WestJet promotes its first long-haul route ‘Ricky Gervais’ style


This case appears in the October 2015 edition of the Airline Marketing Benchmark, a monthly report by airlinetrends.com and Simpliflying that identifies the latest innovative marketing campaigns recently launched by airlines around the world. Learn more »

WestJet has taken inspiration from mockumentary comedy like Ricky Gervais in ‘The Office’ and ‘An Idiot Abroad,’ to create its latest 90-second spot promoting the airline’s new low-fares flights between Toronto and London.

The premise is of a long-distance romance between Dave, in England, and his girlfriend Katie, in Canada. To save money on flights to visit his sweetheart, Dave disguises himself to travel as a dog.

For most of the video Dave boasts to the camera of the genius of his scheme, but, as the video ends, the camera zooms-in on an ad in the newspaper thrown into Dave’s cage, with a printed ad of WestJet’s new GBP194 one-way fares from Gatwick to Toronto.

In a last line as heart-wrenching as it is side-splitting, Dave the Dog says: “Is that a misprint? I’m eating kibble!”

Richard Bartrem, VP marketing communications at West Jet, said the ad reflects WestJet’s “fun and friendly attitude”.

The launch of this ad follows the airline’s introduction of its new 767-300 service, with new cabins and a new logo, all in preparation WestJet’s first long-haul service.

Surprisingly, the video has just over 78,000 views on YouTube so far. In comparison, WestJet’s viral Christmas Miracle has generated over 41 million views.

This could be a simple matter of timing, or a sign that heart-strings can trump funny bones, when it comes to on-line viewership. Read full article »

WestJet teams up with local restaurants across Canada to serve fresh sandwiches sourced from the city of departure

By Nikos Loukas, InflightFeed

On many flights originating in Canada, WestJet offers a little taste of home. Whether it’s a meaty Spolumbo’s sandwich from Calgary, a Thai chicken wrap from Vancouver’s Bread Garden or the smoky pastrami from Au Pain Doré in Montreal, WestJet is offering an increasing number of locally made fresh sandwiches on most flights over 2.5 hours in length. All sandwiches cost CAD 6.50 (CAD 6 when pre-ordered).

“We want to offer our guests onboard menu items that will enhance their WestJet experience and support the communities we serve,” says WestJet’s On Board Product Manager Layne Ward. “Being able to partner with local caterers to offer guests a wide variety of fresh sandwiches is ideal.”

The sandwich story all started in 2010 in Calgary with a WestJet executive’s penchant for the chewy Italian sandwiches created by three ex-Calgary Stampeders football players at the local Spolumbo’s restaurant. “They were here having lunch, talking about airplane food, and wondering why it couldn’t be more local and more fresh,” says Tony Spoletini, one of the owners of the popular Italian sausage shop and deli.

Local, fresh
The Spolumbo’s crew signed on for a test run and, when guests gobbled up their airline sandwiches, WestJet looked for entrepreneurs in other Canadian cities to expand the program. Now, fresh and unique sandwiches are loaded on board every day from caterers and delis in Victoria, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Hamilton, London, Montreal and St. John’s.
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Edmonton Airport offers one-stop parking and remote check-in at off-airport facility

In a bid to counter the increasing popularity of independent off-airport parking services like Park ‘n Fly, Edmonton International Airport in western Canada has opened an enhanced off-site parking facility, located about 1.5 kilometres from the airport terminal. Called jetSet Parking, the new 3,300-stall carpark offers self- and valet parking, airline check-in kiosks and a baggage drop-off service for Westjet passengers, and is significantly cheaper than the airport’s parking facilities located in front of the terminal. 

Customers can use two levels of service, youPark and wePark. The fully automated self-serve youPark long-term lot lets travelers pull in, take a ticket, park and make their way to one of three heated bus shelters. 24/7 shuttle buses ferry customers from the shelters to the terminal and back. Under the wePark option, customers drive to the main jetSet building, where a valet parks their vehicles. Inside the building customers find washrooms and free coffee and bottled water. Both the youPark shelters and the wePark office feature flight information displays, self-serve check-in kiosks that dispense airline boarding passes, and parking pay machines. Prices are CAD9.50 per day (47.50/week) for youPark and CAD13.50 per day (67.50/week) for wePark. By booking in advance online, customers can save up to 20 percent off.
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