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2011 Air Canada Top Tier Program Changes - General Discussion

2011 Air Canada Top Tier Program Changes - General Discussion

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Old Dec 8, 10, 10:07 pm
  #1  
Company Representative - Air Canada
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Join Date: May 1999
Location: Canada
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Exclamation 2011 Air Canada Top Tier Program Changes - General Discussion

Hello everyone,

Today (Dec 9) we’re launching the 2011 Air Canada Top Tier Program. We’d like to highlight some of the biggest program enhancements for 2011 right here.

Launch of eUpgrades

If there’s been one common message from our Top Tier members over the past few years, it’s been this: “Enough with the wallpaper!” Last year as we began work on our electronic upgrade product – known as “eUpgrades” – we kept this in mind and entirely rethought how our Top Tier upgrades work. In the end, we landed on something whereby all of the upgrade currency – now “eUpgrade Credits” – can be used more freely by tying it more closely to the Economy Class fare paid. Some key items worth mentioning:

  • As mentioned in earlier communications, eUpgrade Credits can be used for travel starting March 1, 2011. Note that those Top Tier members qualifying in December & January will receive extra 2010 Top Tier upgrade certificates for use for travel through February 28, 2011. Note that these will not and cannot be converted into eUpgrade Credits – they are simply a goodwill gesture for members who would like to upgrade prior to the launch of eUpgrades.

  • Regardless of where your original booking was made, you will always be able to request an upgrade for an eligible flight online at aircanada.com through your eUpgrade account. You’ll also be able to view transaction history.

  • Versus the 2010 upgrade certificate program, there are no major changes to eligible booking classes / booking windows. While the Tango Plus booking class “U” is no longer grouped with booking class “M” (as on our 2010 Top Tier upgrade certificates), this is due to the fact that we are not selling booking class “U” on a regular basis.

  • Beginning with the launch of eUpgrades in the airport on March 1, 2011, all waitlisted upgrade requests will be automatically transferred to our airport standby list. This means that you will no longer have to re-request your upgrade upon check-in if it hasn’t already cleared.

  • Now, all Top Tier members will enjoy the privilege of sharing their credits with eUpgrade Nominees, allowing the nominee to upgrade, even when the member is not traveling with them. However, the sponsoring Top Tier member will always be required to request the upgrade on behalf of their nominee.

  • Just a note that eUpgrade Credits will be deposited into the Top Tier member’s account within 48 hours of choosing eUpgrade Credits as a Select Privilege. Until the account is credited, it will not be possible to access the account, so don’t be concerned if you can’t log into your account immediately.

  • Also, for any December 2010 threshold upgrade activities, we will continue to send paper upgrade certificates. This is due to a system limitation associated with the launch of the eUpgrade program. However, going forward, we will be able to offer credits with a longer validity period for threshold upgrade activities which take place towards the end of a qualification year.

For full details on the program (upgrade request process, eligible bookings, credits required, etc), we invite you to visit aircanada.com/eupgrades. We’ll be interested to see your feedback over the coming weeks, especially when the product launches in the airports, for travel on March 1, 2011.

New Super Elite Select Privilege: Maple Leaf Club for a Friend

Some of you may recall this as a Select Privilege we had a few years ago. We hope it's interesting to Super Elite members who are looking for options other than eUpgrade Credits and/or Bonus Miles.

New Prestige Select Privilege: 35% Discount on Maple Leaf Club

We recognize Maple Leaf Lounge access is valuable to our Prestige members, hence the additional Maple Leaf Lounge One-Time Guest Pass included in one of our Select Privilege options this year. Furthermore, as you may recall from last year, we introduced a 15% Maple Leaf Club discount for all Prestige members, but your feedback made it clear that this was not enough. Therefore, this year we will offer a 35% Maple Leaf Club discount, applicable to all Maple Leaf Club membership options, as a Select Privilege. This is well over double (in some cases triple) the discount offered by other airlines to their equivalent tier members when purchasing lounge membership.

Air Canada Minimum Flight Requirement

In order to better manage the cost of our program, and to ensure that we’re delivering benefits to our true frequent flyers, we have introduced a “minimum flight requirement.” This will be considered during your 2012 Top Tier qualification year (January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2011), so it will not impact your 2011 Top Tier status.

The flight requirement is 5 Status Flight Segments or 10,000 Status Miles on eligible flights operated by Air Canada or on behalf of Air Canada by Jazz, Air Georgian Limited (doing business as Air Alliance), Exploits Valley Air Services LTD, Central Mountain Air and Sky Regional Airlines. Note that you can reach the Minimum Flight Requirement on Status Flight Segments, even if you qualify based on Status Miles – or vice versa. You will be able to track your qualification towards this requirement online at aeroplan.com beginning in the spring of 2011.

The minimum flight requirement counts as part of your regular qualification requirement, which remains the same for 2012:

  • To qualify for Super Elite, you will need 100,000 Status Miles or 95 Status Segments.
  • To qualify for Elite, you will need 35,000 Status Miles or 50 Status Segments.
  • To qualify for Prestige, you will need 25,000 Status Miles or 25 Status Segments.

