Just a few weeks ago, we were writing a post praising WestJet’s move to takeover Sunwing. The hope was that with the merger, WestJet would be able to somewhat compete with Air Canada, the most dominant Canadian airline. But before WestJet can give Air Canada a run for their money, it looks like they have to take care of their own house first.
WestJet’s purchase of Sunwing has been in the works for a couple of years now. It is now taking a step forward as the Canadian Federal Government WestJet gave their stamp of approval that moves them closer. There is still some work to be done, but this is as major milestone.
Today, I wanted to share some of my thoughts on this potential merger. Let’s discuss this from the perspective of each airline.
See also: COVID-19 Updates for our most up-to-date tracking.
Things have evolved quite a bit since March 2020 when the coronavirus lockdowns hit the travel industry. As time went on, airline and hotel program made adjustments to stay afloat. They also tried to make things more generous for customers, while trying to juggle their balance sheet.
Many people would argue that airlines would get government bailouts anyway, so all they really need to do is sit back and relax. Whether true or not, today’s post focuses on extensions given to member account balances. Several of those extensions have now expired, while some programs made some more permanent changes to their expiry policies.
Due to the current coronavirus pandemic, airline and hotel loyalty programs have paused/extended expiry policies to their miles and points. Today’s post is a current snapshot of the state of these programs.
Please note that we ongoingly update our COVID-19 updates page as well for most up-to-date information.
Today we are updating the current status of all the major Canadian based airlines. I keep wondering if all of them will survive past this pandemic.
Each airline have taken their own approach on how to handle the pandemic. Several airlines have completely halted all flights. Some airlines have minimal flights.
Note that we have a COVID-19 Updates page that is continually updated.
Airlines and hotels have been putting together some positive videos together on YouTube, so I wanted to give them a shout out for putting these videos together. The videos range from: Thank you message Giving passengers assurance message (e.g. being…
I was hoping that it would be not come to this. But airline layoffs are real. Personally, I really thought that there would be more “leave without pay”, so that they can retain their employees and slowly bring them back. But maybe there is more to the story if they want to cut their ties. I guess they can always hire them back later?
Anyway, here’s the current count to date. May airlines are careful to say that these are temporary layoffs, so the door is open for people to come back.
Loyalty programs across the board have implemented temporary solutions to deal with any COVID-19 related matters. Below is a list of hyperlinks to useful information. I also included a small blurb for each company that may be more commonly relevant.
I tried to include companies more relevant to Canadians, but please let us know in the comment section below if you see any other links that we can add to the list (in alphabetical order).
WestJet Rewards is currently allowing Air Canada (Altitude) and Porter Airlines (VIPorter) members to status match with its rewards program.
Looks like WestJet is aggressively trying to challenge Air Canada ahead of their full integration with Aeroplan in June 2020.
WestJet members can now achieve either Silver or Gold with WestJet Rewards that runs will March 31, 2020. You can extend the benefit period by completing additional challenges. Below are the details of the challenges.
It has been almost a year since we last updated the WestJet Rewards rundown post. One of my family member has been using WestJet more extensively, which means I did a little more deeper research about their rewards program. Furthermore, several changes were made (mostly positive) to its elite status program, so this is a good a time as any to provide an updated post.
Also note the RBC WestJet World Elite MasterCard is offering a higher ($350 instead of $250) sign up bonus that expires on January 6, 2020, which I will provide more details below.