I am unable to find my original posting on this matter, so...
A few months ago, when the 2001 qualifying levels for Cdn+ and Aeroplan were announced, I raised the issue of the credit each program offered for travel when using upgrade certificates or stickers. AC has always included the class-of-service bonus for both full fare and discounted ecomony ticekts that are upgraded in this fashion, yielding 125% elite eligible mileage.
CP only provides 100% credit in their Cdn+ program.
While this would have made a difference last year for lower level elites (Club/Prestige and Gold/Elite which required the same 18K and 35K respectively), this year Cdn+ also increased the qualifying points required for ExecPlatinum to 100K from 85K. This is the same requirement as Aeroplan has for SuperElite.
However, because it is safe to assume that elites can use several upgrades each year, if not more, those flying CP earn less than those on AC, and thus must fly more to qualify for all elite levels than those in the Aeroplan program. In effect, AC elite thresholds are 10% to 150% less than CP's.
I wrote Cdn+ two months ago to raise this matter, and only today received the following answer:
"The current restructuring process of the Canadian airlines industry and the acquisition of Canadian Airlines by Air Canada will create some changes in the industry. Without a doubt, there will be some changes to the programs.
"As you are aware, members using an upgrade sticker to travel in Business Class receive one point per mile, regardless of the fare paid. However, to date this and other aspects of the program are still currently under
review and unfortunately, further details are not available and in some cases may not yet be known.
"We appreciate your patience and will do our best to keep our valued members informed as we progress."
I intend to write to Mr. Brotto over the weekend raising this matter and a few others which appear to be forcing loyal Canadian customers and Cdn+ elites to Air Canada and Aeroplan.
May 2, 00, 1:45 pm
Club was 20k last year, but it was actually worth something. Now it's 18k and as useless as Prestige.
It would have been nice to earn Class of Service on my CP flights YOW-YVR-LAX. I think the basic points were about equal to the 125% on an upgraded AC through YYZ.
You're right that both Gold and Elite were 35k last year, but another consideration is that we had unlimited upgrade stickers on CP vs. the limited number we have now (as on AC). Which meant more opportunities to get 100% instead of 50% on domestic flights (by upgrading), and 125% would have made the targets too easy.
Now we've got the old lower point values on upgrades, and restricted access to stickers, and a higher target as well!
May 3, 00, 8:19 am
AW, you are correct that we Cdn+ elites did get slightly more upgrades in our annual packages than Aeroplan's, particularly the 4x500-mile stickers in addition to the 2xNA/Systemwide stickers in each folder. (Not to mentioned those any fare Systemwide "black" packs!) But "unlimited"...
Mmy recollection from when I was an AC ELITE (two years ago, and for three years prior to that) is that we got 4 any fare NA upgrade certificates (requiring 2 for flights over 1,000-miles) and 4 full-fare Systemwides. This might give us an advantage on one return NA transcon or a few shuttles between YYC-YVR-YEG or YOW-YYZ-YUL.
And while the "blacks" were wonderful, one always got 100% on international flights even on discount fares. So I still don't believe the additional stickers would affect the point accumulation by more than 2K at best, hardly making up for the increase of EXECPLATINUM to 100K from 85K. It still would make ELITE "cheaper" for an AC flyer than GOLD for a Cdn traveller at 35K last year.
I believe both carriers offer the equivilent of one transcon upgrade per 10K flown: i.e. 4x500-miles (or varient thereof for EXECPLAT) on CP and 2 NA upgrade certificates on AC.
I suppose since one could also purchase upgrades on CP until Feb 29th, you could consider them to be "unlimited", given that AC cut off selling upgrades early last year.
May 3, 00, 12:30 pm
Shareholder, you're right I should have defined "unlimited".
Yes, I considered the option to pay C$350 to upgrade round-trip YOW-YVR-LAX-YVR-YOW to be "unlimited stickers". I know there are those who wouldn't pay that much, but no matter how inefficiently I might use my initial and threshhold stickers, I could never find myself unable to upgrade due to lack of stickers (flying only in North America, one will eventually run out of stickers/certificates, e.g. it takes about three upgraded round trips YOW-YYZ-LAX to earn two threshhold upgrades, enough for one round trip).
What I was getting at, was that if CP had given 125% for upgraded flights, with the unlimited sticker supply, I would have had almost 8800pt for every round trip through YVR, meaning four trips for Gold status and 10 for EP. So I accept that the lack of a 25% bonus on upgrades was balanced both by the lower target (in the case of EP) and by the increased upgrade opportunities (in the case of G). Of course on a discount domestic flight, the upgrade was still doubling the points earned.
But now, both the availability of stickers and the targets are identical, so the 20% lower point value on CP upgrades is much more significant.
I agree the target change is significant, but for Gold, I actually think the lack of upgrade opportunities will make a bigger difference (domestically anyway) -- if I were flying to Vancouver monthly this year, I'd be getting 50% points on a significant number of flights.
You reminded me of something else. The two NA certs on AC will get me YOW-YYZ-LAX. But using CP stickers it would take 5x500 to do that. Last year it didn't matter much because I could always buy one more. But with limited stickers, it becomes significant. One threshhold package from AC will get me to LAX in J. One threshhold package from CP will not (I'm not suggesting it's top of the list, but in addition to flying in the back YOW-YYZ, it will also cost me 250 Q-miles to use CP stickers instead of AC certs).
As usual, we agree. http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/wink.gif
[This message has been edited by Andrew Webber (edited 05-03-2000).]
May 3, 00, 8:06 pm
As predicted by many, the monopoly has and will continue to affect the most valued customers? to the airline(s)! No more opportunities to 'buy' stickers for cash or points with CP is HUGE in my mind - late last year I 'bought' a wack of upgrade stickers beleiving that they would have an expiry date of 2001 and was deeply disappointed to find exp of 2/2000, when the airline subsequently stated NO MORE EXPIRED STICKERS can be used. As predicted and inevitable, as frequent fliers we have been SHAFTED. Huge dilution of the tiers, lack of upgrade seats, major decrease in sticker access, restricted fare/upgrade opportunities - in conclusion, their strategy worked on me, every flight of 4+ hours I have taken I have PAID to travel in business class! I have observed AN ENTIRELY FULL BUSINESS CLASS everytime! Only on short haul YVR-YYC and YYZ-YOW type flights have I been successful at 'stickered' upgrades.
Final Final Conclusion - AIRLINES - TREAT YOUR MOST VALUED CUSTOMERS BETTER! Increase amount of J class seats available (install more J seats on airplanes) and make more stickers and upgrades available, integrate stickers with Star Alliance members and program..... BE CREATIVE!
May 3, 00, 10:28 pm
@com: Are you sure the stickers you bought have a 2/2000 expiry on them. I bought some Upgrade Packages in January 2000 and they clearly state they expire "one year from the date of purchase". All of the clarifications issued by Cdn+ indicate that they will honour the rules governing all "old" stickers as they appear on their folders. Both the Threshold and Initial Upgrades issued with the 2/2001 expiry dates have the same fare eligibility rules as the purchased Upgrade Packages: i.e. GOLD and EXECPLATs can upgrade from any published fare.
I would check the ones you bought because they must be similar to, or the same, as the ones I purchased: 4x500 miles in a white folder similar to the old style airline tickets.
In the meantime, I hope you contribute some of your positive thoughts about what the ideal upgrade package should be to the "Perfect Airline" forums on the Air Canada strand.
AW: Must be our reading material that makes us think alike!