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WestJet + a WestJet partner doesn’t work

WestJet + a WestJet partner doesn’t work

Old Jan 30, 2023, 9:46 pm
  #1  
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WestJet + a WestJet partner doesn’t work

I keep trying to give WestJet my money, but they keep making it so difficult when my itinerary combines WS with either Delta or AeroMexico. Their “partner” airlines.

First, buying a ticket:

If you buy a WS+partner itinerary through WestJet, you can not buy premium or J on any segment. Your forced to buy Economy or nothing.

But if you buy the exact same itinerary from a WestJet partner airline (including a WS-operated segment) you have choice! They’ll sell you a ticket in whichever cabin you choose: an all Y itinerary, or an all PY/J itinerary. Including on the WS segments.

Or buy it through an OTA, and you also can buy the product you want. The only place where you can’t do that is if you buy from WestJet.

I try so hard to give WS my money that I even called the Platinum line when I couldn’t buy PY/J online — telling the Platinum agent exactly what I wanted. “No, no airline can sell you Premium or Business seats on another airline. You can only ever buy Economy when there’s more than one airline. Same with every airline.” she assured me — incorrectly. (Not really comforting when that misinformation is coming from a cream-of-the-crop Platinum agent… who are normally pretty good.)

Then, checking in:

On an interline/partner itinerary with Delta as the first carrier: check in with Delta, and you’ll get boarding passes for all segments, including WS segments. Without fail.

On an interline/partner itinerary with AeroMexico as the first carrier: check in with AM, and you’ll get boarding passes for all segments, including WS segments, without fail.


On an interline/partner itinerary with WestJet as the first carrier: Good luck. Try to check in with WS, and you’ll get an error message on the app. Try check-in via the website you’ll get a “you need to check in at the airport” message - with only a printable (not mobile) version of the first, WestJet-only boarding pass provided. But no BPs for your connecting flights. Then, the WS check-in agent at the airport will not be able to give you BPs either, and will tell you to go see the partner airline at the connecting airport, after you’ve arrived on your WestJet flight. (He told me - incorrectly - to go from my arriving aircraft straight to the D international gates at YVR. Can’t do that. You need a boarding pass to access those gates behind security, which WS couldn’t figure out how to give me.)

Even though it’s all on a single ticket, with all WestJet “partners”, and the agent can even see that I’m checked in for the entire trip … which I did via the WS website, apparently, in spite of the error messages. They just can’t give you boarding passes. So you need to run around and repeat the process with the partner airline during your connection. Meanwhile, all of the WS agents told me some version of “we should be able to give you boarding passes but we don’t know how”.

Argh. Hard to buy a ticket. Impossible to check in. And wrong information from WS employees about buying tickets and about checking in and about making a connection.

WestJet, why do you make it so difficult to be a customer?
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Old Jan 31, 2023, 10:41 am
  #2  
 
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WS doesn't get it. Just like how a Gold agent didn't understand why when paying full fare PY that a snack box is different than a hot meal. Or, if you fly international J why a huge portion of your ticket is YQ and somehow isn't counted as valid spend for status. Still a LCC mentality, if you fly Y all the time, none of these things matter.

My advice - fly WestJet Y when it suits you, or buy Y and upgrade to PY for maybe a big seat up front if the prices is right. Otherwise your J fares and status are better with another carrier. And I say this as a YYC passenger.
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Old Jan 31, 2023, 11:03 am
  #3  
 
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Originally Posted by YXUFlyboy
WS doesn't get it. Just like how a Gold agent didn't understand why when paying full fare PY that a snack box is different than a hot meal. Or, if you fly international J why a huge portion of your ticket is YQ and somehow isn't counted as valid spend for status. Still a LCC mentality, if you fly Y all the time, none of these things matter.

