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Air Canada eUpgrade program (October 2020 onwards) [read wiki BEFORE asking question]

Air Canada eUpgrade program (October 2020 onwards) [read wiki BEFORE asking question]

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Old Sep 27, 22, 4:19 pm   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: Adam Smith
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Q: What is an eUpgrade?
A: eUpgrades (sometimes referred to as eUps) are a benefit of elite status with AC that allow elites to upgrade to a higher cabin (business class / Signature class, a.k.a. J, or premium economy, a.k.a. PY or PE).

Q: Are eUps automatic, like on Delta/AA/United?
A: No, you have to request one online or with a phone agent. You have to have sufficient eUpgrade credits, with an expiry date at least equal to the date of your flight, to make the request. If you dont request an eUp, AC has no problem letting you sit in your original cabin, even if it means letting seats in J/PY go out empty.

Q: How many eUpgrade credits do I need for my flight?
A: Here's the official eUp chart (last updated by AC on Oct 2 2020; current as of at least July 2022)

Q: When can I request an eUpgrade?
A: You can request an upgrade as soon as you book the flight with the exception of the travel companion benefit (person on same flight but not on same PNR; see below for details). Travel companion eUpgrade requests need to be made by airport staff after the flight opens for check-in.

Q: When can I confirm (or "clear") my eUpgrade?
A: You have to be within the "clearance window" that applies to your status and fare type. The windows are detailed in the AC eUp requirements document.

Q: Can you be more specific?
A1, for flexible fares (Latitude and Premium Economy Flexible): You can confirm an eUpgrade immediately after booking, SUBJECT TO UPGRADE SPACE BEING AVAILABLE.
A2, for non-flexible fares (Standard, Flex, Comfort, Premium Economy Lowest): You have to be within the clearance window in the document linked above, which ranges from 3-14 days, depending on fare brand, route, and status.
Exception: if you have no status, you can only clear an upgrade on a flexible fare 3 days in advance, and on a non-flexible fare cannot clear before the gate

Q: The AC website tells me whether my upgrade request will be confirmed or waitlisted. Is it reliable?
A:
No. The website may tell you youll be waitlisted, when in fact your upgrade will be confirmed right away. Or it may say theres space available even though youll be waitlisted. This is true of both the upgrade availability displayed during the booking flow as well as the eUpgrade website. The only exception being that if youre outside your clearance window, the website should pretty reliably tell you that youll be waitlisted.

Q: I see a lot of people talking about "R space" or "R0", what does that mean?
A:
In short, R is the fare bucket Air Canada uses to make eUpgrade space available. If R is greater than zero, there are eUp spaces still available. If R = 0, then anyone who's requested an eUp will be waitlisted.

Q: I only want to upgrade to Premium Economy?
A:
Replace "R" with "N".

Q: Im waitlisted on a flight thats R0. Will AC release more R space before the flight? Do I have to wait until the flight to find out whether Im upgraded?
A:
AC might release more R space tomorrow (or clear your upgrade without creating any R space). Or they might never clear any more upgrades on that flight. If youre still waitlisted, your upgrade may clear at the gate.

Q: What does at the gate mean?
A:
The upgrade list is typically processed 5 minutes after check-in for the flight closes. Check-in generally closes 45 minutes before domestic flights and 1 hour before international flights, meaning the upgrade list gets run at T-40 or T-55, as applicable. Even if your upgrade doesnt clear at that point, its theoretically possible to still be upgraded, if someone else in the cabin doesnt show up, although once you board, its unlikely an agent will come on and upgrade you even if a spot did open up see this thread.

Q: How can I find the R space for my flight?
A:
Using a paid service like ExpertFlyer. If you ask nicely and don't overdo it, many FTers with EF accounts will help you in the Official Fare Bucket Check Request Thread.

Q: So, WHEN should I check for R space for my flight?
A:
This depends on both your status, and what kind of fare you have, so please read and keep in mind the confirmation windows mentioned above.
But if you have (or are about to purchase) a flexible fare (Latitude and Premium Economy Flexible), then by all means check nowsince your upgrade could also clear immediately. If your plans are flexible, this can be a useful strategy to help find specific flights that could clear immediately well before the normal confirmation windows.

If you dont have one of the flexible fares mentioned, R space viewed on something like ExpertFlyer is only useful when you get close to your confirmation window. Checking before that is probably a waste of time.

Q: I heard a rumour that paid Latitude fares can eUp even when R=0. Is this true?
A:
Sometimes; it's complicated. Senior execs at Aeroplan have said that in some cases a Latitude or PE Flex cash fare might clear an eUp even when R=0, but they've also been very clear that they will not be releasing the exact method by which this is determined, and that the same thing is less-often true for award Latitude / PE Flex. In other words, it may happen but don't assume it.

