Transformation of the Program

As mentioned in my previous posts, we’ve been listening to what’s important to our members. From availability and value to flexibility and exclusivity, you want a program that works for you. There has been a lot happening at Aeroplan since its inception in 1984 and I’m thrilled to share new major changes that will transform the Aeroplan Program in 2014, the year our program turns 30. There is a lot of exciting news to share, so I’ll dive right into it.

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To kick start the transformation of the program, we have launched Distinction, a multi-level recognition program that recognizes our top accumulating members for their engagement in the program with faster accumulation options, easier redemption and exclusive privileges. Distinction offers different categories of benefits:

  • Exclusive benefits on flight rewards such as reduced mileage levels and Distinction flights
  • Bonus mile offers with Air Canada, select hotel partners and eStore
  • Preferential treatment, privileges and limited-time offers and exclusive partner offers, special reward offers, and invitations to exclusive events.

The key for this year is that members accumulate miles before the end of December 2013 to earn Distinction status starting on January 1st, 2014. One of the quickest ways to earn miles is to use an Aeroplan affiliated financial card, and earn miles twice when purchasing from one of our more than 75 partners.

Speaking of credit cards, we’re also excited at what is coming in 2014. While details are still being finalized, Aeroplan Members will be at the heart of these offerings to ensure you’re getting a great credit card that will help you earn miles faster.

As we have news to share on these important 2014 developments, we’ll be posting it to The Future of Aeroplan, a dedicated website  where you can sign-up for updates.

Another major change to the Aeroplan Program is the cancellation of our seven-year mileage redemption policy.   As a result of this change, our members’ miles will not begin expiring on January 1, 2014, as originally announced; instead they won’t expire as long as members have at least one accumulation or redemption activity every 12 months.   Our members can continue to work towards a dream trip or redemption knowing that their miles will be there when they need them.

Another change to the program includes the adjustment of some flight reward mileage levels effective as of January 1st, 2014. There is a lot of information in regards to these changes, so I’ll break them down.

  • The required mileage levels for ClassicFlight one-way rewards will decrease to 50% of the roundtrip reward mileage level, compared to 67% as it is today.
  • ClassicPlus Flight Rewards will be replaced by Market Fare Flight Rewards and will offer up to 20% reduced mileage levels compared to the current ClassicPlus Flight Rewards mileage levels.
  • We have increased required mileage levels for business and first class ClassicFlight rewards on certain international routes: To/from North America to Australia, New Zealand & South Pacific, Middle East, North Africa, and Asia, leaving our most popular redemptions – North American economy class – untouched.

As you can imagine, everyone at Aeroplan is excited about the program changes. We remain committed to driving high value for our members and making Aeroplan your preferred loyalty program – a program that is even more valuable, memorable and enjoyable. We hope you’ll like your new Aeroplan!

Until next time,

Kevin

86 Responses to “Transformation of the Program”

  1. Scott Arnott February 10, 2014 at 9:28 pm #

    Here is a great example of why Aeroplan is what it is. I have been an Elite member for over 20 years. This year I”m a Black Card member plus have Diamond Distinction. Last week my wife,son, and I flew to Florida to visit family in the Tallahassee area. We had to book through Washington National to Tallahassee out of Toronto, but it was the day of the ice storm in the southeast and US Airways ended up flying us to Tampa instead of Tallahassee. The agent in Washington stated when you get to Tampa “they will get you to Tallahassee ASAP”. Unfortunately when we got there the Tampa agent stated “we had used up our fare” and could not fly any further. This was a reward trip and the Aeroplan 1-800 # went unanswered most of that day. We ended up having to rent a motel room and then a car and drive the 6.5 hrs to Tallahassee the next day incurring costs of about $300.
    Aeroplan eventually responded to an email stating I had to take my concerns up with the airline and here’s the website.
    That’s it. No help. No one in my corner. Elite and Distinction may get you some nice perks but when United overbooks a flight and leaves you and your family at the gate in Phoenix (2012), or US Air reroutes you to Tampa (2014) with a promise to “get you to where you want to go”, just hope the airline does something other than lose all your luggage or delay it for 6 hrs……? Because so far in both instances, Aeroplane simply washes their hands of the situation.
    Simply put, we didn’t get to our destination, we used our points and paid the fees as required, the flight was cancelled out of Washington before we left Toronto, it ended up costing us more $$ and more time. What’s Aeroplan’s duty to its members?

