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The 2013 Air Canada Top Tier Program

The 2013 Air Canada Top Tier Program

Old Dec 22, 11, 10:06 am
  #1  
No longer with Air Canada
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 88
The 2013 Air Canada Top Tier Program

Hi everyone,

As Andrew mentioned yesterday, we’ve created Air Canada Top Tier to ensure that many of our most engaged members are kept informed about Air Canada’s key products, and particularly our loyalty programs. Additionally, we’ll be jumping in from time to time to clear up confusion or misinformation. While we won’t be posting everyday necessarily, we will keep an eye on what’s under discussion.

Later today, all of you will be receiving an e-mail announcing changes planned for the 2013 Air Canada Top Tier Program. As the program includes the introduction of new tier levels and the realignment of some benefits, we are announcing the key benefit changes a year in advance to ensure that there’s no major surprises come later next year.

To that end, for the sake of clarity, take note that these changes apply to the 2013 Top Tier benefit year beginning March 1, 2013, and do not impact the 2012 benefits that we announced last week.

The 2013 Top Tier Program, which will feature two new tier levels, and has been redesigned to better recognize and reward our customers in line with their travel frequency.

Here are some of the highlights of the 2013 Air Canada Top Tier Program for each of the five tier levels. As in previous years, the qualification levels below will be achieved based on your eligible 2012 flights with Air Canada and Star Alliance member airlines:

  • Members earning 25,000 Status Miles or 25 Status Flight Segments will enjoy 2013 Top Tier benefits similar to those enjoyed by members who’ve achieved Prestige for the 2012 Top Tier Program

  • Members earning 35,000 Status Miles or 35 Status Flight Segments will notice changes to their 2013 Top Tier benefit program as compared to the 2012 Top Tier Program:
  • Star Alliance Gold recognition will be replaced by Star Alliance Silver. Members, however, will be able to choose Star Alliance Lounge access as a Select Privilege
  • Upgrades with eUpgrade Credits will apply on Tango Plus and Latitude fares for travel in North America, and Latitude fares (as well as Tango Plus, M booking class) for travel to international destinations
  • Members will continue to enjoy many Air Canada Priority Airport and Reservation services, complimentary access to Maple Leaf Lounges, three complimentary checked bags on Air Canada flights, Bonus Aeroplan Miles for eligible flights as a Select Privilege, and more
  • Members will be able to achieve new levels of recognition with the introduction of two additional tiers:
  • Members earning 50,000 Status Miles or 50 Status Flight Segments will enjoy the 2013 Top Tier benefits earned at 35,000 Status Miles, as well as:
  • A higher upgrade priority
  • Upgrades with eUpgrade Credits which apply on Tango Plus and Latitude fares system-wide
  • Additional eUpgrade Credits
  • Star Alliance Gold recognition
  • Members earning 75,000 Status Miles or 75 Status Flight Segments will enjoy the 2013 Top Tier benefits earned at 50,000 Status Miles, along with:
  • A higher upgrade priority
  • An accelerated earning of Bonus Aeroplan Miles for eligible flights as a Select Privilege
  • Additional eUpgrade Credits
  • An exclusive Threshold Program
  • Members earning 100,000 Status Miles or 95 Status Flight Segments will enjoy 2013 Top Tier benefits similar to those enjoyed by members who’ve achieved Super Elite for the 2012 Top Tier Program
To view more program details, click here.

For some of the key frequently asked questions, click here.

As you can no doubt imagine, these were not easy decisions for the team at Air Canada to make, and it took us months to identify the right tier levels and associated benefits. This new program reflects the best possible way that we can make the Top Tier program both highly competitive, but also economically sustainable for the coming years.

Over the course of 2012, you’ll be hearing from us about other improvements (“improvements,” not “enhancements”) to the program, including some new and exciting benefits currently in the works. Also, we will be unveiling the names of the new tiers.

To stay up to date in the meantime, remember that the latest program details will always be posted at aircanada.com/toptier2013.

Furthermore, we encourage those of you on Twitter to follow us @ACTopTier .

