AC top tier 2013

Discussion in 'Air Canada | Aeroplan' started by guinnessxyz, Nov 17, 2012.  |  Print Topic

    • On Milepoint we are interested in original thoughts from our members, not compendium of something elsewhere. Please try to be more original here. Thank you.
    I keep noticing on TOBB that many people, as usual at this time of year, are threatening to move their loyalties to other airlines.

    In my case I will top out at over 120K Q miles for 2012 and obviously have SE status and soon 2MM status as well. So, I will not be moving my loyalties anywhere:D

    As for changes to ecerts I will still have plenty left over at March 1 so the slight reduction won't affect me. AE is getting better at filling reward seats from my recent experiences with them.

    Comments and discussion are welcome.
     
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  1. TRAVELSIG
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    TRAVELSIG Gold Member

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    It really depends where you fly from/to. If flying within Canada- there really are not any alternatives particularly if you want to fly business class.
    Continental Europe to North America STAR has a very strong presence- there are not a lot of alternatives here either unless you are OK connecting through either Heathrow or CDG (shudder).
    Threatening to leave is fine- where to go is a more difficult discussion.
     
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  2. tcook052
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    tcook052 Silver Member

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    There have been those talked of jumping ship or already have, most notably in this recent MP thread so don't believe the hype that it only happens elsewhere.
     
  3. TRAVELSIG
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    I see- that doesn't really sound like the best option really.
     
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  4. mtlfire

    mtlfire Gold Member

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    That's quite the accomplishment (2mm)

    I rarely leave north america and do a lot of domestic flying so there aren't a ton of options. Especially if you also wish to accrue points on a credit card. I'll admit to flying UA or US more often than before when its much cheaper than AC but I still credit back to aeroplan and don't see that changing (especially with the new USA Tango fares). This will likely keep me away from ever reaching 1MM -- but I'm still a ways from that anyways.

    I even flew my first non *A carrier last week! AA to ORD. *A carriers were $1200 last minute, AA $228 -- no brainier.

    Ultimately, the grass is never greener on the other side of the fence once you've crossed, so I'll continue this way into 2013. I'll pass the new elite 50k level on my next flight and maintain *Gold for 2013.
     
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  5. southender
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    southender Silver Member

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    dropping (by choice) to Alt50; have enjoyed my taste of SE but my flight combinations (FP plus Lat fare flex plus ability to say 'no' to travel) make the differentiators between *G levels less. I keep DL as a back up for regional coverage.
     
  6. Canadi>n
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    Canadi>n Gold Member

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    Grass has been quite green over at UA and AA, and with GE I'd rather transit to a destination in the US rather than on overseas airport like FRA or LHR or NRT. Flown F/C across the border on every flight this year but one, this past Sunday on UA. However, FA from the front cabin came up to me and thanked me for my business and offered a free drink. On AA, any ExecPlat who flies in coach gets free drinks and BoB. Every year I've been an SE, AC has pulled another benefit, be it upgradeable fares or number of instruments require for upgrading. So I'll settle for Altitude75K next year while enjoying substantial benefits on UA and AA as top tier elite in their programs. AC will get my domestic business, but not much else. (So Parnel will have one less SE to compete with in the fray for upgrades.)
     
  7. tomh009
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    tomh009 Gold Member

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    I'm thinking that the majority of the jumpers have already jumped. The 2013 changes are pretty minor compared to some past changes, and most people that are still in the AC program get enough value from the hard product that they are unlikely to change. (That goes for me, too, as much as the Asia Tango fares rub me the wrong way.)
     
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  8. Tom,
    I know you must follow corporate guidelines but , in my opinion and experience, I think a good case can be made to your management that the difference in cost for T+ on the longer trips you make is minor but allows you the opporunity to get an upgrade which can make you more productive at the other end of a long trip. In other words corporate policy is just that but typically also has the ability to make exceptions in specific cases. I don't think, in reality that your senior management really wants to treat long haul travellers the same as domestic ones. If so, some common sense is missing.

