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Upfare strategies from the veterans

Upfare strategies from the veterans

Old Dec 19, 18, 11:48 am
  #1  
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Upfare strategies from the veterans

Expecting to do about 3 ultra long haul trips in J next year which will comfortably get me close to 75K.

Will need to upfare a bunch of my Y transborder flights if I want a shot at requalifying for 100K in 2020.

Any pro tips or sites people use to monitor for reasonably priced upfare opportunities (I.e: from standard to flex)? It would be nice if there was a site out there, like EF, that would monitor updates for you rather than you having to go to ACs site to check prices periodically.
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Old Dec 19, 18, 1:27 pm
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Are you booking on AC or via a corp OTA ? Most of the time AC call centre will refuse to touch a OTA ticket till 24 hrs before flight unless you get a sympathetic agent.
Best to upfare within 24hrs of booking as the cost will be reasonable and most TB and International tickets have no change fees within 24hrs of booking.
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Old Dec 19, 18, 1:53 pm
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Originally Posted by dennisthemenace View Post
Expecting to do about 3 ultra long haul trips in J next year which will comfortably get me close to 75K.

Will need to upfare a bunch of my Y transborder flights if I want a shot at requalifying for 100K in 2020.

Any pro tips or sites people use to monitor for reasonably priced upfare opportunities (I.e: from standard to flex)? It would be nice if there was a site out there, like EF, that would monitor updates for you rather than you having to go to AC’s site to check prices periodically.
For the transborder flights you want to upfare:

1. Are they all roundtrip, one way, other?
2. Which routes?
3. Which fare class/basis and fare family?
4. You only want to upfare from Standard to Flex, or Standard to anything higher?
5. How much are you willing to spend for upfaring?
6. When are these flights?
7. Have you noted the advanced purchase prices and advanced purchase dates on EF? This may help with some of your monitoring.
8. As per @vernonc are all these booked via TA/OTA?
9. How short will you be on AQM/AQD if you don't upfare?




Last edited by yyznomad; Dec 19, 18 at 1:59 pm
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Old Dec 19, 18, 1:56 pm
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Originally Posted by vernonc View Post
Are you booking on AC or via a corp OTA ? Most of the time AC call centre will refuse to touch a OTA ticket till 24 hrs before flight unless you get a sympathetic agent.
Best to upfare within 24hrs of booking as the cost will be reasonable and most TB and International tickets have no change fees within 24hrs of booking.
Currently on AC, but by next year it might be OTA (new corporate policy). I believe you can make upfare changes anytime without change fees... done it before.
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Old Dec 19, 18, 2:03 pm
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Originally Posted by yyznomad View Post


For the transborder flights you want to upfare:

1. Are they all roundtrip, one way, other?
2. Which routes?
3. Which fare class/basis and fare family?
4. You only want to upgrade from Standard to Flex, or Standard to anything higher?
5. How much are you willing to spend for upfaring?
6. When are these flights?
7. Have you noted the advanced purchase prices and advanced purchase dates on EF? This may help with some of your monitoring.
8. As per @vernonc are all these booked via TA/OTA?
9. How short will you be on AQM/AQD if you don't upfare?
1 - All roundtrip
2 - Mostly Eastern US, Central US and 1 or 2 West Coast US
3 - Standard lowest fare
4 - Upfare from Standard to Flex for the 100% AQM
5 - Thats relative I suppose on multiple factors - bang for buck (how much is the extra 50% AQM worth), etc.
6 - Spread throughout 2019
7 - Will look into that. Won't be able to advance purchase too much as its based on business need.. could only purchase 1-2 months out max for US travel
8 - All on AC now, but could change to OTA by 2019
9 - Not too sure yet, maybe about 5-10K AQM. AQD should be fine.

Last edited by dennisthemenace; Dec 19, 18 at 2:09 pm
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Old Dec 19, 18, 2:19 pm
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Originally Posted by dennisthemenace View Post
Currently on AC, but by next year it might be OTA (new corporate policy). I believe you can make upfare changes anytime without change fees... done it before.
Yes. But you may find that your OTA will charge a service fee. And as I said you have to otherwise find a sympathetic AC call centre agent to agree to touch a OTA ticket. Make hay while it is booked on AC.
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Old Dec 19, 18, 2:56 pm
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Originally Posted by vernonc View Post
Yes. But you may find that your OTA will charge a service fee. And as I said you have to otherwise find a sympathetic AC call centre agent to agree to touch a OTA ticket. Make hay while it is booked on AC.
i have found them increasingly reluctant to do it. You can pretty much count on needing to have the TA process the upfare.

Personally I doubt the strategy is worthwhile. For the thousands in upfares you could just buy a J ticket to someplace you want to go (to get to 100k) and eUp your domestic/transborder flights. Upfaring these routes except at Xmas and summer holidays can be hundreds of dollars per segment. Depending on route of course.
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Old Dec 19, 18, 3:04 pm
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Originally Posted by ridefar View Post


i have found them increasingly reluctant to do it. You can pretty much count on needing to have the TA process the upfare.

