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NotiFlyer :: Late-Breaking News
Late-Breaking Program News Aeroplan Announces Elite-Level Changes
(Posted: Dec 12, 2003)

Air Canada's Aeroplan has recently released the changes to its elite program for 2004. In a conference call with the press, Aeroplan President Rupert Duchesne explained that the changes had been implemented to be "economically rational," and to better allocate benefits according to revenue spent.

In essence, the changes now let members choose from an assortment of three "packages" of benefits, in order to best complement their travel habits, whether they are North American, transpacific, or transatlantic flyers.

Without further ado, the changes:

  • Reduced qualifying levels for 2004 top-tier status: 85,000 Status Miles for Super Elite status, 30,000 Status Miles for Elite and 15,000 Status Miles for Prestige. Largely in recognition of reduced business travel through 2003, Aeroplan has opted to make elite access available to more travelers.

  • Air Canada upgrade certificates for travelers who purchase Freedom and Latitude fare categories (i.e., higher fares) for travel in North America. Some of the lower booking classes eligible for 2003 upgrades will no longer be offered on domestic (and eventually on transborder) routes. However, Super Elite and Elite members can select a benefit package that contains system-wide upgrade certificates that include the opportunity to upgrade from low fare categories.

  • Addition of upgrade-eligible booking classes on flights to and from Europe and the Middle East for Elite and Prestige members.

  • Complimentary upgrade certificates awarded through the 2004 threshold bonus start at 15,000 Aeroplan Status Miles, and members receive two upgrades at each subsequent 15,000 Aeroplan Status Miles accumulated.

  • Aeroplan will offer 2004 top-tier members the opportunity to select a portion of their benefit package that is designed around varying levels of upgrade certificates and Maple Leaf Lounge passes. Eligible members will receive a letter before the end of February advising them to select their benefit packages online in a special section for top-tiers, accessible from the homepage at aeroplan.com.

  • Access to Maple Leaf Lounges remains largely unchanged. Aeroplan Super Elite and Elite members continue to have complimentary access. In addition, members will have an additional choice of lounge access depending on the experience package they choose. Super Elite members now have the ability to select a benefit package including a complimentary spousal card.

    At present, member reaction has been mixed -- a live chat with Duchesne scheduled for Dec. 15 on http://www.flyertalk.com will no doubt clarify both the program's and the members' points of view.

    Previous comments:

    Ron buist
    posted: Jun 24, 2004 at 7:09pm (MT)

    Once again, Air Canada aeroplan makes point redemption very, very, UNrewarding. My travel agent today (World travel of Vancouver) tried to activate my 125,000 aeroplan points (acct. 515030328) to purchase , with a cash top up, 2 business class tickets : Toronto to Venice leaving June 17 and returning Barcellona July 2. We were told it could not be booked until 356 days prior to the return date. Hence, June 24/04 = 356 days prior to July 2/05

    We, my travel agent and I , were once again wrong in the wonderful world of Aeroplan who have once again changed the game plan.

    Someone, somewhere changed the advance date to 331 days to use Air Canada or Air Alliance (Lufthansa)


    Why do you make changes and come up with this new silly number of 331 days. It is a game with you people. Now August 5 is the magic number to TRY and get two business class seats:
    Toronto to Frankfurt, to Venice June 17
    Return Barcellona July 2

    Is it your hope that people will get confused and give up?

    Is it your hope that we cannot make use of the wonderful programs you think you have?

    I want to book my travel now.

    I want to be able to figure out my air travel so that I can book the remainder of my 2005 holiday with a cruise company.

    Is this a level playing field?

    Do ALL other Air Canada travellers fit into the new and improved wonderful 331 program or can some book earlier?

    I am personally fed up with Air Canada and the very lack of service for someone that has used you company for years and years. Check my aeroplan number.

    Just how much chance is their of World Travel in Vancouver or myselfhere in Oakville of ever being able to get the air package,

    I want to see Europe with a 40th wedding anniversary surprise gift for my wife.

    I think my first shock will be if you actually have a human their in your dept. that will answer me.

    Ron Buist
    Disgruntled Air Canada Aeroplan user(?)

    posted: Feb 20, 2006 at 3:48am (MT)

    I completely agree...

    I have thousands of points.....do you think I can bring my husband to Europe 7 months from today on a business class ticket from Vancouver? That being along side my fully paid for business ticket(I am again travelling on business. I am looking for ANY port in Europe! No way, at best we get business within Canada and then an Economy across the Atlantic. Also there is a hidden formula that prevents West Coast folks to go into Europe directly....we must go through Toronto, Montreal or Chicago at best....of course the Toronto - Europe route only has Economy available,,,,

    It is pathetic.....I don''t know why we are so complacent about it. What are we collecting these points for at all?

    Its really also sad that every week Aeroplan sends us an e-mail about the fantastic offers that they have for us!

    Barbara....a disgusted Aeroplan user too!

    Joe Gomes
    posted: Jun 22, 2008 at 7:10am (MT)

    Sadly these types of things, and worse things, are still going on. The selling off of Aeroplan has proven to be a disappointment for members as now excuses like "Well, that's an Air Canada issue..." from Aeroplan and "Well, that's an Aeroplan issue..." are consistently uttered Aeroplan and from Air Canada! I've now, as much as I can, stopped flying Air Canada and I've since joined United's MileagePlus. These days it's a pain to fly through the US, but in my view, anything is better than flying Air Canada.

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