WestJet Heats Up YYZ Convention Centre

with Martha Chapman

Agents loved testing WestJet’s virtual reality cockpit tour

Westjetters Candice Thomas, Joshua Knox and
Denise Saunders

Susan Bowman of Transat Distribution with Shannon Cunningham, Commercial Account Manager WestJet

It can be quite a proposition to make the cavernous Metro Convention Centre seem welcoming– but it was toasty warm with hospitality last night as WestJet Vacations launched their new brochure in tandem with 60+ suppliers.  Over 400 agents attended the “Sales Expo”, the first of six to be held across the country. Additional trade shows are planned in 26 cities from Victoria to St. John’s.

“May is Travel Agent Appreciation month at WestJet and our Travel Trade Expos are the perfect way to kick off that celebration. These events are just one of the ways we thank our travel partners for being valued members of the WestJet family,” said Jane Clementino, WestJet Director, Agency Sales. “The Expos also give us an opportunity to interact face-to-face with our travel agents and suppliers across Canada. The feedback they share with us allows us to make enhancements to our existing products and services, and be even easier to do business with.”

Agents were pleased to pick up copies of the hefty brochure, all 372 pages of it, featuring packages to 21 Caribbean destinations, 12 in the Caribbean, four in the US and Belize plus Costa Rica in Central America.  The carrier also launched its new slogan: Authentically Canadian, Uniquely WestJet.

WS which started 21 years ago with “three cute little airplanes” has kept its promise of being fun, friendly and caring, Jane Clementino, director of agency sales told the enthusiastic audience. This year Trip Advisor has already named it the best airline in Canada and the best mid-sized carrier in all of North America.

In other news, WestJet is refining its inflight product, adding ovens (i.e. hot food capability) to its 737s and upping its WestJet Plus offerings with a curtain to divide it from Y, a choice of wine, as well as “real” cutlery and glassware. As well, Clementino predicted the carrier will have 40 widebodied aircraft within five years.

Many of the changes are coming about thanks to input from WS’s advisory board, which has one rep from each agency chain or partner. Meeting quarterly, the board provides input on the brochure, deposit policies and more. “Your feedback does not go unnoticed.”

Next up is the carrier’s introduction of its new ultra low cost carrier – no doubt like the addition of Rouge to AC.  Busy times at WS indeed!

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