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Updates on Air Canada Altitude: AQM & eUpgrades

Updates on Air Canada Altitude: AQM & eUpgrades

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Old Aug 19, 13, 2:39 pm
  #1  
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Updates on Air Canada Altitude: AQM & eUpgrades

Hi everyone

Later today, well be announcing some changes to the amount of Altitude Qualifying Miles youll earn when traveling with Air Canada, along with some updates about changes to eUpgrades coming next year.

More miles with many Air Canada fares

Starting tomorrow August 20 all members will earn more Altitude Qualifying Miles on many Air Canada fares:
  • Earn 25% Altitude Qualifying Miles when you purchase a Tango fare for travel within Canada on flights operated by Air Canada and Air Canada Express. Tango fares for travel across all other markets will remain at 50% Altitude Qualifying Miles.

  • Earn 125% Altitude Qualifying Miles when you purchase a Latitude or Premium Economy fare on all flights operated by Air Canada and Air Canada Express across our network.

  • Earn 150% Altitude Qualifying Miles when you purchase an Executive First or Executive Class fare on all flights operated by Air Canada and Air Canada Express across our network.

  • Earn Altitude Qualifying Miles when you purchase any fare including Tango fares, which previously earned non-qualifying Aeroplan Miles on flights operated by Air Canada rouge .

Note that this change will apply to all reservations, regardless of booking date, for travel effective tomorrow.

eUpgrade Add-ons

In order to preserve the sustainability of the eUpgrade benefit on overseas International flights, beginning March 2014, certain Altitude members will see the introduction of eUpgrade Add-ons. eUpgrade Add-ons are a supplementary payment, in addition to the required number of eUpgrade Credits that will apply as follows:
  • eUpgrade Add-ons will apply for Altitude Prestige 25K, Elite 35K, Elite 50K and Elite 75K members. Add-ons will also apply to the upgraded travel companions of members who hold one of those Altitude status levels. Add-ons will not apply for Super Elite 100K members or their companions.

  • eUpgrade Add-ons will apply only for travel on longhaul, international flights. Specifically, add-ons are applicable for travel between Canada and Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia and South America. Add-ons will not apply for travel within North America, including Sun destinations.

  • eUpgrade Add-ons will apply to upgrades from Flex fares. Add-ons will not apply to upgrades from Latitude or Premium Economy fares.

  • eUpgrade Add-ons will not change how you request an upgrade. As today, you will continue to be able to request an upgrade at aircanada.com/upgrade, through Air Canada Reservations or with an agent at the airport. Where applicable, however, you will be required to provide a credit card in order to pay for the add-on. Note that the credit card will only be charged if your upgrade is successful, and all charges will be processed in Canadian Dollars (CAD).

  • eUpgrade Add-ons will vary by market. The rate you pay will include any applicable taxes, and will be priced as follows:
    • Between Canada and Europe, the Middle East & South America: $500
    • Between Canada and Asia & Australia: $750
Other changes to eUpgrades

Also beginning in March 2014, a few additional changes to eUpgrades will take effect:
  • The eUpgrade Travel Companion benefit will be expanded, and will replace eUpgrade Nominees. On the day of departure, all Altitude members will now be able to upgrade one companion who is not travelling on the same reservation, as long as they are traveling on the same flight. This will give members more flexibility when upgrading companions who may not be traveling on the same reservation as them.

  • Altitude Super Elite 100K members will retain 2 eUpgrade Nominees. This will be in addition to the new expanded travel companion benefit.

  • eUpgrades with Aeroplan ClassicFlight Rewards will no longer be available. This benefit, currently exclusive to Super Elite 100K members, will be removed.
By allowing all members to earn Altitude Qualifying Miles with all Air Canada fares, and more AQM on our premium fares, we hope youll reach a higher Altitude status even faster.

Naturally we do not take these changes to the eUpgrade program lightly. However, in order to balance the challenging economics of offering an international eUpgrade privilege, we are striving to make changes that will allow us to continue offering this benefit, while also aligning ourselves competitively.

As some of you may note, the eUpgrade Add-on product is similar to what many other international carriers have introduced in connection with their mileage upgrade products. To that end, unlike in other frequent flyer programs, upgrades for Altitude members do not require the use of Aeroplan Miles, which instead can be reserved for use to purchase ClassicFlight Rewards. However, in order to sustain the delivery of Executive First service, we have introduced add-ons in addition to the number of eUpgrade Credits required.

Learn more about these changes here.
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Old Aug 19, 13, 2:42 pm
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Join Date: Dec 2007
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Wow. Didn't see that one coming.

Quite the enhancement. I'm going to look very carefully at my "Loyalty" now.
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Old Aug 19, 13, 2:50 pm
  #3  
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First of all, thanks for the advance notice! Even if its pretty bad news for most FFs, its good to have at least half a year advance notice.

The changes actually arent all that bad for SEs. But international upgrades have been effectively killed for non-SEs as paying Flex fares (which cost 2-3x as much as Tango fares) AND a $1000-$1500 r/t co-pay makes zero sense.

