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Is WestJet considering allowing conversion of companion vouchers into WestJet Dollars

Is WestJet considering allowing conversion of companion vouchers into WestJet Dollars

Old Mar 28, 21, 7:43 pm
  #1  
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Is WestJet considering allowing conversion of companion vouchers into WestJet Dollars

Aeroplan has just started to offer an exchange for their Buddy Pass acquired through credit cards for 30,000 Aeroplan miles. This is great for those who do not find easily a travelling companion.

I have 2 unused Companion Vouchers with Westjet, earned through the RBC MC. I had to let several of them expire in the past, these two will likely go unused as well.

With new Aeroplan and limited Westjet flight options out of YUL, I will likely cancel the RBC MC at renewal.

Is Westjet considering similar exchange into WJ $$$?
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Old Apr 2, 21, 11:02 am
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Originally Posted by Vaclav View Post
Aeroplan has just started to offer an exchange for their Buddy Pass acquired through credit cards for 30,000 Aeroplan miles. This is great for those who do not find easily a travelling companion.

I have 2 unused Companion Vouchers with Westjet, earned through the RBC MC. I had to let several of them expire in the past, these two will likely go unused as well.

With new Aeroplan and limited Westjet flight options out of YUL, I will likely cancel the RBC MC at renewal.

Is Westjet considering similar exchange into WJ $$$?

It was announced that you can only do that with AC till April 30th. Currently the only thing Westjet offers is converting your companion pass to lounge passes. (4)
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Old Apr 3, 21, 5:21 am
  #3  
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While examining my Westjet account, I have noticed the possibility to exchange the companion voucher(s) for lounge passes.

Nice, but I need this even less - Amex Plat card allows me (+1 guest) unlimited access. Why would I bother with the vouchers then?

I am sure there are many others in the same situation.

The vouchers will then very likely expire unused and I am contemplating to cancel the RBC Westjet Master Card.

CIBC Infinite VISA in combination with 'new' Aeroplan seems to be by far a better option in my case, even though it requires lots of advance planning to score the best deal.
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Old May 18, 21, 8:42 pm
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Originally Posted by Vaclav View Post
Aeroplan has just started to offer an exchange for their Buddy Pass acquired through credit cards for 30,000 Aeroplan miles. This is great for those who do not find easily a travelling companion.

I have 2 unused Companion Vouchers with Westjet, earned through the RBC MC. I had to let several of them expire in the past, these two will likely go unused as well.

With new Aeroplan and limited Westjet flight options out of YUL, I will likely cancel the RBC MC at renewal.

Is Westjet considering similar exchange into WJ $$$?
I am surprised at the seeming lack of interest in the Companion Voucher upcoming expiry. I make comments to WestJet on social media and ask about a further extension but they just ignore me. The RBC credit card I would think is primarily obtained for the companion vouchers. WestJet has been doing 6 month extensions but there is no news about any extension for the June 30, 2021 expiry dates. The idea about converting to WestJet Dollars is interesting but that would be money out of their pockets and I can't see them doing this. More practically, they should just forego expiration dates for the existing vouchers. I don't see them gaining anything by allowing them to expire, from a customer satisfaction point of view although it may be beneficial to their bottom line in the short term.

The lounge passes are a nice option but they they don't have lounges in very many places. Right now, they are only starting to open them and not all of them are open. The lounge passes expire on the date of the original companion voucher expiry so if you have multiple companion vouchers and book for a flight after June 30th, you're out-of-luck for using lounge passes on that trip.

WestJet is nowhere near the company it once was. It's not people's fault that they cannot travel or are reluctant to travel. Why should they be penalized by the loss of a voucher? Right now, the situation seems worse with provincial boundary restrictions and lack of dining.

If this is how WestJet is, I'll definitely be cancelling my RBC card and look to other airlines for future travel. Even after all the hullabaloo with the refund issues, it seems that they are still being belligerent. I'm not sure why people have seemed to resign themselves to the loss of the vouchers.
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Old May 19, 21, 12:15 am
  #5  
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Originally Posted by starchoice View Post
I am surprised at the seeming lack of interest in the Companion Voucher upcoming expiry.
I'm certainly interested!

