Your questions, answered.

Last updated: May 18, 2017 

Many thanks to all of you for your questions. Here are some answers to the most popular topics we’ve received so far. Stay tuned for updates as new questions are posted.

Q: Doesn’t Air Canada own Aeroplan?


A: No. The Aeroplan program is fully owned and operated by Aimia, a separate, independent company. Air Canada created Aeroplan in 1984 but sold its last shares in Aimia (formerly Groupe Aeroplan) in 2008.

Q: Will my account in the new Air Canada program be set up automatically if I do nothing?


A: There’s no action required from you right now. If you are already an Aeroplan member, your enrolment in the new Air Canada program will be easy. Approximately 12 months prior to launch (mid-2019) we will begin communicating the key specifics, including instructions to set up your account.

Q: Will I be able to transfer my Aeroplan Miles into the new Air Canada program?


A: No. Aeroplan Miles earned up to June 2020 stay in the Aeroplan program and may be redeemed for Aeroplan Rewards. That said, Air Canada expects to continue making Air Canada flights available for Aeroplan redemption. Star Alliance partner rewards will only be available through the new Air Canada program.

Q: Does the transition from Aeroplan have any effect on Altitude status?


A: No. Your Altitude status is independent from Aeroplan and your ability to earn or maintain status is not affected by this change. Similarly, your Million Mile status and progress towards qualification will also be honoured.

Q: You say there are going to be mileage offers or joining bonuses. Like what?


A: We will be offering enrolment bonuses and incentives for new members as well as existing Aeroplan members when we launch our program. More details to follow.

Q: I am million miles club and have elite status for life. What will happen to that?

Gurvinder C. via Facebook

A: Our Air Canada Altitude privileges, including Star Alliance recognition and Million Mile status are unaffected by this change. As a Million Mile member you will continue to enjoy Altitude Elite 50K status each year.

Q: 2020 is in a long time, why announce it now?

Thien-An T. via Facebook

A: Our goal in announcing our new program more than three years in advance is to give as much notice as possible to you, employees, and our partners.

Q: Will Air Canada commit to not devalue the miles when they are credited to the new program?

Greg E.

A: We do not anticipate any near-term changes as a result of our announcement, and the agreement we have in place with Aeroplan through June 2020 remains unchanged. That said, Aimia has the right to make adjustments to Aeroplan Reward pricing, and they have made changes from time to time in response to market conditions. Aeroplan always provides advance customer notice for such changes.

Q: Instead of creating a new program, why not buy Aeroplan back, and correct its deficiencies?

Gordon F.

A: We believe that a loyalty program means more than just earning and redeeming points. It’s also about creating a more seamless and rewarding relationship with our customers. Ultimately, we decided that building our own program from the ground up will best serve the long-term interests of customers, shareholders and employees.

Q: Why do I get the feeling I am going to get screwed?

Wilson C.

A: We’re putting the interests of our customers at the heart this change, but we know that it’s up to us to prove this over time.

Q: Is Aeroplan no more?

@RichinWriterss via Twitter

A: We really can’t speculate on another company’s business.

We are committed to working closely with Aimia (Aeroplan) over the next three years and our partnership with them will be business as usual through June 2020.

Q: The Aeroplan miles that have been accumulated until June 2020…will they have an expiry date?

Christine G.

A: Based on the Aeroplan Program, Aeroplan Miles won’t expire unless your Aeroplan account is inactive for a certain period of time ; presently your Aeroplan Miles will stay active as long as you accumulate or redeem Aeroplan Miles within 12 consecutive months of when your last activity.

Q: Will you have any credit card affiliations allowing us to accumulate miles through purchases?

David D.

A: Yes, we absolutely will have credit card partnerships with our new program. We’ll be working hard to create a range of credit card options that better serves the way you live and travel. More details will be announced closer to when our new program is launched. Stay tuned!

Q: Will your new program also allow transfers from American Express points?

Monique B.

A: Our partnerships for banking and credit cards, including American Express, haven’t been determined yet. We’ll have more details about this closer to when our new program is launched.

Q: What is going to happen to all my Aeroplan points in June 2020?


A: Based on the Aeroplan Program, Aeroplan Miles will remain in your Aeroplan account in June 2020 unless you’ve chosen to redeem them for flights or other Aeroplan Rewards before then. Aeroplan will determine the types of flight and other rewards Aeroplan will offer for those points.

Q: I have 500,000 miles. What do I do?

D. Cameron

A: Based on the Aeroplan Program, between now and June 2020 you can redeem your Aeroplan Miles for Aeroplan Rewards, including travel on Air Canada and Star Alliance partners. After June 2020, your remaining Aeroplan Miles will remain subject to the conditions of their program.

