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Air Canada Makes Using eUpgrades Easier for Aeroplan Members

To the point

Prior to the arrival of the new Aeroplan program on November 8, 2020, Air Canada is making it easier for Aeroplan members to use eUpgrades.

Air Canada eUpgrades

First, before introducing the changes, a reminder of what Air Canada’s eUpgrades are. These are credits that can be redeemed for an upgrade to Business Class or Premium Economy on eligible flights operated by Air Canada.

  • eUpgrades are based on credit and can be used for any eligible Air Canada, Air Canada Express, and Air Canada Rouge itinerary or flight segment which features a Business Class or Premium Economy cabin.
  • eUpgrade Credits can be shared. Super Elite 100K members can designate one eUpgrade Nominee, for whom they can then request an upgrade using credits, even when they are not travelling with them.
  • All Altitude members can also request an upgrade for one companion travelling on either the same reservation or the same flight. You can make these requests at the airport on the day of departure.
  • Your eUpgrades can be requested online. Regardless of where you complete your booking, whether online, with a travel agent, or elsewhere, you can make upgrade requests, and view your eUpgrade transaction history by accessing your eUpgrade account.

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.

Previously, Elite members had to wait for the clearance window to request an eUpgrade (between 3 and 16 days before departure, depending on the booked fare and Altitude status).

From now on, it will be possible to request an eUpgrade at any time. However, it will be confirmed during the 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.

For the past four years, it was a special offer. Now, this becomes a formal status benefit. Plus, all Aeroplan flight rewards will now be eligible for eUpgrades.

eUpgrades for Companions

The transformed Aeroplan is built for families, with all-new features like Family Sharing and Status Pass.

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.

This is good news for Elite members with Altitude Elite Status (soon to be Aeroplan Elite Status)who travel with their families. From now on, they will be able to share their Elite status benefit regarding the eUpgrades clearance window with their travel companions.

eUpgrades and the new Aeroplan program

Air Canada shared with us all the new rules related to eUpgrades in the new Aeroplan program.

These are different depending on:

  • Travel zones (North America / Sun Destinations and international flights)
  • From the desired cabin (business class or premium economy)
  • Fare paid (in cash or Aeroplan miles)

Travel zones

There is a simplification in the travel zones. In summary there are two zones:

  • North America and sun destinations (Hawai, Caribbean, Central America)
  • International flights

eUpgrades Clearance Window

Then, at the level of the eUpgrades Clearance Window, there is a diminution of the number of days compared to before.

For example, previously, members with Elite 35 status who booked a North American flight at the standard fare had 10 days before the flight to request an eUpgrade. Now, it will be 8 days. In fact, each status level decreased by 2 days.

However, as previously reported, it will now be possible to request an eUpgrade at any time, which avoids having to monitor the number of days based on status, fare and destination.

Business Class eUpgrades

North America and Sun destinations

For North America and sun destinations, Air Canada has decided 3 distance thresholds:

  • 0-510
  • 511-1500
  • 1501+

Strangely, the distances do not match those of the North America travel zone which are, as a reminder:

  • 0-500
  • 501-1500
  • 1501-2750
  • 2751+

Why make it simple, when you can make it complicated?

Anyway, if, for example, you would like to upgrade a flight between Montreal and San Francisco (a distance of 2,546 miles), booked in Flex with your Aeroplan miles, it would cost 10 eUpgrades credits.

air-canada-a330-signature-06

International flights

Regarding international flights, Air Canada has simplified things with two distance tiers:

  • 0-5000
  • 5001+

As you can see, Aeroplan is running a promotion until March 30, 2021 for select flights booked in Premium Economy at the lowest fare.

Whether you’ve used your Aeroplan miles or paid for your flight, you’ll be able to use between 12 and 17 eUpgrades credits for a Business Class upgrade, without paying the $200 add-ons that will be charged as of March 31, 2021.

Also note that for blue options, eUpgrade add-ons do not apply for Super Elite members.

Premium Economy eUpgrades

North America and Sun destinations

The same distance tiers apply for Premium Economy eUpgrades:

cdg-yul – air canada eco – covid-33

International flights

It will be interesting to analyze the different fares to ultimately pay a little more (whether in cash or Aeroplan points) to possibly request an eUpgrade.

Conclusion

Air Canada continues to add small touches here and there to its new Aeroplan program.

Most eUpgrades changes are welcome, including being able to request them at all times, without having to monitor the exact date of the upgrade clearance window!

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