To E or not to E?

Old Jul 27, 09, 5:46 pm
  #1  
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To E or not to E?

I'm going to prefix this by saying this is one of those "Should I go for E" posts that invariably will bring some people to comment that "it depends on your travel patterns". What I'm planning to do is list out my scenario and travel patterns. Should this thread somehow offend you (wasting server space or whatnot), feel free to click the "back" button now.

Anyways, here is the gist of it:

Scenario:
I'm currently sitting at 19,098 status miles right now. I have an upcoming YVR-HKG trip in late Aug-early Sept.

I'm planning to take advantage of the $315 AI (T+, S bucket) YVR-HKG OW fare that is on right now. For my return date, only Z is available ($1499+). Total comes out to $1881.XX.

Provided that I book in the above fare classes I would get 6370 SM for YVR-HKG, and then 9555 SM (6370 * 150%) for HKG-YVR, correct?


That would bring me to 35,023 SM, thus qualifying for early E recognition for 2009 and then E for 2010 as well.

My other option is to fly YVR-HKG OW on AC, and then join my long-time girlfriend on JAL biz class (who has already bought her ticket) for the return (for roughly the same price).

Travel Patterns:
I've been flying YVR-HKG about once (or even twice) a year. I also do some US travel flying out of SEA (not carrier specific). I'm leaving a full-time job to go back to school to finish the final year of my Bachelor of Arts, which means that my travel budget will be significantly cut until at least April 2010.

It'd be nice to have a couple of SSWU in my pocket provided that I make the YVR-HKG trip again next year. That being said, since my girlfriend won't have any certs for herself, it'd be upgrading both of us for one direction only. That also, means that I'd have to play Aerolotto with a 4-day window on a typically busy route (correct?). Does anybody have experience upgrading on this route?

I've also pinpointed the benefits that would be applicable to me. Have I missed anything?
  • MLL and *A Lounges (when on *A ticket)
  • 2 SSWU for 2009 and then 2 SSWU for 2010
  • Priority Check-in
  • Priority Baggage
  • MLL Guest Passes

I didn't include SWUs and NAUs because I don't think I'll honestly ever fly on a YMU fare, and I'm not banking on this T+ promotion to repeat next year.

Have I missed anything in this analysis? I know ultimately, I have to value if E is worth not flying with my girlfriend back home (I'm not flying with her on the way there either, just for reference), but I just wanted to make sure that I have all the right information before making this decision.

To summarize:

Is my calculation for the YVR-HKG status miles correct?
Does anybody have any anecdotes re: upgrading YVR-HKG?
Have I missed any relevant E or *G privileges?

Thanks in advance!
incognism is offline  
Old Jul 27, 09, 6:01 pm
  #2  
 
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I've never purchased an exec fare, but I believe your calculations are correct. Really, the question becomes: is spending a travel day away from your girlfriend worth the benefits that you've listed? Benefits that you can then share with said girlfriend. I say, go for it. Even if you're not traveling again until Apr 2010, it sounds like you'll still get some use out of the *G benefits. Don't forget the 50% elite tier bonus miles if you so choose and a couple of fancy beige luggage tags! ^
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Old Jul 27, 09, 6:24 pm
  #3  
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You can always spend 13 hours with your girlfriend, but to let the opportunity pass on achieving Elite status...priceless! But seriously, if you complete this by next month, you'll end up as you've noted with 4 SSWUs, 2 which expire at the end of February 2010, and a new pair with the 2010/11 Elite kit for next year. That plus MLL access and extra luggage allowance (and the fact there is no instant Prestige) would suggest you'd be a fool to pass up the opportunity. Plus depending upon your other choices, some SWUs or NAUs, and a 50% regular mileage bonus on AC flights (which will apply to the flight you cross the 35K mark for another 3185 to your overall AE balance).

However, just check the AE site to confirm that a Z-fare does accumulate 150% and not just 125%. IIRC some discount ExecFirst fares may not earn the full SMs.
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Old Jul 27, 09, 6:44 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by Shareholder View Post
However, just check the AE site to confirm that a Z-fare does accumulate 150% and not just 125%. IIRC some discount ExecFirst fares may not earn the full SMs.
Z fares earn 125% Status miles to HKG not 150%, so you'll need to do some sort of MR to hit 35,000.

