Delta alliance can't happen soon enough...

Old May 9, 19, 10:42 pm
  #1  
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Delta alliance can't happen soon enough...

Platinum tier member with WestJet Rewards, with a Premium class fare, YYZ-LAX-YYZ, and a rather spendy ticket as well.

Flight from Toronto to here was uneventful apart from a one hour delay due to a delayed incoming plane, no biggie, it actually worked in my favour as I was running a bit behind with my schedule. Good attentive crew.

For my return flight LAX-YYZ, I got to the airport very early (I didn't want to take a chance with traffic and airport construction). Checkin agent at the counter in Terminal 2 wasn't aware of any priority security screening for platinum/premium customers, even though the website mentions it, but otherwise premium checkin was very fast and efficient. However when I got to the terminal 3 TSA lineup, they waved me through to the Skyteam priority security line, bypassed a bunch of people waiting in line and saved a lot of time. At least the TSA knows about it!

Being that I got through security so fast, here I am in Terminal 3, 2 hours early. I tried to get into the Delta lounge, but no luck there, even though I was willing to pay for entry. So as one who is top tier status with Westjet, with a paid premium fare ticket, when is Westjet going to *finally* offer their loyal customers who spend $$$$ on tickets to the USA the ability to access Delta lounges in the USA when flying there either on Delta or Westjet? Skyteam membership can't happen soon enough!! I will definitely factor this in on any future travel plans to the USA! Let's quit pretending about this close association with Delta, and get on with it!! Everyone knows!!!

Oh, and while you're at it, lounge access in YUL would be kinda nice, I'm visiting a client there next week! OK, 30 more minutes to kill before boarding my flight home!!
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Old May 9, 19, 11:35 pm
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Originally Posted by Arthurrs View Post
Skyteam membership can't happen soon enough!!
+1

Please, WestJet.

Alliance membership is a really big deal. And the delay (ie from what I think we all expected!) is both odd and frustrating.

I have DL and AM flights where I won’t get any useful credit, nor will I get any benefits or recognition. (I’ve tried booking some of those through WS codeshares, but (a) the WS pricing was always utterly out to lunch compared to buying from the actual flight operator and (b) WS doesn’t appear to codeshare any PY or J product.)

And for my US business travel to non-WS destinations, I’ve now made UA my go-to. Not Delta, and certainly not an overpriced WS codeshare ticket on Delta. The reason: my lowly United MP Silver status (initially earned via Marriott) almost always scores me Econo Plus seats, and I’ve even had a couple of comp upgrades to J. And I get J check-in, and generally a really nice experience.

As a lowly UA Silver, United is a way better business travel experience than it is being a WestJet Gold or Platinum member flying on Delta, AeroMexico, or any Skyteam carrier.

WestJet: Is Skyteam membership coming soon? Please???
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Old May 10, 19, 5:21 am
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I can’t speak to alliance membership, but I know that that a much closer alignment between Delta and WestJet is a done deal, but is pending regulatory antitrust approval.

Also, it hasn’t been mentioned exactly what that alignment looks like. But I would think reciprocal benefits would include things like lounge access, status recognition maybe?
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Old May 10, 19, 8:13 am
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Originally Posted by Arthurrs View Post
Skyteam membership can't happen soon enough!!
+100
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Old May 10, 19, 11:46 am
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Originally Posted by FlyerJ View Post


+1

Please, WestJet.

Alliance membership is a really big deal. And the delay (ie from what I think we all expected!) is both odd and frustrating.

There can't be a delay in something that was never committed to. I don't think "we all" were expecting an "Alliance membership".

What Delta/Westjet agreed to was a joint venture for transborder flights.

There are reciprocal FF benefits in-store but I haven't seen any definitive announcement of the details.

The JV has not yet been approved AFAIK because of regulatory delays.
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Old May 10, 19, 1:31 pm
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Fair enough. Perhaps not "we all", but I think a fair number of us WS frequent fliers have been assuming this to be the case.
  • WestJet doing everything possible to transition to a full service, mainstream carrier -- 2x2 premium product, lounges, premium services like separate check-in, zone boarding based on status. The only thing missing from the "full service/mainstream carrier" features at this point would be either joining an alliance, or developing strong 'alliance-like' benefits.
  • The JV with Delta would indicate that they'll either have alliance-like benefits with Delta, or will join SkyTeam, i.e. Delta's alliance
  • Codesharing with all of the key members of SkyTeam would indicate that they're moving towards partnering with (or joining) SkyTeam
  • Dropping relationships with many non-SkyTeam members (i.e. AA, BA) would indicate that they're moving closer to SkyTeam
All signals would point to this coming, and everything listed above has been in the works for quite some time.

