This is a trip report to say farewell to Air Canada’s paper upgrade certificates. There were a few types: System-Wide Upgrade (SWU), usable on high fare classes, blue; Special System-Wide Upgrade (SSWU), usable on nearly all fare classes, red; North America Upgrade (NAU), usable on high fare classes within North America, green.
For some (including me), this system worked great. I would buy flight passes for use within North America and could then “burn” the SWUs and NAUs. So when Air Canada announced that it was changing to eUpgrade credits, I was sad to see the certificates go, and worried that the number of upgrades in a year would go down. While in total, the number of upgrades did sadly go down, luckily, I now receive many more upgrades internationally, which is truly where they matter.
Poor planning on my part also meant that I had quite a few extra paper upgrades at the end of the year, so I would use the red ones on short 2 hour flights, previously unthinkable. However, the good thing about that is I had some left as “wallpaper” at the end of the status year.
Gone are the days of hoping that the gate agent will forget to take in your certificate. Gone are the days of forgetting your certificate and losing the upgrade. I will miss you!
One image of a SSWU I found on Luxury Travel Guy: