Award Success: Bidding For Business Class Upgrades On Air Canada Vancouver To Taipei, $465 Minimum Offer Accepted!


In our series Award Success we have a feature of Air Canada Upgrade Bidding today where I managed to secure a Business Class Upgrade with just the minimum amount required (US$465).

Though not really an award per se, these upgrades on Air Canada book into award classes (R) so there won’t be any extra miles for this paid upgrade (at least not automatically).

I originally purchased a very low priced Premium Economy ticket out of Taipei where I paid just US$1100 for TPE-YVR // YVR-LAS // LAX-YVR-// YVR-TPE with YVR-LAS actually booking in Business Class for some reason.

Since the way back to Taipei is actually a much longer flight of 12 hours I decided to see if the upgrade bidding of Air Canada has a decent offer available. The function is supported by Plusgrade as many other airlines use it as well. The tool has worked quite well for me in the past.

I decided to book the minimum amount only as I checked on Expertflyer and the flight is really empty today. Three days before departure I received an email that my bid of US$465 was accepted.

Air Canada has very rigid rules for these upgrades including those that passengers don’t earn any extra mileage which is contrary to what other airlines such as Lufthansa offer where the customer will receive the miles of the new class of service.

You can read up on the rules of Air Canada Upgrade Bidding in this pdf:

Download (PDF, 113KB)

Based on the ‘no extra mileage’ terms the amount of just under $500 was the maximum I was willing to pay in this case. Keep in mind that I was already booked in Premium Economy Class (Booking Class N) and even though the seat is somewhat comfortable and was sufficient for the 10 hours to go from Taipei to Vancouver it’s a bit of a stretch to say I’d have been comfortable for a whole 12 hours on the way back.


US$465 is what you would pay on some other airlines as a co-pay when trying to upgrade with miles so I was ok with paying the premium in this case. I will see if the miles for N Class Premium Economy find their way properly to my Mileage Plus account or if I have to retro claim them. In any case I will try and also claim the miles for the paid Business Class Upgrade. It can never hurt to ask!