Yet still, no mention of any reciprocal benefits with other carriers, nor of any movement to an alliance. Even though it would seem the logical (and 'some' would say required) next step.
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Old May 10, 19, 1:59 pm
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Originally Posted by robsaw View Post
There can't be a delay in something that was never committed to. I don't think "we all" were expecting an "Alliance membership".
Not "expecting." But certainly hoping for.
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Old May 10, 19, 2:21 pm
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Originally Posted by robsaw View Post
There can't be a delay in something that was never committed to. I don't think "we all" were expecting an "Alliance membership".

What Delta/Westjet agreed to was a joint venture for transborder flights.

There are reciprocal FF benefits in-store but I haven't seen any definitive announcement of the details.

The JV has not yet been approved AFAIK because of regulatory delays.
Ok.....

Westjet and Delta sitting in a tree
K-i-s-s-i-n-g!
First comes "joint venture."
Then comes "reciprocal benefits."
Then comes a "membership" with the "SkyTeam Alliance"....

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Last edited by Arthurrs; May 10, 19 at 6:04 pm
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Old May 11, 19, 11:16 pm
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Originally Posted by Arthurrs View Post
Ok.....

Westjet and Delta sitting in a tree
K-i-s-s-i-n-g!
First comes "joint venture."
Then comes "reciprocal benefits."
Then comes a "membership" with the "SkyTeam Alliance"....

Nice poetic analogy - but I think we've all observed relationships that don't quite work-out (both human and airline) with such literary beauty.
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Old May 12, 19, 8:21 am
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WJ and DL are waiting for governmental approvals, hence they have to keep quiet.
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Old May 12, 19, 10:34 am
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Originally Posted by jkordyback View Post
WJ and DL are waiting for governmental approvals, hence they have to keep quiet.
That's true for the JV ... which does require government approval.

But the JV isn't required in order to offer reciprocal benefits, nor to join an alliance like SkyTeam. No government approval is required for either.

Perhaps they're waiting for the JV to be approved and official as the first step, but that's their choice. It's not a necessity.
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Old May 13, 19, 1:09 pm
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There is anti-trust stuff to be sorted out by the regulators.
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Old May 13, 19, 4:30 pm
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i predict as soon as jv is announced , skyteam join announcement will be made same day.
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Old May 15, 19, 2:34 am
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I remain skeptical on this one - I just don't see WS ticking all the boxes necessary for joining an alliance. Name one airline that is member of one of the big three global alliances that doesn't have:
  1. A lounge network for frequent flyers to use
  2. A route network that includes significant lift in their home country and abroad
  3. A hard product that includes business class virtually fleet wide
  4. A set of perks for its members that make attain status with them worthwhile
Call me jaded or a pessimist but for all the positive stories we hear about WS, I have yet to see any concrete evidence of meaningful improvements in service to say nothing of route network!

-James
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Old May 15, 19, 9:40 am
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Originally Posted by j2simpso View Post
  1. A lounge network for frequent flyers to use
  2. A route network that includes significant lift in their home country and abroad
  3. A hard product that includes business class virtually fleet wide
  4. A set of perks for its members that make attain status with them worthwhile
I agree ... but these are factors that might dictate the timing of joining an alliance — not “if”.

Take a close look at the full membership lists for each of the three global alliances ... and look beyond the big, global legacy brands at the top of each list. Their membership includes many mid and small sized carriers with smaller footprints and more limited breadth of offering than WestJet has today.

#1: In progress. There’s now one true WestJet Lounge, with plans for more to be built in the near future. In my view, that signals a significant step to joining an alliance.

#2: I think WS is already there. Look at the smaller carriers (and carriers from smaller countries) that are in all three alliances. WestJet has a bigger footprint and bigger route network than many. (Not everyone is Delta or United or Lufthansa. In fact, few are.)

#3: Not an issue. Every global-alliance-belonging European carrier offers “European business class” on most intra-Europe and domestic flights. That’s typically no more than a blocked middle seat ... most often with no cabin divider and awful legroom. That was the model for WestJet’s Plus — but with better legroom. And WS is already moving away from that — to a North American style 2x2 J class on narrow bodies.

#4: Also a non-issue. Pretty easy to find disgruntled status members of every single airline who feel they’re not getting value from their status. Face it, we all suffer from a “grass must be greener” mentality. No, WS Platinum doesn’t have some of the ultra-VIP features that some airlines offer their highest tier (like concierge service, private check-in area). But, objectively, I think the industry would view WestJet’s status program as on par with industry norms — albeit WS’s program is not all that exciting. And the biggest set of perks currently missing from WestJet’s program?? Those that come with alliance membership — reciprocal benefits with their codeshare partners!

Building their own lounges and going to 2x2 domestic J would indicate to me that they are chasing alliance membership pretty aggressively.
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Last edited by FlyerJ; May 15, 19 at 9:50 am
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