Air Canada eUpgrades: How Waitlist Rankings Work?

If you cannot confirm an e-upgrade before your flight, you will be listed at the gate waiting for the upgrade. For each of the waiting lists, a list is created that shows the priority ranking for the upgrade request, which is finally cleared at the gate.

In this post, let’s take a look How eUpgrade Waitlist Rankings are Established. The lion’s share of this information comes from a FlyerTalk forum thread and goes to the credit of the contributors to that thread.

1. Cabin class of the original booking

The first thing to consider when determining the priority ranking for eUpgrade requests Tickets were purchased for the original cabin class.

Anyone who buys a ticket in premium economy will get priority ranking over the ticket booked in economy first.

If your status is low and you are expecting an upgrade on an exciting-rival route like a morning flight between Toronto and Vancouver or a flight to London, it may be worth considering the cost difference between the fares of any economy. Rent a premium economy.

Air Canada 787 Premium Economy

This fall, I will be flying to Vancouver-Return from Montreal-London and Paris-Montreal-Vancouver. I booked in Premium Economy and paid cash for the flight to earn a status qualifying dollar (SQD) for the prize, and I hope to secure an e-upgrade in business class after my clearance window arrives (seven days before departure) or. Failed that, at the gate.

Booking in premium economy should give me a good chance, unless space is available in the business class cabin.

Last winter, I booked a flight from Toronto to Vancouver in premium economy with airplane points. My wife and I were at the top of the list, and we snatched the last two seats in business class.

Many super elites and others gathered at the gate waiting for an upgrade, but I guess booking in premium economy will start with our waiting list upgrade request as a priority.

2. Airplane Elite Status and Credit Card

The next factor determining your position on the waiting list is the combination of your airplane elite status and whether you hold a co-branded airplane credit card.

For each status level, there is the same ranking order, which will be described below. Those with higher status on the waiting list are given priority over those with lower status.

Each level contains the following ranking order:

  1. 2 million millers (or more) with a co-branded credit card
  2. 2 million millers (or more) without co-branded credit cards
  3. Million Miller with a co-branded credit card
  4. Millions of millers without co-branded credit cards
  5. Airplane Elite Status (Super Elite, 75K, 50K, 35K, 25K) with a co-branded credit card
  6. Airplane Elite Status (Super Elite, 75K, 50K, 35K, 25K) without co-branded credit card

The list above makes sense, since those who have achieved 2 million lifetime qualifying miles with Air Canada and achieved 2 million mile status (or above) have priority over millions of millers, with status above all but the lowest million. Miller’s condition.

After the priority list goes through a status level, it moves down to the next level. For example, super elites have a preference over those who have 75K, those who have 50K have preference over them and the minimum status is 25K until completion.

Within each status level, there are 2 million Milers and Million Millers priority. Since 3 million millers will always enjoy super elite status, 2 million millers will always enjoy at least 75K status and million millers will always have at least 50K status, 35K or 25K status who are ranked fifth and sixth in the ranking list.

When the airplane was re-launched in November 2020, Air Canada noted that those most involved with the program would benefit the most. It is interesting to note that only a co-branded AirPlan credit card plays a factor in the waiting list upgrade priority; As with everything else, with a co-branded credit card, one gets priority over the other.

3. Rental class?

Compared to other factors, the role of the rental class in the upgrade priority list is less understood.

Keep in mind that Air Canada sells basic, standard, flex, comfort, latitude and premium economy branded fares.

Each brand’s fare contains different characters, which represent a different fare In The difference between the brand rental codes may be reflected in the price, the number of e-upgrades required for the upgrade, and the amount of co-payment required.

Related to the upgrade priority list, it appears (but not confirmed) that a higher rental household will be preferred over a lower rental household, even if the actual cost of the lower rental is higher than the higher rental costs.

For example, a Flex “M” fare is the highest fare in the Flex-branded rental family and a Comfort “G” fare is the lowest level of Comfort-branded fare. When all is said and done, a comfort “G” fare will probably take precedence over a Flex “M” fare.

It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. For example, it is not clear if there is a difference between the comforter “S”, “T”, “L”, “G”, and “K” in the order of upgrade priority.

4. Check-in time

The last element contributing to your position on the upgrade priority list is check-in time.

Check-in opens 24 hours before the scheduled departure of the flight. It may be worthwhile to check-in as closely as possible at this time, if you are unable to upgrade with someone else.

Passenger A, who checks in first, will have priority over Passenger B, who checks in later but otherwise equivalent to Passenger A.

Air Canada Business Class - Check-in
Air Canada Business Class check-in at Toronto Pearson

You can check your rankings for check-in by looking at your boarding pass.

In the Air Canada app and on paper tickets, the corresponding number for “Use the airline” indicates your location in check-in order.

Example of upgrade ranking

For the following examples, suppose there is only one place left to upgrade to Business Class on a flight and the only people on the waiting list are described.

Example # 1

Ricky, Josh and TJ Air Canada are flying from Tokyo to Vancouver after Japan miraculously opened its borders to tourism. Ricky and TJ are Super Elite with Aeroplan co-branded credit cards, and Josh is a 50K member with a co-branded credit card.

Josh snatched a premium Economy “A” rental deal during a sale, while Ricky and TJ Flex booked “M”.

TJ checked in first, then Ricky and then Josh.

In this situation, Josh will get priority for the upgrade because of his original booking cabin class. Although Ricky and TJ got a higher status and checked in earlier, Josh’s premium economy ticket gave him preference over the other two.

Assuming Josh’s seat in the premium economy is up for grabs, TJ will be preferred over Ricky for the seat, as he checked in first. Ricky is stuck in the economy for this flight.

Air Canada 777 Business Class

Example 2

Amy, Rachel and Rohin are flying from Montreal to Vancouver to spend a weekend on the West Coast.

They all have Aeroplan 50K status. Rachel and Rohin are co-branded airplane credit card holders, while Amy is not.

Amy checks in first, then Rachel and then Rohin.

They all booked a Flex “U” rental.

In that case, Rachel would win the upgrade, as having a co-branded credit card puts her higher than Amy (who checked in first) and Rohin (who checked in later).

Example 3

Ben, Sophie and Richard are flying from Toronto to London.

Ben has Aeroplan 25K status which he has achieved through daily status qualification. She is new to the Miles and Points community, but she is smart and excited to make the most of her participation.

Sophie and Richard are both super elite with 2 million miles status. Sophie has a co-branded credit card, but Richard doesn’t have one

Sophie checked in first, then Richard and then Ben.

Sophie and Richard booked a Flex “M” for rent and Ben booked in Premium Economy (minimum) using Airplane Points.

To the chagrin of Sophie and Richard, Ben wins this upgrade because he originally booked that cabin class.

Assuming Ben’s seat in the premium economy is up for grabs, Sophie would be preferred over Richard because she has a co-branded credit card and doesn’t.


If you can’t confirm an Air Canada eUpgrade before your flight, you’ll be on the waiting list for an upgrade. Once check-in is closed, the list is cleared and space-available upgrades are given in order of priority at the gate.

Your position on the list depends on a number of factors, including your booking’s original cabin class, your status and whether you have an Aeroplan Co-branded credit card, your location in the order of rent and check-in.

The best strategy here is to get started booking in premium economy whenever possible. Waiting for an upgrade at the gate is a bit nervous, but very satisfying when it’s clear.

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