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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 Aug 11, 22, 9:13 am   -   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: 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: 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: 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 did not upgrade immediately.
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: I only want to upgrade to Premium Economy? What's the answer to all the previous questions?
A:
Replace "R" with "N".

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.

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 on an Air Canada operated flight that was booked through a partner?
A:
Yes. If you are travelling on a codeshare flight operated by Air Canada (e.g., a flight marketed by United Airlines but operated by Air Canada), 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. If your flight has an AC flight number, you should be able to request it as usual via the eUp site.

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": Based on a conversation with Derek Whitworth, it does seem like the brand (Standard/Flex/Comfort) plays a part here. If I had to speculate based on other things I've seen, I'd say Comfort K beats Flex M. If you bought your ticket through another airline, and you don't have a brand, they infer a brand based on the fare class.
  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 2, 20, 8:11 am
  #1  
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Join Date: May 2020
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Air Canada eUpgrade program (October 2020 onwards) [read wiki BEFORE asking question]

Did anyone get an e-mail regarding the update to e-ups? Looks like you are able to use e-ups on Award Aeroplan Redemptions now. Link to new e-up chart below:

https://www.aircanada.com/content/da...79%7C278755656
MillennialMiles is offline  
Old Oct 2, 20, 8:22 am
  #2  
 
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Interesting changes. I see a 50% reduction in Flex M in NA yet an increase in the rest of the classes.

Last edited by lewis_m; Oct 2, 20 at 8:27 am
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Old Oct 2, 20, 8:36 am
  #3  
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So with the new chart (https://www.aircanada.com/us/en/aco/...eupgrades.html), what happens if I have a confirmed eUp that cost 10 credits, but the chart says it should be 8 now.

Is it going to be reconciled after flying? I had some bookings were it took 2+26 for SFO-YVR-HKG, and then refunded 2 after flying.

Flights are low J and R0 now, so I can't just cancel and re-request.

Also, looks like "request any time, clear at window" isn't quite working yet.


Edit: So it seems this aspect only starts Oct 6, but the UI has been updated to allow you to attempt the request, even if the backend won't permit it.

Last edited by canadiancow; Oct 2, 20 at 9:04 am
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Old Oct 2, 20, 9:05 am
  #4  
 
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These new eupgrade rules look very interesting.

Upgrades for Aussie/Asia have been reduced and the request anytime is a nice perk.

Doesn't look like anything to complain about !
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Old Oct 2, 20, 9:11 am
  #5  
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Originally Posted by lcohen999 View Post
These new eupgrade rules look very interesting.

Upgrades for Aussie/Asia have been reduced and the request anytime is a nice perk.

Doesn't look like anything to complain about !
I like how upgrades from PY are now lower than Y across the board. SFO-TPE is now 17 instead of 26.

However, to clarify the bolded point, while the REQUEST can be made any time, it can only CLEAR at your window. It just means you won't have to set a 3am alarm to upgrade a flight from Asia, or risk others beating you to it. And it means those upgrades will clear by cabin, status, fare class, instead of in the order of whoever clicks first. I still like it, but you're not getting a confirmed upgrade on Flex K at T-365.
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Old Oct 2, 20, 9:16 am
  #6  
 
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For NA or international cash, requirements based on Flex M are same as Comfort M, Latitude Y, B and Premium Economy Flexible.
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Old Oct 2, 20, 10:50 am
  #7  
 
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Originally Posted by canadiancow View Post
I like how upgrades from PY are now lower than Y across the board. SFO-TPE is now 17 instead of 26.

However, to clarify the bolded point, while the REQUEST can be made any time, it can only CLEAR at your window. It just means you won't have to set a 3am alarm to upgrade a flight from Asia, or risk others beating you to it. And it means those upgrades will clear by cabin, status, fare class, instead of in the order of whoever clicks first. I still like it, but you're not getting a confirmed upgrade on Flex K at T-365.
Absolutely. Still it's nice to have one thing less to think about. The PE to J eupgrade issue is now resolved which is great too
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Old Oct 2, 20, 11:04 am
  #8  
 
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Why do SE's and non status holders get the same clearance time on non-Y/O tickets to Europe? These are still very welcome updates, but that's a very strange quirk.
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Old Oct 2, 20, 11:11 am
  #9  
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Originally Posted by yyztozag View Post
Why do SE's and non status holders get the same clearance time on non-Y/O tickets to Europe? These are still very welcome updates, but that's a very strange quirk.
You're misreading the chart. It hasn't changed.