Q: My flight shows R=1 (or more), and I'm within my window, but my upgrade has not cleared.
Answer depends on how close you are to the flight.
  • Within 36 hours of departure Your upgrade can't clear until the gate.
  • More than 36 hours from departure: Cancelling the request and then requesting again may solve it. Or you may be able to solve it by phoning in. Or you may not, because it's AC.

Q: What are my chances of clearing an eUp for [FLIGHT] on [DATE] if I have [STATUS]?
A:
All we can do is make an educated guess. Lots of business travel gets booked last minute, or pilots need to reposition, or any of a dozen other things that might turn J9 into J0 just before departure.

Q: But the seat map shows [x] seats occupied. Surely that means my odds are [good][bad]?
A: STOP LOOKING AT THE SEAT MAP. STOP LOOKING AT THE SEAT MAP. STOP LOOKING AT THE SEAT MAP.

Seriously, stop looking at the seat map. The seat map is not an accurate guide to the number of seats available in the cabin. Many people do not select their seats when booking, which can mean more seats have been sold than show as occupied on the seat map. On the other hand, due to IT glitches, seats are sometimes shown as blocked when there are waitlisted eUps or staff members on passes (see this thread for details). So the seat map may show more seats available than there truly are, or fewer. Or it may be correct. Theres no way to know for sure.

So stop looking at the seat map.

Q: I see people talking about "Aerolotto", what is that? Can I bet eUps?
A:
Aerolotto is a slang term for waiting at the gate to see if your eUp clears, or you're stuck in the original seat you paid for.

Q: Im booked in economy on an aircraft with both PY and J cabins. Can I request an upgrade to both?
A:
No, you can only request an upgrade to one cabin.

Q: Can I confirm an upgrade to PY, then request an upgrade to J?
A:
Nope. Once you confirm a PY upgrade, thats it.

Q: If I dont clear my upgrade to J, can I get upgraded to PY?
A:
Yes, if your upgrade doesnt clear until the gate, you will be on the list for both J and PY.

Q: When do eUps expire?
A:
If earned before July 1 of a calendar year, they will expire January 16 of the following year. After that, they will expire January 16 of the year after that. For example, an eUp earned on June 10, 2022 would expire on January 16, 2023. An eUp earned on July 3, 2022 would expire on January 16, 2024.

Q: I want to use my eUp credits to upgrade somebody else. Is this possible?
Are they on the same booking (PNR) as you?
  • Yes: You can upgrade a maximum of two passengers on a booking. If the booking has more than two passengers, you can't request an upgrade for any of them, before the day of travel. You can split the booking so that it has at most two passengers, then upgrade it, although splitting bookings can come with other negative consequences.
  • No, but theyre on the same flight: You can request the upgrade at the airport on the day of travel; AC refers to this as upgrading a "travel companion".
  • No, and theyre not on the same flight: No, unless youre Super Elite. If youre Super Elite, you can designate a nominee, and you can upgrade this person on any flight theyre on. Your nominee selection stays in effect until the end of the status year, and you only get one per status year. You cannot upgrade anyone else on your nominee's PNR.

Q: What's the maximum number of people I can upgrade on a flight
Are you Super Elite?
  • No: 3 (yourself + one person on the same PNR + travel companion)
  • Yes: 4 (yourself + one person on the same PNR + travel companion + nominee)
Q: If I request an eUp and it doesn't clear, I don't lose the credits or the co-pay, right?
A:
Correct. You're only charged if you get upgraded.

Q: I want to upgrade my flight on date X, but all my eUps expire on date Y, where Y < X. Can I upgrade?
A: NO. To eUp any flight, at any time, you need to have credits that are still valid on the date of the flight.

Q: Can I use eUps on partner flights?
A:
No, only on flights operated by aircraft with "Air Canada" written on the outside.

Q: Can I use eUps if I credit my mileage on an Air Canada flight to another airline?
A:
To request an eUpgrade, your Aeroplan number has to be on the file. Crediting to another FFP requires changing your Aeroplan number after check-in.

Q: Can I use eUps on an Air Canada operated flight that was booked through a partner?
Answer depends on what type of booking you have made.
  • Revenue tickets (i.e. not points): Yes, but with some complexity as to when and how you can request the upgrade.
    Is your AC flight a codeshare (a flight marketed by the other airline but operated by AC, e.g. marketed as UA5678, operated by AC as AC1234)?
    • No: you should be able to request it as usual via the eUp site
    • Yes: you can eUpgrade that -- but not before the day of the flight. You may only request an upgrade with an Air Canada agent at the airport, or at the departure gate on your day of travel.
  • Points tickets (United MileagePlus, Avianca Lifemiles, etc): No. These tickets cannot be upgraded.

