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Email from WS: "Elevating your Platinum status"

Email from WS: "Elevating your Platinum status"

Old Dec 14, 2023, 2:53 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: The World
Programs: WS Platinum, Marriott Titanium, DL Gold, UA Silver
Posts: 1,516
Email from WS: "Elevating your Platinum status"

I received this email earlier today ... leading off with this paragraph:

As we near the year's end, we're excited to share news that will enhance your Platinum status with WestJet Rewards even more
News? Enhancing my Platinum status!? Awesome!! I read on with great excitement!

But ... the entire email includes zero (well, maybe one) enhancements to Platinum. (The one thing that might be new: the ability to temporarily pause status for new parents.)

Instead, this note from WestJet's VP of Loyalty - about "enhancing my Platinum status" - is nothing more than a re-hash of a bunch of route and schedule announcements made over the past few months. A paragraph new seasonal TATL routes. A paragraph about codeshares with Air France. None of which has any impact on WestJet Rewards or the Platinum status program.

Did I miss something?

The email promises to "share news that will enhance your Platinum status" -- but it doesn't.
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Old Dec 14, 2023, 3:15 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: YVR
Programs: Bonvoy Lifetime Plat (earned as Starwood), Canadian Amex Plat & resulting statuses, WestJet Silver
Posts: 663
I received the "Elevating your Silver status" version. Also mostly a nothing burger, but luggage tags for Silver members seems like something new.


Dear Txxxx,

As we near the year's end, we're excited to share news that will enhance your Silver status with WestJet Rewards and help take you further with WestJet in 2024.

Enhancements for WestJet Rewards members:
  • Enhanced Lounge Flexibility: Enjoy enhanced lounge access flexibility starting in February 2024. Your six vouchers can now be used for yourself or your guests, providing greater choice. Your account will automatically receive updated vouchers at the start of February.
  • New Welcome Package: Eligible Silver members in 2024 will receive welcome kits that include two personalized luggage tags.
  • Parental Leave Benefit: Starting in February 2024, we're introducing a new parental leave benefit for those planning to expand their families. After your parental leave and you’re back to travelling, you'll have the opportunity to request the reinstatement of your previous tier status. This ensures that you can enjoy top-tier benefits after this important stage in your life.
Expanded European travel options for you:
  • New Flights: Direct routes from Calgary to Reykjavik (starting summer 2024), from St. John’s to London Gatwick, and resumed services from Toronto to Dublin and Edinburgh, as well as from Halifax to Dublin, Edinburgh, and London Gatwick.
  • More European Cities: Through our partnership with Air France, our network has grown to include 31 more European cities. You can now use your WestJet dollars to book flights to these new destinations across Europe.
  • Calgary-Paris Flights, Year-Round: Travel conveniently between Calgary and Paris on our Boeing 787 Dreamliner, available up to seven days a week.
Exciting updates for your summer travels:
  • New Routes: Get ready for more travel options this summer. From new services across Western Canada to the U.S., to our latest international route to Seoul, South Korea, offering direct flights from Calgary three days a week starting in May 2024.
  • Enhanced Connectivity: Increased flight frequency to the U.S. during peak travel times for improved travel options.
  • Expanded US Network: As a Rewards member, you’ll be able to experience your top-tier benefits on flights to over 70 destinations from Detroit and 100+ from Atlanta through our partnership with Delta Air Lines.
This is just the start. We're committed to continually enhancing our WestJet Rewards program and I look forward to seeing you on one of our flights soon.

Thank you for being a valuable member.


Steve McClelland
Vice President – Loyalty

tjk1976 is offline  
Old Dec 14, 2023, 4:54 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2023
Location: YYC
Programs: Aeroplan 75K, Marriott Titanium, WS Gold
Posts: 8
Originally Posted by FlyerJ
I received this email earlier today ... leading off with this paragraph:



News? Enhancing my Platinum status!? Awesome!! I read on with great excitement!

But ... the entire email includes zero (well, maybe one) enhancements to Platinum. (The one thing that might be new: the ability to temporarily pause status for new parents.)

Instead, this note from WestJet's VP of Loyalty - about "enhancing my Platinum status" - is nothing more than a re-hash of a bunch of route and schedule announcements made over the past few months. A paragraph new seasonal TATL routes. A paragraph about codeshares with Air France. None of which has any impact on WestJet Rewards or the Platinum status program.

