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Important updates to Air Canada Altitude in 2015

Important updates to Air Canada Altitude in 2015

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Old Nov 27, 15, 12:42 am   -   Wikipost
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Important updates to Air Canada Altitude in 2015 23 October

This afternoon, we will be announcing changes to certain elements of Air Canada Altitude in 2015, as well as new features to the program.

Minimum Air Canada Flight Requirement
The Minimum Air Canada Flight Requirement to reach Altitude status for 2016 is increasing. To qualify for Altitude status in 2016, the following Minimum Air Canada Flight Requirement will need to be met:
• Prestige 25K: 12,500 AQM /12 AQS
• Elite 35K: 17,500 AQM /17 AQS
• Elite 50K: 25,000 AQM /25 AQS
• Elite 75K: 37,500 AQM / 37 AQS
• Super Elite 100K: 50,000 AQM / 47 AQS
The new MFR will not impact qualification for Altitude 2015.

500 Mile Minimum
For travel as of March 1, 2015, mileage accrual will no longer be rounded up to a 500 Mile minimum. Miles earned will be based on the distance flown and the fare option purchased for flights operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Express, Air Canada rouge and Star Alliance™ member airlines.

eUpgrades to Business Class
For eUpgrade requests made on or after March 1, 2015, the number of eUpgrade Credits required to upgrade is increasing. The number of eUpgrade Credits you can earn through the Threshold eUpgrades program is also changing. These changes were made following a thorough benchmarking of the upgrades practices of other major international airlines who often limit international upgrades solely to their highest membership tier, and often severely limit the number of upgrades a member may request over the course of a year.

We will also be expanding the “high Flex” eligibility category to include the “U” and “H” booking classes on the Domestic, Transborder and Sun markets, as well as the “U” booking class on International markets. The inclusion of these booking classes within the ‘higher Flex’ eligibility category actually decreases the number of credits required to upgrade flights on certain markets when compared to 2014.

For eUpgrade credit requirements as of March 1, 2015, visit: http://www.aircanada.com/en/aeroplan...e/updates.html

eUpgrades to Premium Economy
In early 2015, you will be able to access the comfort of Premium Economy using eUpgrade Credits, when upgrading from an eligible fare. eUpgrade Add-ons will not apply for these upgrades.

eUpgrade Nominees
Beginning March 1, 2015, Altitude Super Elite™ 100K members will be entitled to share their eUpgrade privileges with one eUpgrade Nominee. Members will maintain their ability to share their eUpgrade privileges with Travel Companions.

Priority Boarding
In early 2015, a new streamlined boarding process will be introduced to ensure that you get even more out of the Priority Boarding privilege.

Complimentary access to International Maple Leaf Lounges and Star Alliance Business Lounges
As lounge occupancy grows, many of our lounges are at capacity levels. And while we continue to invest in many lounge expansion projects, the reality is that in many locations, additional space is simply not available. At the same time, benchmarking shows us that our eligibility polices are still over-indexed as compared to many of our competitors. In particular, access to lounges is not a privilege offered by most international airlines at the 35,000 qualifying miles level. We have therefore modified our policy whereby Elite 35K members will continue to have access to Maple Leaf Lounges located in the domestic and trans-border departure zones, as well as those in Los Angeles and New York (LaGuardia). However access to International Maple Leaf Lounges or Star Alliance Business lounges will no longer be available as a Select Privilege. Instead, an option to purchase a Maple Leaf Club membership will be introduced with a 50% discount.

Priority Rewards
In order to maintain the integrity of the Priority Reward privilege for eligible Altitude members, Priority Rewards will be limited to ten (10) reservations (with up to 9 passengers each) per member per benefit period, beginning March 1, 2015. While a thorough analysis has indicated that this change will not impact the vast majority of members (over 95%), it will allow us to maintain a benefit which we know is widely appreciated.

Flight Rewards for Premium Economy
In early 2015, you will be able to redeem Aeroplan miles for seats in the Premium Economy cabin on Air Canada. Details will be coming soon.

Fuel Surcharge on Flight Rewards & Flight Reward change fee waivers
For reservations made as of March 1, 2015, the fuel surcharges on ClassicFlight rewards for travel within Canada and between Canada and the U.S. will be waived for all Altitude members (ie. 25K and higher) . This is applicable on flights operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Express and Air Canada rouge.

