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Air Canada Now Participating in Star Alliance Upgrade Program

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Good news for Star Alliance members who want to upgrade on Air Canada- they can now redeem miles for upgrades through the Star Alliance upgrade program.  This is somewhat of a surprise, because they are one of the hardest airlines to upgrade on. They don’t hand out free upgrades to top tier elites, like the legacy US airlines, instead making their frequent flyers pay for them with high fare classes and limited system-wide upgrades.

Under the new rules announced here, you can upgrade Air Canada flights booked in Latitude Y,B classes using your Star Alliance miles. An added benefit of upgrading on Air Canada is access to the Maple Leaf Lounges.
For example, to upgrade a North American Air Canada flight, it would cost 10,000 United miles each way, pending available upgrade space.

Requesting an upgrade

  • To booka Star Alliance Upgrade Award, make sure you have your Air Canada booking reference handy, then contact:

    Your frequent flyer program will have details regarding how many miles are required for each flight segment you wish to upgrade.

Codeshare flights and flights departing from the following airports are not eligible for Star Alliance Upgrade Awards:

United States

  • Philadelphia, PA (PHL)
  • Portland, OR (PDX)
  • Seattle, WA (SEA)


  • Cayo Coco (CCC)
  • Cayo Largo del Sur (CYO)
  • Ciego de Avila (AVI)
  • Havana (VAV)
  • Holguin (HOG)
  • Santa Clara (SNU)
  • Varadero (VRA)

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

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  • Receive 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • No matter where you're traveling, when you use your Premier Rewards Gold Card there are no foreign transaction fees from American Express.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $100 a year in baggage fees and more at one airline.
  • There is a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $195.
  • Terms and limitations apply. See Rates & Fees
Intro APR Regular APR Annual Fee Balance Transfer Fee Credit Rating
N/A Introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $195 See Terms Excellent Credit