Aeroplan SE vs. 1K

Old Oct 8, 01, 9:25 am
  #1  
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Aeroplan SE vs. 1K

I'm sure that this has been answered again and again on this board, but my search didn't turn anything up.

Here's my travel profile:

Currently UA 1K, based out of LHR
Travelling exclusively on discounted Y tickets.
50K UA long-haul (Atlantic & Pacific)
20K UA short-haul
20K BD European short-haul
15K LH European short-haul
15K other partner (OS short-haul, AC/BD long-haul)

My two biggest requirements in an elite programme are upgrades and lounge access.

Would I be better served as an AC Super Elite than I am as a UA 1K? My understanding is that int'l upgrades are more forthcoming on AC than on UA, and with my significant partner travel, I'd accumulate bonus miles more quickly. Presumably, most of my trans-atlantic business could easily be shifted to AC.

Do AC ever comp SE? Or would I have to settle for a comp at Elite and work my way back up?

What are your thoughts?

Thanks in advance
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Old Oct 8, 01, 10:13 am
  #2  
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About the only drawback for someone with your travel profile would be the lack of domestic UA threshold upgrades, though I believe these can be purchased. Beyond that, Aeroplan SuperElite strikes me as offering you more benefits than 1K does. You have identified the primary one: essentially unlimited, confirmable at booking, SWUs from most discounted fares, including intercontinental flights. [This also makes up for the lack of any award upgrades.] And from my understanding of fares, someone flying from the US to the UK, or the UK to the US, may actually save money with AC's mid-level Y and full Y and J fares, over those of the US carriers.

And the added bonus over UA is the fact that the STARGold lounge access wth AC would apply to UA's Red Carpet Clubs, even when you are travelling within the US on UA flights and have no ongoing, same day international flight. Even 1K does not give you that benefit, so you would be saving $300 or so on a RCC annual membership.

SuperElite has really been designed to meet the needs of intercontinental travellers like yourself.

AC, however, will not comp you with SE, of that I am almost certain. The UK sales office might consider giving you Elite as a starting point, but you'd still have to earn 100K next year to move up to SE. That said, if you requalify for 1K this year, you can have your initial flights for 2002 credited to AC, while making use of the SWUs you'd get with the UA 2002/3 renewal kit. [Elite is STARGold, so gives you most benefits except for the SW upgrades from almost any fare.]

Once you hit 100K next year, you will be upgraded to SE status, and receive the bounty of new benefits for the balance of 2002 and into the 2003/4 membership year.

So you will not be giving up too much next year to move across the Aeroplan.
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Old Oct 8, 01, 2:43 pm
  #3  
 
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Does AC offer transatlantic upgrades on Discount fares for SE?
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Old Oct 8, 01, 2:44 pm
  #4  
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Yes, SEs can upgrade on Y,M,B,H,V fares on all AC operated flights using systemwides upgrades.
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Old Oct 8, 01, 2:57 pm
  #5  
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It's Elites who can only upgrade internationally from full fare, which might be an issue for Matthew until he hits 100K.

That said, I agree with the other posters that AC would appear to be the more useful.

Naturally, all this is based on 2001 benefits, we won't know what 2002 benefits are until close to March 1/02. We go through this every year.

andrew
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Old Oct 8, 01, 4:54 pm
  #6  
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Andrew Webber:
It's Elites who can only upgrade internationally from full fare, which might be an issue for Matthew until he hits 100K.
</font>
Thanks, first of all, to everyone who responded. Valuable feedback which is certainly food for thought.

I don't anticipate flying AC longhaul until I've chalked up my requisite 100K miles and can sit comfortably in the front. I've got enough HK49s/SWU's that I should be able to sit in the front of UA planes for most of the time.

I don't suppose AC does SE "Challenges", does it? I've also found rumours of AC not comping Elite status to UA flyers -- a "non-poaching" clause in the *A agreement. Anyone been successfully comped from UA or other *G?

Many thanks again for your help!
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Old Oct 8, 01, 8:51 pm
  #7  
ALW
 
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We don't think any program comps highest level, but AC does in fact have a SE promotion on right now (they launched it before the September 11 attacks).

www.flyertalk.com/forum/Forum5/HTML/003346.html (see Geordie's reply part way down).