At the same time, Aeroplan Flight Reward change fee waivers for Super Elite 100K members will no longer be available for changes made on or after March 1, 2015. However, the fuel surcharges on ClassicFlight Rewards for travel between Canada and international destinations will be waived for Super Elite 100K members on flights operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Express and Air Canada rouge.

For a complete list of details regarding these changes, visit http://www.aircanada.com/en/aeroplan...e/updates.html

New REVISED REVISIONS to the Altitude Program (Oct 31 email)

=============
Last week, changes to Air Canada Altitude™ for 2015 were announced. As always, we’ve been listening to your feedback and will be adjusting certain elements of the program accordingly.

Threshold eUpgrades
The amount of eUpgrade Credits offered through the Threshold eUpgrade program will increase. As of 100,000 Altitude Qualifying Miles or 100 Altitude Qualifying Segments, 20 eUpgrade Credits will be awarded for every 40,000 AQM or 40 AQS flown.

eUpgrade Validity Date
eUpgrade Credits earned on or after November 7, 2014 will be valid until February 29, 2016.
Additionally, eUpgrade Credits earned on or after November 1, 2015 will be valid until February 28, 2017.

Mile Minimum
For travel from March 1, 2015 onwards, all Altitude members will earn a minimum of 250 miles on flights operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Express and Air Canada rouge as well as Star Alliance™ member airlines.

Minimum Air Canada Flight Requirement
For non-Canadian residents, the Minimum Air Canada Flight Requirement needed to reach Altitude status in 2016 will be 50% lower than the recently published Minimum Air Canada Flight Requirement.
These changes are representative of Air Canada’s focus on recognizing our most valued and important members. We remain committed to offering you one of the best frequent flyer programs in the industry.

Air Canada
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Old Dec 10, 14, 6:51 am
  #3586  
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Originally Posted by SparseFlyer View Post
I read that as "upgrades and lounge use of their prima casa product"
Haha. Good one. autocorrects at work....
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Old Dec 12, 14, 11:07 am
  #3587  
 
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Predicting drop in top-tier customer revenue for ac

With 99% of the responses to the changes coming in AIR CANADA ALTITUDE in 2015 being very negative it's easy to predict AC will see a drop in revenue from their biggest individual customers. So many choices in the long-haul business nowadays. Like many of my peers who travel a lot finding time to post on a blog is hard to find. This latest announcement by AC to drastically reduce opportunities to upgrade was the final straw.

Many AC customers often post that AC is better than the US airlines. Just like flying on AC, travel life changes if you move your status there. Just to compare with the US carriers so many AC loyal customers often say are worse:

AA: multiple opportunities for international upgrade including using miles. Unlimited comp upgrades for Exec Platinum on domestic flights. New planes and upgraded lounges phasing in over the next 24 months.

United: multiple opportunities for international upgrade including using miles. Unlimited comp upgrades for multiple FF tiers on domestic flights. They are going to a tier by revenue model. Not great, but for customers like me not a deterrent.

Delta: multiple opportunities for international upgrade including using miles. Unlimited comp upgrades for multiple FF tiers on domestic flights.They are going to a tier by revenue model. Not great, but for customers like me not a deterrent.

International:
Cathay, Luthansa, Malaysia, BA, Singapore, EVA, Virgin, etc: Far superior service in all classes and upgrade programs. Usually comp for the top tiers. Much better lounges.

Emirates: No one comes close to this palace in the sky but this isn't fair to compare.

BTW: Keep an eye on Westjet. New top tier program is here--a key step toward joining Oneworld or Skyteam.


Reduced service, even parity with others only prompts us to look elsewhere in January. Great time of year to flip and build status in time to roll into a new program .


