Air Canada just totally revamped its Aeroplan rewards program
Air Canada has revealed changes to the Aeroplan loyalty program amid huge losses in company revenue due to COVID-19.
The airliner has launched the new scheme in an attempt to encourage people to think about using air travel once again.
From Nov. 8, current Aeroplan accounts will transition to the transformed program.
Aeroplan Miles will be known as "Aeroplan points," and existing balances of miles will be honoured on a one-to-one basis.
New benefits include flight rewards for hundreds of destinations worldwide on Air Canada and its partner airlines.
If the new Aeroplan program lines up with the current estimates @AirCanada is sharing it will be hundreds of dollars and thousands of points cheaper to visit home each trip. 😭— Colton Politte (@ColtonPolitte) August 11, 2020
Members can redeem Aeroplan points to purchase any Air Canada seat that is available for sale, without any restrictions.
Points needed for Aeroplan flight rewards on Air Canada will be based on actual prices in the market. Travellers will be able to plan trips using the Points Predictor Tool, which provides an estimated range of the Aeroplan points that members will need for their flight rewards.
With the new Aeroplan Family Sharing feature, members will be able to combine Aeroplan points with others in their household, meaning that they can redeem points for travel sooner.
Aeroplan points can also be used to upgrade to Air Canada premium economy or business class, whenever seats are available.
The redesigned Aeroplan credit cards are the only ones that offer extensive Air Canada travel perks. Members who hold eligible credit cards issued from card partners TD, CIBC and American Express will also earn rewards more quickly and access benefits, depending on their level.
For example, main-level cardholders will get a checked bag at no charge when traveling on Air Canada flights, while premium-level credit cards offer Maple Leaf Lounge and Air Canada Cafe access, priority boarding and priority check-in.
While some Air Canada customers were excited about the revamped program, others pointed out that it is a strange time for the airliner to be launching a new rewards scheme.
LOL ! Air Canada makes me laugh , will have $6B loss in 2020 , WTF ! Who’s going to go anywhere ?— Don Evjen (@DonEvjen59) August 11, 2020
COVID-19 travel bans and border closures forced the Montreal-based air travel company to ground planes, lay off thousands of employees and reduce traveler capacity by 92 per cent.
In July, Air Canada announced a drop from $4.7 billion last year to $527 million in the same three-month period, ending June 30, this year, an astonishing total drop of 89 per cent.
Other social media users noted that they are still waiting on refunds from the airliner after their flights were cancelled due to COVID-19.
NOPE-The only reward is to #RefundPassengers@AirPassRightsCA @CTA_gc @USDOT @UK_CAA @JustinTrudeau @MarcGarneau— DualCitizen (@DualCitizenUK) August 11, 2020
But Mark Nasr, vice president, loyalty and eCommerce at Air Canada, suggested the airline is listening to customers.
"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," he said.
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