If you have no status, you can ONLY upgrade OYB fares, and only at 7 days. Without status, you can't upgrade anything lower.
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Old Oct 2, 20, 11:14 am
  #10  
 
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Originally Posted by yyztozag View Post
Why do SE's and non status holders get the same clearance time on non-Y/O tickets to Europe? These are still very welcome updates, but that's a very strange quirk.
There are separators between the columns that indicate non-status holders are not eligible. They should put N/A in those cells to make it clear

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Old Oct 2, 20, 11:22 am
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by yyztozag View Post
Why do SE's and non status holders get the same clearance time on non-Y/O tickets to Europe? These are still very welcome updates, but that's a very strange quirk.
It's not the same. Non status members can only upgrade on Y/B/O fares where window is 7 days for all flights (anytime for SE).

For non-Y/B/O fares, SE window is 14 days to NA/Sun and 7 days to international.

Agree they should have coloured boxes differently (or state N/A) to not confuse people although there is a subtle white line for non status members that differentiates between the three boxes on fare buckets.
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Old Oct 2, 20, 11:22 am
  #12  
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Interesting that 25K is only 4 days (instead of 6) for North America. Every other level is double the international window.

Also interesting that they bothered with a chart that says "Altitude Prestige 25K" when it's going to change to "Aeroplan Elite 25K" in a month.
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Old Oct 2, 20, 11:43 am
  #13  
 
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New eUpgrade Improvements (October 2020)

New eUpgrade Improvements (October 2020):
https://aircanada.mediaroom.com/2020-10-02-Air-Canada-Makes-Using-eUpgrades-Easier-More-Rewarding-for-Aeroplan-Members



MONTREAL, Oct. 2, 2020 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada is introducing exciting new improvements to eUpgrades in advance of the relaunch of its Aeroplan program on November 8, 2020. These improvements will make it easier for Air Canada Status members to use their eUpgrade credits, while improving the value and consistency of this market-leading benefit.

"We spoke with thousands of our most frequent flyers as we designed the transformed Aeroplan program, and we received feedback covering all aspects of the upgrade experience," said Mark Nasr, Vice President, Loyalty and eCommerce at Air Canada. "We're excited to put those ideas into action ahead of the Aeroplan relaunch on November 8. With these changes, we're improving the value of eUpgrades, simplifying the program, and making it easier for our status members and their travel companions to enjoy a more comfortable trip."

The eUpgrade improvements include:
  • Simplified eUpgrade Request Process – Beginning October 6, members or their travel agents can request upgrades when they book, or any time prior to check-in at aircanada.com or with Air Canada Reservations. When seats are available, members will clear automatically within their upgrade clearance window.
  • Simplified eUpgrade Requirements – Beginning today, all Air Canada fare options will be eligible for eUpgrades, with the exception of Economy Basic fares. Plus, members will be able to upgrade all Aeroplan flight rewards. What's more, Air Canada has further simplified the eUpgrade requirements across its network, and in most cases reduced the credits and add-ons required for an upgrade.
  • eUpgrades for Companions – The transformed Aeroplan is built for families, with all-new features like Family Sharing and Status Pass. Our members told us how important it is to be able to share the experience of our premium cabins with their travel companions. With that in mind, beginning November 8, when seats are available, upgrade requests for companions traveling in the same reservation will clear with the priority of the member's Altitude status – including at the airport.
These improvements to eUpgrades come in addition to Aeroplan Elite Status benefits already announced earlier this year:

Air Canada Altitude is becoming Aeroplan Elite Status

The transformed Aeroplan will continue to offer five Elite Status levels: Aeroplan 25K, 35K, 50K, 75K, and Super Elite. All of the most popular Elite Status benefits remain, along with some new, first-in-market features, including:
  •  
    • Priority Rewards – Elite Status Members can earn Priority Rewards vouchers entitling them to 50% off the price in points (excluding taxes, third-party fees, and where applicable, a partner booking fee) on eligible flight rewards with Air Canada and its airline partners. Members with Aeroplan 35K Status or higher will automatically receive Priority Rewards when the program launches in November.
    • Status Pass – Eligible Elite Status Members can share their benefits, such as priority boarding and lounge access, with friends and family members, even if they are not travelling together. Members with Aeroplan 50K Status or higher will automatically receive a Status Pass when the feature launches next March.
    • Everyday Status Qualification – Beginning next year, the Aeroplan points that members earn every day from eligible retail, travel, and Aeroplan credit card partners will help members reach Aeroplan 25K Status
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Old Oct 2, 20, 12:02 pm
  #14  
 
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Interesting- starting Tuesday Oct. 6 you can request the upgrade when you book your flights... then the upgrades clear automatically at your upgrade window ( remains 14 days for Se in NA and 7 days for SE for Intl.) or later if no upgrade seats are available at the upgrade window.

At upgrade window, upgrades clear by fare first (Lat and Prem Econ. Flexible) then by status (For same status members Priority is done by fare).
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Old Oct 2, 20, 12:04 pm
  #15  
 
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Other interesting point is that when upgrades some down to the gate, companions on your reservation get your status at the gate for priority.
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