    • Scott February 28, 2014 at 10:38 am #

      Here’s an update to my woes with Aeroplan.
      (I’m Blue 50K and Diamond member)

      Aeroplan Response-Its US Air’s fault. (2 emails and 1 AP Supervisor call)
      US Air Response- Its not our fault and nothing we can do (2 emails 2 calls)

      So here’s a heads up….If you get stuck somewhere, or sent somewhere other than your original destination, be very very careful because likely you will get…stuck. You’ll likely lose your points, fees, time, money and that nice warm comfy feeling that being a top tier member used to bring. Oh and somehow figure out if (all) your connection(s) aren’t cancelled of delayed before you go, they won’t tell you about a partner airlines issues when you check-in, because that seems to be no one’s fault but mine.Sad.
      Happy travels!!!

      • Aeroplan March 26, 2014 at 2:55 pm #

        Hi Scott,
        I’m not sure of the nature of your situation. However, if you are notified of a schedule change prior to your departure day you can call our Contact Center to have a schedule change agent look over your itinerary. If you have a cancellation or delay that forces you to miss a connection or flight to your destination, the operating airline’s agents should re-book you on the next available flight.
        Hope that helps clarify things.
        Jason

        • Scott April 9, 2014 at 12:29 pm #

          Weak. Non answer. Not surprised.

  2. Patrick February 3, 2014 at 11:02 am #

    I am very disapponted with the new distinction program. I have diamond distinction and elite status and based on my searches the new system will actually cost me almost double the miles as the previous system for flights from Canada to the US. for example, i frequently fly Vancouver to Tampa which had previosuly been a 25k flight, now with diamond distinction it is 47k (or 65k with no distinction). another example, Vancouver to Toronto – it has also always been a 25k flight, but the market rate is 36k and the classic is 25k — where is the savings?

    • Aeroplan February 10, 2014 at 4:26 pm #

      Hi Patrick,
      Market Fare Flight Rewards offers you greater availability on flights operated by Air Canada and Air Canada Express at variable mileage levels, which are derived from market fares at the time of booking and the conversion of these fares into mileage levels. If you aren’t finding what you would like with ClassicFlight Rewards and Market Fare is not an option for you I invite you to check back often as airlines sometimes release seats a bit later.
      Thank you,
      Jason

  3. Kevin arenburg January 14, 2014 at 5:49 pm #

    I was excited to reach distinction diamond status. I was excited to learn about the special distinction flights being offered. Now I see they are bring offered but only from Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. When will other cities be offered flights? I hope that if none are planned then connection flights to the aforementioned cities will be included in the redemption of distinction flights.

    • Aeroplan January 15, 2014 at 1:39 pm #

      Hi Kevin,
      When we have more information regarding details on upcoming Distinction Flights, they will be made available on aeroplan.com at: aeroplan.com/distinction_distinctionflights. Please check back for more info regarding these exclusive flights.
      Thanks,
      Jason

  4. Tom Puchniak December 28, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

    I’ve been an Aeroplan member for many years and accumulated over 120,000 miles, finally cashing in 60,000 to fly to London in August. I was dumbfounded to discover that I had to pay $720 in various fees, including $420 “fuel surcharge”. I could have bought a regular ticket for $950. so basically after years of saving miles, my “reward” amounted to a discount of $230 on a full price ticket. These surcharges negate the value of Aeroplan miles and I think it’s deceptive of Aeroplan to keep promoting the benefits of the program without pointing out that there is no such thing as a free ticket and in fact you will pay hundreds of dollars in surcharges to use your air miles. It has seriously devalued the benefits of Aeroplan miles. Unfortunately I still have lots of air miles left and would lose them if I switch to a more reasonable air miles program.

    • Aeroplan January 15, 2014 at 12:28 pm #

      Hi Tom,
      Taxes & fees associated with reward tickets can vary from airline to airline and depend on the airports and airlines involved. Looking at different routing options may yield different results. You can call our Contact Center if you would like assistance with booking, the number is 800-361-5373.
      Thanks,
      Jason

  5. Tim December 8, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

    Can you please provide details or your “Lifetime Elite” or similar programs? I previously saw details of this on my account, but no longer. Thanks.

    • Aeroplan December 23, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

      Hi Tim,

      I’m unaware of such a program. If you are referring to an Air Canada Altitude Elite (either its 35K, 50K, or 75K) benefit, that is managed by Air Canada. You can find more information on those through Air Canada’s Website.

      Thanks,
      Jason

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