin, with free drinks and snacks) is available to elite customers of both Virgins -- but only as a last minute standby upgrade, at the gate. That means it's the lowest priority, and probably unlikely to happen -- unless you want a middle set in C+.

That's all just pure speculation, but I expect it's what we'll see one day.

In fairness, it's about the same as we'd get if WS were to join SkyTeam -- just on one (or a small handful) of airlines rather than on the 30+ that would come with a broader alliance membership.

So, my challenge. My business travel is very frequent, and almost entirely cross-border to a variety of U.S. destinations. I rely on connections to points that aren't served directly from YYC, my home airport. But where YYC does have useful non-stops for me, they're to U.S. hub airports that are not served by WS: MSP, SEA, ORD. Those, of course, are inconveniently split between United and Delta. There's also DEN, which is better served by UA than by WS.

My options:
- Stick with WS, and wait for reciprocity with Delta. But the majority of my flying will realistically be on Delta metal, so I limit myself to never having better than basic/Silver level FF benefits on most of my flights.
- Move to DL. Fly WS metal when it's non-stop and convenient, but otherwise connect over MSP, SEA and SLC on DL metal. I'd have to build my status up from Dirt level, but would reach Platinum and get far, far better benefits flying on DL metal than if I flew Delta using WestJet status.
- Move to UA. Fly 100% UA over ORD and DEN. I'm currently at Silver with UA MP, but would eventually build up to higher status -- and get more benefits more often than if I stick with WS.

Staying with WestJet, based on my flying, looks like the least desirable option. Even though I have Platinum status with them. The only things working in their favour: I can accumulate WS Dollars via a credit card (which Canadians really can't do with DL or UA) and I'd get the highest level of benefits on my few-times-a-year vacation travel flights out of YYC. Other than that, WS isn't giving me much motivation to stay these days -- even with Platinum.

The grass is looking greener if I leave to DL or UA. (Heck, I just requested a status match/challenge with UA. They rejected it -- saying they would not match WestJet status. They'll match all of the majors, plus Iberia, Aeroflot, Air Berlin, Europa, El Al, GOL, Hawaiian, Icelandair, Kenya Airlines, Siberia, and countless others. But, no, not WestJet. They'll even match Frontier. I wouldn't even classify Frontier as a real airline, but they'll match it! But, nope, no match to WestJet.)

I'm torn. Do I wait around for WS to do something, anything, some day with Delta ... so I can get Platinum benefits on some of my flights (i.e. WS) and silver level on most (i.e. DL)? And benefit from a points-earning card and lots of non-stop vacation destinations? Or do I just jump ship to an American carrier and start over?

Last edited by FlyerJ; Sep 20, 19 at 1:43 pm
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Old Sep 20, 19, 6:21 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyerJ View Post
Now that they've said a definitive NO to SkyTeam, this looks like the probable path. (It sure would be nice if WestJet would just say something. Anything.)

If so, I think it's safe to assume that WestJet Gold and Platinum members will get the same or similar benefits on Delta as Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia customers receive today. That pretty much equates to getting Silver Medallion benefits when flying on Delta -- minus the possibility of J upgrades. That's the basic stuff: J check-in, priority boarding, better baggage allowance. Nice, but not exciting. Free upgrades to Delta Comfort+ (extra legroom seats in the Y cabin, with free drinks and snacks) is available to elite customers of both Virgins -- but only as a last minute standby upgrade, at the gate. That means it's the lowest priority, and probably unlikely to happen -- unless you want a middle set in C+.

That's all just pure speculation, but I expect it's what we'll see one day.

In fairness, it's about the same as we'd get if WS were to join SkyTeam -- just on one (or a small handful) of airlines rather than on the 30+ that would come with a broader alliance membership.

So, my challenge. My business travel is very frequent, and almost entirely cross-border to a variety of U.S. destinations. I rely on connections to points that aren't served directly from YYC, my home airport. But where YYC does have useful non-stops for me, they're to U.S. hub airports that are not served by WS: MSP, SEA, ORD. Those, of course, are inconveniently split between United and Delta. There's also DEN, which is better served by UA than by WS.

My options:
- Stick with WS, and wait for reciprocity with Delta. But the majority of my flying will realistically be on Delta metal, so I limit myself to never having better than basic/Silver level FF benefits on most of my flights.
- Move to DL. Fly WS metal when it's non-stop and convenient, but otherwise connect over MSP, SEA and SLC on DL metal. I'd have to build my status up from Dirt level, but would reach Platinum and get far, far better benefits flying on DL metal than if I flew Delta using WestJet status.
- Move to UA. Fly 100% UA over ORD and DEN. I'm currently at Silver with UA MP, but would eventually build up to higher status -- and get more benefits more often than if I stick with WS.

Staying with WestJet, based on my flying, looks like the least desirable option. Even though I have Platinum status with them. The only things working in their favour: I can accumulate WS Dollars via a credit card (which Canadians really can't do with DL or UA) and I'd get the highest level of benefits on my few-times-a-year vacation travel flights out of YYC. Other than that, WS isn't giving me much motivation to stay these days -- even with Platinum.

The grass is looking greener if I leave to DL or UA. (Heck, I just requested a status match/challenge with UA. They rejected it -- saying they would not match WestJet status. They'll match all of the majors, plus Iberia, Aeroflot, Air Berlin, Europa, El Al, GOL, Hawaiian, Icelandair, Kenya Airlines, Siberia, and countless others. But, no, not WestJet. They'll even match Frontier. I wouldn't even classify Frontier as a real airline, but they'll match it! But, nope, no match to WestJet.)

I'm torn. Do I wait around for WS to do something, anything, some day with Delta ... so I can get Platinum benefits on some of my flights (i.e. WS) and silver level on most (i.e. DL)? And benefit from a points-earning card and lots of non-stop vacation destinations? Or do I just jump ship to an American carrier and start over?
I would never make decisions for today based on speculation. Move over to DL. If you're Platinum with WestJet, you're definitely spending enough and flying enough.

Re-evaluate if/when the partnership launches. It works both ways, as DL elites would also get benefits on WS.

Anyone flying transborder should never feel captive at all, there is so much more competition than domestic flying.
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Old Sep 21, 19, 3:43 pm
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Originally Posted by WR Cage View Post
https://liveandletsfly.boardingarea....-delta-rebuff/

Link to a discussion about Delta and Skyteam. There is a lot in common with the recent discussion above. It appears that all of SkyTeam is reflecting on their value proposition and transforming the alliance to make it more relevant.
Quote from Ed Bastian talking to Bloomberg
Well NorhWest and KLM always had this "special" relationship. Delta continued it. So thee is an inner circle within skyteam. So perhaps joining an alliance is not needed.

I would be happy with something similar going forward. For my travel patterns the idea match-up would be WestJet with Delta, Alaska, KLM/Air France and something in Central or South America. These days I do not go to Australia or Asia much anymore. However for those that do WestJet may find better partners outside of skyteam in those markets.

My problem is I like Alaska and they have great options connecting through Seattle. I don't think that is a priority for WestJet for some reason.
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Old Sep 21, 19, 4:24 pm
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Originally Posted by Fiordland View Post
My problem is I like Alaska and they have great options connecting through Seattle. I don't think that is a priority for WestJet for some reason.
That’d be like becoming close friends with your new spouse’s ex after they had just gone through a bitter divorce. Ain’t going to happen!
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