AC Charging *Gold for bags

Discussion in 'Air Canada | Aeroplan' started by avflyer, Feb 17, 2018.

  1. avflyer
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    avflyer Silver Member

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    First bag is free, they charge after that. I know this isn't new, but I was given a rude awakening today. The 70lb limit is gone as well.

    Considering mileage accruals are meager on AC, and now this, West Jet is looking better all the time.
     
  2. The Lev
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    The Lev Silver Member

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    Actually it is pretty new and we have UA to thank for it because they did this long before AC.
     
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  3. avflyer
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    avflyer Silver Member

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    I have never been convinced that the UA / AC relationship insofar as customer service has been anything but "I don't care" Anytime I book on AC I am pretty much guaranteed that I'll be in the middle of row 31. Club access is good I have to say that.
     
  4. Jorgenhelstrup

    Jorgenhelstrup Active Member

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    Air Canada is my hate airline number one, and I would rather travel to Chicago and from there to Toronto, to avoid flying with that airline!
     
  5. Counsellor
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    Counsellor Gold Member

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    I had a horrible experience transiting Toronto on AC, and since then have gone out of my way to avoid being routed through that airport.

    I was flying from Europe terminating at RSW and changing flights in Toronto. Just changing flights, yet they insisted I go through customs and immigration, fill out an entry card (in French, which I do not read), and then come back through immigration. If my connecting flight had not been seriously delayed (nearly two hours, but some fellow passengers said this was usual), I would have missed my connection.

    Why do they make it so hard?
     
  6. schlutho

    schlutho Active Member

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    If you travel from Europe via Canada to the US you always have to pass customs and immigrations as the YYZ-RSW leg is considered domestic. Don't blame AC for that.


    I was flying from Europe terminating at RSW and changing flights in Toronto. Just changing flights, yet they insisted I go through customs and immigration, fill out an entry card (in French, which I do not read), and then come back through immigration.
     
  7. whatarush

    whatarush Active Member

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    As schlutho said, it is not an AC issue. For most US destinations, you need to clear US customs in Canada.

    If you flip the customs form over, you will see the english version of the same thing.
     
  8. texasbrian

    texasbrian Silver Member

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    Star Alliance says...
    "You can take an extra 20 kg (44 pounds) where the weight concept applies or an extra piece where the piece concept applies.

    Some airlines do not offer this benefit on individual flights but only on connecting Star Alliance flights. Within Europe on "Light" fares offered by Lufthansa, Austrian & SWISS, "Check&Go" fares offered by Brussels Airlines, "tap|discount" fares offered by TAP and “Go light” fares offered by SAS as well as on “Seat” fares offered by Air New Zealand, the extra baggage allowance is not offered."

    I would file a complaint with the Star Alliance. Looks like they are definitely within their rights, but the only way they'll ever reconsider is for you to make some noise.

    staralliance com/en/contact-form?category=1&subCategory=2
     
  9. Counsellor
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    Counsellor Gold Member

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    I would have thought someone could have explained that -- no warning from United who issued me the ticket. No direction from the AC crew on disembarking. (I'm just looking for the transient lounge; last I knew Canada isn't part of the United States.)
     
  10. YULtide

    YULtide Gold Member

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    Are you saying you had to clear Canadian immigration first, then US immigration in the Pre-Clearance area, or was it just US immigration? US immigration staffing levels at the Pre Clearance in YYZ and YVR tend to be woefully inadequate, in my experience. It's as though they aren't expecting anyone to use it, so they just have a couple of people at their posts. Queues get very long.

    I often enter Canada in YVR from Europe and Asia, and there are always announcements on board to explain to people connecting to the US how to do so.

    FWIW, I once flew HKG-SFO-YEG and had to clear US immigration in SFO, then exit and queue up at the normal departure security area. No concept of transit. Saved $2000 on flights for two. Wasn't worth the hassle.
     
  11. dhammer53
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    dhammer53 Gold Member

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    Couple of things... Bring your Global Entry card if you're Canada/USA bound. You'll need it to access the shorter security line.

    I have Star Gold status with UA. Air Canada is insisting I pre-pay for a seat? Is that normal? Does A/C offer a better seat to *Gold members?

    Thanks.
     
  12. YULtide

    YULtide Gold Member

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    So, according to this, the only immigration to go through to transit from international to US-bound is US immigration, which was what I had assumed.
     
  13. YULtide

    YULtide Gold Member

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    If you buy a Tango fare you have to pay for advanced seat selection. Think Basic Economy. (Though an Economy Basic with even fewer perks is being introduced.) It's free for other fare buckets. Details on advanced seat selection are here.

    It's not clear whether free advanced seat selection on a Tango fare is a *Gold perk. I have no experience with Tango fares.

