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AC Top Tier status offers "complimentary" upgrades.... or does it?

AC Top Tier status offers "complimentary" upgrades.... or does it?

Old Jun 9, 11, 3:29 pm
  #1  
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AC Top Tier status offers "complimentary" upgrades.... or does it?

From here:

What privileges does Air Canada Top Tier status offer?

By qualifying for Top Tier status, you will be entitled to exclusive travel benefits and offers from Air Canada and other partners. These include:

* Complimentary upgrades to Executive First or Executive Class
* Complimentary Maple Leaf Lounge access for Super Elite and Elite members
* Star Alliance Gold or Silver status recognition on over 25 Star Alliance member airlines
* Priority airport and reservations services
* And much more

I can see how the last four items apply. However, I am intrigued by the concept of "complimentary" upgrades. If the upgrades were really "complimentary" in the way that the MLL access is, then we would get upgraded all the time and would not have to spend eUpgrade credits. Other than the exceedingly rare op-up, I would claim that this is an incorrect statement and that the upgrades are far from complimentary.

Comments?
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Old Jun 9, 11, 3:31 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by okazon69 View Post
From here:

What privileges does Air Canada Top Tier status offer?

By qualifying for Top Tier status, you will be entitled to exclusive travel benefits and offers from Air Canada and other partners. These include:

* Complimentary upgrades to Executive First or Executive Class
* Complimentary Maple Leaf Lounge access for Super Elite and Elite members
* Star Alliance Gold or Silver status recognition on over 25 Star Alliance member airlines
* Priority airport and reservations services
* And much more

I can see how the last four items apply. However, I am intrigued by the concept of "complimentary" upgrades. If the upgrades were really "complimentary" in the way that the MLL access is, then we would get upgraded all the time and would not have to spend eUpgrade credits. Other than the exceedingly rare op-up, I would claim that this is an incorrect statement and that the upgrades are far from complimentary.

Comments?
Ohhh don't get me started now!
Wish AC would change there policy regarding Comp Upgrade such as UA's.
EZESE is offline  
Old Jun 9, 11, 3:35 pm
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Do you really want complimentary upgrades?

Having flown both AC and UA, I think I prefer it the way it is. (Of course i would love to be upgraded a lot, who wouldnt?)

By allowing UDU on UA, they have cheapened the first class experience to the point that other than a little more wiggle room in the seat, there really is no difference compared to Y.
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Old Jun 9, 11, 3:36 pm
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I've never gotten an unsolicited upgrade on AC. Anytime I've ever sat up front, I've paid with cash, credits, or miles.

Has anyone gotten lucky here?
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Old Jun 9, 11, 3:45 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by EZESE View Post
Ohhh don't get me started now!
Wish AC would change there policy regarding Comp Upgrade such as UA's.
Not so sure about that. 95% of the time the J section is full anyway. So it would make little difference in most cases.

More importantly, just when domestic/NA J service has become decent again, surely this would result in a significant service deterioration.
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Old Jun 9, 11, 3:49 pm
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I once got an op-up from NRT-YVR (this was May of 2009). On this day- was a Monday- there was no flight #2 to YYZ, so flight 4 to YVR was oversold in Y. At boarding, I was handed a new boarding pass- seat 1A, which I took without any hesitation

I agree with the other poster about UA and UDU. I fly UA/CO/US a lot, and don't care for that policy, even though I often benefit from it on US. F (or really, J) on US is a joke. On a transcon you're experiencing the best they have to offer, and it is a mediocre meal, complimentary drinks, and a little bit extra wiggle room. Still sucks if the guy in front of you reclines. First class is really cheapened on these carriers, and IMHO they should just take a line from AC and call it "enhanced" economy.

I don't mind "paying" for my upgrades with eUpgrade currency or whatever. Now if I REALLY want a seat in J or F, I can also just pay for it Outside of actually paying for a better seat up front, I don't think anyone is really entitled to one for nothing. As much as I like a complimentary upgrade, don't get me wrong, it is still a privilege and not a right, no matter how often I fly.

Last edited by ACA321; Jun 9, 11 at 4:00 pm Reason: spelling
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Old Jun 9, 11, 3:52 pm
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Originally Posted by km101 View Post
Having flown both AC and UA, I think I prefer it the way it is. (Of course i would love to be upgraded a lot, who wouldnt?)

By allowing UDU on UA, they have cheapened the first class experience to the point that other than a little more wiggle room in the seat, there really is no difference compared to Y.
This is exactly right. UDU on AC would turn J into an uncatered, understaffed shell of its current enjoyable state.
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Old Jun 9, 11, 4:00 pm
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u sure their 'complimentary upgrades' doesnt mean their ecredits?
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Old Jun 9, 11, 4:10 pm
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Originally Posted by global_happy_traveller View Post
u sure their 'complimentary upgrades' doesnt mean their ecredits?
Think you're being a bit too literal. But you are correct.

The US domestic F product has long been debased but it is still better than coach (even with E+ on UA), so given that reality I take my automatic upgrade as a given when I buy a ticket on UA/CO as a 1K. I would not, however, want to see AC adopt this approach since I have enough eCredits to keep myself upgraded when flying AC and will have my 7-day window back next month to give me priority. Contradictory? Sure!
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Old Jun 9, 11, 4:16 pm
  #10  
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Originally Posted by phedre View Post
I've never gotten an unsolicited upgrade on AC. Anytime I've ever sat up front, I've paid with cash, credits, or miles.

Has anyone gotten lucky here?
Yep got luck 3 times on YYZ- and YUL-CDG and 4 times on HKG-YVR...^
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Old Jun 9, 11, 4:17 pm
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Originally Posted by Air Koryo View Post
This is exactly right. UDU on AC would turn J into an uncatered, understaffed shell of its current enjoyable state.
What source do you have that it would be turned into this way?
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Old Jun 9, 11, 4:27 pm
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Originally Posted by EZESE View Post
What source do you have that it would be turned into this way?
Reason. United as an example.
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Old Jun 9, 11, 4:30 pm
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Originally Posted by Stranger View Post
Reason. United as an example.
Not a valid example...NOT TRUE as someone would say!
UA and most airlines in the States business model is much different than AC's.
US allowed itself be be "watered down" in its quality and product offerings due to the near collapse of that Company. UA in the mid 90's early 2000 was an EXCELLENT airline with a great quality product.
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Old Jun 9, 11, 4:43 pm
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Originally Posted by EZESE View Post
Not a valid example...NOT TRUE as someone would say!
UA and most airlines in the States business model is much different than AC's.
US allowed itself be be "watered down" in its quality and product offerings due to the near collapse of that Company. UA in the mid 90's early 2000 was an EXCELLENT airline with a great quality product.
Right you are, as were many other US-based carriers. 9/11 happened, and since then, the playing field has been forever altered. We can't compare airlines or service of the mid-90s to what we have now. Today, United domestic first is no better than US's product. In my experience, CO is (or now, was) the only marginal leader. And it was really that, marginal. Mind you, this is excluding the premium F offerings from JFK-LAX/SFO etc. AFAIK, those are not available for UDU. The state of the airline industry is radically different in the USA (and the rest of the world really) since 9/11. The mere fact that US has brought back glassware in F on transcons is nothing short of a miracle. Don't get me started on UA's F service on their regional carriers (a recent flight from DEN-SMF comes to mind). Mainline is no better on short-medium haul segments. Forget any service besides a snack basket on flights departing after 8pm on either UA or US in F/J. AC certainly has an edge in J/C products here.
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Old Jun 9, 11, 5:19 pm
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If AC offered UDU to SEs only, it would put the SE programme back to where it was before the cuts.
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