--AC MMSE
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Old Dec 12, 14, 11:11 am
  #3588  
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Originally Posted by AC MMSE View Post
With 99% of the responses to the changes coming in AIR CANADA ALTITUDE in 2015 being very negative it's easy to predict AC will see a drop in revenue from their biggest individual customers.
Welcome to FT...
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Old Dec 12, 14, 11:18 am
  #3589  
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Originally Posted by yyznomad View Post
Welcome to FT...
+1
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Old Dec 12, 14, 11:58 am
  #3590  
 
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Originally Posted by AC MMSE View Post
Emirates: No one comes close to this palace in the sky but this isn't fair to compare.
Actually, quite fair to compare. AC is ostensibly gutting its FFP in order not to "cheapen" it's premium cabins, which it fancies will compete with the likes of EK. If they want to benchmark to EK, so be it. I have an inkling of who's going to win.
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Old Dec 12, 14, 12:03 pm
  #3591  
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Originally Posted by AC MMSE View Post
With 99% of the responses to the changes coming in AIR CANADA ALTITUDE in 2015 being very negative it's easy to predict AC will see a drop in revenue from their biggest individual customers.
Not around here. Quite a few complained, cried, and then went right back to flying AC. You underestimate the stockholm syndrome like power that AC has over some people, the fear of the unknown is great.

You present great alternatives, but few will actually explore them, its much easier to stick with what you know.
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Old Dec 12, 14, 12:07 pm
  #3592  
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Originally Posted by rankourabu View Post
Not around here. Quite a few complained, cried, and then went right back to flying AC. You underestimate the stockholm syndrome like power that AC has over some people, the fear of the unknown is great.

You present great alternatives, but few will actually explore them, its much easier to stick with what you know.
it takes a bit of time. And as I pointed out before, getting onto international carriers from secondary cities in Canada can be quite a self-defeating exercise.
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Old Dec 12, 14, 12:27 pm
  #3593  
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Originally Posted by rankourabu View Post
Not around here. Quite a few complained, cried, and then went right back to flying AC. You underestimate the stockholm syndrome like power that AC has over some people, the fear of the unknown is great.

You present great alternatives, but few will actually explore them, its much easier to stick with what you know.
I think this is a bit uncalled for. Many of us rationally explored the options (I even did math on FT). Ultimately, the value that AC provides is still marginally more than WS. (those of us stuck in domestic travel). In that case, an emotional answer is "F U AC, i'm going to WS". A logical answer is if Company A is still giving me more value than Company B, then i'll go with Company A. - something I suspect most of us have logically tried to calculate.
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Old Dec 12, 14, 12:33 pm
  #3594  
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Originally Posted by superangrypenguin View Post
I think this is a bit uncalled for. Many of us rationally explored the options (I even did math on FT). Ultimately, the value that AC provides is still marginally more than WS. (those of us stuck in domestic travel). In that case, an emotional answer is "F U AC, i'm going to WS". A logical answer is if Company A is still giving me more value than Company B, then i'll go with Company A. - something I suspect most of us have logically tried to calculate.
And that's why you were among the first to status match to WestJet? Because you're sticking with AC?
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Old Dec 12, 14, 12:35 pm
  #3595  
 
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Originally Posted by superangrypenguin View Post
I think this is a bit uncalled for. Many of us rationally explored the options (I even did math on FT). Ultimately, the value that AC provides is still marginally more than WS. (those of us stuck in domestic travel). In that case, an emotional answer is "F U AC, i'm going to WS". A logical answer is if Company A is still giving me more value than Company B, then i'll go with Company A. - something I suspect most of us have logically tried to calculate.
I think rankourabu's comment is actually pretty spot on in one sense. I took it as less directed to the people like you who said you'd consider alternatives, but to the many many who took a similar position to "thats it, F U AC, I'm done" who will almost certainly still be on the Aeroplan forum come 12 months from now. People can't help themselves to ***** like there's no tomorrow (valid or not, like the completely ridiculous cheapening J BS myth which is still going around) about products but keep on buying them.

