E-Upgrades for a Newbie

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Old Jan 23, 19, 12:59 pm
  #1  
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Arrow E-Upgrades for a Newbie

Hey all,

I hit 25k for the first time so I haven't used E-upgrades before. I took a recent flight to Miami and checked how an e-upgrade would work when I checked in using the app. It said I needed 7 or so credits PLUS $175 to upgrade. Does it always cost money to upgrade in addition to credits? I doubt I would pay out of pocket unless it was a 5+ hour flight.

Are there any good guides on getting the best value from e-upgrades? The Air Canada website is useless in explaining how it even works to me.

So far I'm realizing that there is very little value in reaching 25k. Free bags is pretty much the only good thing but I usually try to carry-on because I don't want to wait an hour for my bags to come out at Pearson. Zone 3 boarding seems pointless because of all the gate lice that clog up boarding.
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Old Jan 23, 19, 1:10 pm
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Originally Posted by JetLife View Post
Hey all,

I hit 25k for the first time so I haven't used E-upgrades before. I took a recent flight to Miami and checked how an e-upgrade would work when I checked in using the app. It said I needed 7 or so credits PLUS $175 to upgrade. Does it always cost money to upgrade in addition to credits? I doubt I would pay out of pocket unless it was a 5+ hour flight.

Are there any good guides on getting the best value from e-upgrades? The Air Canada website is useless in explaining how it even works to me.

So far I'm realizing that there is very little value in reaching 25k. Free bags is pretty much the only good thing but I usually try to carry-on because I don't want to wait an hour for my bags to come out at Pearson. Zone 3 boarding seems pointless because of all the gate lice that clog up boarding.
Hi @JetLife

Based on the information you've provided, it means that you were on a non-upgradeable Standard fare (STLAK classes) that is currently upgradeable due to the long-running eUpgrade promotion.

Without this promotion, you wouldn't have even been able (not even offered the opportunity) to use your eUpgrades at all to upgrade. But with the promotion, it requires the copay.

At higher fares, no copay is required to eUpgrade.

https://www.aircanada.com/ca/en/aco/...ade-offer.html
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Old Jan 23, 19, 1:16 pm
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Thanks for the info. I had never seen a chart like that indicating the credits required so it is very helpful.

I usually buy Standard fares. How do I know which of the 3 types of Standard ticket it is?
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Old Jan 23, 19, 1:29 pm
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Originally Posted by JetLife View Post
Thanks for the info. I had never seen a chart like that indicating the credits required so it is very helpful.

I usually buy Standard fares. How do I know which of the 3 types of Standard ticket it is?
I'm a bit lazy at the moment so I don't have any screen grabs for you to look at ( ), but you can find out the fare details near the end of the booking where it breaks down ad nauseum every single rule/detail/restriction of the fare, including the fare basis. The first letter of the fare basis is called the fare class and that's the letter you go by (you already know you've selected a Standard Fare by this point, as other fares might share the same fare class letter as a Standard Fare).

But if there is a specific Standard Fare class that you want to purchase and you can't get the website to give it to you automatically, then you'd have to call into AC to request the specific fare. Not all fares are available to agents, as some are web-only fares.

Of course, I'm assuming you're using the air canada website to book... if you use other tools such as concur or other corporate stuff, or a TA/OTA/etc., then I can't comment on their user interfaces and workflow.
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Old Jan 23, 19, 1:45 pm
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Awesome, thanks again for all of the info!
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Old Jan 23, 19, 3:49 pm
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Note, https://services.aircanada.com/eupgw...vice/eupgrade/ has a preview feature, which will tell your the timelines, eUps & cash required, for a particular route. Same info as the chart, but actually customized to the route you are interested in.

Also, to temper any enthusiasm you may have, at 25k you an only request 4 days out (mostly, rewards flights are 1 day, crazy expensive buckets are any time). Even 35k has 8 days, SE as much as 14.