That being said, I like the new AQM earning structure which may encourage me to buy B or Z fares more often.
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Old Aug 19, 13, 2:50 pm
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Programs: AC*SE100K, SPG Gold
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Wow, I can see a lot of altitude members moving away from Air Canada because of this. This is a very dangerous move for Air Canada. It doesn't make sense, as the Flex fare differential to Asia is already about 800 dollars and on top of that you would have to pay for the upgrade. We might as well just pay for LMU.
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Old Aug 19, 13, 2:50 pm
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Join Date: Dec 2011
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I'm really not surprised, next phase of firing types of customers.

Probably make it a waste of money and effort to do a mileage run for anything but getting to 100K
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Old Aug 19, 13, 2:50 pm
  #6  
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From 4 to 2 nominees for SE? I always choose Mrs.acysb87 first and generally one "set" of young adult family.
Now I have to choose, disappointing
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Old Aug 19, 13, 2:51 pm
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Well that started good (with the AQM changes), but wow...

1. Do you really think it's a good idea to make these changes halfway through the year? I'm sure a lot of people would have credited miles differently if they knew this was coming. For example, UA, when introducing Premier Qualifying Dollars, announced them in 2013, and they are only required when collecting status in 2014 for the 2015 status year.
2. By eliminating nominees, you're only affecting the most lucrative customers. If I only buy Flex, and always upgrade myself, I don't nominate anyone. But if I always buy J, I never upgrade myself, and I can only nominate others.
3. I will need to think about this before making a final decision, but I had already been on the fence about switching to United. This is likely going to push me over.
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Old Aug 19, 13, 2:52 pm
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Join Date: Nov 2012
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If I am reading this correctly - As an E50K - If I purchase a Latitude or PE fare then the "add-on" gouging.. umm fee does not apply.
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Old Aug 19, 13, 2:58 pm
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Originally Posted by mromalley View Post
If I am reading this correctly - As an E50K - If I purchase a Latitude or PE fare then the "add-on" gouging.. umm fee does not apply.
That's correct.
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Old Aug 19, 13, 3:01 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
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No surprise here, but what is VERY annoying is the insufficient notice.

If this policy was planned for March 2014, then it should have been announced in the fall of 2012.

That way we could have decided where to direct our 2013 ticket purchases, either with AC or with another carrier / alliance.
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Old Aug 19, 13, 3:02 pm
  #11  
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"•eUpgrade Add-ons will vary by market. The rate you pay will include any applicable taxes, and will be priced as follows:"

Applicable taxes could equate to 1K if reward tickets are any indication. Clarification needed here

"The eUpgrade Travel Companion benefit will be expanded, and will replace eUpgrade Nominees."

SEs with Ecredits will be mobbed at airport

"•eUpgrades with Aeroplan ClassicFlight Rewards will no longer be available."

Darn,darn,darn. Was nice on a NA or sun destination basis.
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Old Aug 19, 13, 3:02 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Programs: AC SE100K; SPG Platinum (Lifetime Gold); HH Blue
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Wow

Just when you think that AC couldn't make it worse - it does. Un...bel..ievable.

Another stake in the heart of a FF program that was terminal to begin with.
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Old Aug 19, 13, 3:03 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
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Wow! is right.

Thanks AC Altitude for posting here.

I like the changes to the AQM.

Oevrall does not affect SEs much, but it is a painful hit to the other E levels, especially on the add-on.

Also, dilutes MM and 2MM programs as all upgrades later will require the 'add-on' once you drop from SE to guaranteed E50K.

Also, to the removal of the recently-added upgradability of classic flight rewards (I assume these are not included in the same-day upgradability for all Altitude members).
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Old Aug 19, 13, 3:07 pm
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Ah, the infamous co-pay. Twice.

Notwithstanding that Air Canada has often claimed, incorrectly, that they don't have a co-pay, they really did. The difference was that on other airlines you could request the upgrade and then only pay the co-pay when the upgrade cleared. With Air Canada you needed to pay the co-pay up front (in the form of much higher Tango+/Flex fares) and all you got was the risk of an upgrade.

Now you need to pay the non-refundable, up-front co-pay, regardless of whether or not you get an upgrade, and then pay another co-pay if the upgrade clears. Ta-da! The Double Co-Pay!

SE is certainly now worth a mileage run, or 17. For the price of about 10 Asia/Australia co-pays you could actually earn the 100K miles required for SE. I also see a lot of non-SE elites abandoning international upgrades altogether.

Which in the rational world should me more upgrade space available for SEs, but who are we kidding -- that ain't gonna happen.
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Old Aug 19, 13, 3:11 pm
  #15  
Moderator: Le Club Accorhotels
 
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Originally Posted by Plumber View Post
Also, dilutes MM and 2MM programs as all upgrades later will require the 'add-on' once you drop from SE to guaranteed E50K.
Indeed. Even though I earn 100k-150k status miles on AC metal each year, the MM benefits get "enhanced" faster than I can earn MM status, thereby eliminating any motivation to reach MM status. Im quite sure that when I reach MM status, only lounge access and possibly upgrades from B fares will be left.
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