Full Details of Air Canada’s New Aeroplan Program
Air Canada has announced a big overhaul of its Aeroplan loyalty program in an effort boost membership as the global travel industry has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The relaunch has been in the works since Air Canada reacquired the rewards program from Aimia Inc. in January 2019. The revamped Aeroplan program will launch on November 8th and has some surprising details.
The new program, based in part on feedback from thousands of consumers, “is more important than ever as airlines compete to earn and retain customer loyalty in a rapidly changing environment,” CEO Calin Rovinescu said in a statement Tuesday. Air Canada also made last-minute tweaks to the rewards revamp in response to the outbreak, prioritizing partnerships with the Uber Eats app and other companies yet to be announced, said Mark Nasr, head of loyalty and e-commerce at the company.
Let’s take a look at the major changes that customers will see in November.
No More Carrier Surcharges
The new Aeroplan loyalty program will eliminate the carrier surcharge on flights purchased with points. These fees previously varied from less than $25 to as high as hundreds of dollars for awards on some Star Alliance partners. A $39 fee will still apply for trips operated by Air Canada’s partner airlines. You will also have to still pay taxes.
Aeroplan loyalty program members will be able to book seats on any Air Canada flight using Aeroplan points, a change from the current model where seat inventory is limited.
The price you pay in points is related to the price of the ticket in cash. And, to make it easier to plan, there is an award chart that gives you a likely range of points required for the flight you want. You can expect your flight reward to fall into that range during normal times. If you’re looking to travel in a high demand period, just like booking with cash, the price of the trip in points might be higher than the range. All flight rewards booked exclusively on partner airlines, is a fixed amount of points.
Award ticket can include a stopover for just 5,000 extra points each way. Round trip fares can have two stopovers.
You no longer need to visit a separate website to book flight rewards. Now, it’s simpler and faster to redeem! Search and redeem for flight rewards just like you would any other booking – at aircanada.com or on the Air Canada app.
Points + Cash
You can book with a combination of points and cash so you can take the trip you want, sooner. You can still use points to cover taxes and fees and the value should range between 1.5¢ to 2¢.
Aeroplan Family Sharing
With Aeroplan Family Sharing, you can combine Aeroplan points with family members, so you can accumulate points faster together and redeem for rewards sooner. Up to 8 family members can group together. All points earned by members are added into a shared balance, including their existing points balances. That makes it easier to get enough points for your next award flights. If you have an Elite Status Member or a primary Aeroplan Credit Cardholder in your group, everyone gets to benefit from their preferred pricing.
Frequent travellers in one of Aeroplan’s five elite categories will be able to share benefits such as lounge access and priority boarding with friends and family, even if they are not flying together.
Starting November 8, members with Aeroplan 35K Status or higher can use a Priority Reward voucher to get a 50% discount on the base fare in points of a flight reward – any time they want. You can earn up to 11 Priority Reward vouchers each year.
Each Priority Reward voucher is earned based on Status Qualifying Dollars (SQD), and your Elite Status at the time you reach each SQD level. Earn a voucher when you cross the 4,000, 7,000, 10,000 and 15,000 SQD thresholds, and for every 5,000 SQD earned above 15,000 SQD – up to a maximum of 50,000 SQD. Priority Reward vouchers will be valid for one year from the date you earn them.
Starting in 2021, the Aeroplan program will offer Everyday Status Qualification, which lets you earn status without flying. Members will earn the entry-level 25K status after accruing 100,000 Aeroplan points from eligible transactions, such as credit card spending and other partnerships, like online shopping portals, Uber Eats and more. Points transfers from American Express Membership Rewards will not count. You can see more details about either status tier here.
Use Points for More than Flights
Redeem your points across your whole trip, from hotel rooms to car rentals.
- Book easily in points at over 300,000 hotels, worldwide.
- Use points to book at over 11,000 car rental locations, worldwide.
- Book your entire trip in points with Air Canada Vacations.
You can use your points for great deals on travel and beyond – including merchandise, experiences, and gift cards.
Effective July 20, 2020, Air Canada started waiving the current expiry provisions so that you will have an additional 6 months added on to your points expiry date. So long as you keep your account active, your points won’t expire at all – and staying active is as easy as earning or redeeming a single point within 18 months. You can find your extended expiration date today on aeroplan.com. Additionally, your points won’t expire if you’re the primary cardholder of an Aeroplan credit card, or you hold Aeroplan Elite Status.