Nothing "super" about SE status

Reply

Old May 16, 18, 8:18 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Programs: Aeroplan
Posts: 6
Nothing "super" about SE status

I have been an SE for the past year or so and, honestly, have found nothing special about it at all. The only benefit I gained is to not have to pay taxes/surcharges on an award ticket. The concierge service has been of no value at all on occasions where I have sought help, the upgrade process still remains cumbersome and stressful, and the steep 20k AQD requirement makes no sense at all. In addition, service on business class is pretty ordinary. I found the service in business class on even Ethiopian to be better. I would be interested to hear other SE experiences, am trying to looking for a reason to stay with AC/SA and not move to One World....
sAAul likes this.
smangalam is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old May 16, 18, 8:42 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: I'm From Here
Programs: AC*SE & MM/*Wood Gold/HHonors Diamond/Marriott Silver/AirMiles Gold
Posts: 3,467
What exactly are you looking for, exactly.

You are top of the list for upgrades (behind MM'ers). Preferred Y seats on any fare. Guaranteed seat. IKK (watered down)

I am not saying SE is perfect (far from it) but you seem to be looking for something specific....what is it?
lcohen999 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old May 16, 18, 8:55 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2012
Programs: *A Gold, SkyMiles
Posts: 2,180
The SE experience obviously works for some people here otherwise they wouldn't still be SE.
Just because someone here is satisfied with his/her SE experience won't mean that experience is transferable to you. If the SE status doesn't work for you, move on.

Many people will never benefit from their status. It is an extra, a freebie tossed in to encourage people to fly AC.
I fly almost exclusively in business class when I use AC, so my status as an AC Gold is useless since I would get all the business class "benefits" anyway. This is why I now select airlines based upon price and schedule. I don't use my e upgrades, free coffee & bag of chips bistro coupons, or MLL guest pass. I don't lament their uselessness though, since I recognize that they are the marketing equivalent of a porn film maker's fluffer.
Transpacificflyer is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old May 16, 18, 9:00 pm
  #4  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: SFO
Programs: AC S100K, A3*S, SPG Gold, CC Gold, HH Diamond
Posts: 25,080
The concierge has been extremely useful to me, though it's very rare I use them for anything a reasonable public interface to DCS couldn't handle.

IKK gets me 5-10k in value per year.

Would I pay 20k for SE? No.

But if I'm going to spend 20k on flights to Canada anyway, I'll choose AC over UA because of SE.
canadiancow is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old May 16, 18, 9:28 pm
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Programs: Aeroplan
Posts: 6
Technically an SE is supposed to to be on top of the list for upgrades. They were going to upgrade a 50K ahead of me on the Del-YYZ flight and charge me $750 bucks for the upgrade till I pointed it out at the counter. After having been told that I was upgraded on a YYZ-Seoul flight, I was informed at the gate that my seat was broken and I had exactly 30 sec to decide what I was supposed to do (yeah, I was compensated somewhat but the experience was not the most pleasant with the ground staff). My primary value proposition is to obtain upgrades when I am not flying on a paid business class ticket (I have long given up quality of service as a criteria on AC) and I just don't think an SE creates any more of an advantage compared to a 75 or a 50K. On the other hand when I am flying on a paid business class ticket I feel that, for the price I pay, I don't get the same level of service as I do on some other airlines that I have flown. I travel internationally every month.
smangalam is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old May 16, 18, 9:52 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: YYJ
Programs: AC SE100K, UA Silver, SPG Plat/Lifetime Gold, Marriot Plat, Fairmont Plat, National EE, Sixt Plat
Posts: 1,310
If you are a 75K or a 50K there is a co-pay on those international upgrades. SE has the advantage of no co-pay on international upgrades, larger window to request upgrades, higher upgrade priority, concierge access to facilitate SDC to a flight that does have upgrade space (if your route allows).

I had an upgrade clear then taken away from me at the gate last year YYZ-GRU, I was pissed, but it is what it is. I didn't get any compensation (should I have? I paid for O, I got O).
Nitehawk is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old May 17, 18, 12:28 am
  #7  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: SFO
Programs: AC S100K, A3*S, SPG Gold, CC Gold, HH Diamond
Posts: 25,080
Originally Posted by Nitehawk View Post
I had an upgrade clear then taken away from me at the gate last year YYZ-GRU, I was pissed, but it is what it is. I didn't get any compensation (should I have? I paid for O, I got O).
I have mixed feelings on this, but I haven't experienced it since I was E35K.

And when I wrote in about that, I received a phone call. I did not have the conversation I wanted, nor did I like what I was told. But I adjusted my spend because of it. And none of it was against published policy.

I suppose the difference is whether you were able to confirm the upgrade within the 24 hour refund window.

I also received no compensation. But while AC could have given me a $500 voucher, they instead lost about $5000 over the next 12 months. If they don't compensate me, I de-compensate them.
DNAwizard and jc94 like this.
canadiancow is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old May 17, 18, 4:53 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 18
Originally Posted by Nitehawk View Post
If you are a 75K or a 50K there is a co-pay on those international upgrades. SE has the advantage of no co-pay on international upgrades, larger window to request upgrades, higher upgrade priority, concierge access to facilitate SDC to a flight that does have upgrade space (if your route allows).

I had an upgrade clear then taken away from me at the gate last year YYZ-GRU, I was pissed, but it is what it is. I didn't get any compensation (should I have? I paid for O, I got O).
From a customer service POV, it's shoddy, why upgrade someone and then take it away for laughs? It's like the DYKWIA thread and the man who wanted chicken compared to the poster who was SE and asked for chicken as well so the low/non-status man got pissy as he got the last one due to status, the FA should've asked the SEs first for their choices before asking low/non-status flyers.

