“In the business of business travellers”: WestJet’s Simplicity streamlines value-adds

“In the business of business travellers”: WestJet’s Simplicity streamlines value-adds

CALGARY — WestJet is targeting business travel traffic on key Toronto routes to Montreal, Ottawa and LaGuardia with its Simplicity program.

The name is new but many of the perks are not, but a fresh brand and new marketing approach should help travel agents position the program and WestJet’s flights in a positive light for their business travel clients, says WestJet SVP, Marketing & Digital, Marshall Wilmot.

“Simplicity is a way for us to put together all the great services and benefits we offer to our high-frequency travellers. It puts a bow on it,” he said.

It’s not just big-budget corporate travellers that WestJet is going after. Small businesses generate a lot of passengers too and are a major market for WestJet, he added. “As travel agents know we provide a great network for business travellers,” he said.

Currently available on Toronto to/from Montreal, Ottawa, LaGuardia, Simplicity offers exclusive product features including complimentary early/late show (space permitting); priority security in Toronto; complimentary beer or wine; 25 WestJet dollars on flight arrival delays of more than 30 minutes; and convenient gates (select airports, currently YYZ).

New offerings include a premium snack all day (in the past passengers were offered a morning snack only); and a promotional valet parking 20% discount, available through the end of June.

For a limited time there’s also a promotional WestJet Rewards fast track, available until June 30 for passengers who register and fly between May 6 and July 15.

Passengers get Silver flight benefits with a minimum six eligible Simplicity segments flown. Passengers get Gold flight benefits with a minimum 10 eligible Simplicity segments flown. And existing Silver members who fly four eligible Simplicity segments get the Gold flight benefit.

“Simplicity has hit the nail on the head,” said Wilmot. “For example, the complimentary early/late show. Rather than pay a big fee for getting on an earlier flight, if we have a seat on an earlier flight, we’re putting you on it. There’s no change fee or differential to pay.”

WestJet passengers knew all about the free early/late show, but for other travellers, “it’s been like our best-kept secret,” said Wilmot. Wanting to get the word out, “we ended up having to advertise everything separately.” Now Simplicity markets all of these advantages together, he added.

Now WestJet is focused on gaining awareness, both with travellers and travel agents. “It’s really important that the travel agent community and passengers know that WestJet is in the business of business travellers.”