It doesn't sound like your travel patterns would be of use for this promo, but if you think it is, it would be worth enquiring of AC.

andrew
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Old Oct 8, 01, 8:56 pm
  #8  
ALW
 
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Missed this above, no one here has ever mentioned a SE challenge (although the promo I mentioned might be similar). I can see the logic of not comping UA flyers, although with Aeroplan spinning off as a separate company, and Mileage Plus starting to compete with Aeroplan in some areas, it might be do-able.

Can you use your upgrades on UA flights and still post to your AC account? (Or do you need your MP number on the reservation to do these things).

Which reminds me of a thought from before, if you're worried AC will change the benefits and make it not-worthwhile, can you not post your Jan/02 and Feb/02 flights to any program until you know the details, then mail in the boarding passes?

andrew
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Old Oct 8, 01, 10:18 pm
  #9  
 
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Andrew Webber:
Can you use your upgrades on UA flights and still post to your AC account? </font>
Ahem, aaahem, no comment, but I'm wriggling in my chair right now.
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Old Oct 8, 01, 11:03 pm
  #10  
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Can you use your upgrades on UA flights and still post to your AC account? (Or do you need your MP number on the reservation to do these things).</font>
If MatthewClement flies only transatlantic on UA, then it should be easy since he will be using UA SWU to upgrade and those upgrades does not require one to have any specific status. However, if the upgrade doesn't clear at time of booking, then he would need to have his 1K number in the reservation in order to get priority on the waitlist. Then he could always call back and change it to the AP #. He will also earn extra 25% in his AP account for being upgraded on UA!
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Old Oct 8, 01, 11:12 pm
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Or,,,, let it post to UAMP, then call UAMP to cancel the flight credit with the specific ticket#, then send original boarding passes\Passenger Ticket Receipt to Aeroplan for credit. UA has been consistently inconsistent lately, butchering beyond repair to say the least, and this suggestion seems to work best. (and no, can't double-dip)
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Old Oct 9, 01, 7:31 am
  #12  
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I have been told that once posted, you cannot have miles transferred to another program, though 8 years ago I was able to have some UA miles that misposted to UA rather than AC transferred to Aeroplan. I am sure it is more difficult now, so ensure either no FF program shows on the boarding pass, or the AC one is actually in the system rather than the UA one.

I recognize the non-poaching issue among STAR partners, but that's why I suggest contacting the UK sales office directly to make the request for comp Elite, and to explain it personally rather than relying on "normal channels".

Another possibility is that if AC's elite numbers really slip, and business is soft in the first quarter of 2002, there may be one of several Fast Track to Elite promos offered: either the double Q-miles we saw a variant of this past summer, or a required number of segments/flight miles to move up to Elite or even SElite, a favourite of AW's. Perhaps offering basic and Prestige the opportunity to become Elite for the balance of the 2002/3 benefits year if they travel 10K in the first three months of 2002, and for Elites to become SE if they fly 25K in the same quarter. Extension into 2003/4 would be based on normal mileage requirements.
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Old Oct 9, 01, 9:42 am
  #13  
 
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Shareholder:
I have been told that once posted, you cannot have miles transferred to another program </font>
My suggestion isn't to "transfer miles" from UA to AC (I wish at times it could be done thoughh) but rather, contact UA Mileage Plus, reference the flights which have posted to MP with a specific ticket #, advise MP to "cancel" the flight credit, then send boarding passes\ticket receipt to AC Aeroplan for flight credit. Admittedly, it has been a bear in my quest for AC status...Even if my AC number is on the boarding passes, some flights are still being credited to UA instead of AC.
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Old Oct 9, 01, 10:18 am
  #14  
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by crankyusi:
My suggestion isn't to "transfer miles" from UA to AC (I wish at times it could be done thoughh) but rather, contact UA Mileage Plus, reference the flights which have posted to MP with a specific ticket #, advise MP to "cancel" the flight credit, then send boarding passes\ticket receipt to AC Aeroplan for flight credit. Admittedly, it has been a bear in my quest for AC status...Even if my AC number is on the boarding passes, some flights are still being credited to UA instead of AC.</font>
Taking this to the extreme, I wonder if I could cancel all of the flights I take this year, have them re-credited to my AC Aeroplan account instead, and qualify for AC SE rather than UA1K this year?

Likelihood of success?

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Old Oct 9, 01, 11:19 am
  #15  
 
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Well, currently USA and Great Britain appear to be best friends in other activities, and Canada is there too, so, yes, it should work.
The worst that can happen is we get banned to OneWorld.
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