Status matches in the airline industry are not unusual. Matches to an airline’s top tier are less frequent, but still happen. But a match from any travel loyalty program, not just an airline’s, is outright bizarre. Welcome to WestJet.
WestJet is Canada’s second-largest airline and has always been a little off-beat. Co-founded by, among others, JetBlue patriarch David Neeleman, the airline has always been about passenger, and employee, experience. Most of the employees are shareholders. They run an April Fool’s press release every year. Heck, they even pay compensation without being asked twice.
As a leisure/small-business airline, though, they had not introduced an elite program until about two years ago. The airline’s elite status, which comes in teal, silver and gold, is not only based on dollars spent but also rewards you with “WestJet dollars” to spend, up to 5% of your ticket price.
Gold is the top level and comes with a number of benefits, including:
- Two free checked bags
- Ten airport lounge passes
- Same-day flight changes at check-in
- Preboarding and priority screening
- Four advance seat selection vouchers
- 5% back in rewards and a domestic companion pass (plus the opportunity to earn more)
Get Gold with WestJet
WestJet is offering you Gold status, its top level, through December, 2017. There are a couple of things that make this particular offer unusual.
First, it’s good to any WestJet Rewards member. Even if you have earned Gold through a previous promotion, including their two past matching opportunities, they will match you again. Seems to me that this is a great way to encourage people to fly Air Canada, but maybe that’s just me.
Here’s where it gets really odd, though: They will match any top-tier travel rewards status. Hotel plan? No problem? Rental car program? That’s good, too. In fact, the above paragraph from the T&C implies that they will let you make a claim with virtually any company’s elite program, as long as it has even a tangential relationship with travel redemptions. For instance, a Gold member in Canada’s popular AIR MILES program could be eligible for a match, even though it is not tied to a particular airline.
Terms And Conditions
WestJet really, really wants you to take advantage of them. The T&C are, to say the least, light. You must, of course, have top tier status somewhere. You have to send them proof of this status by September 23. And you must take one flight with a WestJet carrier code by October 31. Heck, it can even be a code-share partner airline and previous bookings are not excluded from the offer. Bottom line: There are going to be a lot of WestJet Gold members out there. If you ever fly the airline, you might as well be one of them.
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