My advice - fly WestJet Y when it suits you, or buy Y and upgrade to PY for maybe a big seat up front if the prices is right. Otherwise your J fares and status are better with another carrier. And I say this as a YYC passenger.
What is the difference between a YYC passenger versus a YVR passenger?
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Old Jan 31, 2023, 11:55 am
  #4  
 
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Originally Posted by cirrusdragoon
What is the difference between a YYC passenger versus a YVR passenger?
Perhaps he flies in/out of YYC more than he does YVR?
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Old Jan 31, 2023, 12:18 pm
  #5  
 
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Originally Posted by cirrusdragoon
What is the difference between a YYC passenger versus a YVR passenger?
YVR is an Air Canada hub, which means you have a lot of direct options where you need to go without even bothering to think of WestJet. YYC isn't. So we are stuck with WestJet or connecting. Connections add time and risk of misconnecting, IRROPS, etc. WestJet's continued dominance at YYC just resulted in major regional cuts to AC's operations here.
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Old Jan 31, 2023, 10:49 pm
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by YXUFlyboy
YVR is an Air Canada hub, which means you have a lot of direct options where you need to go without even bothering to think of WestJet. YYC isn't. So we are stuck with WestJet or connecting. Connections add time and risk of misconnecting, IRROPS, etc. WestJet's continued dominance at YYC just resulted in major regional cuts to AC's operations here.
I believe the post pandemic economics is what dictated the regional cuts all over Canada. Many factors at play here. We fail to observe that WS is rebuilding themselves post pandemic, Rome was not built over night. Air Canada certainly was not built over night. They have a lot of new employees right now , all trying to find their footing. And it is unfortunate our world does not have android robots to have everything business running flawlessly.

Maybe if you can , move to YVR or YYZ if YYC just is not accessible to your liking ?

Albertas economy has been through so many boom and busts with limited diversification , which probably did not help attract airlines and sustain more non stop routes as other places in Canada . Hopefully Alberta gains their momentum to one day match many of their residents wishes for more connectivity in that province. Until then WS has earned their right to build their airline where they are. A business is constantly evolving and changing with many hardships along the way for both consumer and business alike.
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Last edited by cirrusdragoon; Jan 31, 2023 at 11:15 pm
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Old Jan 7, 2024, 7:37 pm
  #7  
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As I've been shifting flying from AC/*A more to SkyTeam and WS recently, I'm finding myself more often on itineraries that involve WS and a partner, and it's extremely disappointing how poor the integration is.

I've had the same issues with OLCI as [MENTION=48867]FlyerJ[/MENTION] mentioned in the OP, although WS agents at the airport have always been able to print my subsequent BPs on KL/AF/DL. But usually they don't print automatically, and the WS agents don't notice, so I have to prompt them for the other(s). (I will say that I have actually been able to get through CATSA with the "printable" BP. They've scanned the QR code and it has been fine).

I'd also note that even getting checked in for that first WS leg on the app is a pain, since if it's a codeshare, the Check In button on the Trips page doesn't work - it will say "You can check in for your flight starting on Jan 6, 2024 at 9:35 a.m. (MST)" even if it's well after 9:35 AM on Jan 6, 2024. So you have to go to the More tab, then Check In/Boarding Pass, then manually enter the PNR.

I've generally not had much of a problem purchasing the itineraries in the first place. In the early days of Premium and deeper cooperation with DL, I would have problems with not being able to get in the front cabin on both airlines, but that seems to have been sorted out now - at least when buying from DL or AFKL. The biggest issue I encounter sometimes is just not having the right inventory on the AFKL codeshares of the YYC<>YVR flights, especially the AF one.

But the problems with OLCI described above are a real pain, and I've run across a number of other issues where WS claims that other airlines are sending data over incorrectly (whereas I suspect WS in fact is not integrating it correctly when they receive it), which I've previously posted about here and here. I also had a ticket last year where a well-meaning Platinum agent replaced my DL number with my WS number without asking me, which required multiple hours of my time to fix and still ended up with a segment getting credited to WS, even though the final BP had my DL number on it. It was only a YYC-YVR and I decided that it wasn't worth my time to get it all fixed when I was just trading 4 WSD for 700 SkyMiles and MQM or whatever (which didn't matter for any status or thresholds or anything).

It just never ends, and it's really disappointing that, on the one hand, WS is pushing more integration with DL and AFKL, and yet not making any improvements in how it delivers its services on those bookings. The mediocre IT stuff mostly works fine for simple all-WS trips, but if they're going to keep trying to sell us more partner itineraries (or provide inventory for those partners to sell), they really need to do better on the execution side.
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Old Jan 17, 2024, 5:01 pm
  #8  
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Interesting change just in the last few days? I called AFKL this afternoon to try to get WS PNRs for some upcoming trips. The guy said it should be the same, because he couldn't see a WS PNR. He said it worked on the WS website for him. Since the WS app/site historically haven't even allowed numbers (which most Amadeus PNRs and DL seem to contain), I was skeptical. But when I entered the Amadeus PNR in the app, it not only let me type in numbers, but actually brought up the booking, complete with the WS PNR.

