AC Presence on FT

Old May 14, 14, 8:44 pm
  #61  
 
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Originally Posted by Ben Lipsey View Post

Also, and unfortunately, due to stronger privacy laws in Canada we are also not able to use the same system the American carriers do when they publish the names of on the upgrade list.

.
this is a bit of a red herring as all we want is the same method used at YYZ to see when our bags are cleared... and how did you reconcile privacy concerns when you give me no option but to put my name and/or address on our altitude tags?

a simple opt in would address the privacy issue. whether the mystique of upgrade processing ever is clear is another issue but don't hide behind privacy laws.
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Old May 14, 14, 9:01 pm
  #62  
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Welcome to your new role Ben.

Originally Posted by Ben Lipsey View Post
Also, and unfortunately, due to stronger privacy laws in Canada we are also not able to use the same system the American carriers do when they publish the names of on the upgrade list.
As entropy has pointed out, there are trivially easy ways to post upgrade lists without violating perceived privacy laws issues (which are often used as a convenient crutch to avoid doing things). Examples could include:
- posting 6 of the 9 digits of someone's AE number
- posting first 2-3 letters of first and last name
- posting first 3-4 digits of booking reference

Just sayin'
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Old May 14, 14, 9:04 pm
  #63  
 
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Originally Posted by canolakid View Post
this is a bit of a red herring as all we want is the same method used at YYZ to see when our bags are cleared... and how did you reconcile privacy concerns when you give me no option but to put my name and/or address on our altitude tags?

a simple opt in would address the privacy issue. whether the mystique of upgrade processing ever is clear is another issue but don't hide behind privacy laws.
Fully agreed. Frankly it doesn't matter who else is on an upgrade list, why not be able to log into the mobile app with AE number and it show just your wait list number, nothing else? I don't even need the first 3 letters of anyone's name but my own.

.... though of course we would need a functioning Android app for my suggestion to work.


Lots of ways to make it happen if they really wanted to.
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Old May 14, 14, 9:21 pm
  #64  
 
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Welcome Ben!

It is very nice to see AC trying to take a different approach, we only hope that this time it holds!

As AC777 said, we are fairly reasonable bunch, and most times we appreciate a straightforward and honest answer, even if we don't like it! Starwood lurkers could be used as great examples how such approach could be very helpful and appreciated!^^

All the best!

drumbo
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Old May 14, 14, 10:36 pm
  #65  
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Originally Posted by Ben Lipsey View Post
I hear you, and that's one of the reasons I'm here. I want to make sure that you guys know we do indeed hear what you are saying, but that doesn't mean we are always at liberty to give answers. I'm happy to help shed some light where I can, and if I can't I still want you to know that you've been heard.

Regarding your questions,
1) Upgrades. I know this is a contentious issue. It's been something asked on here ever since I first started lurking, and it's something I quickly made sure to understand when I first started here. That said, at present it's also something we aren't able to share. I know this may not sit well with many on here who may think we are being secretive, but I assure you we are not doing this to be enigmatic. Most of you understand the basic components: status, fare class, time of check in. The issue lies in that if we publish exactly how upgrades are processed we may end up limiting ourselves.

This could take many avenues: for example, in the future, if we want to change how the system works (not that we are planning anything; this is purely hypothetical), this would only foster ill will as customers who may have expected an upgrade are no longer at the top of the list. Or, it could lead to some frustration at the gate if a passenger believes he/she should get the last remaining seat but is instead trumped by someone else - a full J pax who missed an earlier flight, for example. There are several possibilities, but the point is that it just stands to cause irritation and aggravation to both our customers and our employees.

Also, and unfortunately, due to stronger privacy laws in Canada we are also not able to use the same system the American carriers do when they publish the names of on the upgrade list.

This may not have been the answer you were seeking, but I hope you can respect it nonetheless.
Thank you very much for that.

I'd like to provide an example of why some kind of transparency - whether it's a public upgrade list, or just a publicly disclosed algorithm - would be good.

I was waitlisted for a YUL-YYZ flight on an M fare, as a Super Elite. So certainly not bottom of any reasonable list.

I asked the gate agent about it, and he said he hadn't processed upgrades, but he'd call out names. A bunch of names were later called out, but they weren't all for upgrades. After he stopped calling names, I went up and asked again. "Oh, Mister Johnson?", as he starts to hand over a boarding pass. "No, I'm cow". "Oh, you didn't get it."

But I saw "E35K" on the boarding pass. The discussion got a little intense. The GA said "Maybe he had a full fare ticket", "He was number 1", etc. I ended up calling the concierge, and after she conferred with the GA, the answer was "the system screwed up, you should have been first, and it's too late to fix it now, because it would delay the flight". That wasted the time of myself, the GA, and the concierge, and left a really bitter taste in my mouth about buying a flight pass.