    I'm on the board of directors of a samller Company starting to do a lot of Asian business and we have voted to allow everyone a fare that suits their trip. In some cases it might even be paid J class although that is pretty seriously frowned on. We certainly want our people to benefit from the ability to get points for flying and being away from home. The few hundred dollars we pay on some flights to help our people possibly get upgrades is working well for us. we have noted that on flights where there is no chance of an upgrade the employee has booked, on his own, the lowest fare available. We use both CX and AC to Asia.
    We are far from being a giant company, however, and that might make a difference but we believe that morale is helped when people travel happier. We are also in a speciality business and our people who travel are generally highly skilled professionals or very senior management. The only thing we have asked our people to do is be reasonable and cost effective.. That is working for us in spades.

    On the subject of jumping FF programs, I note a lot of whining on other boards about that includng people who say they have jumped but spend all their time on an AC related board. That simply tells me hypocrisy is alive and well. :D Either that or the realization grass is not always greener on the other side.
     
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  9. Golden Toque

    Golden Toque Gold Member

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    Midway this year I decided to dump AC and requalify for UA 1K and AA EXP. I'm not whining about the changes AC has made, but I'm not happy about them, and they will get my business as little as possible. I don't fly all the much domestically, and just find that I get better value and better treatment with UA and AA than I ever got with AC.
     
  10. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Silver Member

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    The extra charges that Aeroplan charges for reward bookings are highly annoying and really dilute the value of the points. If I were collecting just to take reward flights, I'd probably use UA Mileage Plus instead of Aeroplan.

    However, I fly a lot domestically and having status (even AC*P/*S) gives me free baggage and a chance at some upgrades on AC, and free baggage and early boarding on UA, so I get value out of it.

    We're flying to Australia next year so it's tempting to consider Mileage Plus next year, but I will likely get enough mileage to graduate to Elite 35K with Air Canada next year, and I'd just be a Silver on Mileage Plus which is in most ways no better than what I already have, so I will probably stay put.

    Who do you fly? In some cities like mine, the Star Alliance programs make the most sense (we have United, Air Canada, Delta and WestJet, but roughly half of my flying is in Canada which rules out Delta's plan). By choosing Star Alliance programs, I can use both UA and AC and give myself convenience and some rewards. At this point, it's just a question of whether I like Aeroplan or MileagePlus better. Those of you in better-served cities have more options.
     
  11. tomh009
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    tomh009 Gold Member

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    It all depends on what works for each person. I prefer the AC hard product and service to UA (not saying that everyone will agree though), I prefer direct flights to connecting in ORD, EWR etc., and when in EWR, I try to avoid the super-busy Terminal C. Given those factors, it doesn't make a lot of sense for me to switch to UA's program. But for anyone who actually prefers to fly on UA metal the equation will be much different ...
     
  12. There was an article in Wednesday's Toronto Globe and Mail basically stating that airlines are going to move away from FF rewards as given by AE.
     
  13. SensFan
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    SensFan Gold Member

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    There will be a lot of jumping this year but not due to AE changes but rather due to the proliferation of Tango fares.

    Next year will most likely be my last as an AC top tier member (and this time I think I really mean it). Once my flights post from the weekend, I will qualify for A50K after having been Elite for the last five years. At the end of the month I have a flight that would give me A3 Gold (Z fare that avoids AC as much as possible because why fly an airline that doesn't respect my business) so I will end up being *G on two carriers next year.

    Halfway through the year I didn't think that I would make it up to A50K but then there were some great deals to the SW USA so I ended up just making it. If Tango fares had been added earlier in the year then I probably wouldn't have even made A25K.

    I haven't decided what to do next year yet. Right now I have two trips booked that would get me 2/3 of the way to *S on UA. But I am no longer going to be focusing on AC or even *A. The RTW fares from OW are a pretty good bang for your buck even with the rock-bottom KRT fares no longer available (wish I had been available to take advantage of those but I needed a couple of more weeks before I could book) so I think that might be next step.

