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Tuesday,  June 18, 2024 10:03 PM 

WestJet Agent deactivating due to “technical reasons,” new tool expected by Q1 of 2024


WestJet Agent deactivating due to “technical reasons,” new tool expected by Q1 of 2024
(WestJet)
Michael Pihach

Michael Pihach is an award-winning journalist with a keen interest in digital storytelling. In addition to PAX, Michael has also written for CBC Life, Ryerson University Magazine, IN Magazine, and DailyXtra.ca. Michael joins PAX after years of working at popular Canadian television shows, such as Steven and Chris, The Goods and The Marilyn Denis Show.

WestJet has broken its silence about its controversial plan to decommission its booking channel WestJet Agent, releasing a statement on Friday evening (Oct. 13) about the decision.

"We know the recent announcement about the decommissioning of WestJet Agent has caused some confusion and speculation amongst the travel trade,” wrote WestJet’s Director of Sales, Amanda Ierfino, in a press release. “WestJet Agent is being retired due to technical reasons; however, it has always been our intention to implement an alternate booking option for our travel trade partners.”

As PAX first reported on Oct. 10, WestJet will discontinue WestJet Agent on Oct. 24, 2023.

The information was first shared in a memo distributed by the IATA Agency Program on Tuesday evening (Oct. 10) that PAX obtained.

READ MORE: WestJet shutting down WestJet Agent booking channel on Oct. 24

The airline-branded document states that existing GDS users may continue to book WestJet in their preferred GDS.

Non-accredited agencies, meanwhile, “may connect with your preferred consolidator to continue to book WestJet” as the airline works toward implementing a new booking option.

Ierfino reiterated on Friday that the shutdown does not impact any other booking platforms such as WestJet Biz, SIREV or any GDS.

WestJet Vacations and WestJet Vacations Groups tools are also not affected, she wrote.

“Although there is no immediate replacement available, we are actively working on developing a new booking option and expect to have a tool in place by Q1 of 2024,” Ierfino said “We look forward to sharing more information with our trade partners in the coming weeks.”

In its original memo, WestJet said there will be no change to the contractual commission rates for accredited agencies and non-accredited agencies that do not use a GDS may choose to book with a consolidator.

“Your compensation will be determined by the agreement you come to with the consolidator,” WestJet said.

The airline says agencies may continue to see content about WestJet Agent on WestJet's travel agent resource site after it is decommissioned at the end of the month.

“This may include mentions on policy pages, the travel advisory page, etc. All content will be updated once the new booking option is implemented,” the company wrote in its memo. 

WestJet is advising agencies to not reference content on the travel agent resource site if they require support with an existing WestJet Agent booking after Oct. 24.

We have always been committed to supporting and working alongside our travel trade partners, and that has not changed,” Ierfino said Friday. “Many teams at WestJet are working diligently on providing a solution that will meet the needs of our partners.”

Agents that need support with existing bookings scheduled to depart after WestJet Agent shuts down may contact the airline’s travel support team at 1-877-664-3205.

Additional questions may be directed to travelagencyweb@westjet.com. 

The statement comes one day after The WestJet Group announced a newly-created Sunwing Vacations Group, which will encompass five vacation and retail travel brands - this being, Sunwing Vacations and WestJet Vacations, U.S. tour operator Vacation Express, travel retail businesses SellOffVacations.com and Luxe Destination Weddings.


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