Seat assignment...Gold perk has changed?

Old Dec 27, 18, 11:15 am
  #1  
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Seat assignment...Gold perk has changed?

So I am booking YYZ-KOA for me and Marge (same PNR), so I go to choose my seat assignment, no probs....but then when I go to choose Marge's I'm told.....Gold member ONLY??!! Now I have booked her seat assignment many times in the past and never had an issue. Did I just get an uniformed CSR or have others experienced this as well?
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Old Dec 27, 18, 12:00 pm
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Originally Posted by HomerJ View Post
So I am booking YYZ-KOA for me and Marge
Comedy Gold!
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Old Dec 27, 18, 12:19 pm
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Originally Posted by HomerJ View Post
I go to choose my seat assignment, no probs....but then when I go to choose Marge's I'm told.....Gold member ONLY??!! Now I have booked her seat assignment many times in the past and never had an issue. Did I just get an uniformed CSR or have others experienced this as well?
Can you elaborate?

Are you trying to use the Gold seat selection vouchers?

What fare did you book?
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Old Dec 27, 18, 12:41 pm
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Huh. Just looked at the terms for seat selection vouchers, and - yes - theyíve changed them.

  • Effective December 12, 2018, vouchers may be used for member only and are non-transferable. Vouchers may not be used for other guests or companions.
What the &@$&?

I earn my status by directing all of my business travel to WestJet ó where I either buy a Flex fare (which includes seat selection) or pay for (and expense) my seat selection.

Where I really want this status benefit is when I fly for personal/vacation travel. When I have my family with me. Where Iím paying out of my own pocket. But now, Iím restricted to only using the voucher for one of our four seats - and paying for the rest?

WestJet: youíve got to be kidding. This is absolutely a shot against your loyal customers, and I cannot fathom how this helps you at all.
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Old Dec 27, 18, 1:57 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyerJ View Post
Huh. Just looked at the terms for seat selection vouchers, and - yes - theyíve changed them.



What the &@$&?

I earn my status by directing all of my business travel to WestJet ó where I either buy a Flex fare (which includes seat selection) or pay for (and expense) my seat selection.

Where I really want this status benefit is when I fly for personal/vacation travel. When I have my family with me. Where Iím paying out of my own pocket. But now, Iím restricted to only using the voucher for one of our four seats - and paying for the rest?

WestJet: youíve got to be kidding. This is absolutely a shot against your loyal customers, and I cannot fathom how this helps you at all.
I really hope WestJet are monitoring this thread and see what damage they are doing to themselves. This really is another example of killing (or going out of their way to annoy) the goose that lays the golden egg.
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Old Dec 27, 18, 10:03 pm
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Drip drip drip. Started with no more upgrade to Plus for Gold. Now this. Not impressed.
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Old Dec 28, 18, 8:45 am
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As the program evolves, and as it changes into a ďrealĒ loyalty program, I get that there will be changes. And I accept that - along with new features and new benefits - there will be tweaking, and there will be more formal rules, and - yes - some claw backs of benefits from the old system.

This change, however, is utter nonsense. I cannot fathom why they did this, or how it helps WestJet in any way. Itís just stupid.

As as mentioned above, I use my seat selection vouchers for my familyís vacation travel. Thatís what makes it a personal perk for me ó and thatís one of the things that makes me direct my work travel spend to WestJet.

With this idiotic change, WestJetís revenue will remain the same. No upside for them.

For me, Iíll have to spend more - out of my own pocket - for seat selection for my wife and kids when going on vacation. And Iíll be angry at WestJet every time I do it.

For my employer, well, theyíll save a bit of money. Since I canít use this benefit on my family any longer, I may as well apply the ones I donít use personally to my business travel.

Westjet gains absolutely nothing.
Iím forced to spend more personally.
But my employer - who does not dictate my choice of airline - will save a few bucks when I fly (but wonít notice or care).

What on earth were they thinking? Stupid, stupid change. Grrrrrr.
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Old Dec 28, 18, 11:31 am
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There are many modern corporations who don't seem to understand that in cases like this the amount of money on a single transaction is trivial, but the irritation factor is ***really*** high. Yes, if you multiply it by a million times it adds up, but then you have half a million customers irritated at you. It doesn't seem to faze airlines, possibly because having irritated customers doesn't affect business because all the other airlines irritate their customers just as much. Banks are notorious for this attitude. The problem is that we customers keep coming back because the (apparent) price is low.

And by the way, when it comes to the so called loyalty programs, the TANSTAAFL principle applies. You're paying for it one way or another.
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Old Dec 28, 18, 4:24 pm
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This is a DUMB DUMB move by Westjet. I'm with you FlyerJ, I use the seat selection vouchers when I travel with my spouse on personal travel, and this is a perk that I value - being able to select OUR seats in advance. Talk about nickel-and-diming your premium customers away ... I unfortunately just found out about this change last week when I went to use my vouchers for an upcoming vacation trip. The WestJet agent was apologetic, but these are the new rules ....

Seriously WestJet, you might want to rethink this decision ... sometimes you want to weigh the additional potential revenue against the immense loss in goodwill.

Originally Posted by FlyerJ View Post
Huh. Just looked at the terms for seat selection vouchers, and - yes - theyíve changed them.



What the &@$&?

I earn my status by directing all of my business travel to WestJet ó where I either buy a Flex fare (which includes seat selection) or pay for (and expense) my seat selection.

Where I really want this status benefit is when I fly for personal/vacation travel. When I have my family with me. Where Iím paying out of my own pocket. But now, Iím restricted to only using the voucher for one of our four seats - and paying for the rest?

