Air Canada eUpgrades: When Things Don’t Go Your Way



In the latest context of travel, we’ve been hearing about many scenarios of somebody with a confirmed eUpgrade to small business class currently being downgraded to top quality overall economy or economy.

It is critical to take note that these downgrades are comparatively unusual to the amount of verified eUpgrades that get the job done out. By and huge, travellers with a confirmed eUpgrade full their itinerary in a greater class of assistance than the one particular initially booked.

Even though we’ve touched on this phenomenon in prior articles on eUpgrades, let’s have a nearer glimpse at the handful of situations wherever you may possibly eliminate your eUpgrade by no fault of your personal.

When Can You Drop Your eUpgrade?

Just before we look at some particular circumstances, it is truly worth reiterating that the only way to definitely assurance a seat in company class is to reserve in small business class to begin with.

At the exact same time, applying eUpgrades with Aeroplan details is one particular of the finest techniques to steer clear of terrible dynamic pricing with Air Canada.

We have obtained a lot of success tales from visitors who both flew in small business course for the 1st time at any time, or who saved a tidy sum of Aeroplan factors by applying eUpgrades with the “Latitude Attitude“.

With the over in brain, let us seem at some of the scenarios the place an eUpgrade might switch into an eDowngrade.

Accommodating a Deadheading Pilot

As with any airline, Air Canada has to shuffle its methods to fulfill operational prerequisites. A person very essential thought is making certain they have sufficient pilots to fly the airplanes that we all really like to be on.

When on obligation, pilots choose priority for a organization course seat. Observe that this very same privilege does not extend to when they’re traveling for leisure.

For that reason, if Air Canada desires to transfer a pilot from Toronto to Vancouver so that the pilot can work a flight based mostly out of Vancouver, the airline will want to make sure that the pilot arrives rested and all set for obligation. I’d undoubtedly hope that the particular person in charge of a gigantic flying tube of metallic is perfectly-rested and completely ready to show up at to any matters that come up.

Deadheading pilots get precedence for company course space

The actual terms of how pilots are prioritized for small business class room are much less clear.

We’ve had stories of travellers with verified eUpgrades being downgraded to make house for a deadheading pilot. These a scenario would advise that pilots traveling for duty are extra-or-much less guaranteed a spot in enterprise course, and the airline is frequently prepared to bump somebody else out of the cabin to make home.

From what I have gleaned from FlyerTalk forums, deadheading pilots are also prioritized for business course place in excess of anyone who is waitlisted for an eUpgrade at the gate. If there is room in business enterprise class, a pilot is heading to have initially dibs above any person else on the waitlist.

When my wife was a flight attendant with Air Canada, she was treated to organization course on numerous situations when she was deadheading to work a flight. This wasn’t guaranteed, while, so it is very likely the scenario that pilots have higher priority for company class space in excess of flight attendants.

Irregular Operations

Each time an airline encounters inclement temperature or any other situation that necessitates consolidating travellers into less flights, only the travellers who at first booked in company course will be reaccommodated in small business course.

If Air Canada is minimizing its schedule to ease the burden on airports, or to otherwise rejig the program, you may well wind up losing out on the eUpgrade you worked so challenging to validate.

For case in point, if two flights from Montreal to Calgary are cancelled, Air Canada will will need to assure all of the travellers comprehensive their itineraries in as timely a fashion as probable. Furthermore, the airline is expected to honour, to the most effective of their ability, the primary class of booking for all of the influenced travellers.

In these circumstances, if you booked in financial state and confirmed an eUpgrade prior to your flight, you could be at risk of shedding your seat if Air Canada has to make room for passengers who booked in organization course to commence with.

Given that you initially booked in overall economy, the airline is only obligated to ensure you total your journey in overall economy course. 

So, if you are travelling throughout a time when there are lots of disruptions to travel strategies (this sort of as the summer time of 2022), you may possibly be at increased danger of getting rid of your eUpgrade.

