T-Fares.....AGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!

Old Mar 14, 01, 6:22 pm
  #1  
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T-Fares.....AGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!

A Small trip report on a T-Fare....

February 21st:
MJSCHILL: Hi, I need to go to Montreal on 3/13, return PM on 3/14, and would prefer AC.
TA: Lowest available fare is $465.
MJSCHILL: Is it upgradable?
TA: No...lowest upgradeable is $735
MJSCHILL: What about T...I, I heard it is upgradeable.
TA: Let's call AC. Hello AC, is a T-Fare upgradeable?
AC: YES
TA: The T-Fare is $528.
MJSCHILL: Book it.

March 1st, while talking to the Prestige Desk about another matter:

MJSCHILL: Before I leave, I booked a T-Fare last week becasue it was upgradeable, but I want to know if I should expect full miles?
PRESTIGEDESK: I'm very sorry to tell you this , however you won't be able to upgrade it...I'm not sure if you'll get full or half miles though, just let me....
MJSCHILL: PARDON!!! I booked this becasue your Sales rep said it was upgradeable!
PRESTIGE DESK: I apologize, this T-Fare is so new, and a lot of us don't completly know all the details yet. Let me call my supervisor.

tick, tock, tick tock....

PRESTIGEDESK: You're correct, the T-Fares are upgradeable, and you should expect full mileage credit.
MJSCHILL: Thank you for looking into it.

March 13, YYZ T-2 Rapidair-Montreal Desk, 8:00 AM

MJSCHILL: Hi, I have a T-fare seat on 404 at 9:00, and if there are seats available, I'd like to use a NA cert to upgrade please?
AC: I'm sorry sir, you need to have a Y or M ticket to upgrade.
MJSCHILL:
MJSCHILL: I BOUGHT THIS TICKET BECASUE YOUR PEOPLE SAID IT WAS UPGRADEABLE!!!!!!!
AC: Let me see your ticket please.
MJSCHILL:
AC: hmmmmm.....
AC: Just a moment, I'll call the helpline and see what they have to say.

tick, tock, tick, tock.

AC: I apologize Mr. Schilling, the fare is upgradeable, and we have lots of seats in J
MJSCHILL: (((((Did she just call me Mr. Schilling????)))))
AC: Mr. Schilling, just come down to the end of the desk, and I'll take care of you.
MJSCHILL: (((((She did call me Mr. Schiling))))
AC: Window or Aisle?
MJSCHILL: Window please...while your doing that, should I exp.... (interupted)
AC: I see your returning on 489 tomorrow at 3:30, I have you booked in 4F, so you won't have to explain or wait in Montreal tomorrow.
MJSCHILL: ((((COOL!!!!)))) Thank you very much, I appreciate it.

March 14th, Montrel Express Check-In Kiosk
MJSCHILL: [[[insert PRESITIGE card...cool 4F is there...TO THE LOUNGE, LET's DRINK!!!!]]]

Enter MLL across from Toronto Desk (Gate #1)

CRUSTY OLD LADY: Good Day, may I see your ticket?
MJSCHILL: [[[Gave ticket to crusty old lady]]]
CRUSTY OLD LADY: [[[looking down her nose, across her glasses]]] How were you expecting to upgrade this...its' a T-Fare?
MJSCHILL:
MJSCHILL: With a NA cert, just like I did yesterday.
CRUSTY OLD LADY: hmmmm....looks like there is a note on your file....hmmmm....well it looks like someone already called the help desk, so I uess I'll let this go.
MJSCHILL: (((((hmmm, these people really don't have a clue about their own policies)))) Thank you very much. [[[proceed to enter lounge]]]
CRUSTY OLD LADY: Excuse me, MR.SCHILLING
MJSCHILL: (((((hmmm...I think she's talking to me))))
CRUSTY OLD LADY: MR. SCHILLING, I'm very sorry, but as a Prestige member using an upgrade, it's against our policy for you to use the lounge. You'll have to wait in the gate area.
MJSCHILL: ((((Yep...she's talkin' to me))))
You're kidding me, right????
CRUSTY OLD LADY: No, I'm sorry but it is our policy.

I have a couple of closing thoughts and questions.

1) I have complete confidence that no AC employee can tell their nose from their ... hole at this point. This comment isn't a slap at the AC employees, because many of them throughout this ordeal were courteous and helpful (except for CRUSTY OLD LADY)... The slap is at management. No one in management has taken the time to train them properly on evolving corporate ticketing fares and policies.

2) You guys know more than anything....was CRUSTY OLD LADY correct in not allowing me to use the MLL, even though I had a boarding pass for J?

3) Q-Miles havn't posted yet....should I hold my breath for full mileage credit?
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Old Mar 14, 01, 6:27 pm
  #2  
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Well I think you should count your lucky stars as I didn't think T fares were upgradeable for Prestige?

T fares ARE upgradeable for Elite and SE.

Lounge access is restricted to Elite and SE and Maple Leaf card holders and Star Gold and paid business or first. I don't know why you should be upset at being denied entry. You do have to earn some of the privileges and it is not that hard to get there IMHO.