Q: Are eUps guaranteed once they're confirmed?
A:
Not quite. For example, you won't get bumped out of an eUp just because somebody with higher status requested one after yours was confirmed. However, in very rare circumstances, such as if your plane gets swapped for one with a smaller business cabin, you might lose your eUp.

Q: What is the priority for upgrades?
A:
Upgrade priority at the gate, as written by canadiancow:
  1. Cabin: If you're in PY, you're ahead of everyone in Y
  2. Status: SE 2MM+ with credit card > SE 2MM+ > SE MM with credit card > SE MM > SE with credit card > SE > 75K 2MM+ with credit card, etc. If two passengers are on the PNR, the priority might be based on the highest status, regardless of who requested the upgrade, per this post
  3. "Fare": Brand comes first (PF > PL; LT > CO > FL > ST), so a low Comfort fare is higher priority than Flex M. Within a brand, fare class matters. If you bought your ticket through another airline, and you don't have a brand, they infer a brand based on the fare class.
    Fare class hierarchy:
    • PY fares: O > E > N > A
    • Y fares: Y > B > M > U > H > Q > V > W > S > T > L > K > G
  4. Check-in time: As indicated by your sequence number

Upgrade priority prior to the gate is similar, with possible exceptions for full-fare (Latitude / Premium Economy Flexible) bookings. In the old system, a 25K on a Latitude fare would be ahead of a SE on a Premium Economy Lowest fare prior to the gate. Time of upgrade request replaces check-in time.
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Old Aug 21, 22, 6:04 pm
  #2806  
Moderator, Air Canada; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
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Originally Posted by aircrashsurvivor View Post
Is it too early to be checking R space on YYZ - MCO for mid Sept ? The 14 into MCO and the 20th back to YYZ ? And if so when should we ask for someone to kindly check it to see if we have a chance at an eup for 2 passengers
If you're booking (or already have booked) a Latitude/PY Flexible fare, you could check right before you're thinking of booking. If you're booking (or have already booked) anything less, it's a waste of your time (including yours) to check until pretty much right before your eUp window opens. A flight that's R5 today could easily be R0 tomorrow. Or if you're 50K and it's R5 at T-14.01 days, it could easily go to R0 at T-14 days as soon as the SE window opens. I'll add this to the wiki for future reference.

When you want to check availability, please note the fare bucket request thread which is linked in the wiki.
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Old Aug 22, 22, 11:59 am
  #2807  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
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Adam Smith , I added something to wiki about this - feel free to edit or delete.
aircrashsurvivor likes this.
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Old Aug 22, 22, 12:05 pm
  #2808  
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Originally Posted by Bohemian1 View Post
Adam Smith , I added something to wiki about this - feel free to edit or delete.
It's not my wiki - always good to have more people contributing

(Although I did clean up the formatting a bit)
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Old Aug 22, 22, 1:24 pm
  #2809  
a7x
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 9
hi all,

I read the wiki and I have 40 eUps expiring later this year + 1 buddy pass. I would love to take my wife, myself & toddler (same ticket) to Cancun but we are flexible. We can fly anywhere with a high chance of upgrade lol.

Should I book a latitude fare and then eUp for better chances according to wiki? I can afford Y, paying for PY might be a stretch Note that this is for Christmas travel due to daycare closure + holidays.

Thanks!

I have EF membership if that helps. I am aeroplan 25k I might become 35k when I return from my vacation (starting Wednesday) coz we are doing DEL-SIN-YVR paid in J class (SQ).
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Old Aug 22, 22, 2:14 pm
  #2810  
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Programs: AC*SE100K
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Assuming you are flying on narrow bodied metal (unless they run wide bodies to Cancun?), and given the fact you are 25K, your best chance to upgrade would be to try it on a lat fare. Also, I assume the toddler is sitting on a lap? You can only upgrade one person in addition to yourself. EF should tell you what R space is available for immediate lat upgrade.
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Old Aug 22, 22, 2:19 pm
  #2811  
 
Join Date: Mar 2022
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They fly 777 to and from YYZ/CUN and YUL/CUNin the winter months
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Old Aug 22, 22, 2:22 pm
  #2812  
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Calgary,AB
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Was I overcharged?

