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AC op-ups non-status pax before S100K (YYZ-LGA, W&B)

AC op-ups non-status pax before S100K (YYZ-LGA, W&B)

Old Jul 29, 17, 9:16 pm
  #1  
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AC op-ups non-status pax before S100K (YYZ-LGA, W&B)

So here I am sitting at the gate in YYZ. I really dislike the last US departures of the day, because they're almost always delayed, lounge is closed, and no food available. But hey, sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

After getting through security today with an SSSS, I go to the lounge for a few minutes and then to the gate 45 minutes before. Nobody there. 30 minutes before crew arrives and goes down jet bridge (still no GA). A few minutes later, they're back up - no aircraft. Now we're at 20 minutes to departure, still no GA. No delay posted, obviously, either. Suddenly, 15 minutes to departure a gate change is made from F65 to F60, and everybody runs over. The screen shows LGA, but the gate agent insists they're boarding EWR (which indeed they are). Of course EWR departs 21:00 and LGA is at 20:55 (no delay posted still) so that's why EWR is off the screen... called concierge and they also didn't know what was going on. A few minutes later, concierge emailed me back and told me that the flight was delayed until 22:25 due to late arrival from Houston (the flight from Houston was actually perfectly on time, so obviously a swap with some other flight).

Finally, when the gate agents show up, I make a beeline. I knew that there had been W&B shifts since I noted the flight dropped from J5 to J0 (with corresponding increase in Y) upon closing. The gate agent has tons of boarding passes printed out, but looks at me confused. "What do you mean?" ... "Oh, yes, we've processed the upgrades but you're in the right seat, exactly where I need you." I looked at her completely incredulous and she continued... "but I will change it for you." Had I not been looking like a hawk at the gate, boarding passes would have been handed out and Zone 4 pax would have been in J, with me in Y. I noted she had the onload list printed, and I was right there on the top, the only status pax (Saturday evening in summer, no surprise). But she didn't take it upon her to spend the three extra keystrokes she needed to move me into J and some other pax into my seat (12F, BTW).

This is probably the case of a bad apple GA… to illustrate my point, she hand-wrote on every BP “comp. upgrade” and gave the FA a special manifest with a list of “comp upgrades” - as if ML*1 doesn’t suffice… especially since the entire J cabin was op-ups. You heard me. (To give credit where it is due, the FA was great, and service was as it should be, without any quality issues and in fact she was kinder than usual.)

To add some zest to the story, after boarding is complete, the SD has to ask everybody in row 12 to move back past row 23 for W&B… I would have been absolutely incensed if I were sitting in row 12, told to move past row 23, and had seen the op-ups into business.

Ultimately, it worked out fine, and in my favour (I'm still thankful for my J seat, of course), but with the many things that AC does wrong, it just seems that they can never do anything right. And in many ways, it's true. One would think that on the (rather rare) occasion where an op-up is necessary and merited, as a S100K the least they could do would be to show me they care. But they don't.

So, AC apologists, what do you say to this?
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Old Jul 29, 17, 9:41 pm
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How does it feel to steal someone in Y's upgrade, OP?
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Old Jul 29, 17, 9:43 pm
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Originally Posted by keitherson View Post
How does it feel to steal someone in Y's upgrade, OP?
Great, I guess, since they didn't even know they could have gotten an upgrade... In effect, they would have stolen mine.
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Old Jul 29, 17, 10:44 pm
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At the risk of being accused as being an AC apologist, this sounds more like the rant of a DYKWIA than someone complaining about a missed upgrade opportunity.

Is sitting in J so important to you on a short flight like this? The way your recap reads, it is as if Air Canada has singled you out to completely ruin your weekend.

Seriously, I don't see how this is such a big deal. Sub-90 minute flight... just roll with the punches and let it go.
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Old Jul 29, 17, 11:15 pm
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@StuckInYYZ

I certainly didn't intend for my post to come across that way... we fight tooth and nail for our benefits on this forum. And when it comes to actually reaping the rewards, one should suddenly let go? The gate agent didn't hear a word from me before she herself realized that she could not defend her process... It most certainly wasn't an accident, however.

AC did not ruin my weekend, far from it, though I would have expected better communication and the posting of delays. The (potential lack of) upgrade is something that isn't cool. I spend my fair share of flights in Y, and pay dearly for J too. I simply expect that the status priority is honoured. Same thing for meal choices, zone 1 boarding, or any other status privilege. Simple things go a long way... Heck, TK gave me +1 an opup this year for a flight. Obviously they were following status protocol, though I would have had no recourse or way to check.

Also, people here always say the upgrade system is fully automated, etc. etc., and here there's an example of (manual) manipulation (though it was not purposely in someones' favour).

Plus, the argument that it's a 90 minute flight doesn't mean much for the principle... What if it had been a TPAC? Process needs to be followed no matter the flight duration.

Last edited by jlisi984; Jul 29, 17 at 11:20 pm
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Old Jul 29, 17, 11:18 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by keitherson View Post
How does it feel to steal someone in Y's upgrade, OP?
Totally uncalled for. I'm with jlisi.
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Old Jul 29, 17, 11:19 pm
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If the OP is anything like me, there are some things in life where the issue itself is not that big a deal but the aggravation factor is really high. This sounds like one of them. In general, AC seems to have a knack for finding these things.
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Old Jul 29, 17, 11:22 pm
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Sounds like you spent more time emailing concierges and looking up incoming flight details and making beelines and watching like a hawk and writing it up for FT than you did actually flying in the J seat you ended up in.

