I am flying to YUL for the FAQ using a Cdn+ ticket in Business Class. Originally my plan was to stop off in YYZ on the way back to YEG (and that is how my res was booked and ticket issued), but I have now decided to visit friends in YOW instead. So I was able to get a seat in the front cabin on Monday evening (CP965) and will have a bit of a wait in the Empress Club or MLL after our meeting/tour at Air Canada on the afternoon of the 24th.
Here's the curious thing. I tried to get a seat on Tuesday evening out of YOW for YEG on that same flight (it makes a stop from YUL en route to YEG). No go. I was told yesterday by Cdn+ it had to be requested, which I thought odd since I had checked ITN that morning (and even the seating chart) to confirm that the front cabin was completely empty: not a single rev or FF seat was taken. Everything showed up as blue.
This morning I was informed my request had been turned down. The agent couldn't explain why, but was also a bit puzzled because she also showed the flight wide open in Business, though it was virtually sold-out in Economy. So I will also stay Tuesday night in YOW (good price at the Crowne Plaza with a likely upgrade to the club level) and be the only one (so far) booked on CP845 to YYZ, and one of two up front on AC165 the next afternoon.
I have been in this predicament myself and was fortunate enough to have had it explained to me by a very helpful SE agent. The key thing to look at is the inventory of C seats. For the flight you want it shows C0 which means there are no reward or discounted business class seats available (so if you had bought an upgradeable coach fare you would not have been able to confirm an upgrade but would have been waitlisted instead). When this was explained to me I followed up by asking if it were not possible to convert a revenue seat to a reward seat (SE/E's have this benefit). The response was negative - the flight was oversold so there were no revenue seats left to be converted which is in line with the SE handbook (this however does not mean they cannot continue selling revenue seats, see next paragraph) So it would seem that your desired flight is oversold to the extent that based on the expected "shows", come flight time there will be at least 12 (being the number of business class seats on the 737) more economy pax than there are economy seats. As to why the business cabin is showing wide open, my guess would be 1) the oversold condition happened before anyone requested a discounted business class seat so that the C inventory went down to 0. 2) so far no one has sprung for a full fare J ticket.
However you would still be able to buy a full fare J or Y ticket as evidenced by the J9, Y9 and M9 indicators. (I've had this happen to me also. I could buy a full fare Y ticket but could not get a confirmed upgrade owing to zero C inventory plus an oversold condition but I could buy a J seat which I did.) In other words, AC is willing to sell a full fare ticket and risk having to bump someone since they'll probably end up ahead anyway. What this also means is that a couple of economy pax may even get an invol upgrade to business!
Shareholder, I won't be able to attend YUL (even though I may be there over the weekend) but let me know if you've got some free time while you're in Ottawa and I will buy you a beer (the Jazz Festival I believe will be in progress).
[This message has been edited by Gabriel (edited 07-12-2000).]
Jul 12, 00, 11:03 pm
I think the only logical explanation would be that the flight is already overbooked or they expect the flight to be overbook and they anticipate to have to bump people up.
On CP, if you are an EP, as long as there is at least 1 revenue seat remaining, they will open it up for award for an EP.
Gabriel: Since this is a CP operated flight, the C class rule does not apply in this case. C class will only show up on an AC codeshare flight operated by CP 72 hours ahead "IF" CP releases any seats for upgrade.
My advice to you Shareholder is to keep on trying... I was told by the EP desk that if there are no U class available and an EP is not the one travelling, they will send a request through the system which will usually come back negative. Then they will send it a analyst for that particular route and they will decide whether to release one. However, I was told that the "sending it to analyst" process is not common and the agents were advised not to do this too often.
Jul 13, 00, 12:55 am
Thanks guys. I thought the flight might be overbooked in Y (even though a couple of open Y and M seats remained for sale according to ITN) and they were invoking this unusual circumstance to maximize their ability to do operational upgrades. It just confused me to see the AC C-class at 0, while both Js were at 9 and 7 respectively, since CP's inventory never does show R-/U-class seats. I don't need to be back in YEG Tuesday night, just the next afternoon as my original plan [ex-YYZ] was to meet a friend coming in from YVR at 3:25 on an AC flight at the airport. Thanks for the offer Gabriel, I'll email you.
Jul 13, 00, 8:08 am
I have actually had very good luck on the AC side with agents sending my upgrade requests to a route controller, even if C is gone.
I guess they figure if they already have an SE in the back who would be first to get an operational upgrade, they may as well allow the upgrade. I have never had a request take more than 72 hours to clear (that was in a situation exactly like this--completely sold out in Y, wide open in J).
I am a little surprised, however, that no seats were allocated to the reward inventory.
