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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 Jan 1, 15, 6:26 pm
  #3721  
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Originally Posted by pitz View Post
As we've seen in the various economic downturns of the past decade or so, AC appears to have a target for the number of status passengers in its ranks.
I suspect you guys are overanalyzing.

When the economy is good, the find/believe they can sell the front cabin. They decide bottom feeders are expensive and go on a war path.

When the economy is bad, they want our cash and we suddenly become "valued customers."

It's all short term thinking in the cirporate world. They don't recognize or care that customers may have longer memory.

Or saying the same thing with different words, spending making up a bottom feeder in their eyes depends upon how desperate they are for our cash.
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Old Jan 1, 15, 7:02 pm
  #3722  
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Originally Posted by pitz View Post
As we've seen in the various economic downturns of the past decade or so, AC appears to have a target for the number of status passengers in its ranks. If too many people are set to achieve status in any given year, the requirements are tightened up. And likewise if not enough are set to achieve status, then they loosen things up.

Any time they can tweak the algorithm to more closely reflect the ultimate business goal of a loyalty program, ie: rewarding the most loyal and profitable customers, I would expect them to do so.

The only SE's that really need to be worried about the whole state of affairs are those who gamed their way into SE-dom by doing cheap mileage runs. If anything, a true revenue-based system would be a godsend to domestic very frequent customers, particularly on very expensive regional routes with many tickets being purchased on a last-minute full-fare basis.

It can be strongly argued that favouring the people who take a few trips to Hong Kong each year, while ignoring the crowd who might do a YSB-YYZ or YSJ-YHZ once or twice a week (racking up minimal points) is not in AC's business interests.
I think someone flying YSB-YYZ twice a week would earn SE on segments

But I think the 25/50% AC metal requirements are going to have a huge impact on the people who earn status flying other airlines. That might be the bigger issue to AC than overall revenue. Doing mileage runs on UA and then spending $1000 on AC doesn't help AC any more than spending $30k on UA and then spending $1000 on AC. If you always fly paid domestic "F" on UA, you don't really need UA status, but AC*G gets you lounge access.
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Old Jan 1, 15, 7:06 pm
  #3723  
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Originally Posted by Stranger View Post

It's all short term thinking in the cirporate world. They don't recognize or care that customers may have longer memory.
I think this is an overgeneralization. Not all corporations are set like that. It starts with the board and their overall culture and compensation scheme for senior executives. Our CEO is incentivized (to hell) for long term revenue and share price growth. There's no way we would treat our customers like AC does.
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Old Jan 1, 15, 11:29 pm
  #3724  
 
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Originally Posted by canadiancow View Post
But I think the 25/50% AC metal requirements are going to have a huge impact on the people who earn status flying other airlines.
The problem AC has / had was this: I wasn't able to give AC the majority of my business, because I don't live in the triangle - But I tried to give them the business when I could. I made the effort with beancounters, bent over backwards when I had to...

But now they've kicked me out of the program and those days are over.

So they've gone from "less than fifty" to nearly zero. I have no incentive to make the effort (and it was an effort) to fly AC any more.

Was that their goal? I guess so... I dunno.
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Old Jan 2, 15, 1:32 am
  #3725  
 
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Originally Posted by gglave View Post
The problem AC has / had was this: I wasn't able to give AC the majority of my business, because I don't live in the triangle - But I tried to give them the business when I could. I made the effort with beancounters, bent over backwards when I had to...

But now they've kicked me out of the program and those days are over.

So they've gone from "less than fifty" to nearly zero. I have no incentive to make the effort (and it was an effort) to fly AC any more.

Was that their goal? I guess so... I dunno.
...... very similar to me - but I didn't do as much bending over backwards as some might have done. The 10 wide in HD Eco, the daft seating in HD J, the Rouge, and (most of all) the 50% metal requirement had me heading to the competition (I'm SE with 47% AC metal in 2014). I've booked three trips for January on AS (status matched) and WS (WS Gold for what its worth) so that's about $5000 that AC has totally missed out on.

Trip to Vietnam in March will be on BR via TPE and not AC to HKG.

I'm sure all of this "enhancement" must make sense to someone at AC... but I can't imagine who it would be. The very real effect was to "kick me out of the program".

FL

Last edited by Frequentlander; Jan 2, 15 at 1:36 am Reason: crappy typing
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Old Jan 2, 15, 2:20 am
  #3726  
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Originally Posted by superangrypenguin View Post
I think this is an overgeneralization. Not all corporations are set like that. It starts with the board and their overall culture and compensation scheme for senior executives. Our CEO is incentivized (to hell) for long term revenue and share price growth. There's no way we would treat our customers like AC does.
So your senior executives would allow some customers to play games forever, costing your company large amounts of money, well producing little revenue? Not a good business model. I don't like all the changes, but I understand them.
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Old Jan 2, 15, 8:30 am
  #3727  
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Originally Posted by Wpgjetse View Post
So your senior executives would allow some customers to play games forever, costing your company large amounts of money, well producing little revenue? Not a good business model. I don't like all the changes, but I understand them.
Huh? I was talking about long term incentive... Frequent flying programs can't be compared to in the software industry... Plus air Canada has always set the rules of the game...
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Old Jan 2, 15, 9:17 am
  #3728  
 