Not sure what prompted this change on WS's end, but it's a positive development for sure

The app still doesn't recognize that check-in for the codeshare is open, but I guess we take what we can get.
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Old Jan 27, 2024, 8:30 pm
  #9  
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Here's another fun one for the file. I couldn't check in the other day on an AF-issued ticket with a codeshare on WS metal as the first flight. But this was a new problem! OLCI was erroring out, so I decided to call the Platinum desk. They told me the problem was the PNR didn't match the ticket.

The itinerary was a YYC-YVR-CDG-VLC round trip. An AF schedule change caused it to be re-booked with different dates in both directions. Yet WS claimed the PNR was (a) out of sequence (CDG-VLC appeared before YVR-CDG) and (b) was missing the VLC-CDG segment on the way back. I confirmed she had the correct dates, the reissued ticket number, etc, which she did, and the ticket looked correct. Everything looked fine on the AF site and e-mails/PDFs I had gotten from them, but WS insisted it was a problem on AF's end.

I called AF, and they said the PNR was 100% correct on their end, properly sequenced, coupons each associated to the right segment, etc. The WS agent was surprised to hear this, but agreed to go talk to her support desk. They manually fixed their copy of the PNR to put the outbound flights in sequence, and OLCI I worked.

After getting off the call, I noticed the VLC-CDG segment was still missing from the WS PNR, but I figured on the return it might not be an issue since I'd check in with AF. And thankfully it wasn't a problem.

But man, if I weren't someone with a pretty in-depth understanding of how these things work, and priority access to the call centre at both airlines, I shudder to think how this would have gone. If I just showed up at YYC and tried to check in in person, would this even have been fixed? How many hours early would I have had to get there to make sure it got sorted in time for me to fly?

WS, as usual, blamed the other airline, claiming something was not sent properly by AF/Amadeus. I've flown a lot fewer multi-airline bookings involving WS than many others, but the absolute number of issues like this that I've run in to is concerning, and as a percentage, it's off the charts. It's also a variety of different issues - not like I keep hitting the same roadblock again and again.

So once again, I'm going to direct my suspicions at WS for their Sabre implementation and how they're handling whatever gets sent over from the OAL, because the common denominator in all of these problems is WS.
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Last edited by Adam Smith; Jan 29, 2024 at 1:57 pm Reason: Corrected typo
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Old Jan 30, 2024, 4:30 am
  #10  
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Sample size = 1 at this point, so take it for whatever you think it's worth, but...

On all of these partner bookings, I have manually entered my passport info during OLCI, due to the fact that I have found the Zamna thing to be useless. That has usually allowed me to complete check-in and get a "printable" PDF BP for the first (WS-operated) leg that has at least allowed me to get through CATSA. I have often then had the gate agent print the subsequent BP(s) for DL/AF/KL segments at the gate, which is usually quick and easy.

On my most recent itinerary (YYC-YVR-CDG-BLQ), I decided to try letting the app automatically capture my passport info. At the end of the check-in process, it told me that I was checked in but could not get any boarding passes until I saw an agent at the airport.

Thankfully, the priority check-in line at YYC was not busy and I was able to get to an agent very quickly (I find it's often staffed by just one person who gets tied up with someone who has a complex issue or the line is very long and it's slow even with multiple agents working. And I find this generally the same whether I'm at the A or D/E desks), and she was able to print the BPs pretty quickly. (I've found the kiosks usually don't work for these partner itineraries, hence going to see a live agent).

But on a more typical day with a dozen people in line, this could have been a considerable hassle.