WestJet: youíve got to be kidding. This is absolutely a shot against your loyal customers, and I cannot fathom how this helps you at all.
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Old Dec 28, 18, 5:44 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyerJ View Post

Where I really want this status benefit is when I fly for personal/vacation travel. When I have my family with me. Where Iím paying out of my own pocket. But now, Iím restricted to only using the voucher for one of our four seats - and paying for the rest?

WestJet: youíve got to be kidding. This is absolutely a shot against your loyal customers, and I cannot fathom how this helps you at all.
They lost money giving stuff away and now they are working on not losing money which makes sense. Gold is a pittance to qualify for and they were giving away too much for zilch and now they aren't. Investors and management likely think this is more fair than you do.
Just buy four seats with seat selection included and all that, which is what they want to sell, not cheap-o seats where members think they pay nothing and get the flex advantages.
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Old Dec 28, 18, 5:48 pm
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Originally Posted by Sopwith View Post
There are many modern corporations who don't seem to understand that in cases like this the amount of money on a single transaction is trivial, but the irritation factor is ***really*** high. Yes, if you multiply it by a million times it adds up, but then you have half a million customers irritated at you. It doesn't seem to faze airlines, possibly because having irritated customers doesn't affect business because all the other airlines irritate their customers just as much. Banks are notorious for this attitude. The problem is that we customers keep coming back because the (apparent) price is low.
They look at it as say $20 a seat times that million times is $20,000,000 something which they want, e.g. moolah. How is multiplying by a million = 1/2 a million customers? If you mean 50% won't complain then they make $10 million non complainer dollars and suffer (slightly) and make another $10 Million complainer dollars. Seems logical.
People want the illusion of a $200 seat and the features of a $500 seat. If luggage, seat selection, hot food, better service and all that means something to a passenger, WS offers Flex, Plus, Flex Plus for obtaining them by paying for them.
As a Gold I'd be happy with lounge access and baggage for paid Plus and not metered out lounge passes (for Gold) , and the 3X or 5X $/mile or whatever the formula is and the rest, pay for it with the seat or by transaction.
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Old Dec 28, 18, 6:15 pm
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Originally Posted by ricktoronto View Post
They look at it as say $20 a seat times that million times is $20,000,000 something which they want, e.g. moolah. How is multiplying by a million = 1/2 a million customers? If you mean 50% won't complain then they make $10 million non complainer dollars and suffer (slightly) and make another $10 Million complainer dollars. Seems logical.
People want the illusion of a $200 seat and the features of a $500 seat. If luggage, seat selection, hot food, better service and all that means something to a passenger, WS offers Flex, Plus, Flex Plus for obtaining them by paying for them.
As a Gold I'd be happy with lounge access and baggage for paid Plus and not metered out lounge passes (for Gold) , and the 3X or 5X $/mile or whatever the formula is and the rest, pay for it with the seat or by transaction.
People want predictability.
If a person cashes in a voucher for a companion seat, they don't want to find at the time of booking that, without any notification, the rules have changed and they are going to be squeezed for a seat selection fee. The cost of the seat selection fee may be trivial, but the way this has been done isn't. People remember being nickel and dimed because its petty and annoying..
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Old Dec 29, 18, 3:59 pm
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Originally Posted by Frequentlander View Post
People want predictability.
If a person cashes in a voucher for a companion seat, they don't want to find at the time of booking that, without any notification, the rules have changed and they are going to be squeezed for a seat selection fee. The cost of the seat selection fee may be trivial, but the way this has been done isn't. People remember being nickel and dimed because its petty and annoying..
Read the website, ask an agent (before booking) and if you have to, pay the fee, then you can predict you are not entitled to something for nothing. No lack of predictability as much as failure to investigate.
People will still fly crammed like sardines in a tin because they can go 2,000 miles for what it used to cost on Greyhound. But... with a proviso.... if they suffer ten times like that they then earn the right to fly like they are paying $2,000 a ticket vs. $200 and at the end of they day, they aren't.
Or fly AC if it's cheaper which I suspect it is not. Or Flair, Swoop, whatever, then you know everything is extra and it won't knock people over with the vapors when the airline wants money for a service.
Harping here won't make the fees go away. I am personally hoping they next up the cost of Plus at check-in to earn more than the marginal cost by double or triple, or get rid of it so I don't have to sit next to people wanting a Bloody Mary at 6 a.m. "because it's included".
At some point WS might even be a decent investment. The dividend is not bad but they need to make money.
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Old Dec 31, 18, 12:37 pm
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Just spoke to them on twitter.

This policy changed to better align with other major air-carrier's frequent traveller programs. We will absolutely pass your feedback along to the appropriate team.

We do apologize for any disappointment we have caused.
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Old Dec 31, 18, 1:19 pm
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Stupid. Itís still a dumb decision, and a decision that will annoy their loyalty members and give zero upside to WestJet.

That seems to be the official Twitter reason for any of their recent changes. Iíve been told something along the lines of ďWe are transforming to become a global carrier...Ē on a couple of recent questions.

If thatís the logic - ie we want to do exactly what other airlines do rather than what WestJet did - I guess we can expect WestJet dollars to be replaced with a points program with relatively limited and frustrating reward availability? After all, that would be perfectly aligned with every other airline, right?

Careful what you wish for WestJet. If you want to be exactly like everyone else, youíll also lose absolutely everything that made you stand out from the crowd, and everything that made your current bread-and-butter customers love you.
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