AC tightens the screws...Tango now universal (except US/Caribbean), upgrades will cost more

Discussion in 'Air Canada | Aeroplan' started by Canadi>n, Oct 16, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Canadi>n
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    Canadi>n Gold Member

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    Surprised nobody has started a thread about this news from AC yet! This is the most significant change to the AC elite program yet, and for many of us without the largess of corporate sponsors, means using upgrades and getting elite status will be a thing of the past.

    With no official warning AC posted this earlier today:

    http://www.aircanada.com/en/news/121016_b.html

    eUpgrades and changes to Tango Plus booking classes


    Effective October 16, 2012, booking classes T, L and K will no longer be sold under the Tango Plus fare option for travel to Europe, Israel, Asia, Australia and South America. On these markets, these booking classes will transition to the Tango fare option. As a result, bookings made on or after that date in any of the three classes will no longer be eligible for eUpgrades.
    If you are an Air Canada Super Elite or Elite member and you made a booking in T, L or K class before October 16, 2012, you will be rebooked into a Tango Plus booking class and your reservation will remain eligible for eUpgrades . Note that all Aeroplan members who made a booking in T, L or K class before October 16, 2012 will earn 100% Status Miles for travel across these markets.
     
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  2. global_happy_traveller
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    global_happy_traveller Silver Member

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    not really......... i think many of us were expecting this would happen......just a matter of time
     
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  3. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    If they really are just stopping publishing fares in those buckets then this might not be a huge deal. If they are now just publishing more 50% earning longhaul fares then that sucks.
     
  4. tomh009
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    tomh009 Gold Member

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    Life sucks when you are supposed to always book lowest fare. :( Though I am by no means surprised.

    I may fly LH to Europe from now on. Unfortunately there are fewer choices for doing the same to NRT.
     
  5. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Silver Member

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    It is what it is. It's less annoying for we lower-status Prestige passengers, who already can't upgrade on international flights. It means, however, that routing YQR-DEN-LAX-xxx or YQR-ORD-xxx is a lot more attractive than routing YQR-YYC-xxx or YQR-YYZ-xxx, and that means United will get the money, not Air Canada.
     
  6. I just did a T+ dummy booking for flights YYZ/LHR/YYZ and it came up in S class with a total fare of $1104.
    the same flights in T (Kand T) classes came out to $951 so the fare increase to get status miles is $153. It therefore costs $153 to get 7112 miles and a potential upgrade playing roulette most of the time.
     
  7. SensFan
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    SensFan Gold Member

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    I really don't like this change. I don't know much about the co-pays on UA but I think that that would have been a far more reasonable alternative. Having to pay even more than we do now for the privilege of participating in Aerolotto is just not a good thing.

    This looks to me like AC is really trying to go bankrupt so that they can restructure and lower their costs.
     
  8. The mainline is running at around 90% BIS so what better time to raise fares. The customer can decide if they want to pay those new fares.
    As far as aerolotto goes, AC's job is to sell as many J seats as possible;its what any business should do. If you don't buy a J seat then an upgrade is simply a privilege.
     
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  9. Mozzarella
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    Mozzarella Silver Member

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    This has been bugging me all day and I'm getting madder and madder all the time. It's not the E-UG's that's the big issue (although it is an issue)- it's the 50% status miles. It's also the beginning of a slippery slope.

    You may think that the T to T+ fare difference isn't big - but look at YYZ-HKG pricing. It also opens a slippery slope so that transborder Tango will only be a matter of time.

    I feel like it is death by a thousand cuts. To give you some real perspective, compare the program in 2001 to today. That'll give you an idea of how much we've lost as the so-called loyal frequent fliers.
     
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  10. PtsHawg
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    PtsHawg Silver Member

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    This explains why my K fare TATL for tomorrow got changed to and S fare without explanation...
     
  11. YULtide

    YULtide Gold Member

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    I'm going to HKG next month. At the time of booking I could have taken a T+ fare (for 2) for over $4000 with 100% status miles and the remote possibility of an upgrade, or T fares with 50% miles and no chance for an upgrade for about $2400. In the end we booked United for 100% status miles, no chance at an upgrade, and 4000 miles more because it's a longer flight. For under $2000.
     