This would suggest to me that manually entering travel document info during OLCI is vastly superior to allowing the app to capture it - I can't speak to everyone else's preferences, but I find my life to be much easier when I at least have that first BP and can get myself through security without needing to see anyone. Although again, n=1 at this point, so it's possible there was some other issue here or some recent change on the WS side that meant I would have had the same issue if I had manually entered my passport info, but the last time I did this was only ~10 days earlier (the VLC itinerary referenced in my previous post).
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Old Feb 7, 2024, 1:47 pm
  #11  
 
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Wish I read this thread prior to doing OLCI last night, but will be flying YVR-ATL-RSW tonight and oh boy that Zamna scan hates everything. Doesn't scan for half the time, and when it does, it rejects by saying your name does not match the ticket (middle name isn't on the ticket) and makes you manually fill it out. Tried next passenger and same issue, but then proceeds to erase all of the Passport/Nexus info previously entered. My own Nexus scanned without problems and gave me a green checkmark (assuming it meant great you don't need to be verified for DOCS OK), then at the end of the OLCI process it says I still would have to go to the counter to get the Nexus verified. Finally, when I go back to the check in process for adding checked bags it shows that I entered my passport instead of Nexus.
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Old Mar 4, 2024, 5:26 pm
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I continue to have the same issues as previously with WS/KL/AF itineraries where WS operates the first segment when I try to do OLCI. I get an error message that the name entered on the passport page does not match the KL name. It gives me my name spelled correctly in the message + my FB number and then states that there is a mismatch and asks me to go back and verify my info. The names are, of course, the same so no idea why this happens but it is consistent over the last few years. I have had some AF itineraries where I flew AC and then AF and no problems. Previously, I have always gone to the airport a little earlier than usual just in case there was an actual issue and the check in agent always says there is no problem they can see.

This does not happen when doing OLCi when KL or AF are the first segments. On days like tomorrow when I need to go from work straight to my flight, the extra cushion of time at the airport is not helpful at all, especially when I could get dropped off at YQR with 45 minutes to departure— even a little less—and have no problem clearing security and boarding.
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Old Mar 14, 2024, 2:53 pm
  #13  
 
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Data point but whenever I fly YYC-YYZ-DTW, I have the same issues above on check in, or almost anything else I try to do. I have now allotted 10-20 min just to go to the desk (at near midnight, mind you) just to get boarding passes in hand (as opposed to PDF for my first flight) for my flights. I generally am able to get both BP's though. I don't recall a time when I didn't have that.

This is obviously a DL connection.
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Old Mar 15, 2024, 10:42 am
  #14  
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Originally Posted by arf04
I continue to have the same issues as previously with WS/KL/AF itineraries where WS operates the first segment when I try to do OLCI. I get an error message that the name entered on the passport page does not match the KL name. It gives me my name spelled correctly in the message + my FB number and then states that there is a mismatch and asks me to go back and verify my info. The names are, of course, the same so no idea why this happens but it is consistent over the last few years. I have had some AF itineraries where I flew AC and then AF and no problems. Previously, I have always gone to the airport a little earlier than usual just in case there was an actual issue and the check in agent always says there is no problem they can see.

This does not happen when doing OLCi when KL or AF are the first segments. On days like tomorrow when I need to go from work straight to my flight, the extra cushion of time at the airport is not helpful at all, especially when I could get dropped off at YQR with 45 minutes to departure— even a little less—and have no problem clearing security and boarding.
AC and AFKL both use Amadeus, which houses PNRs centrally - rather than AC and AF each having their own copy of it, they're always working off the same file. Airlines have different implementations and features of Amadeus software, so there can still be issues from time to time, but overall, it makes for a relatively smooth experience.

WS uses Sabre, and whatever version of Sabre they're running doesn't seem to play nicely with other software. I'm not sure whether it's because WS is using an old version or one that has fewer features, because other airlines running Sabre (e.g. AA) seem able to play a lot better with partners.

WS has had interline agreements with a bunch of airlines forever, so I'm not sure why this is so difficult for them, but it doesn't seem to be a priority.

Originally Posted by pt360
Data point but whenever I fly YYC-YYZ-DTW, I have the same issues above on check in, or almost anything else I try to do. I have now allotted 10-20 min just to go to the desk (at near midnight, mind you) just to get boarding passes in hand (as opposed to PDF for my first flight) for my flights. I generally am able to get both BP's though. I don't recall a time when I didn't have that.
For what it's worth, you shouldn't need to print that PDF to get through CATSA, and it's often much quicker to get a gate agent to print out the other BPs than waiting in line at check-in.
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Old Mar 15, 2024, 3:35 pm
  #15  
 
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In addition to the checkin issues, we also find mapping to the desired fare class remains the biggest challenge with mixed carrier bookings including WJ if booking WJ Premium/ other carrier J. Not just for the seating but also for crediting FF programs.

Where possible, we try to go 100% WJ metal or 100% the other carriers.
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