I've flown AC J a couple of times, it's better than BA but not EK levels of good, I'll be flying AC a lot in the coming months and what I've read so far, I'm not looking forward to if they screw up such basic things and I'll have no issue providing feedback there and then to them.
SquidsIn is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old May 17, 18, 6:42 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: YYZ
Programs: FOTSG Tangerine
Posts: 3,417
If AC has J30, 29 rev pax, 1 eUp and one broken seat the eUp is going back to their original class regardless if they are P25 or SEMM. That is policy that is normally followed I believe. Now thatís extreme, and I doubt J30 is ever 29 rev pax so normally there would be some degree of status ensuring the MM gets their seat and any friends and family go down first.

And while it aucks, I can understand this... eUps are not guaranteed... Of course maybe AC shouldnít have broken seats, how many posts do we have about deflategate now, how many people there moved to another pax seat?

But even if Iíve paid Y/B and upgraded 11 months out itís still below JCDZP. But Y/B is of course fully flexible and refundable so one can always change to another flight, more costly to do that on CDZP.
jc94 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old May 17, 18, 7:28 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Programs: AC SE100k, SPG Gold, National Exec
Posts: 2,246
I didn't think much of the Concierge service the first year I was SE, because I didn't need it.

Fast forward the next few years, the concierge service has helped me and my family out innumerable times. They've helped us make tight connections and taken care of us really well during IRROPS - a really big deal when traveling with kids and elders.

The reward tickets have been great. We've lost track of how many international and long haul J reward tickets we've redeemed.

I've also gotten much better at planning eupgrades - both in terms of successful upgrades and burning all of them.
Diabeetus is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old May 17, 18, 8:22 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: YYZ
Programs: AC S100K, SPG G, Hilton G,Nexus/GE, Amex MR Plat, Hyatt Plat,IHG Plat E
Posts: 2,713
Based on the two posts by OP, sounds like he is not happy with the service in J and the eupg process. Not sure if any of these are going to improve anytime soon. So if you are based in Canada, the choices are split your spend and go for the best quality and routing in J, OR move your spend to another airline/alliance. Based on the examples, there will be more connections and time spent if you pick any of these options. AQD spend is required on most airlines so not sure what the solution here is other than if you fly a US carrier, there will be no AQD as you do not live in the US. Also doubt that a US carrier will equal or better AC service and hard product so in that case its buy what works best.
Generally I have been happy with the concierge service though recently I have experienced wait times or no response.
vernonc is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old May 17, 18, 8:22 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: yyz
Programs: AC*SE 1MM. a bunch of hotel programs.
Posts: 1,447
this is an expectations management issue.
I now fly paid J on all Int'l flights. in the past I did not. being SEMM meant I got upgraded 95% of the time on long hauls including to Europe, GRU, NRT, HKG etc. That meant a lot. also not paying co-pay.
Concierges are not your personal servants and have defined roles. They have helped me out in tight connections a few times, called me up when flights are delayed etc.
longtimeflyin likes this.
karachi is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old May 17, 18, 12:46 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: YVR
Programs: Ice Cream Club AC*NO
Posts: 2,390
Originally Posted by jc94 View Post
But even if Iíve paid Y/B and upgraded 11 months out itís still below JCDZP. But Y/B is of course fully flexible and refundable so one can always change to another flight, more costly to do that on CDZP.
You can even change it AFTER boarding if you offload before the flight is closed. Refuse to fly, refund/change. Tariff allows for this and I'm not speaking from lack of experience.
DrunkCargo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old May 17, 18, 12:51 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: トロント
Programs: AC E50K, Flying Blue, Accor Plat, ANA, Avios
Posts: 3,732
Originally Posted by smangalam View Post
I have been an SE for the past year or so and, honestly, have found nothing special about it at all. The only benefit I gained is to not have to pay taxes/surcharges on an award ticket. The concierge service has been of no value at all on occasions where I have sought help, the upgrade process still remains cumbersome and stressful, and the steep 20k AQD requirement makes no sense at all. In addition, service on business class is pretty ordinary. I found the service in business class on even Ethiopian to be better. I would be interested to hear other SE experiences, am trying to looking for a reason to stay with AC/SA and not move to One World....

You are mixing apples and oranges here. Whether one is SE of not has nothing to do with the service in Business Class and how it compares to Ethiopian, other than being first in the pecking order for meals.

No fees /surcharges on an award ticket? Very good benefit in my opinion and not something to say has no worth at all. Of course the other Star Gold Benefits are worth something also, but obviously one not be SE to get them.

As to whether One World is better? Depends where you are flying to but for me Star Alliance has a better network.
mapleg is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old May 17, 18, 1:02 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: YVR
Programs: Ice Cream Club AC*NO
Posts: 2,390
Originally Posted by karachi View Post
Concierges are not your personal servants and have defined roles. They have helped me out in tight connections a few times, called me up when flights are delayed etc.
I think this is an important point: While concierges have, at times, offered assistance proactively, it was never a consistent service with 100% infallibility since it relies on highly variable human intervention. If I knew I needed help I would need to reach out to request it. I'm sure with time all airlines will automate much of this so the service will be more consistent. TBH I prefer not to be hassled by more human touch, it only means I'm being forced to switch my mental context to some exception. I don't expect human benefits like companionship or friendship from my service providers.

99% of my flights would not have benefited from the concierge, but the 1% in 2016 resulted in $1500 outlay because the concierge was "only for Super Elites". So the OP not being impressed with the concierge might be a testament to the performance of AC on his flights not requiring any human intervention, which imo, is desired.

Also the thread title kinda brings up a peeve I have... SE may or may not be "super". But it is NOT "elite". No servant-awarded status is. It is a discount program.
DrunkCargo is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread