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An update on travel from Diederik Pen, WestJet’s Chief Operating Officer

May 27, 2022

In less than a month, it will be the official start of summer. After two uncertain years of the pandemic wreaking havoc on travel, we understand how important your clients’ travel plans are and we want you to know they are equally as important for all of us at WestJet.

As we prepare for the busy months ahead, we are committed to doing everything we can to deliver the WestJet experience you and your clients expect. At the same time, we want to be up front on some of the challenges that could impact our operations and your clients’ travel.

The current state of service from government agencies at our major airports continues to be a problem, whether it is security screening before your client’s flight or Canada Border Services Agency on international arrival. Rest assured, we are advocating strongly for immediate improvements on your clients’ behalf and regret the current situation. The government is currently assessing all processes and we are hopeful that your clients and you, our valued partners, will see improvements very soon.

In the weeks ahead, our number one priority is our summer readiness plan. Our proactive efforts have included meticulous planning to ensure our aircraft are all flying in peak performance and hiring more than 1,000 people across all operational areas including our contact centre. We are also introducing technology enhancements, including digital vouchers and pre-paid options to self-serve and save time at the airport.

As we continue to work with all stakeholders, including the Federal Government, airport authorities and our third-party providers, to address these critical matters. There are some things you can share with your clients before their travel, to assist us:

  • Allow lots of time along the way and arrive early (2 hours before a domestic flight, 3 hours before an international flight)
  • Check identification and travel documents, ensure they understand the entry and exit requirements for their destinations
  • Plan for things to take longer than expected as there may be longer lineups or unexpected delays
  • Be kind, we’ll do the same. Please remind your clients to pack their patience and understand that this may be the first time in more than 24 months someone has travelled or that it might be someone’s first day on the job
  • Get through security screening more quickly by anticipating what’s coming: remove electronics and liquids from bags; anticipate removal of shoes and belts; empty pockets
  • Add your client’s WestJet Rewards ID to their booking and advise them to use the WestJet app to enable self-serve features that will support them on their day of travel
  • Travel with carry-on or pre-pay for bags in advance; important items like prescription medicine should be carried on
  • Visit our comprehensive Get Travel Ready hub for additional information

We will do everything we can to deliver the travel experience your clients and you are expecting and we hope that this information helps them navigate and understand any unexpected challenges that may arise. On behalf of the 9,500 of us at the WestJet Group, we deeply appreciate your continued support and partnership and thank you for choosing WestJet.

Diederik Pen
Executive Vice-President & Chief Operating Officer