Jul 13, 00, 10:11 am
I've never had problems getting Canadian Airlines to send a request for an award seat through either (except with Inter-Canadian, which was an awful airline and whom they had to call and verbally request that a seat be released). On the other hand, since about last August it's been almost impossible to get that request granted.
Of course, last time I travelled myself, there was such confusion (errors in information, confirmed business award that magically turned into an economy award, they forgot to put me on a standby list for a business class award, etc, etc) that I wound up being operationally upgraded (at the very strong request from the YHZ lounge staff) all the way down and all the way back. And got miles!
Jul 13, 00, 5:12 pm
Of course, all this still doesn't explain why they wouldn't rather upgrade an EP in advance who's prepared to give up an upgrade sticker and open up another Y seat to sell, rather than have to upgrade a non-status pax for free at the time of the flight.
Jul 14, 00, 8:06 am
My experience is that CP flights operating as AC codeshares are never available at time of booking for AC SE upgrades--they always show C as 0 seats. I think this is because the computers can't talk to each other yet (AC's and CP's).
My practical experience is that the upgrades on the CP metal have always come through by flight time. Rather than chance it though, I will book on AC metal wherever possible. I have also gone from an AC booked flight with upgrade confirmed to an earlier CP flight with no C seats available and been given the upgrade.
I think this will all be straightened out in the fall.
Hope you get your upgrade Shareholder. I am still batting 100% success on AC and CP metal this year.
Unfortunately, my companion travelling on a free companion ticket to Deer Lake from Calgary was not upgraded on any of the segments. http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/frown.gif
Jul 14, 00, 10:25 am
Actually, this strand has become a bit confused. I was not after an upgrade at all, just wondering about the inability to book business class on this flight in any fashion except for full fare paid J-class. I will be using a FF ticket for the FAQ next weekend, and found it curious that with the front cabin showing empty on ITN and CP's own system (as confirmed by the agent), they would not confirm a front cabin FF seat. In effect, they are not offering any FF seats in business on this flight. (The AC showing C0 only confirms no upgrade/award inventory on the flight; CP never shows this inventory on ITN.) I found this to be unusual since one assumes there is at least one award seat per flight in each class of service that should be bookable, expecially by Gold/Elite or SE/ExecPlat once a request has gone forward.
I may check again next week, since flying out Tuesday evening would save me $150 for a hotel, but would give me time to have dinner with friends. The Wednesday flights I am confirmed in still permit me to be back home in time for my friend's visit.
Jul 14, 00, 11:03 am
I would say the flight is defintely way overbooked. Since this is the only flight between YOW and YEG for both AC and CP, they would have to try to accomodate as many people as possible. Even though the J cabin is empty, they might once have a whole bunch of award seats available, only to be taken out once they realize there's way more pax than seats.
The only possible way to get an award seat is to be an EP.
From my experience:
* A request by non-EP including GLD for an award business class will come back negative 99.9% of the time.
* A request by EP using EP's points for non-EP or no status for an award business class seat will almost always be granted.
BB: You're right about computers not able to talk to each other yet. This explains why it is always C0 on CP operated flights until 72 hrs before departure.
I think each airline is still favouring their own top FF. On a CP metal flight, as a CP EP, if I am booked on the valid fare, the EP agent will take a J class seat and convert it into R class while if you are AC SE booked on a valid fare, they can't upgrade you unless there is C class.
Jul 14, 00, 4:50 pm
Is that an offer to book me a seat with your points, Empress. Only kidding. I also had a thought that with the pending pilots strike on again, there might be an embargo on booking new award seats at times when CP may have to accommodate AC customers, and particularly J-class ones. Now I must worry like the rest of the country about AC's pilots, since the last segment I have on this trip is on AC. Well, that would make for an interesting lunch conversation with AC's top honchos on the 24th...
Let's hope AC's pilots don't spoil our FAQ!
Jul 14, 00, 9:43 pm
Shareholder, could you tell me how you obtain detailed information through ITN on the various class availabilities (including C and reward seats).
Thanks a lot
Jul 14, 00, 10:14 pm
1. Go to www.itn.net (http://www.itn.net) and after the intro page, click on "Air, Car, and Hotel Res"
2. There should be a login box on the left side with a "new user" button. Click on that and register (free) if you haven't already.
3. Once you're logged in, click on "travel profile" and under the display preferences section, set the availability format to "expert"
4. Voila! "Y7 B7 M7 ..."
Jul 15, 00, 8:10 am
Interesting. This morning I checked the CP site and tried booking a cover res to see what my options might be if there was a pilots' strike the weekend of the FAQ. I had no problem getting a full-fare Y seat on the same Tuesday flight that is supposedly sold out! Of course, it would cost me over a thousand dollars. But I'll pack a few books and prepare to do three days of reading in case I have to take the Greyhound back to Edmonton!