Did I miss something?

The email promises to "share news that will enhance your Platinum status" -- but it doesn't.
You weren't the only one that was disappointed after reading that. While I'm most likely headed back to gold after this year as I move more business to AC, was hoping there might have been some interesting 'new' platinum benefits that might make me debate if it is worth staying there. At least silver can get the luggage tags now - I've yet to see anything for gold or platinum.
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Old Dec 14, 2023, 7:33 pm
  #4  
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: The World
Programs: WS Platinum, Marriott Titanium, DL Gold, UA Silver
Posts: 1,516
To be honest, I find this email pretty frustrating. It adds some salt to the wound of what I feel as a WestJet customer.

I don't want to re-open yet another debate about WestJet's strategy here. But, as a loyal and pretty frequent customer, it's very frustrating that all of the big directional announcements over the past year have been about things like "Infrequent vacationers are our new focus!" and "Same planes, more seats!". Lots of laying out the welcome mat for Sunwing and Swoop (and Lynx and Flair) customers while it feels like theyve turned their back on those of us that were already here.

WestJet Rewards seems to have gone stagnant. Especially the elevated status parts of it. But I guess that may be the plan, given that infrequent flyers are now the primary target, and that discount airlines with no FF program are now viewed as the primary competitors.

As a Platinum, I feel somewhere between "WestJet doesn't care about us much" to "WestJet would be just as happy if we'd all leave".

I'd love some real, actual enhancements to Platinum (like the email from this VP promised). Or at least some honest communication from WS leadership that frequent flyers and business travellers still matter and are still part of the plan.

Just dont send an email about enhancements to Platinum status, and then fill it up with recycled news about routes and code shares that have nothing to do with Platinum status.
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Old Dec 14, 2023, 8:25 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2023
Location: YYC
Programs: Aeroplan 75K, Marriott Titanium, WS Gold
Posts: 8
I am with you 100%. I am not very upset that I am on track to hit gold next year instead of plat and certainly don't feel the need to make a 'spend run' to retain the status.
The one platinum 'bonus' I got this year was a free upgrade to premium on a YVR-YYC flight. They didn't even notify me, just had a new seat at checkin which was a nice surprise.
Everything seems to be focused on low cost and I find WestJet rewards to be rather lackluster compared to Aeroplan.
Even checking in on the app today for my flight tomorrow was slow and frustrating relative to AC.

All my business travel is easily interchangeable to AC. Being based out of YYC, for sunny vacation spots, will have to accept a connection in Vancouver vs direct but I am ready for that tradeoff at this point.

I plan to use up all my WJ dollars and travel bank next year, if I don't see any material improvements, I suspect my 2025 flying could involve virtually nil on WS.
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Old Dec 14, 2023, 8:59 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: YYC
Programs: AC SE
Posts: 2,344
WestJet's program is long overdue for some actual improvements, but this was a huge nothing-burger and completely agreed most of it was just a rehash of route announcements which are unrelated to the loyalty program itself. I guess there was so little substance that they had to add the stuff about new routes in there to make the email longer. I was optimistic when I saw the title, but the only tangible improvement is the parental leave item, which is relevant for a small subset of their membership. WestJet's program continues to lag its competitors and is well overdue for some major improvements.
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Old Dec 14, 2023, 9:08 pm
  #7  
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: The World
Programs: WS Platinum, Marriott Titanium, DL Gold, UA Silver
Posts: 1,516
So why did they even send this email in the first place?

They would have been far better off just sending Platinums a short, sincere thank you for your business; we value you note rather than this false promise of elevating Platinum and enhancements backed up with nothing but rambling cut-and-paste rehashing about routes and schedules.

It seems pretty easy. Dont mention enhancements to Platinum status if you dont have any.
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Old Dec 15, 2023, 7:36 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: YWG
Programs: Free Agent
Posts: 1,483
The strategic blanks (starting in....) are next level (downwards) for poor email marketing.
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Old Dec 15, 2023, 12:17 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: YYC, Canada
Programs: AC 35k
Posts: 1,900
There's really no excuse to fly WestJet enough for status unless you're YYC-based. Then you do it for the convenience. They don't have a real FFP.
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Old Dec 15, 2023, 1:39 pm
  #10  
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: The World
Programs: WS Platinum, Marriott Titanium, DL Gold, UA Silver
Posts: 1,516
I actually don’t dislike WestJet Rewards. It’s not awful. It’s adequate. I like the WJ$ way they’ve approached it rather than a points program where inventory is gamed.

