TORONTO — Air Canada has “transformed” its Aeroplan loyalty program, officially launching on Nov. 8 with more personalized, flexible and easier-to-use features.
With the launch, members will enjoy a range of new benefits, including new features on Aeroplan credit cards, many never offered before in Canada. The program, says Air Canada, is now poised to provide better value for Aeroplan credit card holders redeeming flights with the airline than that provided by major Canadian bank travel programs.
“Air Canada promised an outstanding new Aeroplan that would be among the best travel loyalty programs in the world, and we are fulfilling that promise,” said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive of Air Canada. “The new Aeroplan program, which has been extremely well thought through, has been eagerly anticipated as a key driver of our ongoing transformation, this is more important than ever as airlines compete to earn and retain customer loyalty in a rapidly changing environment.”
Mark Nasr, Vice President, Loyalty and eCommerce at Air Canada, added: “Since we announced our commitment to improve Aeroplan, we’ve been listening to feedback from more than 36,000 consumers; we’ve benchmarked against loyalty and frequent flyer programs from around the globe, and we’ve completely rebuilt our digital infrastructure. The result is a truly responsive and flexible loyalty program delivering a more rewarding experience so that members can travel more and travel better.”
Beginning Nov. 8, current Aeroplan accounts will seamlessly transition to the new program, including existing Aeroplan membership numbers. Aeroplan miles will be known as ‘Aeroplan points,’ and existing balances of miles will be honoured on a one-to-one basis. Also, all Aeroplan credit cards will continue to earn Aeroplan points.
In 2018 Air Canada took back control of the valuable Aeroplan loyalty business that it created in 1984, buying it back for $450 million. The deal closed in 2019.
Here’s an overview of what’s new and improved with the program:
Improved value on flight rewards
- The transformed Aeroplan will offer members the ability to search and redeem for flight rewards at aircanada.com or on the Air Canada app.
- No cash surcharges on Air Canada flights. Additional airline surcharges, including fuel surcharges, on all flight rewards with Air Canada will be eliminated. Members will pay cash only for taxes and third-party fees (and can even pay for those with Aeroplan points).
- Predictable pricing. Points needed for Aeroplan flight rewards on Air Canada will be based on actual prices in the market. Plan trips easily and confidently with the Points Predictor Tool, which provides an estimated range in Aeroplan points that members will need for their flight rewards. This tool also shows the fixed amount of points members will need for flight rewards with airline partners.
- As North America’s most globally connected loyalty program, Aeroplan offers the ability to earn or redeem points on over 35 airlines. This global network comprises among the very best airlines for quality and service in their respective regions, and enables members to redeem for flights to over 1,300 destinations. Recent partner additions include Etihad Airways and Azul.
- Members will have the flexibility to save their Aeroplan points, and pay for a portion of their flight reward in cash.
More options for more members
- Aeroplan Family Sharing: Members will be able to combine Aeroplan points with others in their household, for free, so they can redeem for travel sooner.
- Earn points whenever you fly: Earn Aeroplan points with every Air Canada flight booked in cash on its website or app, now including Economy Basic fares.
- Upgrade your flight: Members can redeem their Aeroplan points to upgrade to Air Canada Premium Economy or Business Class, whenever those cabins are offered and seats are available. With its innovative bidding feature, members can name their own price to bid for upgrades.
- Extra perks within reach: Members will be able to use their Aeroplan points for popular extras, such as in-flight Wi-Fi or the ability to relax in Air Canada’s Maple Leaf Lounge.
- Better travel rewards: Members can continue to redeem points for their whole trip, including car rentals, hotel stays and vacations packages.
- Expanded merchandise rewards: Members will enjoy a wider range of reward options including electronics, housewares, and much more. Additionally, gift cards will be delivered digitally, and available faster than ever before.
Upgraded Aeroplan Elite Status
The transformed Aeroplan will continue to offer six membership levels – entry-level Aeroplan Debut, along with five Elite Status levels: Aeroplan 25K, 35K, 50K, 75K, and Super Elite. All the most popular Elite Status benefits remain, along with some exciting improvements beginning in 2021, including:
- Priority Rewards: – Elite Status Members can earn Priority Rewards vouchers entitling them to 50% off the price in points (excluding taxes, third-party fees, and where applicable, a partner booking fee) on eligible flight rewards with Air Canada and its airline partners. Members with Aeroplan 35K Status or higher will automatically receive Priority Rewards when the program launches in November.
- Status Pass: Eligible Elite Status Members can share their benefits, such as priority boarding and lounge access, with friends and family members, even if they are not travelling together.
- Everyday Status Qualification: The Aeroplan points that members earn every day from eligible retail, travel, and Aeroplan credit card partners will help members reach Aeroplan Elite Status.
All-new Aeroplan credit cards
The totally redesigned Aeroplan co-branded credit cards are the only ones in Canada that offer extensive Air Canada travel perks. Members who hold eligible credit cards issued from Air Canada’s card partners TD, CIBC and American Express will earn rewards more quickly and access unique new benefits:
- Entry-level credit cards offer preferred pricing on flight rewards, meaning primary cardholders can often redeem flights for fewer points. Also, when these members shop at popular categories, they’ll earn bonus points. Members earn even more when they spend directly with Air Canada (through the app, at aircanada.com or vacations.aircanada.com) and pay with their Aeroplan credit card.
- Main-level credit cards offer the above benefits, plus these cardholders will enjoy a free first checked bag when traveling on Air Canada flights – regardless of whether the ticket was redeemed with points or purchased with cash. Additionally, up to eight companions traveling on the same reservation can also receive a free first checked bag.
- Premium-level credit cards offer the above benefits, plus exciting new airport perks including Maple Leaf Lounge and Air Canada Café access, priority boarding, and priority check-in.
- Eligible secondary cardholders will now enjoy a free first checked bag, lounge access, and priority airport benefits when traveling on their own – an industry first.
- These credit cards were designed with Aeroplan Elite Status in mind. Spending on the main and premium-level credit cards can help members reach and maintain status more easily. Plus, top-level cardholders can tap into new benefits like rollover eUpgrade Credits and priority upgrade clearance at the airport.
For a list of Air Canada travel benefits for Aeroplan credit card holders, visit aircanada.com/cards. For more information on the new features, or to enroll in the program, go to aircanada.com/aeroplan.