I don't think I've ever been incensed about a missed op-up.
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Old Jul 29, 17, 11:40 pm
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Op, stick to your guns. As you know, this is a W&B issue, and does not follow the same rules as the upgrade list. Instead, the GA had to move passengers from the rear zone to the front zone. I do agree, however, that it seems appropriate for the GA to accomodate status passengers first. It just means juggling more passengers and, therefore, a little more work for the GA.
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Old Jul 29, 17, 11:44 pm
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Originally Posted by Sopwith View Post
If the OP is anything like me, there are some things in life where the issue itself is not that big a deal but the aggravation factor is really high. This sounds like one of them. In general, AC seems to have a knack for finding these things.
Indeed. No op-up - no problem. Op-ing up a bunch of no-status infront of me, with my hard-earned SE (and I say this with a tinge of sarcasm)... infuriating!

Originally Posted by jjclancy View Post
Sounds like you spent more time emailing concierges and looking up incoming flight details and making beelines and watching like a hawk and writing it up for FT than you did actually flying in the J seat you ended up in.

I don't think I've ever been incensed about a missed op-up.
I didn't email the concierge, they emailed me back upon my request (I took a two minute phone call). There was zero info about the flight (as in, when we departed YYZ at 22:40, the flight was still showing on time 20:55), it might as well have been delayed to midnight, and the gate agents from the EWR flight refused to check for us (a dozen or so pax asked). BTW, when I found out, I informed fellow pax who were loitering about, and an announcement was made only 30 minutes later. I experience delays many times over the course of the year, and AC is hands down the worst at communicating timelines. To be fair, rolling days aren't as common, but even the worst of the European charter airlines have been better.

The beeline was only when the agents showed up (I wanted to request a single A seat - small things in life), and writing it up for FT was a way to stay awake on the flight. Plus, it provides entertainment (which is sort of the purpose of FT nowadays, no?).

Yes, it was a 60 minute flight. (see above) And no, I was not incensed, but I would have been had I missed the op up and been told to move from row 12 to behind row 23. I mean... seriously... AC manages to annoy at every turn.
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Old Jul 29, 17, 11:48 pm
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Originally Posted by YEG_SE4Life View Post
Op, stick to your guns. As you know, this is a W&B issue, and does not follow the same rules as the upgrade list. Instead, the GA had to move passengers from the rear zone to the front zone. I do agree, however, that it seems appropriate for the GA to accomodate status passengers first. It just means juggling more passengers and, therefore, a little more work for the GA.
Indeed... First of all, I always thought the J cabin was one W&B zone for the E75's (maybe I'm wrong). Secondly, don't you think it's indicative of the disorganization (at Ops, at the gate, or wherever it may have been) that people were later moved back from row 12? (and yes, I realize last-minute changes in calculations could have amended that)

Further point is that there was one status pax on the plane. It wasn't a last-minute thing. And even then, in oversells and even in W&B, I do believe that the guideline is to follow status first. There were no time pressures on the GA, the inbound hadn't even arrived.
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Old Jul 30, 17, 12:13 am
  #12  
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Originally Posted by Adam Smith View Post
Totally uncalled for. I'm with jlisi.
+1,000,000

Threads like this get the RCHHMP out of their offices and onto their horses to save the day.
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Old Jul 30, 17, 4:57 am
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Originally Posted by Adam Smith View Post
Totally uncalled for. I'm with jlisi.
He asked what AC apologists to say to this????
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Old Jul 30, 17, 6:30 am
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To be fair in the handful of op-up cases I have been involved in they seemed to do it right; I was the only status pax on a plane earlier this year and I was the only one moved to J. And ever since the advent of eUps (and the removal of the old paper certs) they seem to get things right more often than not in the front cabin. This sounds like a GA just not doing their job, which is frustrating I am sure.

Originally Posted by jlisi984 View Post
There was zero info about the flight (as in, when we departed YYZ at 22:40, the flight was still showing on time 20:55), it might as well have been delayed to midnight, and the gate agents from the EWR flight refused to check for us (a dozen or so pax asked). BTW, when I found out, I informed fellow pax who were loitering about, and an announcement was made only 30 minutes later. I experience delays many times over the course of the year, and AC is hands down the worst at communicating timelines. To be fair, rolling days aren't as common, but even the worst of the European charter airlines have been better.
This is the part that gets me the most, it happens all the time.

The last AC flight I took was just like this; they had already posted a delay, I kept an eye on the departure time in case it changed again and it did not, so I headed to the gate 30 mins beforehand. No plane. I'm standing at the window looking at the empty gate, grumpy and trying to decide whether to go back to the lounge or stay when the pilot walks up beside me. I ask him what is going on and he doesn't know either! He's got his phone out trying to figure out where the inbound is. Finally he finds it, lets me know, and it is still not landing for another 15 mins. We're clearly going to be way later than the flight is currently showing, and as you can imagine they're still offloading pax from the inbound when AC's time is showing that we are supposed to be pushing back.

It baffles me how this happens all the time. Is STOC understaffed? Do they just not care? Does their crappy IT system not alert them when it is physically impossible for a flight to meet the posted departure time? We'll probably never know.

At home in YOW I just wait in the lounge until I see the inbound pulling in to the gate, no matter what time they are posting. Works in the EWR MLL too. Wish more AC stations were small enough and had a good enough view to have this work, rather than that all too frequent occurrence of walking up to the gate 30 min before the posted departure time and seeing no plane.
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Old Jul 30, 17, 6:44 am
  #15  
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SSSS and no upgrade, boy oh boy that will surely upset any SEE1000!

Last edited by djjaguar64; Jul 30, 17 at 6:51 am
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