Same Day Standby YVR/YYJ

Old Mar 27, 18, 8:59 pm
  #1  
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Same Day Standby YVR/YYJ

Does anybody know why YVR/YYJ is not included in the free same day standby category as YYC/YEG/YVR and YYZ/YUL ?

It hardly makes sense to pay $150 for same day changes when the normal price for a tango ticket is around $100 or less each way.

I had forgotten this limitation until i found myself at YVR in the middle of the night after a re-routing due to a partner airline aeroplan itineary change left me at YVR about 10 hours earlier than planned.

Since Aeroplan hardly ever releases YVR/YYJ reward tickets on useful flights (like any flights other than the 5:30am from YYJ) I had to buy a revenue ticket to connect with the rest of my Aeroplan itinerary. However this of course means that Air Canada could care less if Aeroplan itinerary changes for any reason at all. It would be nice if you could simply pay revenue prices for segments of an Aeroplan itinerary that are unavailable. At least that would link all of the flights together in case of airline problems. its all or nothing. All classic, or all market value. And if it has any star allliance partner flights, then its all classic or nothing. Not only that, if the YVR/YYJ segments aren't available when you book the Aeroplan reward, its $100 per person for each segment added (YYJ -> YVR and YVR -> YYJ), which is more than revenue tickets are purchased in advance. But they get you on the unlinked PNR's. You really cannot win. There are just degrees of losing.

Anyway, instead of paying $150 x 2 for same day standby, or wait until later afternoon for my paid flight, i chose to cancel the flights for a future travel credit and take a cab / ferry to the island. Instead of arriving (maybe) at 7:30am, i arrive on the island at 8:35 for about 1/4 of the price of a same-day standby request. In the end Air Canada loses because instead of buying another ticket in the future, i'll use my travel credit and i didn't use any Air Canada tickets this time. They get less money. It makes zero sense at all. It is a route they fly every 2 hours all day long, same day standby costs them basically nothing and it frees up future seats for potential revenue or accommodation of passengers who might have missed flights ; nobody is standing by for the 7am flight to victoria due to a missed connection. They would rather send the plane with empty seats. Can anybody shed light on this?

The check-in agents at YVR were extra snarly at 4:30am. Absolutely no sympathy of any description. $300 to standby for earlier flights for 2 people or leave late afternoon. "sorry there is nothing we can (will) do. if you were super elite then we'd be able to help you". Thanks. I won't miss Aeroplan at all; i've burnt up my miles; a terrible program that gets worse every year.

Compare this to Turkish Airlines. I missed a connection in Istanbul due to a Turkish Airline late arrival and they re-routed me without hesitation, including business class tickets on Philippines Airlines (not even a star alliance partner) because that made sure i got to my destination (Vancouver) at least as early as on my scheduled itinerary. Amazing service. They offered all kinds of options and completely left the choice up to me.
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Old Mar 27, 18, 9:54 pm
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Seems to me this is a very logical route to allow no-charge standby, since much of the traffic is connections.

For what it's worth, I've often found that an easy standby or SDC can be had YYJ to YVR if not the reverse. It's an Island culture thing that seems to trump AC policy.
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Old Mar 27, 18, 10:01 pm
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It's worked for me consistently for the past five years or so. And I am a long way from SE.
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Old Mar 27, 18, 10:08 pm
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Originally Posted by DaveObee View Post
It's worked for me consistently for the past five years or so. And I am a long way from SE.
I have to agree the people that work for AC at YYJ are pragmatic. Either the flight goes out empty and you take up a seat later on in the day when it is more likely to be needed, or they move you to the current flight. Makes perfect sense.

The one problem with YYJ (or even YVR) is it is to far away from YYZ for anyone to notice at the corporate level.
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Old Mar 27, 18, 11:50 pm
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I've never been asked to pay a change fee when arriving early, or hustling from a connecting flight at YVR to the downstairs desk near the regional gates and getting on an earlier than scheduled YYJ flight. Sure sometimes I'm there too late, or the flight is full, but never had them ask for a change fee just to get a spot on an earlier flight. I typically don't travel with checked luggage which could pose additional problems if you do.

In your case I might have gone through security and talked to the desk down near the regional gates rather than ask the check-in agent, worst case scenario they say no, you go back landslide and take the ferry as you mentioned. At 4:30 I know the check in line can be ridiculous and so they may not have been able / willing to take the time to make the change?
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Old Mar 28, 18, 12:01 am
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Originally Posted by bestcoastflyer View Post
I've never been asked to pay a change fee when arriving early, or hustling from a connecting flight at YVR to the downstairs desk near the regional gates and getting on an earlier than scheduled YYJ flight. Sure sometimes I'm there too late, or the flight is full, but never had them ask for a change fee just to get a spot on an earlier flight. I typically don't travel with checked luggage which could pose additional problems if you do.

