First WestJet Lounge — March 1

Old Mar 1, 19, 4:42 pm
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First WestJet Lounge — March 1

The first “WestJet” Lounge kicked off today in YYC’s A concourse. (Not sure if it happened anywhere else ... )

It’s definitely not one of the new-built lounges, though. Instead, in the interim, the old Chinook Lounge (operated by Servisair) changed hands and took on a new WestJet identity this morning. And WestJet agents are now officially staffing it.

It’s still the same old (ie fairly dumpy and dated) YYC domestic lounge as before.

The one significant change: they told me they switched to a new caterer (“Compass”). The new food is, frankly, pretty similar to the old food — other than some hot options (chili) that I don’t recall seeing before. Otherwise, it’s still sandwiches and cheese slices served out of small, grocery store style fridges. The Amex Centurion Lounge experience it definitely ain’t.

The agent at at the front desk told me that the new lounge was coming, and that this was simply an interim step.

(I wonder if the poor AC Jazz pilots and crews who’ve always camped out here before - I assume with paid Servisair Lounge memberships - will still have access.)
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Old Mar 1, 19, 8:08 pm
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Noticed they serve Big Rock brewery on tap and lasagna this week at the lounge. Much more busy than I recall from 3 months ago. Where will the new "Flagship" lounge be built in A concourse?
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Old Mar 1, 19, 10:10 pm
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I asked where the new lounge there would be ... the WS agent at the desk seemed unsure (or unwilling to tell).

I’ll be intrigued to see if the WestJet branded/operated lounges remain in Priority Pass, and if they stay part of the Canadian Amex Platinum Lounge program.
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Old Mar 1, 19, 10:28 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyerJ View Post
I asked where the new lounge there would be ... the WS agent at the desk seemed unsure (or unwilling to tell).

I’ll be intrigued to see if the WestJet branded/operated lounges remain in Priority Pass, and if they stay part of the Canadian Amex Platinum Lounge program.
My hope would be that Plaza Premium would come in and take over the unused lounge space at the entrance to concourse B. Better location to serve all of domestic. Plaza Premium also does a better job of running a lounge than Servisair.

This is going to be interesting. The existing lounge was never very busy. Last few times I was in the current lounge over the last few months there was a WestJet desk in the corner.

Last edited by Fiordland; Mar 1, 19 at 10:46 pm
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Old Mar 2, 19, 7:55 am
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Originally Posted by FlyerJ View Post
The first “WestJet” Lounge kicked off today in YYC’s A concourse. (Not sure if it happened anywhere else ... )

It’s definitely not one of the new-built lounges, though. Instead, in the interim, the old Chinook Lounge (operated by Servisair) changed hands and took on a new WestJet identity this morning. And WestJet agents are now officially staffing it.

It’s still the same old (ie fairly dumpy and dated) YYC domestic lounge as before.

The one significant change: they told me they switched to a new caterer (“Compass”). The new food is, frankly, pretty similar to the old food — other than some hot options (chili) that I don’t recall seeing before. Otherwise, it’s still sandwiches and cheese slices served out of small, grocery store style fridges. The Amex Centurion Lounge experience it definitely ain’t.

The agent at at the front desk told me that the new lounge was coming, and that this was simply an interim step.

(I wonder if the poor AC Jazz pilots and crews who’ve always camped out here before - I assume with paid Servisair Lounge memberships - will still have access.)

I noticed this as well but pretty underwhelming compared to AC!

That said, they have a gate agent type setup now that ylu can change your flights in the lounge which is a nice perk.

I do grab some.keto lunch meat there but it is not even close to what AC offers.
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Old Mar 2, 19, 10:06 am
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It will be interesting to try out the new food offerings. Supposedly they are doing hot breakfast and lunch options, not dinner though. The Chinook Lounge has always been pretty disappointing for us Priority Pass members. They always had some soup from what I can remember but I never saw any chili before so that will be a nice change (assuming the chili doesn't have mushrooms.)

