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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 Oct 16, 20, 11:01 pm
  #61  
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: YYZ
Programs: Aeroplan 50K/Star Alliance Gold, Accor Silver, base level Marriott/Hyatt/Hilton
Posts: 614
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?
Hello fellow peasant

You'll be allowed to use the MLL, you'll get 2x32kg checked in (you'd normally get 2x23kg as P25K) and your bags will be priority tagged. And you'll be allowed to use Aisle 1 business class check-in at YYZ (yes, it is open). Safe travels!

edit: just realized you already flew and had the experience mentioned above.
yyztozag is offline  
Old Oct 17, 20, 9:52 am
  #62  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: YOW
Posts: 41
Originally Posted by yyztozag View Post
Hello fellow peasant

You'll be allowed to use the MLL, you'll get 2x32kg checked in (you'd normally get 2x23kg as P25K) and your bags will be priority tagged. And you'll be allowed to use Aisle 1 business class check-in at YYZ (yes, it is open). Safe travels!

edit: just realized you already flew and had the experience mentioned above.
Thanks anyway

I'm sure other fellow peasant will benefit from this information and make sure it wasn't some kind of "gray area" or loophole.
Leyland1989 is offline  
Old Oct 25, 20, 1:32 pm
  #63  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: YYZ
Programs: AC SE, DL Gold, UA Silver, Bonvoy LT Titanium, Accor Diamond, Hilton Gold
Posts: 347
Is anyone else having trouble with eUpgrades? When I visit the area of the site it just downloads an HTML file. I'm also waitlisted for a flight T-14 that has R space and should clear. The person on the phone wasn't super helpful - said there was nothing she could do to clear the waitlist even though there is R space. She tried removing me and adding me again but it didn't clear.
Benner is offline  
Old Oct 25, 20, 2:08 pm
  #64  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 601
Originally Posted by Benner View Post
Is anyone else having trouble with eUpgrades? When I visit the area of the site it just downloads an HTML file. I'm also waitlisted for a flight T-14 that has R space and should clear. The person on the phone wasn't super helpful - said there was nothing she could do to clear the waitlist even though there is R space. She tried removing me and adding me again but it didn't clear.
Yes, I have been having the same issue accessing the eUpgrade area where it downloads an HTML file. This has been going on for a few days now - I have tried on firefox, chrome and edge and get the same outcome each time.

Edit: Using a VPN allows me to access the site properly.

Last edited by joeags; Oct 25, 20 at 2:19 pm
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Old Oct 26, 20, 11:06 am
  #65  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: YYZ
Posts: 1,141
Hi
Perhaps I am mistaken but if I am travelling with other family members on the same reservation - can I as a SE100k not use my eupgrades to upgrade my entire family (as opposed to one companion?) assuming there is room available?

Really appreciate the help on this

tHanks
llbean is offline  
Old Oct 26, 20, 11:23 am
  #66  
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Toronto, ON
Programs: AC 75K
Posts: 5,819
Originally Posted by llbean View Post
Hi
Perhaps I am mistaken but if I am travelling with other family members on the same reservation - can I as a SE100k not use my eupgrades to upgrade my entire family (as opposed to one companion?) assuming there is room available?

Really appreciate the help on this

tHanks
You can upgrade one companion on the same reservation or on the same flight. SE's also can designate a nominee that doesn't have to be travelling with you.
ChrisA330 is offline  
Old Oct 26, 20, 12:01 pm
  #67  
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: YYZ / NYC
Programs: AC E35K, DL GM , Hyatt Glob.
Posts: 85
Deleted

Last edited by homegrowned; Oct 26, 20 at 1:46 pm Reason: deleted my question. it will forever be a mystery.
homegrowned is offline  
Old Oct 26, 20, 1:44 pm
  #68  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: YYJ
Programs: AC SE, Bonvoy Tit/LT Plat, HH Gold, National EE, Sixt Plat, Enterprise Gold, UA*S, Accor Gold, Hz 5*
Posts: 2,170
That would be a loophole, i've never tried it, but if it does work I wouldn't be posting about it here or the loophole will close.
Nitehawk is offline  
Old Nov 1, 20, 6:13 am
  #69  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: YOW
Programs: AC SE, FOTSG Platinum
Posts: 4,630
Brief loophole available: PE domestic bookings now eUp at the Nov 8 rate, so for any travel in the next (your eUp window) days, you can book a PE award and upgrade instantly, which means I've booked YOW-YVR round trip J for 40k points and 8 eUps.

Interestingly, it doesn't want to charge me extra eUps for the YOW-YYZ leg, but does insist on the $75 co-pay as if that leg were still booked in X, while the whole award would be PE-eligible if the flight had that cabin.
YOWgary is offline  
Old Nov 1, 20, 10:23 am
  #70  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: SFO
Programs: AC SE MM, Bonvoy Tit LT Sil, Hyatt Glob, HH Diamond, Accor Gold, UA Silver
Posts: 39,948
Waitlisted for a flight in a few hours. It just went to R1. So that problem still exists.

Concierge can't push it through, because I have checked bags, she can't offload to re-request.

So the 25K at the bottom of the list now has effective priority over me.
canadiancow is offline  
Old Nov 1, 20, 2:11 pm
  #71  
Moderator, Air Canada; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: YYC
Programs: AC SE MM, WS Gold, DL PM, BA Silver, Marriott Titanium, Accor/Hilton/Radisson Gold
Posts: 14,227
Yikes. So did you get the upgrade in the end?
Adam Smith is online now  
Old Nov 1, 20, 2:20 pm
  #72  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: SFO
Programs: AC SE MM, Bonvoy Tit LT Sil, Hyatt Glob, HH Diamond, Accor Gold, UA Silver
Posts: 39,948
Someone else snagged the R, but I was number 1 for 6 seats after that, so yes.
canadiancow is offline  
Old Nov 1, 20, 2:34 pm
  #73  
Moderator, Air Canada; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: YYC
Programs: AC SE MM, WS Gold, DL PM, BA Silver, Marriott Titanium, Accor/Hilton/Radisson Gold
Posts: 14,227
Originally Posted by canadiancow View Post
Someone else snagged the R, but I was number 1 for 6 seats after that, so yes.
Congrats on your aerolotto win
Adam Smith is online now  
Old Nov 4, 20, 10:53 am
  #74  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: YOW
Programs: AC SE, FOTSG Platinum
Posts: 4,630
So much for automatic upgrades when your window opens.

I've got a YVR-YYZ in 11 days, still had to cancel the request and re-eUp, confirmed immediately.
YOWgary is offline  
Old Nov 4, 20, 10:55 am
  #75  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: YXU
Programs: AC SE100K, Marriott Bonvoy Titanium Elite, IHG Platinum Elite
Posts: 306
Originally Posted by YOWgary View Post
So much for automatic upgrades when your window opens.

I've got a YVR-YYZ in 11 days, still had to cancel the request and re-eUp, confirmed immediately.
That's odd I just had my first experience with a pre-window upgrade request and it was a success. YYZ-YQR in 14 days and had actually forgotten until I got the email saying my upgrade had cleared.
talkeryxu is offline  

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