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Getting upgraded on mixed cabin Aeroplan redemptions

Getting upgraded on mixed cabin Aeroplan redemptions

Old Jan 3, 19, 5:39 pm
  #1  
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Getting upgraded on mixed cabin Aeroplan redemptions

Note: This is almost guaranteed to stop working when airports switch over to Amadeus for DCS.

This post has been written to help everyone when they inevitably make an Aeroplan booking where one or more AC segments could not be confirmed in the cabin for which miles were redeemed.

This only applies to Aeroplan Fixed Mileage redemptions. It does not apply to Aeroplan Market Fare redemptions, or X class bookings through other programs.

For example, if I book:

SFO-YYZ / Business / I class
YYZ-YOW / Economy / X class

This costs 25k points, which is the same as if both segments were in business.

Therefore, I have an entitlement to sit in premium economy or business.

The best and easiest way to get the second segment moved to a higher cabin is to find regular reward space (or IKK as the case may be), and call Aeroplan. There will be no change fee as long as you remain on the same flight. This can be done any time up until two hours before departure.

However, if space does not open before departure, you're eligible to be added to the onload list for flights operated by Air Canada (including Express and rouge). Flights operated by other airlines are not eligible for this process.

This has been a long-standing issue for many FTers, myself included, as recently as two weeks ago. Two concierges and a gate supervisor said I was on the list for business class. The app did not show my name, and a competent check-in agent finally made it happen, after several other check-in agents were unable.

I have since talked to several more competent people, and can now tell you exactly how this needs to be handled.

First, approach an agent at the airport the flight in question is departing from. This can be a concierge if you're Super Elite (central concierge can do this for any airport), a check-in agent, Maple Leaf Lounge agent, customer service agent, or gate agent. This must be done at the airport, and it must be done before check-in closes (or the list will be processed before you're on it).

Next, mention that you have a business or premium economy Aeroplan booking (don't say "first", say "business", as it is less likely to confuse them), but this segment is only confirmed in economy or premium economy.

Then mention you need to be placed on the upgrade list. Use that word. It's what shows up on their screen.

Based on my above example:
"Hi, I have a business class Aeroplan redemption, but this segment is only confirmed in economy. Can you please add me to the upgrade list for business class?"

Hopefully that's good enough. When they do it properly, your name will show up on the upgrade list in the app. If your name does not show up, they have not done it properly.

If your name doesn't appear, or they seem confused or uncertain about the process, you can walk them through it.

1. In DCS, pull up your flight (give them the boarding pass to make it easier)
2. Edit
3. Variable class
4. Select: 1
5. Preferred class: J (for business) / O (for premium economy)
6. Free or Paid upgrade: F
7. Add edit to connection: N



There may be some consternation on this forum over "free", but I have verified this with several people. It's the correct option.

After this is done, you will be on the list in the app, and properly listed for a seat in the cabin (if you’re confirmed in economy but listed for business, you’ll also be eligible for any open premium economy seat).

Five minutes after the flight closes, PDM will process the list, and if a checkmark appears beside your name, you can go collect a new boarding pass. If you still haven’t cleared, it may be worth waiting due to YBYL (You Board You Lose) on AC?.

Last edited by canadiancow; Jan 21, 20 at 5:18 pm Reason: Added Amadeus note
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Old Jan 3, 19, 5:45 pm
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Thanks, this is great (How dare you do extra work and get these details!). I can confirm that I've had success with MLL agents with the "Biz AP ticket confirmed in Y" statement. However, I've seen and know those in a similar situation with much less success.
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Old Jan 3, 19, 5:47 pm
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Thanks for this, very useful. Assuming that you do actually make it onto the upgrade list, where do you stand in priority?

My recent experience with a paid ticket is that as higher priority pax checked in, I got bumped down a few rungs on the list showing in the app.

And BTW, my experience with mixed cabins on AE awards is that invariably you're confirmed in J on the short leg and not on the long leg.
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Old Jan 3, 19, 5:50 pm
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Originally Posted by yyznomad View Post
Thanks, this is great....
+1
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Old Jan 3, 19, 5:50 pm
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Originally Posted by Sopwith View Post
Thanks for this, very useful. Assuming that you do actually make it onto the upgrade list, where do you stand in priority?

