AC/AE's not so happy members

Discussion in 'Air Canada | Aeroplan' started by Canadi>n, Jul 1, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Canadi>n
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    Canadi>n Gold Member

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    http://www.frequentbusinesstraveler.com/2013/07/frequent-flyer-program-award-redemption-satisfaction-the-best-and-worst-airlines-for-2013/

    This year, Air Canada’s Aeroplan was the least satisfactory program for award redemption, eliciting a 68% dissatisfaction rate. Only 5% of the 231 Aeroplan member respondents indicated that they were very satisfied and 27% said they were satisfied. Indeed, Air Canada plummeted in the ratings. Last year, it was solidly in the middle of the pack as number ten (out of 15) with 55% of survey respondents indicating they were dissatisfied.
     
  2. The very fact AC has increased their focus on corporate customers means they can lay low on performance in their FF program. That's my take and my rationale is partly based on the fact they have spent a lot of effort rolling out their small business rewards program that offers cash discounts based on volume. They have also stepped up status for those who sign the large corporate contracts by getting more serious with VIP cards. Finally the SE program has never seen me not get a J seat on a desired flight or routing. The MM program offering minimum status for life is also a driver I'm told. So, in many ways AC has skirted the FF program with many other offerings that entice more paid fares. Their BIS reports seem to indicate they are doing the right things business wise with flights being very full. The days of real freebies seem to be passé with them unless you are very top tier or a big corporate spender.
    In my personal case, when and if I ever retire, I and my wife will both have at minimum elite status for life which won't be too bad once travel slows down in a few years. I might still achieve lifetime SE status.
     
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  3. mevlannen
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    mevlannen Silver Member

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    I suppose that I'd be one of the 5% then, as what I've always wanted and always received was 'freebies' between YXJ and YCD, where the received value/point is rather attractive. It probably helps to be flexible with schedule, as availability on a Friday night down south or a Sunday night up north is nigh unto zero (unless one wants to spend 185,000 points one-way).

    Other than that? Well, I do okay with the upgrades transcontinentally; am in fact looking forward to me YYZ>YEG Scotch-in-coffee later this morning. Look for me in row 1, under the blanket, relaxing as usual. ^_^
     
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  4. YULtide

    YULtide Gold Member

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    Enjoy your flight! I'll be in seat 2A YEG-YOW this afternoon.
     
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  5. YULtide

    YULtide Gold Member

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    I thought that happened at 2 million. Did I misunderstand?
     
  6. You did misunderstand; it is 3mm for lifetime SE
     
  7. Stephan

    Stephan Silver Member

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    It is pretty clear that if the questionnaire had been done on this blog, the results would be markedly different, given that a majority here seem just fine with what AC/AP are doing. And I don't mean that in either a positive or negative way. My perception is that more of the 5%ers reside here, than on FT. Ultimately, though for AC and AP, the real question is which tone more accurately reflects the thought patterns of the majority of AC FFers and AP users, if one is to assume that these groups actually matter.

    Personally, as a mid-tier flyer (and less each year on AC), I'm underwhelmed and, frankly, disenchanted by what has happened to these entities over the last few years. I realize that this is contrary to others who only see good things happening. However, at least in our case, the marketing double speak is not working in AC/APs favour, because less and less of the company travel spend is heading in their direction. It's as simple as that.
     
  8. 1. Their planes are very full so the small amount of disenchantment seen here and on TOBB is obviously not affecting them and they obviously have their own studies to back up their business model. One must always remember that others may not like their carriers and have switched to AC.
    2. I don't only see good things happening. The rate of inflation on fares is higher than the the GDP, unless one believes there is real inflation in the economy.
    3. I just travelled YYZ/YYC this morning and the front cabin was far from filled by oil workers and there was lots of business attire that passed through the J cabin. Again planes are full so I call BS on your company's reduction in AC spend, mainly because every dissident throws that nonsense in.
     
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  9. YULtide

    YULtide Gold Member

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    Thanks for the clarification. Guess I'd better get busy!
     
  10. tomh009
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    tomh009 Gold Member

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    This says more about MilePoint than it does about AC. I am here and not over there because I got tired of the whining and complaining -- and not just on the AC forum, either. MP is a much more positive and pleasant environment in general.
    Most people here have been flying long enough to see the gradual erosion of benefits. However, most of us have also been flying on enough different airlines to realize that said erosion of benefits is happening everywhere. One just needs to choose an airline and program that best fits his or her needs and priorities.
     
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  11. +1
    I think our friend Stephen thinks he can cause an AC revolt because of his disgruntled view of life.
     
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  12. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    All frequent flyer programs have changed and they have modified their benefits. The early days had benefits that were very generous. With the increasing number of members and the escalating costs to deliver these benefits, it was only a question of time before changes were implemented.

    I don't travel very much anymore but I did benefit from travel rewards et al.
    For this, I am grateful.
    I went back to my records and calculated about $250K taken in business class rewards: Europe many times, JNB/CPT twice, et al. :cool:

    The gravy train is over. Long live those of us who rode the gravy train when it was at its peak.
     
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  13. In my life of travel I have bridged the pre FF programs era and what is going on now. My travel plans won't change for a few years yet regardless of the benefits or lack thereof. The spirit is still very much alive to continue seeing this planet.
     
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  14. Canadi>n
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    Canadi>n Gold Member

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    I haven't experienced much erosion of benefits with my MP or AA accounts. But every year I qualified for SE with AC/AP another benefit was removed. I've seen SWU upgrades move from Q to V to higher and higher fare classes. Award redemption charts at the premium level have more than doubled...quadrupled if we go back to the early 90s (and we lost the accompanying hotel and car portions of the awards!)...not to mention the additional costs, and charges for using the phone centre, redeposits, changes, etc. etc. etc.
     