We hope that you’ll be pleased with the changes we’re introducing this year, and as we mentioned last year, we will continue to refine the program based on your comments and ideas going forward.

Happy holidays, everyone!

(Please note that the links mentioned above and Aeroplan 2011 section is not active yet - they will be activated later on this morning)
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Old Dec 8, 10, 10:11 pm
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Join Date: Dec 2007
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Thanks Andrew. Some aspects of the eCerts sound appealing!

I'd post more but gotta rush off now.
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Old Dec 8, 10, 10:14 pm
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Join Date: Dec 2006
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Thanks for posting the information. These appear to be actual enhancements instead of "spin."

Good to hear that ecerts will be valid for 1 year and that we can upgrade companions without travelling with them! How many companions can we nominate and is there restrictions on if they are family members?

Well, that answers my question about crossing a threshold in December 2010. I'm only 400 miles short of the next cert level and I have no need for SWU's that are valid until February; looks like my 2010 is now officially over!
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Old Dec 8, 10, 10:16 pm
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Thank´s for the info, Andrew!

It´s good to hear that upgrade requests are now automatically transferred from the regular waitlist to the "airport waitlist".

Interesting it´s now possible to upgrade other people when not travelling on the same flight, I guess many people will appreciate this new feature (though it will probably reduce upgrade chances).

Now of course, I´m waiting for the most important info: how many credits do we get / how many do we need to upgrade....

Last edited by Jasper2009; Dec 8, 10 at 10:43 pm
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Old Dec 8, 10, 10:24 pm
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Join Date: Dec 2004
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Thanks to Andrew for breaking the news right a midnight. The enhancement look good, will be very interested in the details.
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Old Dec 8, 10, 10:35 pm
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Join Date: May 2007
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So a cert that we earn in December will expire in 2 months

If I booked a B fare, do I have to have earned the credit before I can request an upgrade, even though I'm sure I will have enough credit at the day of the flight?
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Old Dec 8, 10, 10:36 pm
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Join Date: May 2007
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Old Dec 8, 10, 10:40 pm
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Join Date: Apr 2006
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Thanks for this, Andrew! These changes all sound excellent! Wonderful work.

I am extremely impressed by the responsiveness of Air Canada to customer feedback, and I know all of us on FlyerTalk very much appreciate your clear and detailed communication. Thanks for doing what you do!
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Old Dec 8, 10, 10:43 pm
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Join Date: Oct 2010
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Originally Posted by Andrew Yiu View Post
Note that those Top Tier members qualifying in December & January will receive extra 2010 Top Tier upgrade certificates for use for travel through February 28, 2011.
AWESOME! But too bad they will not arrive before I leave for my last trip in 2010 this Sat.... a SSWU cert will help...
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Old Dec 8, 10, 10:47 pm
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Will there be a code that can be used for "show upgradable fares" for post March 1, 2011? I assume that any codes would not be posted publically on the Air Canada website link provided.
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Old Dec 8, 10, 10:52 pm
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Join Date: Feb 2009
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Agree that there is lots of positive. However, biggest impact IMO is whether credit system provide equal or more value than current system for each status level. Waiting in excited anticipation!
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Old Dec 8, 10, 10:54 pm
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Join Date: Oct 2007
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Originally Posted by Jasper2009 View Post
Now of course, I´m waiting for the most important info: how many credits do we get / how many do we need to upgrade....
There's lots of details at that link Andrew mentioned. Looks very interesting. I like the part where you get refunded credits if you don't get upgraded on the entire itinerary.
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Old Dec 8, 10, 10:56 pm
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Join Date: Jan 2008
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Originally Posted by Jasper2009 View Post
Thank´s for the info, Andrew!

Now of course, I´m waiting for the most important info: how many credits do we get / how many do we need to upgrade....
Here's how many we get (EDIT: Apologies, this is for threshold crossing bonuses, no data yet on how many you can pick for Select privileges):
http://www.aircanada.com/en/aeroplan...eupgrades.html

And here's how many it costs:
http://www.aircanada.com/en/aeroplan...lculation.html

I like a lot of these changes, my only concern as a segment-based FF is that the credits are all based on distance, not flights. I'll be on ~70 AC flights next year but will have fewer upgrade opportunities (I guess we cannot all win).

Last edited by ceaton; Dec 8, 10 at 11:18 pm
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Old Dec 8, 10, 11:05 pm
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Originally Posted by ceaton View Post
This link is for threshold awards - I tried to surf around and couldn't find how much we each get for SE, E, P at the beginning of the year - Did I just miss it in my excited surfing to the various pages?
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Old Dec 8, 10, 11:06 pm
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: YYZ, but my heart is in Asia
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Originally Posted by ceaton View Post
Hmmmm.... Another cut in benefits!!

An SSWU Canada-Asia would be equivalent to 20 credits.
An SWU Canada-Asia would be equivalent to 8 credits.

20K threshold only gives an SE 15 credits... less than an SWU equivalent.

This is going to suck.
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