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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.
 
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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 Oct 6, 20, 4:20 pm
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Jasper2009 View Post
If it's indeed a new policy, it would be a major devaluation for many longhaul travellers!

The ability to confirm the transcon / NA upgrade at time of booking was a solid incentive to pay the premium for PE vs. Flex.
I always thought that was a bug more than a feature. If you buy a PY fare, your clearance window should be based on that fare. The window was "any time" for Latitude. You didn't buy Latitude.

I'd generally buy PY for the upgrade priority on the long-haul, a much better fallback seat, and the bonus miles. I've taken advantage of the ability to upgrade B at booking, but it's never been part of my decision making process.

But more importantly, this was my experience this morning. They have obviously fixed some things since then. I just can't seem to un-request waitlisted segments to try again.
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Old Oct 6, 20, 9:34 pm
  #47  
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
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For us lower tiers, it is always more of a gamble. Happy to book discounted PY fare and fly it, but never hit the upgrade roll in 19 or 20 pre-Covid. Buying Flex, they made you decide if you were all in on P or J. Again, I hit P, never J.
Buying Lattitude during the few times it gets discounted with an immediate upgrade confirmation is the poor man's (aka lower Elite) safe bet business gambit and only spends a couple Eups. That has worked for me a few times. Unless IRROPS hits which it has, and these days means, "Ya sorry, that flight next week won't be profitable."
I should add, that prior to Covid they did always book me into a better seat. Just that one time, unless you consider Rouge front cabin bulkhead an upgrade. OOOH, I can hold the in flight entertainment in my hands and my knees being so close to my head can help!

Last edited by FlY2XS; Oct 6, 20 at 9:47 pm
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Old Oct 7, 20, 5:36 pm
  #48  
 
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So.....upgrade to Business on AC 192 on a A321 on a X fare and 25K elite is showing 11 credits + $250. Hard pass on this one I think.
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Old Oct 7, 20, 5:45 pm
  #49  
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That's not surprising and probably roughly the same as it's been since X first became upgradeable for the masses.
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Old Oct 8, 20, 7:28 am
  #50  
 
Join Date: May 2012
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Question relating to seat maps and e-upgrades... On the eupgrade site, the seat map shows only say 8 available seats, but if you were to change your seat via the my booking page it shows lots of availability. Does the eupgrade site show actual number of booked seats?
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Old Oct 8, 20, 9:39 am
  #51  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
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Pardon my ignorance, new to the whole upgrade thing here, peasant 25K status holder.
My eUp request has been confirmed with seat selected, as far as I am concerned, I am not entitled to use the MLL (although there have been reports that people manage to "sneak in" without issues), and the luggage allowance will remain the same as the original fare.

My ticket is now showing I'm on R fare on the website, and luggage allowance for my flight have increased to 32kg*2 pieces instead of the 23kg *1 piece.
Is it a bug or a feature with the new eUpgrade? (not that I am going to bring more stuff, just out of curiosity)

Am I allow to use Aisle 1 to check in at YYZ? (if it's still open)
Will my checked baggage be tagged as priority?
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Old Oct 8, 20, 11:48 am
  #52  
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I have a Comfort fare that had a schedule change.

After it was cleaned up, the website wouldn't let me request an upgrade. I called to switch to a different flight, and it still wouldn't let me request. I had the phone agent do it. I'm definitely waitlisted now, but the website still says I'm ineligible and can't modify/cancel the request.
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Old Oct 8, 20, 10:37 pm
  #53  
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Originally Posted by canadiancow View Post
I always thought that was a bug more than a feature. If you buy a PY fare, your clearance window should be based on that fare. The window was "any time" for Latitude. You didn't buy Latitude.

I'd generally buy PY for the upgrade priority on the long-haul, a much better fallback seat, and the bonus miles. I've taken advantage of the ability to upgrade B at booking, but it's never been part of my decision making process.
.
There are obviously different ways of looking at it, but I tend to strongly disagree.

The main reason to book PE is - well - to avoid the misery that is Y. Given the geography involved, an int'l PE itinerary could easily include 8h-10h (or more) time in Y.

