The long-awaited revamp of Aeroplan is finally here, and Canadians are finally getting a glimpse into what Air Canada plans to do with evolving the loyalty program when it launches Nov. 8, 2020.
Here are six new features that may interest you.
New charts with Points Predictor
With Aeroplan previously being a fixed-award chart, the new program will introduce peak pricing for flights within North America and between North American and outside regions operated by Air Canada. On a traditional economy class fare, what could have been 15,000 Miles round trip (+taxes and fees) would fall into the 6,000-10,000 point range, per direction, meaning it could cost 12,000-20,000 round trip (+taxes and reduced surcharges) in the new charts. Variables would include flight capacity, demand and times, and passengers can see price jumps on high-demand flights while seeing potential savings on earlier flights or low-demand periods. Partner flights remain on a fixed chart, as will flights within regions outside of North America.
The airline is also removing cash surcharges on Air Canada flight rewards, meaning you’ll pay less to redeem. As points needed will reflect market prices and can go up or down depending on demand, Air Canada is launching a Points Predictor showing approximately how many points you’ll need to save up to redeem for a desired route. Plus, the airline says points-only deals will be made available on select Air Canada flights.
Aeroplan Family Sharing
Air Canada is launching Aeroplan Family Sharing, which is an easy way for family members (or trusted friends!) to combine separate pools of Aeroplan points into one family pool. The individual totals are still tallied, but points are shared by family members for future redemptions. Miles are redeemed proportionately by each family member for that reward (so you can’t redeem for just one person from their pool), but access can be restricted for an individual to not be able to redeem.
You can only be in one family at a time, and you are bound to the group for three months upon joining. Once you exit, you must remain individual for six months before associating to another family.
Points + Cash
Don’t have enough points to redeem for a reward? Aeroplan is taking a page out of SPG’s book and launching the Points + Cash feature—the ability to redeem rewards for a combination of points with cash.
Options of combinations will be made available to users to make the choice that enables better flexibility—ideal for when you might want to bank points for a future, more valuable redemption.
Points for more
Travellers will now be able to use points to redeem for more than just a flight. This is particularly great if you want to access upgrades, Wi-Fi vouchers on-board, pay for preferred seats, access to the Maple Leaf Lounge, baggage fees, on-board purchases, and other everyday redemptions.
Status pass – elevated experience with Elite status
A new feature for 2021 for Elite members 50K and above will give members access to a number of status passes which can be shared with friends or family members who aren’t flying with you.
The 50K status pass will be attached to a member’s reservation and enable them access to your status benefits for the day, including priority check-in, Maple Leaf Lounge access, three checked bags, priority airport services, and priority boarding.
Finally, in the spirit of sharing, Priority Rewards are being simplified. Members with 35K or above will be able to access a Priority Reward in the form of a voucher that gives a 50% discount on the base fare in points of a flight reward. You access a voucher every time you reach a new Status Qualifying Dollar (SQD) threshold with the ability of earning up to 11 vouchers each year.
Depending on when you earn the voucher and the status at the time you reach the SQD level dictates which cabin and distance available for redemption on the Priority Reward, with regular taxes, fees and charges still applicable. Each voucher can be applied against one flight reward, per passenger.