I had an upgrade to J clear. 4 days prior to my flt (25K, AP standard fare). Was charged 11 credits each for the missus & I annd was to be $165 ea-in line with the e_up chart. The am of the flt, aircraft downgraded and we were punted back to PY. At the gate, I was upgraded to J only 1 seat open. (of course I let my wife sit in the pod & I stayed in PY).. They ended up charging us $150 each (PY is listed as $75) and they kept the 22 e credits (PY should be 7). Am I correct here and if I call in would an agent be able to get this corrected? I don't care as much about the $75 but when you only get 25 credits a year they are precious! Also we had paid for exit row seats before the upgrades-will they refund those fees if I write in & request in this scenario?
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Old Aug 22, 22, 2:23 pm
  #2813  
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
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Originally Posted by TheViperOne View Post
They fly 777 to and from YYZ/CUN and YUL/CUNin the winter months
Ah. Did not know that. In that case his best bet is still early lat or PE lowest if there is no R space and it goes to the gate. I don't see a 25K making it out of steerage over the xmas holidays. It wouldn't surprise me if those flights are all R0 right now, actually.
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Old Aug 22, 22, 2:34 pm
  #2814  
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
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Originally Posted by muskoka View Post
I had an upgrade to J clear. 4 days prior to my flt (25K, AP standard fare). Was charged 11 credits each for the missus & I annd was to be $165 ea-in line with the e_up chart. The am of the flt, aircraft downgraded and we were punted back to PY. At the gate, I was upgraded to J only 1 seat open. (of course I let my wife sit in the pod & I stayed in PY).. They ended up charging us $150 each (PY is listed as $75) and they kept the 22 e credits (PY should be 7). Am I correct here and if I call in would an agent be able to get this corrected? I don't care as much about the $75 but when you only get 25 credits a year they are precious! Also we had paid for exit row seats before the upgrades-will they refund those fees if I write in & request in this scenario?
you should get refunded for everything you didn't actually use. I'd call in.
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Old Aug 22, 22, 7:06 pm
  #2815  
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I was waitlisted on YYT-YYZ from paid Latitude. The flight was showing J3 C2 D2 Z1 P0 R0.

I was reminiscing about the old rules, where Z would be sufficient for this. So I searched for a new booking, and while it said Comfort (and lower) would be waitlisted, it said Latitude was available for upgrade.

So I cancelled my upgrade request (online), then requested it again (online), and it confirmed me into J.
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Old Aug 22, 22, 7:41 pm
  #2816  
 
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Originally Posted by canadiancow View Post
So I cancelled my upgrade request (online), then requested it again (online), and it confirmed me into J.
I think that it sucks that we have to be this vigilant and jump through even minor hoops (or call in) to make this happen.

This should just happen. Even if it's a daily batch job.
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Old Aug 22, 22, 7:44 pm
  #2817  
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Originally Posted by Bohemian1 View Post
I think that it sucks that we have to be this vigilant and jump through even minor hoops (or call in) to make this happen.

This should just happen. Even if it's a daily batch job.
A daily batch job leaves a lot of opportunity for someone to skip the list. The flight's in 6 days so a lot of people are in their clearance window.

But the loads had looked like this for a while, and it never occurred to me to try to force it.
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Old Aug 23, 22, 1:34 pm
  #2818  
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
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Latitude Ticket Upgraded - Same Day Changr

Hi All - Ive upgraded a latitude reward ticket and am looking to change to an earlier flight. If I make the change while checking in online, will I also get the upgrade on the new flight or will it be Y and then have to upgrade again?
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Old Aug 23, 22, 1:36 pm
  #2819  
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It will revert to your ticketed cabin.
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Old Aug 23, 22, 1:41 pm
  #2820  
 
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Originally Posted by yyz-kin View Post
Hi All - I’ve upgraded a latitude reward ticket and am looking to change to an earlier flight. If I make the change while checking in online, will I also get the upgrade on the new flight or will it be Y and then have to upgrade again?
Online versus calling in is likely to be different.

I've done this by calling in a few times and have always had my upgrade intact on the new flight. I can't recall if ALL of those flights had positive J space or not (I'm assuming we are talking about a J upgrade here).

As an example, last week I called into the Concierge to ask them to make the change for me to a different flight on the same day. The Concierge warned me that I might lose the upgrade, but said she would call her teammates at YVR and ask them if they could just upgrade me immediately. They did, so I got the flight I wanted and the upgrade.

But YMMV. Calling in may not be a bad way to go though.

Last edited by Bohemian1; Aug 23, 22 at 1:43 pm Reason: Emphasis on call versus online.
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