Most of the time you'll be wait listed, for anything close to popular routes. OTOH, plenty often I've seen J with empty seats, and I've even been opUp'd where they would happily have taken someones credits over me. YMMV. Good luck!
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Old Jan 23, 19, 4:47 pm
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The other benefit of P25K is minimum miles vs. actual miles if you happen to fly a short hop. Don't despair - enjoy whatever benefits you get, as it's better than the alternative.
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Old Jan 23, 19, 6:12 pm
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Originally Posted by RangerNS View Post
Note, has a preview feature, which will tell your the timelines, eUps & cash required, for a particular route. Same info as the chart, but actually customized to the route you are interested in.

Also, to temper any enthusiasm you may have, at 25k you an only request 4 days out (mostly, rewards flights are 1 day, crazy expensive buckets are any time). Even 35k has 8 days, SE as much as 14.

Most of the time you'll be wait listed, for anything close to popular routes. OTOH, plenty often I've seen J with empty seats, and I've even been opUp'd where they would happily have taken someones credits over me. YMMV. Good luck!
Would you be able to direct me to the link where it says Elite 35K has 8 days? The link I'm seeing still shows as 4 days? Sorry if this is a silly question.
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Old Jan 23, 19, 6:23 pm
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Originally Posted by FightorFlight View Post
Would you be able to direct me to the link where it says Elite 35K has 8 days? The link I'm seeing still shows as 4 days? Sorry if this is a silly question.
@FightorFlight

https://www.aircanada.com/ca/en/aco/...ng-window.html

As part of the current eUpgrade promotion, domestic/transborder/Sun destinations allows for 8 days.
International remains at 4 days.

The regular rules (when there is no eUpgrade promotion) is 4 days for all routes.

(and yes I'm referring to E35K)
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Old Jan 24, 19, 7:30 am
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Originally Posted by FightorFlight View Post
Would you be able to direct me to the link where it says Elite 35K has 8 days? The link I'm seeing still shows as 4 days? Sorry if this is a silly question.
Playing with the preview tool indicated 8 days. I did not read any rules, just experimented with the implementation.
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Old Jan 24, 19, 3:25 pm
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As a P25k I learned quickly to managed my expectations. I struck-out repeatedly attempting to e-upgrade between YVR and YYZ. It was comical how far down the list I was. I did however successfully e-upgrade between YVR and YYC 4 out of 4 times.

Another piece of advice, if you didn't already know, is never buy an Economy Basic fare. They are not eligible for e-upgrades, nor are they eligible to upfare if you realize afterwards.
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Old Jan 24, 19, 3:28 pm
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Originally Posted by F 1 View Post
As a P25k I learned quickly to managed my expectations. I struck-out repeatedly attempting to e-upgrade between YVR and YYZ. It was comical how far down the list I was. I did however successfully e-upgrade between YVR and YYC 4 out of 4 times.

Another piece of advice, if you didn't already know, is never buy an Economy Basic fare. They are not eligible for e-upgrades, nor are they eligible to upfare if you realize afterwards.
YVRYYZ is a flagship and premium route for AC (perhaps those aren't the proper terms to use, but you get the gist)... I even missed out on an upgrade as SEMM.

As for Economy Basic - yuppers... you can't change anything with that fare. It is bare bones and you get what you pay for.
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Old Jan 24, 19, 3:44 pm
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Originally Posted by yyznomad View Post
YVRYYZ is a flagship and premium route for AC (perhaps those aren't the proper terms to use, but you get the gist)... I even missed out on an upgrade as SEMM.

As for Economy Basic - yuppers... you can't change anything with that fare. It is bare bones and you get what you pay for.
InB4 James makes some “bare bones” joke relating to deflategate.
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Old Jan 24, 19, 5:56 pm
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Maybe the TA just rebooked it (though the booking reference is unchanged) but a colleague was able to change from a Basic fare as Stabdard a week or so ago for about $65.

Basic is the nastiest thing AC has done to business travelers since branded fares IMHO.
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Old Jan 25, 19, 8:03 am
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Originally Posted by F 1 View Post
Another piece of advice, if you didn't already know, is never buy an Economy Basic fare. They are not eligible for e-upgrades, nor are they eligible to upfare if you realize afterwards.
Aren't those the cheapest fares though? I buy whatever is cheapest.
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