As always, thanks for your loyalty to Air Canada, and happy holidays!
Air Canada Altitude is offline  
Old Dec 22, 11, 10:42 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: YWG
Programs: SEMM,SPG Plat
Posts: 304
Very curious as to what the new names will be, Looks like a nice structured tier, but I am sure not everyone will be pleased.
Ziptie is offline  
Old Dec 22, 11, 10:46 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: LHR
Posts: 441
Firstly, I'm glad to see that AC is back and posting on this forum, they've been quiet lately.

Secondly, it will take a while to figure out what this actually means. For one, will lounge access be a selected benefit for all of the new levels or just for those earning 35,000. The way I read it you have to be SE to get lounge access as a default without having to select it.
huntk is offline  
Old Dec 22, 11, 10:49 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Toronto, ON
Programs: AC E35K
Posts: 4,938
Originally Posted by huntk View Post
Firstly, I'm glad to see that AC is back and posting on this forum, they've been quiet lately.

Secondly, it will take a while to figure out what this actually means. For one, will lounge access be a selected benefit for all of the new levels or just for those earning 35,000. The way I read it you have to be SE to get lounge access as a default without having to select it.
That's not what I infer at all.

The 35,000 level retains MLL benefits and therefore all levels higher do as well, but *A lounge status can be choosen as a benefit - which makes sense as *S don't have lounge access normally. The 50,000 level and up are *G, so therefore have *A lounge access along with MLL access.
ChrisA330 is offline  
Old Dec 22, 11, 10:55 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Quebec and Ontario, Canada
Programs: AC*E50, SPG/Marriott Plat
Posts: 1,694
Thanks for posting !
At least, it makes things clear, if you don't expect to earn 50 000 miles, it doesn't worth to credit to AE anymore...
Yul_voyager is offline  
Old Dec 22, 11, 10:56 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: YVR
Programs: AC S100K, Bonvoy Titanium
Posts: 4,352
Altogether this looks promising, assuming the upcoming improvements are just that. I like that there's actually some recognition between those that fly between 35,000 and 100,000 miles. No international upgrades anymore for 35k on regular T+, but lounge access is for the most part retained.

Some clarity on the following would be appreciated:

-Will the MLL & *Alliance lounge benefit for 35k include a guest?

-Number of nominee spots open for each tier?

-Confirmation that the e-credit structure (# credits for flights/fare class) will not increase.

-Hopefully the upgrade window for each tier will be separated by # days (i.e. 2, 3, 4, 5, 7) so members don't have to compete right down to the minute.


Suggestions for future improvements:

- The bonus Aeroplan miles in this year's bundle 2 were a bit underwhelming. If you can't offer status miles, replace it with something more meaningful - i.e. a 20% discount code valid for the year, or 2 free changes per year etc.

- More clarity around IKK. If you're going to restrict international J the way it's been, then offer the ability to get around it either once a year, or with a miles premium for busy routes.

- Allow SEs to use international IKK for their nominees in addition to immediate family.

- Priority rewards for new Elite/50k in Y without the 100% premium.

- Allow 75k and 100k tiers to do same day airport changes/standby for free.

- Free bag(s) for pax travelling on the same PNR as 35k+ (United has offered this for years).

- 25% COS bonus for Latitude.

- 1 year shelf life for e-credits based on posting date

- With the U.S. programs, even the lowest fares get 100% status miles. Reconsider Tango mileage accumulation.

- Allow Executive & SE to board before 35k+ and *Gold at the gate.

- Naming - don't get rid of 'Super Elite' for the top tier! Maybe Prestige, Prestige+, Elite, Elite+, Super Elite?