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  12. YULtide

    YULtide Gold Member

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    OK, dumb question time. I get how there are 1000 different Y fares so they can charge different amounts for the same product, but what I don't understand here is how, say, an S fare is actually booked instead of a W fare. The booking engine only gives 5 different options, three of which are in Y and two in J. So now T, L and K classes are shifted from T+ to T. I sort of understand that. But people who want 100% status miles and an upgradeable ticket will still ask for T+ fares, will they not? Which will now cost more, correct? Does this also increase revenue in Tango fares?

    I guess I really don't understand the panoply of different sub-classes.
     
  13. The Lev
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    The Lev Silver Member

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    Correct.

    I'm not sure "revenue" is the word for what you intend to ask. It will certainly increase the total revenue AC earns on Tango fares on international routes since few international routes up until this year even had the fares - but I don't think that is your question.

    This action in itself does not increase the price of a Tango ticket relative to what a Tango + ticket used to cost - AC is just taking away some of the value. It's like when a cereal manufacturer shrinks the size of the cereal box but keeps the price the same.

    It looks like what AC is doing is deeming the lowest international fare classes as Tango. This has two proactical impacts - as mentioned above, we now get "less" (fewer miles and inability to upgrade) than we did before for the same price. What they will also probably be doing, which we are seeing on the domestic side is putting a floor on Tango + pricing, so when they have a seat sale in the future that price will apply to the Tango fare, but if you want the benefits of T+, "seat sales" will likely be few and far between. This allows AC to continue to attract the true bottom feeders (who will only buy Tango) while "milking" those who crave status/upgrades for considerably more revenue.

    Where things get a bit confusing is that in their domestic marketing a "high" Tango fare on a given route can be considerably lower than a "low" Tango + fare - but of course they close off seat availability in tandem so you don't see the T price gonig above T+. Internatinoally (for now) it appears what they are doing is just saying the cheapest fare classes all move to Tango, so theoretically the highest Tango fare would be lower than the lowest T+ fare - over time it will likely migrate to something similar to doemstic where we will eventually see T prices close to departure moving above the T+ price booked ahead of time.
     
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  14. With these new pricing points think the new LCC as the ultimate receipient of the new fare sturctures with the mainline effectively charging a premium to fly them.
    The issue becomes whether one wants to chase status or just fly as cheaply as possible. The days of free upgrades will also mostly disappear one day, sooner than later in my opinion, as the mainline creates more and more corporate incentives for large, well over $1MM customers, to get discounted J as they make them pay more for Y cabin seats with somewhat flexible rules.
    The only way to slow down these rapidly growing fares is more domestic competition for AC especially on Trans Atlantic and Asian routes. If you note, AC's favorable position with the feds is also potentially getting them some help on the ever growing passenger bleed to US airports. I think,rather than try and slow down the exodus, all those airlines who fly into BUF for example should be incentivized and invited to fly out of Hamilton. In my opinion the Ontario government is missing out on the potential tourism and business posibilities for Hamilton and several other regional airports by not starting to temporarily subsidize US and/ot other foreign carriers to fly into these places.

    St. Hubert airport on Montreal's south shore is another airport that could be used in similar circumstances,etc.

    Regional European Cities with secondary airports have been very successful in attracting LCC's to their airports thus boosting local tourism and business immensely.

    All that being said most businesses will now adhere to higher pricing or force employees to forego the status change. Those who spend their lives on the road will not be happy if their employer mandates Tango as the corporate fare domestically as some already do on international routes.
     
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  15. Canadi>n
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    Canadi>n Gold Member

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    Sorry but it has been a benefit of buying AC (and STAR) tickets under the terms of the elite status program, not a privilege. It is an earned benefit. It is like paying into the Canada Pension Plan and getting your monthly benefits when you retire. Not to mention, pulling the rug from under us mid-benefit year! We played by the rules set out for 2010 and AC has deemed to change them mid-game. Shame on AC. Being a self-employed small businessperson, I have spent close to a million dollars on airline tickets over 45 years of flying AC and CP. Yesterday I was shown how valued my patronage has been over those years. AC has redefined the term Loyalty.
     
