Playing the upgrade lotto

Discussion in 'Air Canada | Aeroplan' started by YULtide, Oct 9, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. YULtide

    YULtide Gold Member

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    Newbie question here. Mrs YULtide and I will be flying next month to HKG and I'm looking for advice on the most effective way to attempt an upgrade.

    The situation:

    Mrs YULtide is Aeroplan Prestige and has 20 eUpgrade credits. I just got early recognition for Elite status and have 30 eUpgrade credits. We're flying YUL-YYZ-HKG and back the same way. Tango Plus both ways. (We travel to HKG every year in November to vist Mrs YULtide's family.) My research on the Air Canada site suggests that it's possible to request an upgrade four days prior to departure for 17 credits. So, on the face of it, I can request an upgrade one way for one of us, but not both, as that would require 34 credits and I only have 30. And, unless I misread, Mrs YULtide can't request an upgrade with her 20 credits because it's Tango Plus and she's only Prestige. And again unless I misread, the eUpgrade credits can't be transferred, but simply used for a nominee.

    So, 2 part question:

    First part - Can Mrs YULtide (a Prestige) request an upgrade for me (Elite) as a nominee? It seems I can request an upgrade for her as a nominee using my Elite status. But does the request depend entirely on the member's status if it's lower?

    Second part - Even if we are limited to one upgrade request, other than sacrificing a goat to the correct god, is there anything that I/we can do to maximize the probability of getting an upgrade on the YYZ-HKG segment? (I realize that's a very popular segment!)

    Third part - am I missing anything, or is there any other relevant advice you might have?

    Thanks for your help!
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  2. She cannot request an U/G for you.
    Secondly its practically impossible for super elites to get upgrades on T+ fares most days as that route attracts a lot of paid J
    You should watch the YVR/HGK segment as it is sometimes more open for upgrades.
    If you tell us your travel date we might be able to give you more advice
     
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  3. global_happy_traveller
    Original Member

    global_happy_traveller Silver Member

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    FYI, of you change YYZ-HKG to YYZ-YVR-HKG you will need to pay fare difference and change fees
     
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  4. YULtide

    YULtide Gold Member

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    Thanks. Looks like a long shot, then. I suspected as much.

    We've already booked for 14 November, so there'd be a change fee to try for a switch to YUL-YVR-HKG. :(
     
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  5. YULtide

    YULtide Gold Member

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    Thanks. Probably not worth it just for the chance of an upgrade. We could try booking our next trip on that route, though.

    Never thought I'd be in a position even to try for an upgrade when we booked this, so it's a bit of a shot in the dark.
     
    jbcarioca likes this.
  6. Just had a look at your flight and it still has over 20 J seats open but be aware J fills up at the last minute and there are always several super elites on those flights.
    There are a few more seats open on the 15th and one thing to note for the future is that bookings/upgrades are generally easier midweek although the ”HKG rule” on upgrades applies to just about every day if you are not super elite.
     
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  7. tomh009
    Original Member

    tomh009 Gold Member

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    Apart from J availability, if you request an upgrade for Mrs YULtide, it will be using your status (E) for priority. This would apply whether she were P, E or SE -- it's always the requester's status that matters.

    Oh yes, YYZ-NRT would have been much easier as well ...
     
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  8. YULtide

    YULtide Gold Member

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    Thanks for checking. How can you check on the number of J seats available? Is it something I can do, or do you have special access to some system?

    Bottom line: I'll register for the upgrade four days out. Worst case is that I don't get it, which I won't anyway if I don't register.
     
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  9. YULtide

    YULtide Gold Member

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    Thanks. That's what I surmised from the web site, but it's not completely clear.

    And the NRT tip is very useful. We'll do this trip again, and that could be a big help. (And next time Mrs YULtide will be Elite as well!)
     
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  10. tomh009
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    tomh009 Gold Member

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    Basically you need to check seat availability. It's possible to find free web sites for that, but most people end up signing up for either KVS Tool (my personal choice) or Expertflyer. Annual cost is in the $50 ballpark.

    Once you have such a tool, you can see overall total J inventory, as well as R inventory (the seats available for eUpgrades). And lots of other handy information if you're a frequent flyer geek. :)
     
  11. YULtide

    YULtide Gold Member

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    Thanks. I'll check it out. I don't think I qualify for geek status. It's all fascinating and slightly arcane. I'm really a very occasional flyer, but just enough to get E status in a good year due to a few long-hauls.
     
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  12. tomh009
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    tomh009 Gold Member

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    If you don't fly enough for a subscription to make sense, there are usually people here willing to check for you. Me, I'm needing info often enough (and wanting it now!) that I subscribe to KVS.
     
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  13. YULtide

    YULtide Gold Member

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    Thanks. You've been a huge help!
     
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  14. jbcarioca
    Original Member

    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    For any flight you ever have just send me a Conversation with what you want to do and I'll be happy to check it out for you with ExpertFlyer.

    BTW, that offer applies to any milepointer who is a Kiva lender. You get your ExpertFlyer concierge service for free jsut for joining the milepoint Kiva team and lending $25.

    For anybody who flys at all frequently the cost of KVS or EF usually gets payback within a flight or two by finding less expensive fares, easier upgrades and/or lighter aircraft loads. It does smack of geekiness, but there is a really fast payback.
     
  15. YULtide

    YULtide Gold Member

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    Thank you!
     

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