Last edited by yvr76; Dec 22, 11 at 12:22 pm
yvr76 is offline  
Old Dec 22, 11, 11:09 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: YWG
Programs: AC Elite, SPG Plat
Posts: 643
I am not trilled as I average 40,000 miles and 40 segments. I did make it to 50,000 miles this year, but I will not always. Sounds like the 50,000 level is much like current Elite. Would have been nice to see bit more offered here.
jnswinnipeg is offline  
Old Dec 22, 11, 11:14 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Programs: AC.SE
Posts: 2,555
Originally Posted by Ziptie View Post
Very curious as to what the new names will be, Looks like a nice structured tier, but I am sure not everyone will be pleased.
My guess: Prestige, Prestige+, Elite, Elite+, Super Elite. Makes rebranding much easier .
ylwae is offline  
Old Dec 22, 11, 11:17 am
  #9  
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: YYZ
Programs: AE SE, SPG Plat, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 1,867
I would have liked to see a level above SE, kind of like Delta did.To have two tiers in between E and SE makes no difference since for the foresseable future, I will be at 200,000 status miles a year or so. Why not have a higher tier for the 150k fliers with upgrade windows 10 days out and guaranteed J seats when available, free drinks in economy amongst other perks.
I have been anticipating these changes for a week now and losing sleep every day thinking about how will they improve the plan for their best pax...looks like nothing changes for SE's, but the bottom feeders are thrown a bone. Congratulations to all the 51k mile Elite's, you've just moved up in the world......
Z-man is offline  
Old Dec 22, 11, 11:18 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Canada
Programs: AC
Posts: 1,598
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (BlackBerry; U; BlackBerry 9780; en-GB) AppleWebKit/534.8+ (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/6.0.0.666 Mobile Safari/534.8+)

So now it's got me wondering if there will be an 'Elite' tier and if so which one it will be and what that means for MM fliers?
CdnFlier is offline  
Old Dec 22, 11, 11:19 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: YYZ
Programs: AC*E
Posts: 4
I travel for vacation only and average 35k +/- 5 for the past5 years. Whenever I was short, I'd do a mileage run to get Elite.

I'm sure many will complain but I think the change is required. I find it hard to get upgrades, so I can imagine how frustrating it is for people that fly all the time. I personally think the value I get out of Elite is really high (especially the international upgrades of which I had 3 so far this year) hence the mileage runs.

I hope priority seating stays. That will keep me with Air Canada for sure just so I can pick the bulkhead seats.

Overall I think it's a fair move.
superabe is offline  
Old Dec 22, 11, 11:20 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: NYC
Programs: AA GLD, AC
Posts: 2,485
I have to look at the changes more closely, but at first glance I tend to agree with YUL_voyager. I think I may be looking to accrue miles with United going forward, as I'm not sure that I'll be able to accrue 50,000+ status miles on Star carriers. I sought out AE status for the lounge access and for the international upgrades, and from this email it appears that both those perks will be cut. I'm not pleased.

Also, how does AE plan to offer Star Alliance lounge access as an optional perk? If I'm not mistaken, the lounge attendants require you to show elite status on your boarding pass and/or a Star Gold card. Will AE issue Star Silver cards with an asterisk or something? It seems like this kind of a change would cause problems when trying to access other airlines' lounges...
M60_to_LGA is offline  
Old Dec 22, 11, 11:22 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Body in YYZ, heart in YYG
Programs: airlines and hotels and rental cars - oh my!
Posts: 2,313
I'm pleased to see the additional tiers at 50k and 75k, because at present, there is no difference between someone flying 36,000 miles a year and someone else flying 90,000. That's not right.

I would agree these new levels should be afforded more of an upgrade window than the existing 4 days for 35k (5 days and 6 days respectively sounds fair, with SE / 100k retaining a 7 day window).

Overall, it looks good. Thanks AC, and it is nice to see the renewed participation on this forum.

Last edited by Symmetre; Dec 22, 11 at 11:35 am Reason: fixed a typo
Symmetre is offline  
Old Dec 22, 11, 11:23 am
  #14  
7E7
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: YEG
Programs: AC*E75
Posts: 884
What about early status recognition?

Only achieved P for 2012 and chose not to do a MR as I knew I would hit E criteria early in 2012. Right now I will have the 35+ segments by March. Will there be early recognition for the new "35" level? Or the "50" level later in the year?

Overall it does seem to be not unreasonable, would prefer to be able to use the eupgrades an all tango plus with the new "35" level.

Will the use of eupgrades for the "25" and "35" levels include sun destinations for tango plus fares as is in the 2012 program?

Just received the email.
7E7 is offline  
Old Dec 22, 11, 11:24 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Barrie, ON
Programs: AC*SE, Marriott Platinum, SPG Platinum, Fairmont Platinum
Posts: 298
Looks very similar to the new UA MP structure. I actually like it... and if they have real "improvements" it would be enough for me to come back. I like the fact that they announced all this so far in advance.
BarrieTravelGuy is offline  

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