WestJet has been doing 6 month extensions but there is no news about any extension for the June 30, 2021 expiry dates.
We're still 6 weeks away from June 30, and I think they've left it pretty late on some of the previous extensions, so I'm not sure this is terribly different. I remember feeling pretty under the gun before they did a previous extension, because I think there were only a couple weeks left to expiry and I had no idea what to book given the uncertainty at the time.

I suspect they're waiting to see how things play out for the next few weeks before they decide how long to extend, if at all. I'd be willing to bet they'll extend again, but less than six months. Although I wouldn't bet a large sum.
The idea about converting to WestJet Dollars is interesting but that would be money out of their pockets and I can't see them doing this.
Converting to WSD wouldn't necessarily cost them anything, relative to extending the vouchers again. Both WSD and vouchers can only be used to redeem travel services from WestJet, so it's not like offering WSD would lead to a cash outflow for people buying Visa gift cards or something.

As long as they exchange their modelled value of the vouchers for the same modeled value of WSD, it's a wash. For example, if they model the average cost of a voucher at $200 (including breakage), and they model the cost of WSD at $0.80 (including breakage), then they could offer 250 WSD per voucher and it would be neutral for them (those numbers are totally made up for illustrative purposes, by the way).

More practically, they should just forego expiration dates for the existing vouchers. I don't see them gaining anything by allowing them to expire, from a customer satisfaction point of view although it may be beneficial to their bottom line in the short term.
The pandemic has been replete with airlines, including WS, sacrificing customer satisfaction, and ignoring applicable laws, regulations, and their own tariffs, to protect their balance sheets. Would refusing to extend vouchers really be worse than refusing to provide refunds to those who are entitled to them under WS's tariff and applicable laws?

But I'm not sure that allowing vouchers to expire is all that meaningful to them at the moment. The gain from doing that and cancelling the associated balance sheet liability would be a paper one, not a cash one, and bailout-less WS is more in need of cash than accounting earnings at the moment.

Companion vouchers also require one to purchase the first ticket, and potentially pay a co-pay on the voucher (or do all vouchers now have co-pay on all fares? I forget), so to a certain extent, an extension could act as an inducement for some people to travel and spend money on WS. For those who would have flown anyway, and flown WS, there's an opportunity cost, but it's another element to factor in to the calculation.
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Old May 19, 21, 7:23 am
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Originally Posted by starchoice View Post
WestJet is nowhere near the company it once was. It's not people's fault that they cannot travel or are reluctant to travel. Why should they be penalized by the loss of a voucher? Right now, the situation seems worse with provincial boundary restrictions and lack of dining.

If this is how WestJet is, I'll definitely be cancelling my RBC card and look to other airlines for future travel. Even after all the hullabaloo with the refund issues, it seems that they are still being belligerent. I'm not sure why people have seemed to resign themselves to the loss of the vouchers.
I loved flying with Westjet to Barbados, Vancouver and St John's, just name a few favourite destinations in pre-corona times.
Yes, it is not people's or Westjet's fault that travel is currently limited.
However many companies are trying to 'help' by offering extensions, point bonuses, special deals etc.
As it is now, in my view Air Canada and their new co-branded credit cards are doing better than Westjet (and their RBC MC).
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Old May 19, 21, 7:50 am
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Originally Posted by Adam Smith View Post

Converting to WSD wouldn't necessarily cost them anything, relative to extending the vouchers again. Both WSD and vouchers can only be used to redeem travel services from WestJet, so it's not like offering WSD would lead to a cash outflow for people buying Visa gift cards or something.
It could cost them on their balance sheet. Vouchers that expire fall off the books as a liability once they expire and become "breakage" - WJD that don't expire sit on the books indefinitely.
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Old May 19, 21, 8:05 am
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Originally Posted by robsaw View Post
It could cost them on their balance sheet. Vouchers that expire fall off the books as a liability once they expire and become "breakage" - WJD that don't expire sit on the books indefinitely.
True, though they could place an expiry date on those WSD like they did when they were offering occasionally 'time-limited' bonus of WSD 50. Usually they were gone in 48 hours if not used.
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Old May 19, 21, 8:24 am
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Originally Posted by robsaw View Post
It could cost them on their balance sheet. Vouchers that expire fall off the books as a liability once they expire and become "breakage" - WJD that don't expire sit on the books indefinitely.
The following paragraph of my post noted "including breakage". Even if WSD have 0 breakage, and companion vouchers have 40%, that can be adjusted for. If companion vouchers cost $500 (average) before breakage, net of breakage they cost $300. If WSD cost 0.8 cents both before and after breakage (since breakage is 0), then the WSD equivalent of a companion voucher is $375 (again, the numbers are all made up). However, even non-expiring WSD have some level of breakage. Some people die, forget about their account, spend WSD on Basic fares that they forfeit, or do other things that result in their WSD never being used.