Same for Platinum status. It’s … adequate. A good earn rate on WJ$, and the "tier reward" versions of the 2x1 vouchers are great and really nice to have for my leisure travel.

Other benefits are either meaningless or have decreased in value:
  • Platinum access to security screening is redundant with (and in fact not as good as) NEXUS.
  • I get lounge access everywhere - more than WestJet’s tiny collection - via my Amex card, including DL lounges.
  • Platinum priority baggage, free checked baggage and priority check-in lines all go unused, because WestJet’s baggage delivery times upon arrival have become so horrendously bad (especially at YYC and YYZ) that I will never check a bag.
  • And the Priority 800# for service is nice (less waiting) but definitely is not the same level of service and expertise as pre-pandemic. I’ve had some great service interactions, and some awful ones.
  • As for upgrades, well, they’re nearly impossible to come by on any carrier right now.

My anger here isn’t so much about the shortcomings of the program or of Platinum status.

It’s that they sent out emails to Platinums about enhancing Platinum — seemingly indicating that they still value our business — but then they clearly did not actually have any enhancements.

As I said above, that’s salt in the wound for me as a Platinum customer right now.

Amidst all of the never-ending communication from the new CEO about "Infrequent vacationers are our new focus!" and "Same planes, more seats!" and “Welcome Sunwing and Swoop flyers!” … it honestly feels like all of us WestJet frequent flyers and business travellers are being overlooked and ignored.

Like I said above, the customers that were already here don’t seem like much of a priority for the new WestJet.

I honestly don’t know if they even care about my business any more — that goes for any of us here who are frequent flyers — since they’re now so incredibly focused on winning business from once-a-year holiday travellers going for a Vegas weekend or to their annual all-inclusive week in Cancun.

And then, as I’m feeling neglected and overlooked by my carrier of choice, they send out this ridiculous “enhancements” email that makes it clear they have no plan to offer any enhancements. The message seems to be: “Platinum just is-what-it-is, but we now fly to Seoul”.
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Last edited by FlyerJ; Dec 15, 2023 at 4:21 pm
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Old Dec 19, 2023, 11:24 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: YYC, Canada
Programs: AC 35k
Posts: 1,900
Originally Posted by FlyerJ
I actually don’t dislike WestJet Rewards. It’s not awful. It’s adequate. I like the WJ$ way they’ve approached it rather than a points program where inventory is gamed.
Glad you feel that way. Next time you and I book a last minute flight on WS, you can pay $1000 for Y using your WS$ and I'll pay 17000 Skymiles for using a "inventory gamed" FFP. It's certainly amazing of their FFP that I as a WS nothing get discounted access to their seats using a partner, and you get nothing as a Platinum member on that front.
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Old Dec 19, 2023, 2:01 pm
  #12  
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: The World
Programs: WS Platinum, Marriott Titanium, DL Gold, UA Silver
Posts: 1,516
Originally Posted by YXUFlyboy
Glad you feel that way. Next time you and I book a last minute flight on WS...
Hey, Im far from a WestJet apologist. And Id love it if their program was better. Its basic.

The grass isnt always greener. I have lots of Delta SkyMiles (I have a separate FF account - and status - with DL because the WS/DL relationship is really not great.) Ive successfully redeemed SM on a couple of WS flights at good values, but I otherwise struggle to use them on DL or Skyteam metal. On the past half dozen occasions where Ive tried to book DL or AM with Skymiles, Ive found zero reward availability but lots of seats available to purchase. (Admittedly some were more complex itineraries, but all were buyable from DL.) Thats super frustrating. I will not change my dates or destinations to suit an airlines award inventory, so yes, WJD fits me better. I also dont buy award travel last minute.

Am I thrilled with WestJet Rewards? No.
Is it adequate? Sure.
Is top tier staus great? No.
Do I get something for top tier status. Yep.
Is any of it best in class? Nope.
Could it be better? Absolutely.

My point was that their FF program isnt my biggest concern as a WestJet customer right now. Its whether WestJet even wants me and frequent fliers like me at all any more. All of their messaging seems to be youre not our target customer any more, we dont care.

The ridiculous email they sent last week reinforced that, nonsensically saying were enhancing the value of your Platinum status because we announced new schedules and routes.
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