    As this year has gone on, upgrades seem to be scarcer and the flights seem to be fuller. I guess that isn't translating into turning AC to profitability fast enough though so they are now going to try and get rid of the scum like me who used the system to sit up front as much as possible while paying as little as possible.

    US carriers need to start getting more capacity into Ottawa to compete with AC on the leisure routes. My flights this year to ORD, EWR and PHL have been full and could use some extra capacity. If they added on flights with business class (I can't being myself to calling that First on an RJ) they might even be able sell a seat or two up there and not just fill them with upgrades.

    I guess I should stop venting for the night. I wonder if I am the kind of passenger that AC is hoping to lose due to these changes? If I am then I guess they will have no regrets on losing me while I am sad to see them go.
     
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  14. AC needs to lose some "bottom feeders" and have more pax pay for their premium seats in J. that's the game plan and AC is far from alone. I'm in China and an associate just came from YVR on CX. The back was half empty while the J and F cabins were full. No upgrades were given as the flight was full in J and F well prior to boarding. That's what long haul carriers need to survive.
     
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  15. TRAVELSIG
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    TRAVELSIG Gold Member

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    Generally people pay for the product they want. Complaining about "bottom feeders" really doesn't work except to console the executive who has the misfortune to lead a company that has a product people don't want or that a pricetag misaligned with the perceived value received. It is rather telling that one company has a full cabin of paying customers to a destination in the premium cabins...
     
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  16. I wasn't complaining about bottom feeders. My point is that Canadians don't seem to want to pay for a premium product in the air. My current Asian trip shows that in spades; I just arrived in PVG via HGK from MNL and on all three CX flights I've been on in recent days the J cabin was very full. And, CX doesn't give out many upgrades if at all and only from much higher fares than AC. I think you are suggesting AC has a product people don't want;the pricetag isn't higher than most other airlines. Au contraire, we want the premium seat badly but not enough to pay for it.
     
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  17. TRAVELSIG
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    TRAVELSIG Gold Member

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    You have hit the nail on the head- somehow it seems Cathay is getting people to pay for this product O&D Canada- so SOMEONE is willing to pay- just not as much on Air Canada as on Cathay apparently (hypothesis)?
     
  18. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    Nobody wants to pay for a premium product. Everybody thinks they should be able to sit in J or F for peanuts. :rolleyes: Everybody wants something for free, which is why you have all the whining about upgrades, fuel surcharges, etc.
     
  19. Cathay's customer base is Asian and they expect to pay for premium services. AC's product is respected in Asia but loyalties are hard to break and CX also has a great feeder network through their HKG hub. Some new Chinese *A Members will help AC somewhat in generating more Asian based traffic but they will still need to convince we frugal Canadians to pay up. They also need to change the way they reward FF'ers and I believe this is underway. The reward program is shifting to a fare paid basis, slowly, but it is going to happen.
    This has the "old guard" of freebie lovers on TOBB up in arms but the change is inevitable.
     
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  20. tcook052
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    tcook052 Silver Member

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    On Milepoint we are interested in original thoughts from our members, not compendium of something elsewhere. Please try to be more original here.
     
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  21. TRAVELSIG
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    TRAVELSIG Gold Member

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    I am not sure- the Chinese I know that fly to Europe frequently tested out the Lufthansa product a few times to Europe and quickly switched to BA or EK/QR as they said the LH product was "even worse than Air China"- which hardly is a good endorsement for the Star Alliance both inside and outside of China.
     
  22. CX and Air China are miles apart in service levels for FF'ers.
     
  23. southender
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    southender Silver Member

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    I have absolutely no problem with a revenue based system- provided it is transparent and applied as advertised.
     
  24. LETTERBOY
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    Revenue based earning wouldn't bother me, but revenue based redemption would.
     

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