Q: Will my Aeroplan Miles be usable on Star Alliance flights after 2020?

Howard T.

A: While this is still years away, we expect the last date to redeem Aeroplan Miles for Star Alliance partner flights to be June 29, 2020 when our agreement with Aimia for the Aeroplan program ends. You can redeem Aeroplan Miles for travel on most Star Alliance partners up to 11 months in advance, subject to availability and the terms of the Aeroplan program.

Q: What will happen if someone has Aeroplan miles in their account which do not equal enough for a flight or any meaningful reward?

Catherine

A: Your Aeroplan Miles are part of the Aeroplan program managed by Aimia. There are plenty of opportunities to redeem your Aeroplan points, including for Air Canada flights, and Aimia has announced that intends to continue to provide strong redemption offerings. For more information about earning and redeeming your Aeroplan Miles, please visit Aeroplan.com or contact Aeroplan Customer Service.

Q: Will the miles that have been accumulated towards qualifying for Million Miles status be carried forward to the new program?

Carol W.

A: Yes. All earnings that go to your Altitude Million Mile status will be carried forward to our new program.

Q: What happens to the Million Mile Status level? Will that be carried over to the new program?

Jim L.

A: There are no changes planned to the Million Mile status when our new program launches. All earnings that go to your Altitude Million Mile status will be carried forward to our new program.

Q: Will Air Canada be honoring that commitment of awarding the equivalent of Elite 50k status or higher for million mile flyers?

Cody S.

A: All Altitude status levels we offer for current Million Mile members will be the same when our new program launches.

Q: I'm a Super Elite, Million Mile status holder; what happens to Super Elite status in the new program?

Dorothy J.

A: Our Altitude status recognition will be fully incorporated into our new program, including all status levels as you know them today.

Q: 3 years? What are you building that could take that long?

Jim P. via Facebook

A: Great question. One of the main reasons we announced our new program 3 years ahead of time was to give our customers plenty of advanced notice. While our agreement with Aimia (Aeroplan) remains in effect until June 2020, we also want to take the time necessary to build a great program from the ground up, with feedback from our customers. To do this the right way takes time.

Q: I have a CIBC Aeroplan Gold card. What would happen to my CIBC Visa Card?

Luigi B.

A: Your Aeroplan affiliated credit cards will continue earn Aeroplan Miles, subject to the conditions of the credit card, as well as the Aeroplan program.

Q: Will Air Canada be doing something special for their very loyal, long time members such as myself?

Steve S.

A: Absolutely. To start, we will have enrolment offers based on your prior flight activities. In the program, we will create a better earning and redemption experience for our most loyal customers, especially our Altitude members. Stay tuned for details as we get closer to when our program launches.

Q: Will the new program allow us to fly on partner airlines (such as trips to Star Alliance destinations) as well?

Darryl B.

A: Yes. With our new program you will be able to earn and redeem miles with our Star Alliance partners and other partner airlines.

Q: Will the new Air Canada loyalty program put Air Canada loyal customers first?

David M.

A: You can count on it. Our new program will be designed to create a better earning and redemption experience for our most loyal customers, especially our Altitude members.

Q: Will the new program be more inclusive of members who live in countries other than Canada and cannot access domestic flights easily?

Ruth W.

A: Our new program will have a global reach, giving you access to earning and redemption opportunities with Air Canada, our Star Alliance partners and other airlines we partner with. Overall, we want our program to be appealing to all customers of Air Canada, regardless of where they call home.

Q: Why not transfer Aeroplan points?

David F.

A: Simply put, Aeroplan Miles do not belong to Air Canada. Aeroplan is a separately-owned and operated loyalty program from which Air Canada purchases miles – meaning Air Canada has paid Aimia for the Aeroplan Miles you earn from flying with us. As a result, how you use your Aeroplan Miles is subject to Aeroplan’s program and not controlled by Air Canada.

Q: As I continue to accumulate points now, I will lose them in 2020. Why not join the new plan now?

Debbie C.

A: Your Aeroplan Miles will remain in your Aeroplan account in June 2020 under the Aeroplan program (unless you choose to redeem them for flights or other Aeroplan Rewards before then). What changes in June 2020 will be the types of flight and other rewards Aeroplan will offer for those points, subject to the conditions of their program.

As for joining our new program now, we’re not able to offer this yet because it would conflict with our current arrangement with Aimia (Aeroplan). Closer to when our new program launches, you can count on us offering enrollment offers, welcome bonuses and other promotions to get you off to a running start.

Q: Can we combine my husband's and my miles together so we can purchase a trip for one of us?

Penny W.

