Ultimate Guide to Air Canada Aeroplan Miles: Part 6 – Tips and Tricks for When Plans Change!
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However, Air Canada Aeroplan has complex rules for changes and cancellations. And they charge different fees based on what you’re doing and what elite status you hold.
If your plans change, it’s important to know these rules so you can save money.
I’ll explain Air Canada Aeroplan’s change and cancellation rules, and a trick to refund a ticket when you normally can’t!
Ultimate Guide to Air Canada Aeroplan Miles Series Index
- Part 1 – Introduction
- Part 2 – Step-By-Step Guide to Opening an Account
- Part 3 – Step-By-Step Guide to Booking Award Seats Online
- Part 4 – Mini Round-the-World Tickets and Routing Rules
- Part 5 – How to Avoid Fuel Surcharges and Save Money!
- Part 6 – Change and Cancellation Fees Explained
- Part 7 – Advanced Tips and Tricks
- Part 8 – How to Transfer Starwood and American Express Points
Change and Cancellations Explained
Air Canada Aeroplan has 2 different fee structures: a change fee and a cancellation fee. Further, the cost of the fee will change if you have Diamond status, a loyalty program that is separate from Air Canada.
You get Diamond status by earning 100,000 “status” miles, which are accrued by flying Air Canada and other Star Alliance partners, and through certain Canadian credit cards.
1. Change Fee
You can NOT make changes online. To make a change to your booking, call Air Canada Aeroplan at 800-361-5373.
- When you change your ticket, Air Canada Aeroplan will recalculate the number of miles and taxes / fees required. If the change is more than 22 days prior to departure, you will receive a refund of miles if you change to a booking that requires fewer miles. If your booking requires more miles, Air Canada Aeroplan will collect the difference
- If you make a change under 22 days prior to departure, you will NOT receive a refund of miles, even if you change to a booking that requires fewer miles. If you make the change over 22 days prior to departure, you will receive the difference in miles back
- If there is an additional collection of taxes / fees, you will have to pay that new amount
- If the new taxes / fees amount is lower than your previous ticket, you will receive the difference as a refund
- If you want to upgrade your ticket within or before 22 days prior to departure, you can with an additional collection of miles
You can change an award ticket up to 2 hours prior to departure. You can also change a ticket after departure so long as the change occurs at least 2 hours prior to the next flight’s departure.
If you do NOT have Diamond status, you will be charged 100 Canadian dollars (~$81) per person per direction. If you change a multi-city ticket, your fees are capped at 200 Canadian dollars (~$162). That means if you are changing a 2 passenger round-trip ticket, it will cost you 400 Canadian dollars (~$324)!
If you have Diamond status, the fee is reduced to 75 Canadian dollars (~$61) per person per direction.
2. Cancel Fee
You can refund an award ticket up to 22 days prior to departure. Air Canada Aeroplan charges 150 Canadian dollars (~$122) per person regardless if the ticket is one-way, round-trip, or multi-city.
The charge is the same if you cancel your ticket online or by calling Air Canada Aeroplan. If you have Diamond status, it costs 30 Canadian dollars (~$24) per person if you cancel online, or 100 Canadian dollars (~$81) if you cancel by phone. So it’s always best to cancel online if you have Diamond status.
To cancel online, login to your Air Canada Aeroplan account and under the menu tab “Your Aeroplan,” click on “Manage Your Rewards.” This will show you all active reservations. Identify the reservation you want to cancel. Then click “Cancel” and follow the prompts.
- If you cancel your ticket more than 22 days prior to departure, you will get a full refund of all taxes / fees and miles
- However, if you cancel within 22 days prior to departure, you will NOT receive a refund. In this case, you can use the value (points and taxes / fees) of your canceled ticket for a new ticket for the same passengers on any route within one year from the date the ticket was originally booked
- If your new booking requires additional miles or taxes / fees, you will need to pay the difference. If the new booking costs less than your original ticket, you will NOT receive a refund of the difference
To use the value of a canceled ticket, call Air Canada Aeroplan at 800-361-5373 and provide them with the ticket number of your canceled ticket, which is located in the cancellation email.
3. Trick to Cancel Within 22 Days
Air Canada Aeroplan does NOT allow refunds within 22 days prior to departure. However, there is a workaround.
If you need to refund a trip within 22 days prior to departure, at least 2 hours prior to departure, call Air Canada Aeroplan at 800-361-5373 and ask to change your ticket to a date more than 22 days out. You will be charged a change fee.
Now that your ticket is more than 22 days prior to departure, you can pay the cancellation fee for a full refund.
This is an expensive trick, because you have to pay change fees and cancellation fees. It is useful though if you need to cancel and you don’t expect to use the value of the ticket within a year of when it was originally booked.
Since you are paying both change and cancellation fees, which can be very expensive, it’s important to make sure that the value of miles at stake is more than the cost to recover them. This trick could make sense for expensive international tickets, but would make less sense for a domestic or short-haul award.
Air Canada Aeroplan lets you change or cancel award tickets, for a fee. Their policies are complex, but knowing a few simple rules can save you miles or money.
You can refund an Air Canada Aeroplan award ticket more than 22 days prior to departure. If you need to refund your ticket last-minute, you can use the workaround to refund your ticket, but you will pay both change fees and cancellation fees.
Finally, you can change a ticket up to 2 hours prior to departure, but only by telephone and with a fee.
In the next post, I’ll share a few secret tricks to making the most of your Air Canada Aeroplan miles!
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