There are three main ways for AC handle this:

1) essentially telling customers "well, too bad"
2) allowing NA segments on narrowbody aircrafts without a PE cabin to be booked in J - AC has indeed done exactly that on select routes where competition is strong
3) AC's former approach of allowing pax to upgrade the narrowbody Y segments to be upgraded to J at time of booking using miles or e-upgrades

Whether or not is was intentional, approach #3 certainly added to the attractiveness of PE fares.
3)
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Old Oct 11, 20, 2:56 pm
  #54  
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I'm liking this "request any time". Another upgrade auto-cleared right at T-14.
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Old Oct 12, 20, 2:01 am
  #55  
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
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Originally Posted by Leyland1989 View Post
Pardon my ignorance, new to the whole upgrade thing here, peasant 25K status holder.
My eUp request has been confirmed with seat selected, as far as I am concerned, I am not entitled to use the MLL (although there have been reports that people manage to "sneak in" without issues), and the luggage allowance will remain the same as the original fare.

My ticket is now showing I'm on R fare on the website, and luggage allowance for my flight have increased to 32kg*2 pieces instead of the 23kg *1 piece.
Is it a bug or a feature with the new eUpgrade? (not that I am going to bring more stuff, just out of curiosity)

Am I allow to use Aisle 1 to check in at YYZ? (if it's still open)
Will my checked baggage be tagged as priority?
Domestic?
I was waiting for the more experienced to reply, so pardon the delay. I am E35k.
I dont know the particular rules but I have always used Business check in (including at YYZ ) on a confirmed J upgrade and have always been welcomed there and so has my upgraded DW travelling with me at the MLL. Look for the MLL "invitation" on the bottom of the printed boarding pass. You can ask at check in if you have concerns. Bags have always been priority tagged.
25K gets you 2 free bags per current rewards regardless of fare.
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Old Oct 12, 20, 6:40 pm
  #56  
 
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Originally Posted by canadiancow View Post
I'm liking this "request any time". Another upgrade auto-cleared right at T-14.
How do you do it? I was looking to for a flight in three weeks but it's all greyed out on the eUpgrades page for the reservation.
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Old Oct 12, 20, 7:11 pm
  #57  
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Originally Posted by andrewlawton View Post
How do you do it? I was looking to for a flight in three weeks but it's all greyed out on the eUpgrades page for the reservation.
The normal way, but I've had a few bookings where I couldn't do it online. Usually after changing flights over the phone.
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Old Oct 12, 20, 8:06 pm
  #58  
 
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Originally Posted by FlY2XS View Post
Domestic?
I was waiting for the more experienced to reply, so pardon the delay. I am E35k.
I dont know the particular rules but I have always used Business check in (including at YYZ ) on a confirmed J upgrade and have always been welcomed there and so has my upgraded DW travelling with me at the MLL. Look for the MLL "invitation" on the bottom of the printed boarding pass. You can ask at check in if you have concerns. Bags have always been priority tagged.
25K gets you 2 free bags per current rewards regardless of fare.
Yes, it was domestic.
Thank you for you answer and you are correct.

I can now answer my own questions after flying the flight. I went to priority check, no eyebrows were risen, luggage was tagged priority, and "lounge invitation" was printed on the boarding pass as well.

Cannot confirm about allowance, I have never reached on checked luggage 23kg in my life ...
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Old Oct 13, 20, 12:51 pm
  #59  
 
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Originally Posted by Leyland1989 View Post

Cannot confirm about allowance, I have never reached on checked luggage 23kg in my life ...

Thought I'd never go there either, but have sniffed my 30kg limit and 3 bags a few times playing Sherpa dad in the past year with the Condo in Toronto. You can use those vac bags to shrink the duvets and winter coats and sweaters, but they do weigh a ton. Not to mention the boots!!
The paperwork lists the baggage allowance for the booking. BUT if you scroll further down you will see that there is a generic disclaimer regarding baggage for Altitude Status. You get 2 anyway.

Last edited by FlY2XS; Oct 13, 20 at 1:00 pm
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Old Oct 16, 20, 7:52 pm
  #60  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Programs: AC SE100K , 1MM, Hilton Diamond, KLM
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I have flown 3 flights on a flights pass , June 29 Sept 4 and Sept 28 all required 2 upgrade credit
Booking the same route now AC requires 5 e upgrades now per person . What has changed the chart on the upgrade site still shows 2 for flex class M

When I actually complete the booking and upgrade it shows 1 credit required YVR to YXE

Last edited by traacs; Oct 16, 20 at 10:07 pm
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