Air Canada Launching New Frequent Flyer Program – What It Means for You!

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Big changes coming at Air Canada!

Via Don’t Call the Airline, Air Canada plans to ditch its current Aeroplan frequent flyer program, and launch a new one June 30, 2020.

Unlike other airlines, the Aeroplan program isn’t actually run by Air Canada, but an outside company.  Now, Air Canada plans to run its own frequent flyer program, which could mean better deals for earning and redeeming miles.

And potentially more opportunities for credit card bonuses. 😉

New Air Canada Frequent Flyer Program
In a Few Years, Air Canada Will Have a New Frequent Flyer Program!

I’ll share what we know so far about this news.  And explain what it means for you.

Air Canada and Aeroplan Part Ways

Link:   Air Canada Press Release

Currently, Aeroplan is the loyalty program of Air Canada.  But as of June 30, 2020, Air Canada will start it’s own frequent flyer program!

We don’t know what will happen to Aeroplan, but without Air Canada it’s hard to imagine how it would continue to exist.

For now, folks can continue to earn and use Air Canada Aeroplan miles as usual.

New Air Canada Frequent Flyer Program
Air Canada’s President Believes That the New Program Will Better Serve Their Customers

From Air Canada’s press release, it appears as though folks will still be able to redeem Aeroplan miles for award seats even after the new Air Canada frequent flyer program is in place.  But the number of Aeroplan miles you’ll need for an award seat will likely change.

Air Canada also noted that if you currently have elite status, it will be recognized under the new program.  But they didn’t give many details about the ins and outs of the new program.

What It Means for You

Air Canada will continue to be a member of the Star Alliance.  So under the new frequent flyer program, you’ll still be able to earn and use your Air Canada miles on nearly ~30 partner airlines, like United Airlines.

With the creation of a new frequent flyer program, there may also be more opportunities for new credit card sign-up bonuses.  Competition between airlines and their frequent flyer programs is always a positive thing for customers like us.

I’m also hopeful that Air Canada’s new frequent flyer program will be better than Aeroplan.  Because Aeroplan miles can be tricky to redeem at times.  And under the existing Aeroplan program, taxes and fuel surcharges for award flights on Air Canada can really add up.

For example, Million Mile Secrets team member Jasmin wanted to book 4 tickets for her family to fly between Toronto and Calgary this summer.  Using Aeroplan miles, it would cost 100,000 miles and nearly $500 in fees.  Ouch!

New Air Canada Frequent Flyer Program
Award Flights for a Family of 4 Between Toronto and Calgary Cost 100,000 Aeroplan Miles PLUS ~$500 in Fees!

Plus, their call center hold times can be excruciating.  So maybe this will improve with an entirely new program.

If you have a lot of Aeroplan miles, you should consider using them within the next couple of years.  Because their value could decrease when you redeem them under the new program.

That said, we don’t know how these changes will affect transfers from flexible points programs to Air Canada’s new mileage program.

Air Canada’s existing Aeroplan program is a transfer partner of AMEX Membership Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest.  And lots of folks like having the ability to transfer their AMEX Membership Rewards points to Aeroplan to book award seats on United Airlines.

Hopefully Air Canada will take that into consideration when creating the new program!

Bottom Line

On June 30, 2020, Air Canada will launch a new frequent flyer program and discontinue its relationship with its current Aeroplan program.

Overall, I think this is good news for customers, because we could see more opportunities for credit card sign-up bonuses.  And hopefully, Air Canada’s new program will be an improvement over the existing Aeroplan program.

What changes would you like to see for Air Canada’s new frequent flyer program?  Let me know in the comments!

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