Regardless, most WSD don't expire, but some do. WS issues WSD from time to time for promotions, compensation, or other reasons, that comes with an expiry date. There's nothing stopping them from putting a 2-year expiry, or 6 months, or whatever number they want, on an offer to convert vouchers to WSD, as long as they clearly state that up front when making the offer.
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Old May 19, 21, 11:23 am
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Originally Posted by Adam Smith View Post
I'm certainly interested!

We're still 6 weeks away from June 30, and I think they've left it pretty late on some of the previous extensions, so I'm not sure this is terribly different. I remember feeling pretty under the gun before they did a previous extension, because I think there were only a couple weeks left to expiry and I had no idea what to book given the uncertainty at the time.

I suspect they're waiting to see how things play out for the next few weeks before they decide how long to extend, if at all. I'd be willing to bet they'll extend again, but less than six months. Although I wouldn't bet a large sum.
Well, well, well. I would like to think that WestJet saw my post but surely unrelated, nonetheless good news. Companion vouchers are now extended yet another six months to December 31, 2021. The new expiry date will be reflected in your account by May 31, 2021.
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Old May 19, 21, 11:26 am
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Official Announcement:

In response to ongoing COVID-19 travel restrictions, the validity period on companion vouchers issued to WestJet RBC® credit card holders will be extended to December 31, 2021 All extensions to vouchers will be reflected in your account by May 31, 2021.
  • Unredeemed WestJet RBC credit card companion vouchers expiring between June and November 2021 will be extended to December 31, 2021.
  • Unredeemed RBC lounge vouchers expiring between June and November 2021 will be extended to December 31, 2021.
  • Companion vouchers that were redeemed for travel between June and December 2021, where travel is cancelled, will be reinstated to your account and extended to December 31, 2021 (unless the original expiry date is later). Extension will be processed within 14 days of cancellation.
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Old May 19, 21, 2:39 pm
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Well, that means with another new cert coming in November, I'll have 5 valid companion vouchers at the end of the year, with perhaps one trip prior in September where one could be used.
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Old May 19, 21, 6:10 pm
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Originally Posted by robsaw View Post
Well, that means with another new cert coming in November, I'll have 5 valid companion vouchers at the end of the year, with perhaps one trip prior in September where one could be used.
This is another side of the argument. Previously, RBC cardholders obtained one certificate per year. If you have two primary cardholders in one household, the multiple extensions are now backlogging certificates in one's account so you end up with multiple certificates some with a common expiry, added to newly obtained annual certificates.

I expect that WestJet is factoring this into their "generosity" with the extensions, anticipating that multiple certificates will not end up being used while maintaining positive optics with the extensions.
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Old May 20, 21, 7:56 am
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Originally Posted by starchoice View Post
Well, well, well. I would like to think that WestJet saw my post but surely unrelated, nonetheless good news.
Hilarious timing

Companion vouchers are now extended yet another six months to December 31, 2021. The new expiry date will be reflected in your account by May 31, 2021.
Mine already shows as extended, so that was quick.
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Old May 24, 21, 8:08 am
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Originally Posted by starchoice View Post
This is another side of the argument. Previously, RBC cardholders obtained one certificate per year. If you have two primary cardholders in one household, the multiple extensions are now backlogging certificates in one's account so you end up with multiple certificates some with a common expiry, added to newly obtained annual certificates.

I expect that WestJet is factoring this into their "generosity" with the extensions, anticipating that multiple certificates will not end up being used while maintaining positive optics with the extensions.
Wouldn't be surprised if Westjet has refactored their breakage rate for the companion cert's; even with the extension, highly improbable I'll use more than 1 or maybe 2 by Dec 31. Interestingly, one of my extended cert's was originally issued in Nov 2018 and with cancellations and extensions will have been valid for a total of 37 months if it remains unused to Dec 31 '21.
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