Plane Variations

If the demand for a route is rather low, or if there are some unpredicted mechanical troubles with aircraft, Air Canada may well think about changing the aircraft it had prepared to function on that distinct route. 

Considering that some aircraft have fewer company course seats than other folks, you could be at danger of shedding your eUpgrade if there are no for a longer time more than enough seats in the new aircraft to accommodate all travellers on the first plane.

Boeing 777s have far more business enterprise class seats than Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners

For instance, there are 40 Signature Course seats on some of Air Canada’s Boeing 777s, though there are only 20 Signature Class seats on Air Canada’s Boeing 787-800s. 

With 50% less seats offered, in the event of an plane change, there are not as many seats to reaccommodate passengers on. For that reason, you might at hazard of losing your eUpgrade if there is just no far more place in the cabin.

If you’ve gained a notification that your flight has transformed, but every thing appears to be the exact same as prior to, be sure to test the plane form, as this is likely the explanation for the notification.

You can also set up an notify on ExpertFlyer, which will alert you in the occasion of an aircraft swap.

Broken Seats

Even though scarce, any troubles with the true seat you are in may perhaps end result in shedding your eUpgrade.

With the sheer variety of specific going elements in the Signature Class pods, there are lots of methods in which a seat may malfunction.

If the cabin is normally entire, getting a seat that isn’t fully secure or useful could outcome in you being bumped from small business class to yet another course of service.

A broken seat might imply you get rid of your eUpgrade and wind up in financial system

I’m confident that most men and women would consider a marginally-purposeful small business course seat over a center seat in financial system, but I think about Air Canada’s plan is to remove any possibility by just blocking obtain to the seat entirely.

Whilst there may well be some other exceptional cases in which you could come across an involuntary downgrade just after confirming an eUpgrade into company course, the previously mentioned are the most common motives that might come up. 

Note that, opposite to well known belief, Air Canada will not bump a passenger with a verified eUpgrade only to accommodate somebody else with bigger position. If you’ve performed the recreation and you have a verified eUpgrade, you are not at hazard of shedding it since an individual else desires to sit in your seat.

Air Canada will not downgrade you to make area for a person with bigger status

How To Manage Dropping Your eUpgrade

If you are in the unlucky position of being downgraded, all hope is not automatically shed.

If you have been downgraded nicely in progress of your flight on which you experienced confirmed an eUpgrade, Air Canada will frequently rebook you in small business course. I want that I could condition this with more certainty, but in the wide the vast majority of cases, you are going to get a different seat in business enterprise class if there’s a single readily available.

If the rebooking doesn’t go well with your needs and you choose to standby for an previously flight, you will usually eliminate out on this “guarantee.”

Ought to you be downgraded at the past minute because of to flight cancellations, plane downgauging, or accommodating deadheading responsibility pilots, be certain to dangle all around the gate until finally the previous simply call.

If you have been downgraded, be amongst the final individuals to board

Frequently, travellers might miss connections, and if another person with a seat in business enterprise course doesn’t make their flight, you may be ready to get your self back into enterprise course by talking kindly to the gate brokers. If you have currently boarded the plane, you’ve probably offered up on this prospect.

As an complete last resort, if the cabin door has closed and you notice a number of empty seats in a better cabin, kindly approach the cabin crew and clarify your condition.

There’s no warranty, but you may encounter a sympathetic flight attendant or support director who can get you back again into the seat you experienced at first verified with an eUpgrade.


eUpgrades are a single of the greatest ways to flex your Aeroplan Elite Status by reserving in economy and flying in business enterprise course, however they do come with some level of chance. 

There are a handful of fairly unusual predicaments in which you may basically be downgraded to your first course of service, even after confirming an eUpgrade. These include deadheading pilots, plane adjustments, and flight cancellations. 

Even though you may perhaps not have control above these unfortunate circumstances, you will have a superior chance of winding up in the cabin that you wanted by refraining from boarding till the last moment.

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