$8 to change seat and with status?

photoDear Mr. Rovinescu,

I’m quite an Air Canada advocate and usually spend time talking up Air Canada to my collegues and such.  While I may not be 100k Super Elite, I do fly enough to hit 50k or 35k with status.
I was very shocked to see the following screen shot, yesterday, when checking in for my flight.  In short, $8 to change my seat in the same area of the plane?  
Some details 
– I’m currently 35K well on my way to 50K this year. 
– I fly Toronto to Vancouver (and then on to Portland) a significant number of times a year, and will be doing this at least once a month until August next year
– I’m already booked in a middle seat (which is fine, I’ll live with)
What is Air Canada thinking?  Here is the exchange I had on Twitter with @ACAltitude.  Firstly, I do have to commend the folks over at @ACAltitude – they rock, and are always courteous:
Iain sorry to be cranky but why would I pay $8 to change my seat when I have status? Flying AC101 tomorrow.
Iain and I have a preferred seat as well…
ACAHi Mathan, different preferred seats have are assigned at different amounts (ie aisle vs middle). /cc
Iain even changing between another middle seat would cost $8 – will get a screenshot for you. Not a good revenue model.
ACAHi Mathan, instead of a screenshot, can you DM your booking ref nbr? /cc
Iain I might stand corrected but still, feels like nickelling and dining loyal customers.
Mr. Rovinescu, this is nickelling and diming your valued customers and is a digusting practice.  Completely ridiculous.  
I choose Air Canada because it’s not like the US airlines I deal with.  United has an inconsistent product.  American’s seats are way too small. US Airways service is horrible.
Air Canada is a 4-star Skytrax airline.  It won’t be if you continue these practices which are more like RyanAir (Ireland) and Spirit (US).
Thank you,
Iain Bennett

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