WestJet Travel Expo lands in Langley

10-03-2017 11:37 am
Ming Tappin

WestJet welcomed 110 agents to Vancouver’s suburb of Langley last night, part of the second wave of the WestJet Travel Expo roadshows across Canada.

The sold-out event saw agents engaging with seven suppliers at a mini trade show, followed by dinner and presentations by WestJet’s Jane Clementino and Emily Spadafora.

“Tonight we are celebrating you, our strong partnership, and we’re celebrating our future.” Clementino welcomed the group in her opening remarks. “We achieved a record load factor this August of 91 per cent – the highest in our history of 21 years! We thank you for trusting your clients to us, and we will strive to continue to serve them well.”

WestJet’s pillars of distinction include a rapidly expanding network and schedule, partnership with the travel trade, passenger travel rewards, enhanced product offerings, and digital, self-serve capabilities. Moving forward, its expansion of 787 widebody jets will have a range of 14,000 km, covering most of the world.

“We will bring the world to Canada, and Canada to the world,” Clementino said.

The big news of the evening is Swoop – WestJet’s ultra low cost carrier which brings lower fares, unbundled pricing, and “densified” seating for 189 passengers. Swoop will service sun destinations from Hamilton and Abbotsford starting June, with bookings opening in January. Starting with a fleet of three, Swoop will grow to 10 planes within its first year of service. More details will be announced in the near future.

In Spadafora’s presentation, she highlighted the 2017-18 winter schedule which includes new routes and increased flight frequency from all Canadian gateways. From Vancouver, enhanced service includes 15 flights daily to Calgary, seven flights weekly to Cancun, eight weekly flights to Puerto Vallarta, and a new route to Huatulco. Spadafora reminded agents that WestJet’s classes of service includes Econo, Flex, Plus Lowest, and Plus Flexible.

Below are additional points included in the presentation:

  • Joy-Anne Crichlow of Barbados Tourism spoke briefly to the group, highlighting WestJet’s four flights per week from Toronto to Barbados, and more than 19 hotels in the WestJet Vacations program. Barbados is a year-round destination offering cultural and sporting activities. For more information, go to www.visitbarbados.org
  • All 767 aircraft have now been outfitted with WestJet Connect, a downloadable app offering onboard entertainment and internet service.
  • Passengers flying between Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and LaGuardia can take advantage of the Simplicity program, where they may change to a same-day earlier flight, or in case of missed connection, be rebooked on a later flight within two hours at no charge.
  • For corporate clients that spend more than than $10,000 a year, the WestJet Business Program offers at source discounts and five-per cent commission to agencies.
  • WestJet Rewards program has three tiers – Teal, Silver and Gold – with benefits such as WestJet dollars, free checked bags and lounge passes.
  • This season, WestJet Vacations has added more than 20 new properties this season including resorts in Puerto Vallarta and Hawaii.
  • WestJet Groups Department offers group air as well as wedding packages, with dedicated group specialist, additional amenities and discounts, and site inspection tickets. The groups department can be reached at groupbc@westjet.com.
  • For bookings made by Oct. 31 to the Caribbean, Mexico and Hawaii (and travel between Nov 1 and April 30), clients will automatically be upgraded to the Silver level of WestJet Rewards.
  • Agents are encouraged to visit www.westjetagents.com for the latest communications, news, promotions and marketing materials. Upcoming enhancements will include personalized log-ins and the ability to upload agency logos to create customized marketing pieces.
  • WestJet gift cards and e-gift cards will be launched this week. Agents will earn commission when clients redeem gift cards on WestJet trips.