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.
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
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.
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)
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:
Strangely, the distances do not match those of the North America travel zone which are, as a reminder:
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.
Regarding international flights, Air Canada has simplified things with two distance tiers:
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:
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.
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!