WestJet turns air miles into charitable donations for the holidays

WestJet kept its holiday “miracles” tradition going on Monday, with the release of “Miracle Miles.”

For more than a decade, the airline has come up with a holiday campaign based around the theme of WestJet employees surprising customers with a holiday miracle, while capturing customer reaction for a video.

In the past, it was usually about some sort of gift for passengers, but this year, it was about donating to charities on their behalf.

On a handful of flights, WestJet is donating $1 per mile flown for every person on the plane. The first flight—featured in this year’s video—was from Winnipeg to Calgary on Nov. 26. With 128 passengers and six crew making the 677-mile trip, WestJet donated $90,718 to charities.

WestJet said it will similarly surprise passengers on other flights, donating more than $150,000 in total.

“In the holiday season we know there is joy to be found in both giving and receiving, so for this year’s Christmas Miracle, we wanted to offer our guests and WestJetters the opportunity to give back to the people and places that are most meaningful to them by supporting a charity or non-profit organization of their own choosing,” said Angela Avery, WestJet’s executive vice-president and chief people, corporate and sustainability officer.

This is WestJet’s first “miracle” campaign since the departure of long-time top marketer Richard Bartrem earlier this year. And while WestJet has usually worked with StudioM for the campaign in previous years, it worked only with creative agency Rethink for the 2022 iteration.

David Brown