In your case I might have gone through security and talked to the desk down near the regional gates rather than ask the check-in agent, worst case scenario they say no, you go back landslide and take the ferry as you mentioned. At 4:30 I know the check in line can be ridiculous and so they may not have been able / willing to take the time to make the change?
I have had the same great experience every time with the downstairs customer service desk by C3X gates and Timmies in the regional section. If you're friendly, the staff will usually help accommodate you onto an earlier/later flight, and are proactive about moving people around on flights. These short little regional hops are a whole different world of operations, and the staff there seem to know this best.
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Old Mar 28, 18, 12:27 am
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There was a time a few years ago when the agents at YYJ were unwilling to let anyone, even SEs, standby on earlier flights unless the fare allowed it. Apparently they were aggressively being audited by AC HQ. Seems like things have changed now, and I've been proactively offered the earlier flight off the island without even having to ask for it.

At YVR, I've had no issues so far this year asking to standby for an earlier YYJ flight at the AC Express customer service desk down by the C3x gates. They've been more than accommodating if you only have carry-on. Never asked at the check-in desk though.
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Old Mar 28, 18, 1:35 am
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I was allowed standby on an earlier YYJ-YVR because I had a connection.

I was allowed a confirmed change on a YVR-YYJ because of IRROPS.

I always ask, but I never expect anything I haven't paid for.
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Old Mar 28, 18, 9:54 am
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It used to be that YYJ staff were all Jazz, and seemed to more accommodating (until the aforementioned AC blitz), , whereas at a location such as YXE that evidently had a mixed AC/Jazz staff, there were no allowances.
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Old Mar 28, 18, 6:12 pm
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What is the logic behind not allowing standby for earlier flights on these routes that are mostly connectors? Surely its better to send out your plane with less empty seats and move the empty seats forward in the day when they have > 0 chance of filling them with paying customers. Not like there are catering issues or anything and you are absolutely not taking any seats away from paying customers. You only get on if the plane would otherwise take-off with an empty seat.

Its also very frustrating that the YYJ connector always seems to be the hardest part of completing an aeroplan reward. If you can't get that segment as part of a reward itinerary, you always assume full risk; you risk giving up your outbound aeroplan flight if you miss the connection (say due to weather in YYJ); you assume the risk of missing the return connection to YYJ if the aeroplan flight arrives late on return. And there is NO option to lock this down. Money cannot make this risk go away. Very very annoying.
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Old Mar 28, 18, 6:18 pm
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Except once you check-in and go downstairs, you're committed to the ticket. prior to check-in you can get a future travel credit. Then you're definitely ahead. Assuming somebody is picking you up on the other side, even a single flyer comes out ahead taking the ferry at about $75 total for taxi + walk-on ferry fare. Two or more travellers are way ahead.
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Old Mar 28, 18, 7:20 pm
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Originally Posted by calpaugh View Post
Except once you check-in and go downstairs, you're committed to the ticket. prior to check-in you can get a future travel credit. Then you're definitely ahead. Assuming somebody is picking you up on the other side, even a single flyer comes out ahead taking the ferry at about $75 total for taxi + walk-on ferry fare. Two or more travellers are way ahead.
There are 7 buses per day that go directly onto the ship, (and to downtown Victoria) if desired.

Schedules For Daily Bus Service | BC Ferries Connector
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Old Mar 28, 18, 10:59 pm
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Back in my days of being a CSA at YYJ (2009-2010), the common thought amongst all of us agents was ‘why do we want the passengers to be sitting in YYJ?’.

Due to the nature of the operation (very high frequency), YYJ was a frequent target of cancellations to free up an extra aircraft during Dash 8 maintenance IRROPS in YVR. Because there was little to no warning of that happening, we would always try to keep people moving on earlier flights just in case there happened to be any issues during the day.

I would much rather have Grandma and Grandpa who showed up three hours early for their flight spend that extra time in YVR and be guaranteed to make their connection rather than them sit in YYJ and risk something happening (Murphy’s Law always reigned).

Because of the ultra-high frequency Helijet/Harbour Air/West Coast Air operations it was extremely rare for passengers to fly only YYJ-YVR. There were a few dedicated Super Elites that did though and I always enjoyed seeing them (I assumed they lived way closer to the airport than downtown)!
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Old Mar 29, 18, 12:26 am
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Originally Posted by calpaugh View Post
What is the logic behind not allowing standby for earlier flights on these routes that are mostly connectors?
The 'logic' is that you have business travelers routinely travelling on tickets that are more targeted towards tourists, ie: highly restricted tickets. By denying free standby, these customers often will fork up change fees to get home, back to the office, etc., after their business is done.

Its much easier to do a blanket rule, than to have AC staff picking and choosing which customers are just tourists who showed up early for their flight, and which are legitimate business executives for which $300 to get them back to YYZ a few hours earlier than scheduled might be just pocket change.
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Old Mar 29, 18, 1:07 am
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Originally Posted by pitz View Post
The 'logic' is that you have business travelers routinely travelling on tickets that are more targeted towards tourists, ie: highly restricted tickets. By denying free standby, these customers often will fork up change fees to get home, back to the office, etc., after their business is done.

Its much easier to do a blanket rule, than to have AC staff picking and choosing which customers are just tourists who showed up early for their flight, and which are legitimate business executives for which $300 to get them back to YYZ a few hours earlier than scheduled might be just pocket change.
Except that is exactly what AC agents do. Rapid air between Toronto Ottawa and Montreal is a special case. The western triangle is not called Rapid air but Vancouver to Calgary and Edmonton also have similar rules.

Victoria and Nanaimo to Vancouver and the London Ontario to Toronto are two other examples that should have similar rules.
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