[This message has been edited by BlondeBomber (edited 03-14-2001).]
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Old Mar 14, 01, 6:32 pm
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While I agree that CRUSTY OLD LADY should have let you into the lounge (*if* it wasn't that full) for the sake of good customer service, the official policy is in fact that upgraded BPs don't give access to MLLs. In fact it even states this right on the upgrade cert.

CRUSTY OLD LADY was correct.
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Old Mar 14, 01, 6:49 pm
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Wow...talk about getting way too excited about a non-issue...

Dorian

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Old Mar 14, 01, 6:52 pm
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Perhaps they were getting excited about the crusty old lady?
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Old Mar 14, 01, 9:45 pm
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Whoa, back up, I don't think this is a non-issue, at least not to the individual facing the situation. The danger with being Elite or SE for so long is that you might have forgotten how crappy it is to be treated like crap! mjschill shouldn't have had to work so hard to get what he was entitled to ie. an upgrade on a T-fare. For lord's sake, they had to check it 4 times. Kudos to the employees that tried their best in the face of "lack of training" (except of course CRUSTY OLD LADY), but that doesn't excuse not providing your staff with the info they need in order to do a good job.
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Old Mar 14, 01, 10:24 pm
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But he was NOT entitled to an upgrade on a T-fare. Only Elite/SE members can upgrade a T-fare, not Prestige members - somehow they bent the rules anyways - he should be grateful for that.
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Old Mar 14, 01, 10:42 pm
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Just to clarify, as I think it got lost in my venting, was that when I bought the T-ticket, I bought it assuming that the AC rep who we spoke to would have told us accurate information, and that it would be consistant through any other AC personnel I spoke to.

If AC said it was upgradeable the first time, then that's the way it should be. Yes, I did in fact get the upgrades, but the level of inconsistancy throughout the AC employees is the most difficult and frustrating aspect to deal with.

The lounge....not a big deal. I paid $4 for my own beer at Moe's, and picked up a paper that was left at Gate 1B.
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Old Mar 15, 01, 9:04 am
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mjschill's main point is the consistency issue. He did ask AC initially for an upgradeable fare in good faith, and from his description it seems that the upgrades were also given in good faith. Even though the COL may have been following the correct policy, the situation should not have arisen in the first place. This seems to happen so many times that it's sometimes hard to know what is the correct policy.

The members of this board are at a significant advantage in that many people are very familiar with all of the fare rules. The average pax, especially one who does not travel every couple of weeks, has to rely on the airline to provide that information and does have a right to expect that all of the personnel know the rules. I don't recall whose upgrade was taken away a week or so ago, but that's just one more example of this kind of situation. I'm all for agent discretion, but I would like to know that they are not making their decisions because they don't know their own rules.
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Old Mar 15, 01, 9:39 am
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The first sentence printed on the front of the Prestige NA Upgrade Certificate appears under the heading Validity. It states:

For one-way upgrade from origin to destination (including connections) to Executive Class from Y or M booking class ...

Could this possibly be any clearer??
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Old Mar 15, 01, 10:36 am
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Am I missing something here? Were the TFLEX fares not created after the 2001 Certificates were likely printed? Hmmm...so what if it says only Y and M fares for Prestige - if the AC help desk says that Prestige may upgrade from T fares then I would think there must be some validity to this whole cause for concern. I, for one, continue to experience varying levels of service from AC in most areas, ranging from Aeroplan to check-in so perhaps someone should once and for all clarify the upgrade policy concerning the newer TFLEX fares in certain markets before jumping to conclusions...
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Old Mar 15, 01, 11:05 am
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That's a valid point, PointWeasel. I had forgotten about the T class not being mentioned on any of the coupons. However, the rule for Prestige upgrades seems clear that it applies only to unrestricted (Y/M) fares. T class is a discounted fare with restrictions, isn't it? I don't really see how anyone could think that T class could be upgradeable by Prestige.
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Old Mar 15, 01, 11:06 am
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I don't think the question is, "are T fares upgradable?" but rather, "for whom are T fares upgradable?"

My gut instinct would be that Prestige's cannot upgrade on T's--though I would be very pleased to see AC make some concession to them on that point.

However the lounge issue is cut and dried. No lounge access on upgrades.
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Old Mar 15, 01, 12:00 pm
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T fares are only upgradable with Elite or SuperElite North American U/G Certs. It is true that the certs currently say "Y,M,H,B,V", but there has been many efforts by the company to educate agents on the new T-flex fares...it's everywhere in the information systems and is very prominent in the new employee Aeroplan guide. If mjschill's TA was clear that he was calling on behalf of a Prestige member then there is no excuse for the AC agent not being clear that the fare was not upgradable for him.
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Old Mar 15, 01, 2:27 pm
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Alright, now that Secret Agent has told us that TFLEX fares are only upgradeable for SE or E we're better informed. I often think that Prestige members really do get the short end of the stick at times. BTW, Aeroplan experienced another computer 'glitch' this month relating to the "Prestige Bonus" of 2,500 miles for the first AC-designated flight taken after March 1st. Apparently, it was never programmed in for tracking by their techies! Unbelievable. Finally, after numerous calls from upset Prestige members they finally fixed it. What would Aeroplan do without members calling in to advise them of their mistakes?
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