Easiest AC routes to Asia for upgrades

Old May 18, 12, 5:18 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: YUL
Programs: AC SEMM, NEXUS
Posts: 858
Easiest AC routes to Asia for upgrades

Hi,

I have to take a last-minute trip to Shenzhen, China next week. Last time I did YUL-YYZ-HKG but I've heard everywhere this is probably the worst route in the whole system for upgrade availability.

I was chatting with a FA on the flight who told me the PVG or PEK routes are much easier to upgrade than HKG. I wouldn't mind doing that and then taking a CA flight to SZX if my upgrades chances, as slim as they might be as an E, are better than the ULH AC015/016...

What do you recommend? Should I go trough YYZ,YVR or even YYC? I originate in YUL. Travel dates May 24th - 1st June.

Thanks!
gabdusch is offline  
Old May 18, 12, 5:37 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 100
I am an E and I've cleared 3/3 of my international upgrades (PVG and NRT) this year. All are direct flights from/to YYZ. Also, all are mid-week flights so I guess that helped...
calligow is offline  
Old May 18, 12, 5:46 pm
  #3  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: YYZ
Programs: A3&O6 Gold,IC AMB & HH Diamond
Posts: 13,340
Hkg most difficult to upgrade. So like the other op said nrt pvg is easier
djjaguar64 is offline  
Old May 18, 12, 6:49 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: LHR
Programs: AC*SE
Posts: 203
Yvr - HKG on may 24 is J9 Z9 R2...looking very good for an upgrade
gesmith10 is offline  
Old May 19, 12, 12:34 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Canada
Programs: AC E50K (*G), Westjet Gold
Posts: 765
I've HEARD:

NRT is much easier than HKG

YYC-NRT is super easy

YYZ-HKG is the worst, up there with YVR-SYD and some of the YVR-YYZ and YYZ-LHR routes.

That being said, sometimes, good things happen! I got upgraded today on the YUL-YYZ portion of AC 833, the very last J seat....granted, the flight got cancelled, but stranger things, like upgrades for E's to J on HKG flights, do happen, I'm sure!
nave888 is online now  
Old May 19, 12, 2:18 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 172
Based on my experience (since my AC flights are 99% Asia commutes), YVR-HKG & YVR/YYZ-NRT are very easy. Can't speak for YYC-NRT, never taken it before. Don't touch YVR-PVG/PEK unless you have to. I have yet to score one on YVR-PEK and seldom on YVR-PVG. My guess is that those are operated by 763s and have significantly less J seats avail., and the mainland Chinese market is not hesitant to fork out some paper (or plastic?) for J.

Most likely you would connect via YYZ, so I would say NRT>PVG>PEK>HKG.
YVR would be HKG>NRT>ICN>PVG>PEK.

That's the climate for Asia IMO, but paying attention to the weather forecast (aka doing homework by checking flight availability and seat maps) is more important. A thunder storm might strike and you might be stuck in a 18 inch by 18 inch square cushion for 10+ hours!

Good luck.

Last edited by Jon X-Pacific; May 19, 12 at 2:25 am
Jon X-Pacific is offline  
Old May 19, 12, 3:53 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Programs: UA MP
Posts: 768
Originally Posted by Jon X-Pacific View Post
Don't touch YVR-PVG/PEK unless you have to. I have yet to score one on YVR-PEK and seldom on YVR-PVG. My guess is that those are operated by 763s and have significantly less J seats avail., and the mainland Chinese market is not hesitant to fork out some paper (or plastic?) for J.
I have very different experience with YVR-PVG AC25/26. Was 100% (4 out of 4) success during my two years as E. As an SE this year, it was 100% (5 out of 5) so far, and it looks like an excellent shot for my 6th upgrade on 5/21 back to YVR. All from T+ fare. [update: got my 6th upgrade on AC26 5/21 - cleared at T-2]

Yes 763s have fewer J seats, but the YVR-PVG city pair is a smaller market. Percentage wise a 763 has same % of seats in J (relative to total # of seats) as a 77W.

Last edited by g46r; May 19, 12 at 1:26 pm
g46r is offline  
Old May 20, 12, 1:49 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: YVR
Programs: AC*SE, SPG PLAT, National Executive
Posts: 1,511
Originally Posted by g46r View Post
I have very different experience with YVR-PVG AC25/26. Was 100% (4 out of 4) success during my two years as E. As an SE this year, it was 100% (5 out of 5) so far, and it looks like an excellent shot for my 6th upgrade on 5/21 back to YVR. All from T+ fare. [update: got my 6th upgrade on AC26 5/21 - cleared at T-2]

Yes 763s have fewer J seats, but the YVR-PVG city pair is a smaller market. Percentage wise a 763 has same % of seats in J (relative to total # of seats) as a 77W.
+1
Did YVR-PVG in April and there were 3(!) empty seats in J.
I have not seen such an empty J cabin on a 763 since the e-ups started.
mendy7511 is offline  
Old May 20, 12, 6:32 pm
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: YUL
Programs: AC SEMM, NEXUS
Posts: 858
Hey everyone,

First I just wanted to say thanks for the kind advice.

I finally booked YUL-YVR-HKG-YYZ-YUL this afternoon, at around T-100 from departure, and I got a confirmed upgrade for the YUL-YVR-HKG as soon as the window opened!

Really looking forward to my first international flight in J ever!

And for the return, wish me luck, I guess I'll try and change for the YVR flight later on as it's wide open (R9) right now (June 4th).
gabdusch is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread