WestJet is a Canadian airline that operates in North and Central America, Caribbean and a couple of destinations in Europe (London Gatwick, Dublin, Glasgow). Their frequent flyer program, WestJet Rewards, is revenue based and earns WestJet Dollars for eligible flights. WestJet Rewards can be earned by flying on American, Delta and Qantas as well, their airline partners. Back in August, I wrote about WestJet status match offer for elite members of other loyalty programs. Any loyalty program.
WestJet Status Match
In the quest to be a free agent, I had recently given up trying to re-qualify for Air Canada status. So the WestJet status match for a full year and more was perfect timing in many ways. The status match had a requirement of one qualifying flight and would match to WestJet Gold tier (highest status tier). WestJet Gold status comes with the following benefits;
- Two free checked bags
- Ten airport lounge passes
- No fee for same-day flight changes requested at check-in
- Advance boarding
- Priority screening (at select airports)
- Four advance seat selection vouchers
A simple email to email@example.com with a copy of my Alaska MVP status did the trick. I got a reply within 48 hours confirming my registration;
A Canadian points and miles conference in Toronto presented a perfect opportunity to meet that flight requirement. Within a few days of the flight, my WestJet Rewards account reflected the flight activity and I was Gold. Just-like-that. Ok, that flight did cost me $110 CAD but Gold benefits far outweighed the expense.
But something else had happened that effectively brought down the cost of that flight to $85 CAD!
WestJet Delayed Flight Compensation
My qualifying flight from Ottawa to Toronto was delayed by an hour and half. WestJet runs a unique 30 minute on-time promise program on routes between Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and New York (LGA), called ‘Simplicity’. If the flight is delayed more than 30 minutes, WestJet compensates every passenger with 25 WestJet Dollars ($25 equivalent). Pretty neat. Now, $25 is not a lot but it is a guaranteed compensation that I didn’t have to haggle for! In addition to that, if flights are canceled or one cannot travel on a re-accommodated flight, WestJet puts the entire value of the ticket in WestJet dollars to be used later, no penalties.
Having an elite status within a loyalty program is great and offers tremendous travel value. If you matched your way there, even better! Having said that, I don’t recommend running after elite statuses by actually spending thousands of dollars out of pocket. I love status matches since it allows me to experience elite level membership I would have otherwise never enjoyed. The fact that WestJet opened my rewards account with a $25 compensation made this status match that much better.
Did you status match with WestJet or any other airline recently? Was the procedure just as simple? Share with a comment below.