After a couple of confusing years, Aeroplan’s future is finally clear. Come November 8th, the new Air Canada Aeroplan program will be launched and, as expected, there are some pretty big changes. Some bad, but plenty good.
With that in mind, here are five of the biggest changes coming with the Air Canada Aeroplan program.
No More Fuel Surcharges!
First up on this list of positive changes with the Air Canada Aeroplan program is a big one. Say goodbye to hefty fuel surcharges!
This means that your “free“ Aeroplan reward flight to Europe no longer comes with $800 worth of surprise fees. This was without a doubt the biggest complaint Aeroplan members had with the program. Of course, there were ways around this by flying airlines that did not charge high fees on reward tickets. I helped plenty of people save thousands in fees over the years. Now, you will be able to fly any airline (including Air Canada and Lufthansa) without paying an arm and a leg for your seat.
The downside to this is any time you book an Aeroplan ticket that is not on an Air Canada flight, a partner fee of $39 is applied. Not ideal but overall it should be less than the fuel surcharges.
The Two Stop-Over Rule Returns!
Another surprising move, Aeroplan has resurrected the two stop-over rule…sort of. Under the old rules, round-trip tickets allowed for two stop-overs or one stop and one open jaw. This rule was removed in September 2019 which led me to book one last epic mini-RTW ticket…then COVID happened.
Under the new rules, one stop-over can be added to any one-way flight for 5000 points. This means if you book your round trip as two one-way segments, you can add two stops (one in each direction) for 10,000 points. Not free, but nominal if it is used in the right situation. More on that soon.
You Can Pool Your Points!
Under the old Aeroplan rules, if you wanted to gift points to someone else it would cost you 2¢ per mile. So if you wanted to transfer 100,000 points to a family member or friend, you would be charged $2,000! Because of this, I always suggested to my clients to book flights from one account where possible.
Now with the new Aeroplan program, you can pool points with up to eight people! On top of that, things like Elite status (and the perks that come along with it) achieved by one member is shared with all in the family.
Goodbye Janky Booking System
Another great perk of the new Aeroplan program is the retirement of the current website and app. Come November 8th, say goodbye to the clunky and cumbersome system that frustrated thousands. Though I made money helping clients book complex routings with the system, I am happy to see it go.
Under the new Aeroplan program, everything will be integrated into Air Canada‘s website and app. You will still be charged $30 for anything you need to book through the Air Canada call centre however Air Canada is saying that the new system can be used to book everything, even complex routing that the old system cannot handle.
Say Hello to More Seats
With Air Canada integrating Aeroplan into their ecosystem comes the perk of more available seats on any Air Canada flight. Instead of only a set number of seats per flight released for points booking, all unsold Air Canada seats will be available. The caveat is there will be a dynamic scale for just how many points the seat will cost you. If several seats are available, for example, the standard rates will apply. If only one seat is left, expect to pay a premium.
What do you think of the new Aeroplan program?
From pooling points to no more fuel surcharges, the new Aeroplan program offers plenty of things to look forward to. That said, there is some significant downside at play here as well. Will explore these in my next post – Five of the Worst Changes to the Air Canada Aeroplan Program.