If people don't have the will power to actually leave AC or they are bluffing that they'll leave, I don't think it is because of any unique stockholm syndrome to an airline. Everyone is doing the math and despite what they publicly claim here, AC's program is still better than WS's (counting lounge passes, lol).
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Old Dec 12, 14, 12:35 pm
  #3596  
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Originally Posted by kwflyer View Post
And that's why you were among the first to status match to WestJet? Because you're sticking with AC?
Last post before I put you on the ignore list. It was offered by WS, i'd be silly not to status match as it a) gives me an advantage if I have to fly WS for whatever reason next year and b) at my time of the 5 stages of grief, it felt good to status match to what I had previously considered, my mortal enemy. Many people on FT have status matched, and come back to AC once the emotions cleared the air and logic kicked in. Have a nice day!
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Old Dec 12, 14, 12:37 pm
  #3597  
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Originally Posted by winnipegrev View Post
I think rankourabu's comment is actually pretty spot on in one sense. I took it as less directed to the people like you who said you'd consider alternatives, but to the many many who took a similar position to "thats it, F U AC, I'm done" who will almost certainly still be on the Aeroplan forum come 12 months from now. People can't help themselves to ***** like there's no tomorrow (valid or not, like the completely ridiculous cheapening J BS myth which is still going around) about products but keep on buying them.

If people don't have the will power to actually leave AC or they are bluffing that they'll leave, I don't think it is because of any unique stockholm syndrome to an airline. Everyone is doing the math and despite what they publicly claim here, AC's program is still better than WS's (counting lounge passes, lol).
I think it's fair to say that people just don't like change And a ton of change happened recently with the 2015 devaluations.
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Old Dec 12, 14, 12:41 pm
  #3598  
 
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No question, AC is euthananizing the program at an accelerating rate. Oh well.

But I think calling the unwillingness of the masses to drop AC "Stockholm Syndrome" is wrong. There is a massive sampling bias in projecting how AC is doing with this changes overall, based on the "99% unhappiness" in this thread.

As I said many pages ago, this year's changes land very differently for different types of "good" customers. As an SE mostly flying the Rapidair triangle, I am mostly OK with worsening the eUp product while eliminating YQ, and I know people like me (they're not mad and aren't inclined to post).

They will no doubt come after my flying habits and spending pattern in due course, at which point I will consider other options. But I think I am part of a large cohort that is OK, for the moment.
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Old Dec 12, 14, 12:42 pm
  #3599  
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Originally Posted by superangrypenguin View Post
Last post before I put you on the ignore list. It was offered by WS, i'd be silly not to status match as it a) gives me an advantage if I have to fly WS for whatever reason next year and b) at my time of the 5 stages of grief, it felt good to status match to what I had previously considered, my mortal enemy. Many people on FT have status matched, and come back to AC once the emotions cleared the air and logic kicked in. Have a nice day!
Didn't you say were going to do that 6 months ago? If you don't like FTers challenging your contradictory viewpoints you can find that button here.

It's one thing to to status match to Westjet to explore options in an incognito 'logical' fashion. But it's quite another to proudly add it to your public profile and add an anti AC signature to boot.

Neat little biological fact: Emotions underwrite all logical decisions. They are not mutually exclusive

Last edited by kwflyer; Dec 12, 14 at 12:48 pm
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Old Dec 12, 14, 12:44 pm
  #3600  
 
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Originally Posted by superangrypenguin View Post
I think this is a bit uncalled for. Many of us rationally explored the options (I even did math on FT). Ultimately, the value that AC provides is still marginally more than WS. (those of us stuck in domestic travel). In that case, an emotional answer is "F U AC, i'm going to WS". A logical answer is if Company A is still giving me more value than Company B, then i'll go with Company A. - something I suspect most of us have logically tried to calculate.
It's also about more than just switching to a new airline.

I've made the choice to stay with AC for now ... as an SE, they still give me the best treatment & value ... but I have also made the choice to only consider applying for upgrades for TPAC and overnight TATL flights - I used to try to get upgrades for the longer NA flights, but no more.

I'm not happy about that, and it may lead me away from AC in the longer term ... but the short term consequences are already in evidence. Specifically, if an upgrade is not even an option, then I no longer have any significant need to avoid Tango fares - and so I no longer attempt to bias my flight selection towards a Flex fare.

I've taken several flights over the past few weeks in Tango, with more coming next week. I'm not thrilled about the lower AQM rate, but it was the upgrades that previously convinced me to go for Flex ... and so now I'm flying far more on Tango.

I presume that is the behavior that AC intended me to respond with. I can't claim I think it's a great idea or a sound business model ... but that's what I'm doing.
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