    There are some "Preferred seats" available at exit rows and in the first few rows of Economy, for a price. They're supposed to have a bit more leg room, I think, and being toward the front, you'll be off the plane sooner.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2018
  14. dhammer53
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    dhammer53 Gold Member

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    I checked the A/C website. My fare is a Tango fare, so no way to select a seat for free at this time. All the seats on the website have a $$$ amount listed. I just spoke to the airline. They said I can book a seat for free 24 hours in advance, or at the airport.

    Data point. LGA/YYZ cost is $15. I think I can manage wherever we're seated.
    CPH/YYZ cost is $30. I may pre-book to avoid middle seats. ;)

    My next question is how or where to go to take a look at the loads on my flights.
     
  15. YULtide

    YULtide Gold Member

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    There are some fancy sites where you can see loads, though these require a subscription and I don't have access to them. Maybe someone else here can help.

    But as a sort of brute force system, you can at least see what seats are currently available by starting a dummy booking on aircanada.com for the flight in question. Find your flight, then you can click on Preview Seats to see the seat map showing what's available. Obviously that won't tell you how many other Tango pax have booked but not yet selected seats.

    Curious when you're flying CPH-YYZ? I'll be on that flight (883) on 14 April.
     
  16. Counsellor
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    That was clearly NOT what I experienced.

    When we landed I went to try to depart Canadian immigration and explained that I was just transiting, and was terminating in the US and asked where the transit area was. I was told to stand in the Canadian immigration line, go through normal processes, then go upstairs to the departure gate for my flight and come back through into the departure side. I was required to fill out a Canadian immigration form -- in French, but someone in this thread said there was an English version on the back -- and had to ask when I got through immigration where the departure gate was.

    After I went through the departure gate I did have to stand in a short line (this was well after the scheduled departure time, so I was probably the last person to come through) and was processed by a US customs agent (rather perfunctory, but that's usual even in the US).

    If they explained this process before we landed, I must have slept through it, because I didn't hear or see anything of that nature. I was reading a book, so I may have missed the announcement.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2018
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  17. Absolute99

    Absolute99 Gold Member

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    That's been the case for a good 5-7 years, although I've always found the signage to be poor in the immigration hall. All you need to do is to walk to the left when you first enter the immigration area, and then you'll go up a level to the US pre-clearance area. Back in the old "you need to grab your bag" days (prior the the 1-2-3 system), the bags would even come out on the dedicated US baggage belt.

    Even the YYZ connections information is confusing, with gaps, as it seems to imply you need to enter Pearson ("Once you're in the terminal..."), and then follow the F gate signage... and then at Step 4 is says you don't need to get your bag.

    Adding to the confusion are air crews who tell passengers they must grab their bags (if not on AC, since only AC has direct baggage transfer at YYZ) as a blanket statement.

    No, I can assure you it's not a *G perk :) Just like buying a Flex ticket on another airline, like UA 16 stock, doesn't necessarily mean you'll have free seat selection either.
     
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  18. YULtide

    YULtide Gold Member

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    Sorry you had that experience. By design, it shouldn't have happened like that. I hope it doesn't put you off entirely.
     
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  19. YULtide

    YULtide Gold Member

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    Thanks. It's been so long since I've flown Tango, and I don't think I've ever paid a fee to select a seat, as the fees were established after I had sufficient status to have them waived. I just don't pay much attention to what *G's get on AC.
     
  20. Absolute99

    Absolute99 Gold Member

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    It's only due to my being an AC deserter, that I know. I was an SE for 5 years, but left for UA after they announced AQD, and they couldn't help me to see what my spend was (to know if I would re-qualify). Been a UA 1K ever since, and am much happier :)

    Even based in YOW, I've only had 2 flights on AC in the past three years, as YOW-ORD/IAD/EWR gives me all the connections I need from UA. However, all we get as *G is the extra(?) baggage allowance, use of the *G lines, Group 2 boarding, and lounge access.

    Just like a *G booking with UA, there is no preferred seats (although on UA anyone can select an Economy seat unless you're on a Basic fare), upgrades, etc. The minimums for *G (and I don't know of any airline that really goes above them) are here: http://www.staralliance.com/documen...RINT.pdf/3e4c1275-5b3a-4a61-acd3-777dc89f45c8

    With AC introducing Basic Economy fares like United, those privileges may also not apply.
     
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  21. dhammer53
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    dhammer53 Gold Member

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    Not a match. :(
     
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  22. YULtide

    YULtide Gold Member

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    Consolation "like". Sorry we won't have the chance to connect. Enjoy your trip!
     
  23. londoncalling

    londoncalling Silver Member

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    I see the charges for baggage not covered by status is going up to $50 per bag. They should just stop charging air fares and make people pay for everything else. Jeez
     
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  24. The Lev
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    The Lev Silver Member

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    That's pretty much the modus operandi of the most successful airline in Europe - Ryanair.
     
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