My recent experience with a paid ticket is that as higher priority pax checked in, I got bumped down a few rungs on the list showing in the app.

And BTW, my experience with mixed cabins on AE awards is that invariably you're confirmed in J on the short leg and not on the long leg.
I didn't really want to get into details of priority here, primarily because the order in the list isn't always accurate (went into a discussion about this with the same agents who helped me put this information together). The last time I had anyone with the correct knowledge of priority confirm things for me, it was still cabin (the one you're confirmed in on the flight, not the one you redeemed miles for), then status, but within the top of that group. However at that time, the processing mirrored the order in the list. This is no longer where you appear in the list, but I have no reason to believe the actual priority has changed from this when it's processed.
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Old Jan 3, 19, 5:56 pm
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Very informative and useful post. Thanks.
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Old Jan 3, 19, 6:11 pm
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If only the out station agents were aware of these steps.

I am specifically referring to MAD and MUC station managers and third-party agents.
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Old Jan 3, 19, 6:20 pm
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Great write up! But I have a question.

You made a very explicit distinction between Fixed Mileage vs Market Fare redemptions. Why does this process not apply to the latter?
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Old Jan 3, 19, 8:05 pm
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cow, thanks for this. Great detail.
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Old Jan 3, 19, 8:48 pm
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Thank you very much canadiancow. Am going to keep this info on my phone on my AC tips notes (where I also store the reset info for a deflated seat).

Last edited by SteadyAT; Jan 3, 19 at 8:48 pm Reason: typo
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Old Jan 3, 19, 8:51 pm
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@canadiancow

This is not really an upgrade though, right?
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Old Jan 3, 19, 9:40 pm
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Originally Posted by canadiancow View Post
cabin (the one you're confirmed in on the flight, not the one you redeemed miles for), then status
YVR-YYZ - I was confirmed in PY (Aeroplan J award), no status. An SE on paid ticket confirmed in Y got upgraded to J ahead of me. I had to fly in PY.
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Old Jan 3, 19, 10:02 pm
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Originally Posted by Bohemian1 View Post
Great write up! But I have a question.

You made a very explicit distinction between Fixed Mileage vs Market Fare redemptions. Why does this process not apply to the latter?
With Market Fare, you're basically buying published fares. It's common for it to sell you P class on YVR-YWG and M class on YWG-YYZ if that results in a lower cost than full J class the whole way (if YWG-YYZ was J1 C0).

In that case, you've bought two fares (one Y, one J), so you're already in the only cabin you're entitled to.

Originally Posted by echino View Post
YVR-YYZ - I was confirmed in PY (Aeroplan J award), no status. An SE on paid ticket confirmed in Y got upgraded to J ahead of me. I had to fly in PY.
Well I suppose it's possible things have changed then, but there's another thread for upgrade priority: Official Air Canada Upgrade Priority
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Old Jan 3, 19, 10:12 pm
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Originally Posted by canadiancow View Post
Well I suppose it's possible things have changed then, but there's another thread for upgrade priority: Official Air Canada Upgrade Priority
But is the problem here perhaps that, since echino had not followed the procedure outlined in your post here, that (s)he was not on the upgrade list, hence the SE in Y (lower cabin) getting chosen ahead?
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Old Jan 3, 19, 10:18 pm
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Originally Posted by Adam Smith View Post
But is the problem here perhaps that, since echino had not followed the procedure outlined in your post here, that (s)he was not on the upgrade list, hence the SE in Y (lower cabin) getting chosen ahead?
I assumed that there had been confirmation of being on the list.

That was why I spent 45 minutes on my recent LAX-YYZ dealing with this. Everyone kept saying I was on the list, but I wasn't. Someone had just added a note on my file that said "please upgrade at the gate if there are seats available due to business class redemption" or something. I'm sure the GA would have seen it and done it, and since we departed with empties, it would have been fine. But if there are 5 open seats and 10 people actually on the list, by the time anyone reads those notes, the cabin would be full.

That's why it's crucial to verify you're actually on the list.
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