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  16. Wrong again. The program clearly states the "benefit" is at their option and can be changed any time they decide;and they decided to do so. therefore I feel it is more of a privilege of being loyal rather than simply a benefit.
    I have spent as much or more than you flying the same airlines longer than you and will continue to do so. With all the changes over the years that were complained about each and every time I have never had so much success with upgrades or booking my spouse in J on AE tickets as I do now.
    The fact it will now cost me about $150 more to fly to Europe in order to play upgrade roulette and get Q miles is a minor inconvenience. I too am a small independent business person but I also recognize that in previous years I got by with very cheap fares because they were there for the taking. The cost of being a bottom feeder has just gone up. Live with it and if my thinking is correct these new fare structures may help yours and my upgrade chances even more assuming more people buy Tango fares now. In my flying this year, well over 100K miles so far, the J cabin is always very full with lots of gate lice being denied upgrades due to demand. I would assume that AC has noticed that as well and feels they can "cull the herd" so to speak.
     
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  17. Golden Toque

    Golden Toque Gold Member

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    Unfortunately... they call them Elite or Super Elite Benefits. So no, they are benefits, not a privilege. Just because someone writes into a contract a "we can change it at any time" clause, it doesnt make it right, or legal...
     
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  18. sithlord
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    sithlord Silver Member

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    This will backfire on them,
     
  19. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    Agree with this. If you want a business/first seat that badly, either pay for it or redeem miles for it.
     
  20. Canadi>n
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    Canadi>n Gold Member

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    A rather one-sided contract which courts in the US have started throwing out because they are consumer unfriendly. Surely you don't go around breaking contracts with your clients mid-stream or invoice them twice the original quote. I suppose only folks who live in Oakville are used to broken contracts considering you cost the rest of us in the province $100 million plus to shut down a power project in your back yard.

    If AC is selling out the J cabin, then what's the worry about bottom feeders and gate lice scrambling for upgrades?

    I think you'll find everyone posting here and on FT feels betrayed by AC, on one level by the changes (which many could live with) but more so by the lack of notice and introduction this far into the year, which basically says to us AC thinks we're batman. So we are saying to AC, enough of the abuse. We will take our money elsewhere since there are options. (And since Lifetime Elite is now pretty much worthless, since not many retired pensioners are going to gamble being third in line for upgrades on fares that can be $1K return more than the old T+ now Tango.)
     
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  21. YULtide

    YULtide Gold Member

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    Wow! Tell us how you really feel, Canadi>n. Will we see the revival of the errorplan.com website?
     
  22. It is called a benefit because BS sells everytime. In reality they are privileges because not everyone is able to get these upgrades. AC once used the slogan, or some thing akin to it......"status has its privileges"
    I would suggest you get a class action lawyer to take it on and see where that goes if you think what they did is illegal. I would bet on AC simply because every thing they say or write in the public domain is vetted by an experienced team of lawyers.
     
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  23. 1.The tier program is not onesided but it does confer certain rights onto the carrier, one of which is to make changes at their choice in timing,etc.
    2. Politics has nothing to do with this.
    3. I don't break contracts and nor did AC...they exercised their right to change things at their discretion.
    4.There is no worry about gate ice and bottom feeders but its possible they think that some of these people will pay more to get those upgrades while non frequent fliers (prestige and lower) will simply buy on price which ultimately feeds their LCC concept.
    5. I might agree the timing is suspect and could see AC backtracking on that. they don't have the swiftest marketing geniuses in the world.
    6.I've seen you growl about moving on many times in the past and you are still chasing SE status and bottome feeding on other airlines. You will continue to do that in the future because you live in the heart of AC's world where the best flight connections are.
     
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  24. Stephan

    Stephan Silver Member

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    Time will tell if this is the best strategy. I'm not sure that this serious devaluation of the program for its members is going to do much to instill loyalty, but then - as always - this company is never remiss to screw over its customer base. Why would anyone fly AC for T fares that essentially offer nothing in return? Hopefully, more and more businesses will re-evaluate their need to fly AC and opt for the already available cheaper options for TATL, TPAC etc.
     
  25. Stephan

    Stephan Silver Member

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    In turn, one hopes that many recipients of this new enhancement will also unilaterally exercise: "... their right to change things at their discretion."
     

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