Apparently this is temporary and an actual Westjet "flagship" lounge will open in 2020 now at YYC. I'm still pretty certain the new lounge will be the unused lounge space between gate 24 and the B concourse. I don't see any other viable space for a lounge in the A concourse. YYC did close that pre-security area under the spaceport beside Montana's for some renovations/construction. Maybe they will be reconfiguring that area for a post-security lounge although that would be really far from the Westjet A concourse.
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Old Mar 2, 19, 12:01 pm
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Couple open questions:
  1. Who can enter these lounges:
    1. Can someone travelling on a Plus fare enter?
    2. What about someone travelling International J on the 787 flagship service to LGW?
    3. What about WS World Elite cardholders?
    4. How does WS elite status factor in to lounge access?
  2. Does WS plan on opening lounges elsewhere in Canada (i.e. YYZ or YVR) or is it just focused on their "flagship" hub?
  3. Does WS plan on opening lounges at the other concourses where they operate @ YYC (i.e. TB / INTL)?

Originally Posted by FlyerJ View Post
The first “WestJet” Lounge kicked off today in YYC’s A concourse. (Not sure if it happened anywhere else ... )

This is positive news - the lack of lounges was one of the main reasons why I've stayed away from WS, fares between AC and WS being equal.

Originally Posted by FlyerJ View Post
The one significant change: they told me they switched to a new caterer (“Compass”). The new food is, frankly, pretty similar to the old food — other than some hot options (chili) that I don’t recall seeing before. Otherwise, it’s still sandwiches and cheese slices served out of small, grocery store style fridges. The Amex Centurion Lounge experience it definitely ain’t.
It's my understanding that Compass also does the MLL catering as well so in due course (supposing the budgets are roughly the same) you should expect to see similar food on offer. There are some on these forums who wish for the days when Sodexo ran the lounges in Canada and having been to several such lounges they cater, I can attest that there is a night and day difference between food variety and quality!
Originally Posted by FlyerJ View Post
I’ll be intrigued to see if the WestJet branded/operated lounges remain in Priority Pass, and if they stay part of the Canadian Amex Platinum Lounge program.
The lounge is still listed in the priority pass website. My guess is that it will remain since WS wouldn't want to pass up the revenue they get from these lucrative agreements! In addition, their very own credit card (WS World Elite) offers lounge access using a 3rd party service - I doubt they'd want to boot off paid lounge visits from cardholders!

Originally Posted by Calgary661 View Post
I noticed this as well but pretty underwhelming compared to AC!
Haven't been to that lounge at YYC but the lack of showers in and of itself suggests the lounge will be underwhelming. As much as I complain about AC and long for the days of travelling UA domestically, they did get their lounges right: showers in every MLL at YYZ with decent food offer and seating areas. That's something that neither UA Domestically nor SQ in general can seem to get right with their lounges!

-James
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Old Mar 2, 19, 4:01 pm
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On Westjet’s website, it states:

Chinook Lounge

Open 7 days week from 6:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. MT.

You’ll find the lounge in the Calgary International Airport, after security screening, on Concourse A of the Domestic Departures terminal. Guests departing from other concourses are welcome to access the lounge.Entry requirements
  • WestJet Rewards Goldand Platinum members enjoy complimentary access to the lounge when travelling on a WestJet-marketed flight. This includes up to five immediate family members1 travelling with the member, or a colleague or friend when a one-time use guest voucher is redeemed.
  • WestJet Rewards Silver members may redeem vouchers for access into the lounge when travelling on a WestJet marketed flight, as well as redeem one-time use guest vouchers, when available.
  • Guests travelling in the Business cabin on WestJet marketed and -operated flights (including connections when a Business fare has been purchased) enjoy complimentary access to the lounge.
  • Priority Pass members may access the lounge using their membership benefits
  • Guests travelling on any airline, including WestJet, are welcome to access the lounge for a fee.
  • All guests must present a valid boarding pass for a flight departing within 3 hours.
  • The minimum age for unaccompanied entry into the lounge is 18; minors under the age of 18 are permitted when accompanied by an adult.
  • Complimentary access, where provided, is non-transferable and has no cash value.
......https://www.westjet.com/en-ca/book-t...ounges/chinook
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Old Mar 2, 19, 5:26 pm
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Interesting ... I’m pretty sure that Lounge was previously part of the Amex Canada Platinum Lounge program. (Amex Plat cardmembers show their Amex card, rather than Priority Pass, to get access to those lounges. That’s definitely the case for the two Aspire Lounges in YYC’s International terminal.)