My strategy now is to go pester the check-in agent, MLL agent, or gate agent if I'm waitlisted, ensuring they know I'm a Super Elite, waitlisted, and if the system is saying something else, they should let me know so I can get the concierge involved. This is a giant waste of time for them and me, but it seems to be necessary. (Note: I have not done this yet, because that was the last time an upgrade of mine went to the gate).

Instead, if I could see that I'm #1 on the list, I could just sit down and wait, knowing I'm going to get it. Or if I know how the algorithm is supposed to work, I would at least feel better about making statements like "I should be at the top of the list".

I've missed three upgrades this year. One of them, I completely agree with. Another one was very annoying, but that situation has been rectified such that it can never happen again. But this one described above was not a pleasant experience.

So I'm not expecting you to change your mind from my post, but it would be nice if you could communicate to the right people that the current upgrade system simply does not always work, and leaves high status passengers on high fare tickets feeling cheated.
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Old May 14, 14, 11:40 pm
  #66  
 
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Welcome to your new identity, Ben. Glad to have you aboard in an official capacity. As others have said, I hope your seat belt is fastened, because there is plenty of pent up demand for your input, as you've already seen.

Since the E35s were downgraded I've pretty much given up any hope of an upgrade, so I won't say too much other than to point out that while publishing the protocol may (in your minds) limit your flexibility and make some people unhappy, the current situation is surely worse. At best it breeds suspicion and mistrust over how the list is managed, particularly when the evidence consistently suggests manipulation is happening.
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Old May 14, 14, 11:46 pm
  #67  
 
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Great to see that AC will take a more proactive role in the forum. Ben - your participation is welcome and needed. A brand's lack of consistent, open and timely participation leaves it vulnerable in today's times. With that said.....I don't quite get the rational behind the unwillingness of explaining the upgrade system. Explaining a process is not "limiting" and does not preclude making changes to it in the future (some advance warning is always helpful...a frequent concern raised in the forum). The upgrade system is potentially a great asset for AC....but too often it seems arbitrary and inconsistent and a source of frustration for many frequent travellers. Some great suggestions here to deal with Canadian privacy restrictions.
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Old May 15, 14, 12:23 am
  #68  
 
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Originally Posted by antirealist View Post
Mmmm... filled roll...
That's what happens when I post at the TPE lounge at 7:00 AM after a
4:45 AM wakeup call.
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Old May 15, 14, 1:32 am
  #69  
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Have to also agree on the transparency of the upgrade system. I appreciate you trying to give a good explanation but I feel whoever made those decisions did so in an era where asymmetrical information is the norm.

As a further datapoint: on one of my rapidair flights, I was waitlisted for an upgrade (on a Latitude fare) and was told by the gate agent that I did not clear because my fare class (Y) was not high enough . Upon boarding found 90% of the J cabin full of AC staff!

Now I realize its a short haul and didn't care to complain about it too much, but the marketing message/optics was very telling.

On WJ they even offer free beer/wine on rapidair routes, so from a commercial/competitive perspective, offering free bar drinks/snacks to Altitude members (who can't get upgraded because of the lack of transparency) can take the sting out of forking out a premium fare price for flying/staying loyal to AC. AA does this also for their top tier members and is highlighted as a decent consolation prize for having to fly in the back.
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Old May 15, 14, 2:28 am
  #70  
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Look forward to your posts Ben, for some of us its to late, UA system won the day.
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Old May 15, 14, 4:04 am
  #71  
 
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Welcome Ben,

Please ensure that AC will never again fly an TATL flight with no waters in the lavatories. My worst flight in more than 30 years of TATL travel on a wide set of carriers.

See http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/air-c...avatories.html

This should NEVER happen again.
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Old May 15, 14, 5:16 am
  #72  
 
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Talking

Something tells me Ben is not going to last long on this forum. The "wine" is just too bad!
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Old May 15, 14, 6:32 am
  #73  
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Originally Posted by SamCat View Post
Something tells me Ben is not going to last long on this forum. The "wine" is just too bad!
Did you mean "whine" ?
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Old May 15, 14, 6:43 am
  #74  
 
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Originally Posted by SamCat View Post
Something tells me Ben is not going to last long on this forum. The "wine" is just too bad!
Agreed :.
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Old May 15, 14, 7:45 am
  #75  
 
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Originally Posted by johnatDFW64 View Post
Here are some nice views of the Toronto and Winniped airports:

Toronto Pearson:
http://mapfin.blogspot.com/2014/04/t...l-airport.html

Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson:
http://mapfin.blogspot.com/2014/05/w...ichardson.html
those sites don't work.
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