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Originally Posted by Wpgjetse View Post
So your senior executives would allow some customers to play games forever, costing your company large amounts of money, well producing little revenue? Not a good business model. I don't like all the changes, but I understand them.
Huh? How on earth does a SE cost AC money? The way I do the math, they make an incremental $10,000 to $12,000 in marginal income on my flying that they wouldn't otherwise (the delta between Tango and Flex fares over the course of a year). That is on top of whatever profit margin would be there for a Tango fare on the routes I fly. There is now way that I cost them that in benefits. Even if I redeem for international J travel that is still a marginal cost to them. So, pray tell, how do FF cost AC money?
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Old Jan 2, 15, 9:32 am
  #3729  
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Originally Posted by superangrypenguin View Post
Huh? I was talking about long term incentive... Frequent flying programs can't be compared to in the software industry... Plus air Canada has always set the rules of the game...
All companies set the rules to the game, because they own the game. Companies fundamental can be compared. All Air Canada did was cut benefits, mostly from customers that have been working the system, well generating little revenue, but costing the company a lot of money.
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Old Jan 2, 15, 9:44 am
  #3730  
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Originally Posted by ridefar View Post
Huh? How on earth does a SE cost AC money? The way I do the math, they make an incremental $10,000 to $12,000 in marginal income on my flying that they wouldn't otherwise (the delta between Tango and Flex fares over the course of a year). That is on top of whatever profit margin would be there for a Tango fare on the routes I fly. There is now way that I cost them that in benefits. Even if I redeem for international J travel that is still a marginal cost to them. So, pray tell, how do FF cost AC money?

Your math is not on pax that are working the system. If you are SE, but mostly fly UA, AC is charged every time you enter a UA lounge. Segment flyers also do not generated a lot of revenue for AC, but have high cost benefits. I would guess you have never owned your own business if you don't understand cost control.
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Old Jan 2, 15, 9:58 am
  #3731  
 
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Originally Posted by Wpgjetse View Post
Your math is not on pax that are working the system. If you are SE, but mostly fly UA, AC is charged every time you enter a UA lounge. Segment flyers also do not generated a lot of revenue for AC, but have high cost benefits. I would guess you have never owned your own business if you don't understand cost control.
Thats right. Because I have never owned my own business, I don't understand costs. Or profit. Revenue vs. income. Please. That's not a valid logical conclusion at all.

I have said this many times in this thread, but it is worth repeating: if AC wanted to address the actual problems, they could have. There are lots of ways to eliminate segment running, or IKK abuse, or whatever. But they didn't. The cut benefits by 75%. For everybody. I can't think of an analogous situation in any other business where--in an effort to reduce the costs of a very small segment of customers--a very large segment of customers had their value proposition reduced by such a large amount.

My conclusion is that they were not interested in just reducing the number of "abusers" (I would call them users by the way; there is no need to tacitly condemn them by adopting the vocabulary appropriate to an AC employee). They were interested in doing what they did: massively reducing the benefit of their FF program, for everybody.
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Old Jan 2, 15, 10:25 am
  #3732  
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Originally Posted by Wpgjetse View Post
All companies set the rules to the game, because they own the game. Companies fundamental can be compared. All Air Canada did was cut benefits, mostly from customers that have been working the system, well generating little revenue, but costing the company a lot of money.
Do you have numbers to back this up? Because this is conjecture at best...we don't factually know any of this to support this statement "mostly from customers that have been working the system, well generating little revenue...."costing the company a lot of money"
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Old Jan 2, 15, 10:36 am
  #3733  
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Originally Posted by Wpgjetse View Post
So your senior executives would allow some customers to play games forever, costing your company large amounts of money, well producing little revenue? Not a good business model. I don't like all the changes, but I understand them.
Nobody is playing games or gaming a system. ACsets and frequently resets the rules

We users simply try to access benefits advertised in large print by the likes of Aeroplan and being abused for doing it. That's not fair, nor right.

Most legitimately obtained aeroplan and upgrade tickets are at worst on an opportunity cost basis to AC and more likely a value proposition to them as we essentially prepay higher fares for the chance to upgrade. The odds are always with the house on the AC games. The few occasions where they lose, they come down on their customers like cops on a bunch of thieves. The real thievery is the deceptive advertising and misinformation given to the general flying public.

Even those flying other carriers... What do they cost AC? At most a Maple leaf worldwide club card is sold at $500. Likely 200$ to the cc companies. The cost of a few free checked bags? Isn't it around $20 per bag in North America?

I would guess that the senior executives actually don't even know the dynamics of most of their frequent fliers.
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Old Jan 2, 15, 10:37 am
  #3734  
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Originally Posted by superangrypenguin View Post
Do you have numbers to back this up? Because this is conjecture at best...we don't factually know any of this to support this statement "mostly from customers that have been working the system, well generating little revenue....
See the Pareto principle.
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Old Jan 2, 15, 10:41 am
  #3735  
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Originally Posted by tcook052 View Post
See the Pareto principle.
I am quite familiar with the principle which states that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the people. However, this applies to not only costs, but profit. 80% of the profit come from 20% of the people is a valid theory as well...
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