So has WestJet cut off American Express access to this (and presumably other) lounges?

(It may be somewhat moot, since Amex Plat also comes with separate Priority Pass benefits.)
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Old Mar 2, 19, 5:33 pm
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Originally Posted by YYCguy View Post
  • Guests travelling in the Business cabin on WestJet marketed and -operated flights (including connections when a Business fare has been purchased) enjoy complimentary access to the lounge.
This brings up a bigger issue of confusing cabin branding.

What Westjet calls “Premium” ... most airlines refer to as “Business”. (Ie the 2x2 front cabin on domestic and trans order)

What WestJet calls “Business”, most other airlines call - well - something fancier than Business. Like “First”.

It’s going to be confusing for a lot of people. And frankly calling TATL pod service “Business” really undersells the product. And what WS sells domestically as Premium really is commonly referred to as Business by most people.

I foresee a lot of people with “Premium” domestic boarding passes thinking they’re in “Business” and expecting they’ll get access to the lounge.
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Old Mar 2, 19, 6:59 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyerJ View Post


This brings up a bigger issue of confusing cabin branding.

What Westjet calls “Premium” ... most airlines refer to as “Business”. (Ie the 2x2 front cabin on domestic and trans order)

What WestJet calls “Business”, most other airlines call - well - something fancier than Business. Like “First”.

It’s going to be confusing for a lot of people. And frankly calling TATL pod service “Business” really undersells the product. And what WS sells domestically as Premium really is commonly referred to as Business by most people.

I foresee a lot of people with “Premium” domestic boarding passes thinking they’re in “Business” and expecting they’ll get access to the lounge.
I would disagree with the use of "First" class to describe International Business. Most airlines do call it International Business Class.

As for the front cabin on the 737, I think calling it Premium makes sense until they get most of the aircraft upgraded. Then they should quietly change the name. It is only the Americans who call that type of 737 cabin First Class.
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Old Mar 2, 19, 7:04 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyerJ View Post
Interesting ... I’m pretty sure that Lounge was previously part of the Amex Canada Platinum Lounge program. (Amex Plat cardmembers show their Amex card, rather than Priority Pass, to get access to those lounges. That’s definitely the case for the two Aspire Lounges in YYC’s International terminal.)

So has WestJet cut off American Express access to this (and presumably other) lounges?

(It may be somewhat moot, since Amex Plat also comes with separate Priority Pass benefits.)
Yes it was part of the Amex Platinum lounges. The card include complimentary enrollment in Priority Pass (however you have to call in to request that). Without the priority pass card it includes access to this list of lounges:
https://www.americanexpress.com/ca/e...d/lounges.html

The list includes Executive Lounges by SwissPort in Canada (which covers the ones in Calgary). I think Calgary is the only swissport lounges in Canada.

It does not include WestJet lounges.

-

Last edited by Fiordland; Mar 2, 19 at 7:15 pm
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Old Mar 5, 19, 5:04 pm
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I decided to visit the chinook lounge today at YYC. Wow was it packed! And there were about 3-4 families with little kids too. Food was quite bland. 2 types of soupe and both needed a lot of salt or other flavour. Did not sample the chilly. Coke and Sprite for soft drinks. Appeared to be quite a few beer and liquor selections. No sandwiches.

I would guess they don’t plan on sprucing it up if they are opening a new one at YYC.

Hopjng the new lounge has better food.

Nice and friendly WestJet staff at the front desk.
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Old Mar 5, 19, 7:23 pm
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Originally Posted by WestonC View Post
I decided to visit the chinook lounge today at YYC. Wow was it packed! And there were about 3-4 families with little kids too. Food was quite bland. 2 types of soupe and both needed a lot of salt or other flavour. Did not sample the chilly. Coke and Sprite for soft drinks. Appeared to be quite a few beer and liquor selections. No sandwiches.

I would guess they don’t plan on sprucing it up if they are opening a new one at YYC.

Hopjng the new lounge has better food.

Nice and friendly WestJet staff at the front desk.
Packed is a very negative adjective in describing a lounge. We need AMEX to get on with creating it own lounge in YYC to reduce the pressure on the WestJet lounge.
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Old Mar 5, 19, 7:28 pm
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Any signs of partner DL elite or confirmed FC customers getting access?
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