Personally I doubt the strategy is worthwhile. For the thousands in upfares you could just buy a J ticket to someplace you want to go (to get to 100k) and eUp your domestic/transborder flights. Upfaring these routes except at Xmas and summer holidays can be hundreds of dollars per segment. Depending on route of course.
Well it depends. OP could upfare to high flex and use less eupgs and thus end up in J more often. OP already has three long haul in J for 75K so he does not need eupgs for this. This is specially true if he has to fly on work anyway but the company restricts fares to low economy. Essentially he would fly the same trips but get a higher status as opposed to flying a separate J personal trip.
PE to J YYZ-TPE upfare on one of my trips was $400. Saved me 26 eupg which I used for NA upgrades. Only OP knows his travel schedule and fare classes.
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Old Dec 19, 18, 3:09 pm
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Originally Posted by vernonc View Post
Well it depends. OP could upfare to high flex and use less eupgs and thus end up in J more often. OP already has three long haul in J for 75K so he does not need eupgs for this. This is specially true if he has to fly on work anyway but the company restricts fares to low economy. Essentially he would fly the same trips but get a higher status as opposed to flying a separate J personal trip.
PE to J YYZ-TPE upfare on one of my trips was $400. Saved me 26 eupg which I used for NA upgrades. Only OP knows his travel schedule and fare classes.
This exactly!

I was hoping someone had a site to help me monitor upfare opportunities and/or had done some analytics to find out the ideal time to call in for an upfare to flex (for example,T-14 days prior to transborder departures Flex fares are usually at their lowest or something to that matter?!)
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Old Dec 19, 18, 3:10 pm
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Originally Posted by vernonc View Post
Well it depends. OP could upfare to high flex and use less eupgs and thus end up in J more often. OP already has three long haul in J for 75K so he does not need eupgs for this. This is specially true if he has to fly on work anyway but the company restricts fares to low economy. Essentially he would fly the same trips but get a higher status as opposed to flying a separate J personal trip.
PE to J YYZ-TPE upfare on one of my trips was $400. Saved me 26 eupg which I used for NA upgrades. Only OP knows his travel schedule and fare classes.
That is precisely my point: upfaring an international is a far better mileage return on the dollar. For $400 on YYC-YYZ you would be lucky to get to M.

As as for the rest you are right but I assumed OP was upfaring not to get into J but because he or she needs the COS bonus to get to 100k.
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Old Dec 19, 18, 3:19 pm
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Originally Posted by ridefar View Post


That is precisely my point: upfaring an international is a far better mileage return on the dollar. For $400 on YYC-YYZ you would be lucky to get to M.

As as for the rest you are right but I assumed OP was upfaring not to get into J but because he or she needs the COS bonus to get to 100k.
I think we agree. Since he is already in J on International, his options are to upfare his TB and domestic and/OR fly some more personal trips. I agree upfaring to J on domestic or TB would be cost prohibitive as it seems like he is flying standard. So perhaps upfaring to high flex and using eupgs would be a bonus or even better upfare to PE where PE is an option.
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Old Dec 19, 18, 3:22 pm
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Originally Posted by dennisthemenace View Post
This exactly!

I was hoping someone had a site to help me monitor upfare opportunities and/or had done some analytics to find out the ideal time to call in for an upfare to flex (for example,T-14 days prior to transborder departures Flex fares are usually at their lowest or something to that matter?!)
I do not think there is any such analytics as it depends on the loads, time of year, day of week and routes. I suggest upfaring immediately on standard fare ticket purchase as that is likely your best bet for a smaller premium to upfare.
Do you have an idea on the number of trips with mileage ? I assume you are ok for AQD.
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Old Dec 19, 18, 3:41 pm
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Perhaps I'm off base here, but would it be possible to lobby your employer to get an Air Canada flight pass for the team? The reason being is that most flight passes book into Flex, which I suspect is the fare you're looking for!

I know when I was working at a startup I managed to successfully lobby for it. Initially there were objections that the pass credits were more expensive than the fares you find on Flights when searching 2-3 weeks in advance. However when I showed a report which stated that we booked flights on average a couple of days in advanced, and in the rare instances where we booked in advanced there was an x% chance we had to cancel/rebook, it became obvious that the flight pass was the better option.

The other approach, of course would be booking all your business travel last minute to force a higher fare. Finally, you could always see an agent at the airport a during check in to get a quote on the up fare. Depending on load factors the offers can be attractive (i.e. the agent quoted me a $120 USD Upfare to PY this week on a SFO->YYZ flight which I declined cause I'm cheap!).

Safe Travels,

James
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Old Dec 19, 18, 8:51 pm
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Originally Posted by vernonc View Post
I do not think there is any such analytics as it depends on the loads, time of year, day of week and routes. I suggest upfaring immediately on standard fare ticket purchase as that is likely your best bet for a smaller premium to upfare.
Do you have an idea on the number of trips with mileage ? I assume you are ok for AQD.
+1
Which is why I asked my questions upthread.
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Old Dec 19, 18, 9:23 pm
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My corporate TA charges $20 per reservation during business hours, regardless of if it is on the phone or online. I think that's a pretty standard service charge for a large company with lots of travelers. Even if they charge you a fee for upfaring (you're literally making them money, so they really shouldn't), I don't think paying a small TA service charge is that bad all things considered.

Originally Posted by j2simpso View Post
Perhaps I'm off base here, but would it be possible to lobby your employer to get an Air Canada flight pass for the team? The reason being is that most flight passes book into Flex, which I suspect is the fare you're looking for!
OP has already said that he is looking upfare to high Flex fares where he needs fewer eUp credits and that his travel patterns are varied all over the US. FPs are fine if you need to travel to the same few places regularly on relatively short notice, but that is not the case here. Also, the standard $120 LMU offered on SFO/LAX-YYZ is not the same thing as an upfare to PE.
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