Category Archives: air canada

How to get upgraded on Air Canada

It’s that time again. The last few days of February. The season where Canada’s favourite national airline rewards its loyal fliers by deleting all their accumulated upgrade points. Use them or lose them. So here’s my guide to burning those AC e-upgrades anytime or especially timely this time of year.

  1. Step 1: Collect air Canada eupgrade points. You’ll earn a token few when you make status and more as a threshold gift each time you fly another 20k miles or so
  2. Step 2 It’s time to use those points. First status check. You’ll want to be AC E (Elite) or SE (Stupid Elite). Upgrading at prestige status? Hahaha no.
  3. Step 3 Fork over $99 for an annual membership at expertflyer.com to get access to data that AC should have made available to you anyway, importantly the number of upgrade seats still or ever available for any given flight. Put in the day you need to fly, search for “R” class seats on Air Canada. Find a flight on your day that has any R seats available (many flights wont!)
  4. Set a reminder exactly 4 days + a few min (Elite) or 10 days + a few min (Stupid Elite) before your flight.
  5. Time passes.
  6. At last! upgrades are opening in just a few minutes
  7. But wait. Check expertflyer again. Curse that your flight has suddenly gone to 0 R-class seats. But don’t worry, the one an hour later still has 3 left.
  8. Change your flight to the one an hour later. Explain creatively to your spouse, agent, coworkers, boss etc.
  9. Ok we’re ready! time to fire up your e-upgrades account. Of course, you can’t use the e-upgrades site without logging in to your aircanada account first. You can’t actually log in from the e-upgrades site without being immediately re-directed to the aircanada homepage. There’s absolutely no obvious way how to get back to the e-upgrade site from the aircanada homepage. So we follow the standard procedure…
  10. Navigate aircanada.com. log in.
  11. Now close your browser tab.
  12. Enter “Air Canada E-upgrades” into Google, punch I’m feeling lucky.
  13. Congrats! You are now on the e-upgrade site. You’ll still be logged in to your AC account and the site will greet you with your name and aeroplan points balance.
  14. You forgot to have ready your booking reference didn’t you? More gentle cursing while you contemplate of an airline website can somehow know exactly who you are but not what flights you have booked imminently under your same name and aeroplan number.
  15. Alt-tab, dig past 600 more recent messages in your inbox to fish out the godawul-pdf-formatted travel itinerary for your airline booking reference invariably printed in mice-type on page 3
  16. Cutpaste booking reference and, at last, wait while AC spins the epugrade roulette wheel for what number of points the upgrade will cost this week (which may vary widely from month to month upon whims of AC promotions and random top-tier policy “enhancements to serve you better”)
  17. Your points haven’t auto expired, there’s a seat left, you are not waitlisted…. Victory!
  18. Now relax, fly in style, and laugh at the plight of those savages in the back suffering the ignominies and inconveniences of flying standard economy.