  15. tomh009
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    tomh009 Gold Member

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    You need to choose the airline and program that works for you. If AC's (hard and soft) product and FF program are no good for you, I recommend you throw in the towel, fly AA and UA exclusively, and cease to even think about AC.

    Those of us who have different priorities may make different choices, though.
     
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  16. tomh009
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    tomh009 Gold Member

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    Incidentally, a quick google search certainly finds some complaints about other airlines, too:
    • "AA guts aadvantage program"
    • "Erosion of diamond medallion benefits"
    • "Changes to benefits for UA elites - gradual erosion or "who cares"? "
    I don't want to argue about which program is the worst, or which one was the best, or which one changed the most or when. My point is simply that it's deceiving to say that only one airline is changing: it's a race to the bottom, and no one is immune to that.

    Make the choices that are right for you, then live and let live.
     
  17. David,
    I give you one more year and you will be back with AC and complaining about your new love, AA
     
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  18. Canadi>n
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    Canadi>n Gold Member

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    And what constitutes "guts"? Little has changed for ExecPlats whose benefits still knock the socks off the ever diminishing AC/AE SE benefits.

    Yes I agree, if you're locked into domestic Canadian flying and don't use Nexus/Global Entry, then fly AC and pay more (or more likely have your company and/or clients pay more) for your benefits. And everyone has their own tolerance level for boiling water. I've defended AC for too many years on FT and here to not now recognize how bad its elite program has gotten. Yes, it's great if you buy Latitude or Exec, but then you don't really need many elite benefits.

    No way I'll return to AC other than for the occasional domestic flight. My cost/benefit scenarios don't include AC and I'll take my chances as an ExecPlat on what will happen with the merged AA/US, hedging with 1K in MP for my STAR flights. AC doesn't give a batman about my 29 years as a charter Aeroplan member or 10 years before that as a Maple Leaf Club member, let alone my Kanata Club and CP+ business, so why should I give a fig's ass for AC?
     
  19. tomh009
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    tomh009 Gold Member

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    I have Nexus and I haven't flown a domestic itinerary in years. But for me personally, AC's soft+hard product is still the right choice.

    So I'm curious, if you don't give a fig's ass for AC, why are you here? Just to pick a fight? Or to convince us poor souls of the error of our ways?
     
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  20. Tom, people need a platform to issue their perceived grievances. Canadian still lives in the fantasy world of 1995 when things were really great for FF'ers and the great unwashed had yet to catch on. Once that happened all airlines tightened up their programs. I but flex fares and passes whenever feasible and only rarely buy latitude or Z products;and I always get my upgrades. AC has honoured by years of flying with lifetime status something canadian squandered by always trying to beat the system with various schemes. My real cost of air travel, since my wife always flies free (AE free:eek: ) and, a lifetime elite as well, is actually quite low. People need to understand that long term loyalty does have its privileges as I've been lucky to achieve.
    The cost to cross a border every time one goes overseas, as I do almost monthly, may not be in cash savings but the wear and tear to do that is not worth the aggravation. And if you're an AA flier ORD is one the major cnx points. Once the 787's come to AC they will be increasing their long haul routes and *A is still the best alliance out there for cnx. The western whiner will be on here next to wax ineloquent with more nonsense as usual; he who really flies very little.
     
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  21. mevlannen
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    mevlannen Silver Member

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    Well, I'm scarcely part of any 1% or 5% (though I suppose that having requalled already for my quintuple secret pterodactyl wings on segments [!] makes me one of Air Canada's better customers. I stick with AC by and large because of perceived safety, and because of the ability to throughcheck from northwestern rural Canada to northeastern suburban New England with some comfortable layovers in their clubs along the way. Safety and comfort are strong attractors. If I wanted adventure I'd take up crop-dusting or wing-walking.

    Honestly, I don't have anything exciting to whine about. The TSA people in Logan have gotten to be good and familiar acquintances; the CATSA people in Nanaimo and Grande Prairie crack jokes and marvel at my ever-changing assortment of scarves (a new colour for every flight so far this year, I have a couple of hundred silk scarves as collected all over the world) and my goofy hats (likewise, quite the worldwide collection). The planes arrive and depart, generally within an hour of promised time -- wisdom leads me to never plan a connection shorter than two hours, three hours for YYZ's sclerotic connections -- and thus far we've always managed to land right-way-up and between the runway lights.

    Colour me contented, not particularly demanding, and happy to arrive in one piece. ^_^

    p.s. Two op-ups yesterday, BOS>YYZ and YYZ>YEG, both of them 'weight and balance' movements, neither of them expected nor at all distressing....

    footnote [!]: quintuple secret pterodactyl wings == SE 100 K, being the fifth of a five-level system.
     
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  22. tomh009
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    tomh009 Gold Member

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    I do love the E-Jets' weight balance requirements! :)

    Congratulations on the SE requalification, doing it on segments is some serious flying!
     
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  23. mevlannen
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    mevlannen Silver Member

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    Heh, the whole point of the exercise is that somebody else does the flying; I do the snoozing on-board. 'Division of labour' and all that. ^_^
     
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  24. tomh009
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    tomh009 Gold Member

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    This is why I have never yet had breakfast on YYZ-EWR! ;)
     
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  25. Wow!! I just did it on 37 segments and could possibly hit 200K Q miles this year....although I hope not to.
     

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