WestJet - The Little Airline That Could

with Ming Tappin

An eager crowd awaits the WS presentation after attending a trade show of 70+ suppliers.

Jane Clementino's presentation began with a big thank you to the travel trade for contributing to WS's success. 

Agents visit with Afra Davis of LVCVB at the trade show.

Meaghan Gallant, WS's Communications Coordinator, highlighted upcoming improvements to the online booking engine.

The WestJet Travel Trade Expo made a stop in Vancouver last week on its 6 city Canadian tour. The event was held in the spacious Canada Place convention centre and saw 450 agent partners mingle with 70+ hoteliers, tourist boards and a bevy of WestJetters representing Sales, Groups and Technology. As I visited some of the many WS booths that lined the aisle, it was clear the evening was all about giving back to the travel trade, with plenty of new initiatives and enhancements to help make the sales and booking process a smoother experience.

Jane Clementino, WS's Director of Agency Sales, addressed the group with a short presentation, reiterating the importance of travel agents who have been an integral part of WestJet's success over its 20 yr. history. A long list of evidence supporting its commitment to the travel trade includes the agent support team, a comprehensive online resource centre and a multitude of agent tools and training events. Most impressive is the 42 member Travel Agent Advisory Board who, as the voice of the travel industry, convene on a regular basis with WS to work towards continual improvements – sending the clear message that WestJet cares.

Tracy Baker, a top producing Corporate Travel Consultant with Uniglobe One Travel, works with WS on a daily basis to help service her corporate clients' air needs. Although the booking process is already effortless, she is looking forward to the new improvements on the agent booking site to allow for open-jaw bookings as well as better navigation tools within the reservation process. On the leisure front, Donella Chong, also from Uniglobe One Travel, has worked with WS Vacations for years and her favourite thing about WestJet is their "can do" attitude, always willing to work with her ideas to find her customers the perfect vacation. Donella also appreciates WS's human side - from the Blue Santa at Christmas to the recent dramatic evacuation of many of Fort McMurray's residents.

There were prizes galore to close out the evening, with multiple hotel night stays with WS flights and numerous system-wide passes. Happy winners were cheered on by a boisterous crowd, after being told that Jane gets more generous the louder it gets.

Who knew the little airline that started with 3 planes and 5 destinations would grow into such a big success? It is clear that the agent community as well as the traveling public, are happy to be at the receiving end of this tremendous achievement.

Corporate & Leisure representation from Uniglobe One
Tracy Baker & Donella Chong, with Joanna Cossey of
Core Travel Technologies.

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