Z only earn 150% in Canada and Canada - USA.

See: http://www.aeroplan.com/earn_miles/o...tner=AirCanada
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Old Jul 27, 09, 8:38 pm
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Originally Posted by The Lev View Post
Z fares earn 125% Status miles to HKG not 150%, so you'll need to do some sort of MR to hit 35,000.

Z only earn 150% in Canada and Canada - USA.

See: http://www.aeroplan.com/earn_miles/o...tner=AirCanada
Thanks. I knew it was too good to be true.

That being said, I'd only be 1570 SM short of E. Not too sure if I can fit in a MR between after my HKG trip and Oct 15 to get early E.

And the plot thickens...

Thanks for all your help though, everybody.
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Old Jul 27, 09, 8:59 pm
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Can you route via YYZ?
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Old Jul 27, 09, 9:04 pm
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When you combine a Z fare with another fare, AC considers the conditions of your ticket as the most restrictive conditions that apply (eg Tango + with Z = T + conditions and mileage accrual). I found this out recently when I booked a T+ and Z combo. However, my AE account does show the extra 25% mileage for the Z legs. They may take that away at some point, but so far there they are.

Still, if you can push over the top for your mileage, I say go for it. I have enjoyed being E the last few years. There are the SSWUs, as well as in my case the useable SWUs as I had a London Pass last year, and then there are the occasional op-ups. I have had 4-5 of those so far this year, which isn't too bad, and I got one LHR-YYZ last year.
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Old Jul 27, 09, 9:24 pm
  #8  
 
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Thumbs up

You didn't mention how many miles you actually have, other than the 19k Status Miles. If you have a bunch of points, Elite Status means a better selection of reward travel options plus the convenience of an Elite contact phone service.
I try to keep my E status up for all the "benefits" you mention, plus the (perhaps subjective) easier reward booking and the boarding priority which I really missed with no status.
I would offer that it's worth doing and even worth taking a short MR to do it. You may not be travelling as much as you think but with instant status good through 2010, it would be a shame to end the year only a few miles short.

CB
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Old Jul 27, 09, 9:54 pm
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Hi

From HKG take a *A flight in the right fare class to earn your AP miles. BKK is a good opion to spend the day or night and lock in your gold status.

Cheers
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Old Jul 27, 09, 10:50 pm
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Side question...Is instant Elite only applicable to those who are at 35K+ on that date in October? Or do you get the 2009 SSWU even if you cross 35K in November?
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Old Jul 27, 09, 11:03 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by DaveTO View Post
Side question...Is instant Elite only applicable to those who are at 35K+ on that date in October? Or do you get the 2009 SSWU even if you cross 35K in November?
Nope. You must earn Instant Elite and select your 2009/10 kit benefits (which could include a pair of SSWUs if you opt for them). Otherwise you only get to make that selection for your 2010/11 kit if you pass 35K after the mid-October cutoff.

As for the "lowest fare ticket restrictions" that only applies to the actual T&Cs such as changes, etc. Mileage accumulation is still based on the booking calss of each segment.

Surely the next time a seat sale comes around, OP could book a same day T+ return to YWG or some other spot on the prairies east of YEG/YYC to pick up that 1.5K+ needed. (Even worth it after mid-October if only to get E for next year.) Check out the special discount code in the sticky that's still good until tomorrow for domestic flights.
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Old Jul 28, 09, 1:47 am
  #12  
 
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Go for it...Status is always better than no Status

Originally Posted by DaveTO View Post
Side question...Is instant Elite only applicable to those who are at 35K+ on that date in October? Or do you get the 2009 SSWU even if you cross 35K in November?
Although the website says to qualify for early Elite Status you must cross the 35K+ threshold by Oct 15th, I can say from experience that is NOT ALWAYS the case. Mrs. epost77 & I crossed the 35K+ the end of Oct 2008 (I believe on a flight Oct 27th) and was pleasantly suprised to receive instant 2008 Elite Status
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