A: Currently, the Aeroplan program allows you to transfer miles to a friend or family member for a fee. For more information, please contact Aeroplan or visit aeroplan.com. If this is in regard to our new program, enabling this kind of flexibility will definitely be important when building our new program, particularly if it’s valued and appreciated by our customers. Stay tuned for more details as we get closer to the launch date of our program.

Q: Why no transfer of AP miles into the new program? You will be stranding and effectively cancelling millions of Air Canada customer Aeroplan miles in 2020.

Richard B.

A: We understand that many customers have large Aeroplan mileage balances and that’s one of the reasons why we announced our new program more than three years ahead of its launch. Simply put, Aeroplan Miles do not belong to Air Canada. Aeroplan is a separately-owned and operated loyalty program from which Air Canada purchases miles – meaning Air Canada has paid Aimia for the Aeroplan Miles you earn from flying with us. As a result, how you use your Aeroplan Miles is subject to Aeroplan’s program and is not controlled by Air Canada.

In the long-term, we believe owning and operating our own program will benefit our customers the most. Please know we will do our best to make up for this when our new program launches. Whether it’s enrollment bonuses or special promotions when the program launches, our goal will be to get you off to a running start.

Q: Other airlines just have one program. Just integrate the Altitude concept and keep it easy...no smoke and mirrors this time around please.

Bill.

A: We agree with you, Bill.

Q: When you say points can be redeemed until June 2020, does it mean that the flights may be taken after that date?

-Rose

A: Yes. You can redeem Aeroplan Miles for travel on most Star Alliance partners up to 11 months in advance, subject to availability and the terms of the Aeroplan program.

Q: How can I find my total number of accumulated mileage flown over the years with Air Canada on my account?

Mehdi R.

A: If you’ve accumulated over 500,000 Altitude Qualifying Miles over the years, you will find your lifetime flight miles on your Altitude dashboard at altitude.aircanada.com. In all other cases, please contact Aeroplan Customer Service and they will be able to look this up for you.

Q: After June 2020 will I still be able to earn Aeroplan points from car rental companies or hotel stays (that are currently affiliated with the Aeroplan program) to maintain my account activity so that my Aeroplan points do not expire?

Andrew M

A: Aeroplan currently offers ways to earn and redeem Aeroplan Miles, and they would be best placed to discuss their plans. We have seen statements from Aeroplan that they plan to continue to provide good redemption opportunities. For information, please go to aeroplan.com or contact Aeroplan Customer Service.

Q: Why should I continue to fly Air Canada and accumulate Aeroplan points from those flights when they have an effective expiry date of 2020?

Desmond F.

A: Your Aeroplan Miles will remain with Aeroplan, subject to the conditions of their program, [and will continue to be redeemable for travel. Plus, you can look forward to generous enrolment bonuses when our program launches in 2020. It’s still too early to share the details, but you can count on it being rewarding.

Q: When will you have a new credit card affiliation?

S. Dapueto

A: We do plan to offer credit cards that will earn miles and Air Canada travel benefits with our new program. Stay tuned as we get closer to our launch in mid-2020.

Q: Will the Aeroplan program be maintained as a separate frequent flyer program after June 2020 at the same time that you launch your new Air Canada frequent traveler program on that date?

Andrew M.

A: The Aeroplan is owned and operated by a separate company, Aimia. They have indicated that their program will continue and that they will offer ways to earn and redeem Aeroplan Miles. For information, please go to aeroplan.com or contact Aeroplan Customer Service.

Q: How about if Aimia bankrupts before or after 2020?

Robin L.

A: We can’t speculate on something we don’t control. We know Aeroplan has announced that they are committed to keeping and growing the program. For information, please go to aeroplan.com or contact Aeroplan Customer Service.

Q: Can I earn mileage through web-shopping (i.e. estore from Aeroplan) and certain shopping (i.e. gas, grocery) like what I have now?

Angie L.

A: Yes. Subject to the terms of Aeroplan’s program, Aeroplan offers a range of shopping partners. When our new Air Canada program launches, we plan to offer ways to earn miles through shopping partners as well. More details on that as we get closer to launch in mid-2020.

Q: After June 2020 can I use my miles for car rental and hotels?

Raeburn M.

A: Aeroplan currently offers ways to use your Aeroplan Miles for car rentals and hotels. Aeroplan would be best placed to discuss their plans. We have seen statements from Aeroplan that they plan to continue to provide good redemption opportunities. For information, please go to aeroplan.com or contact Aeroplan Customer Service.

Q: Can I use my Aeroplan Miles to purchase a ticket for my son?

Anne K.

A: Subject to the terms of Aeroplan’s program, you may redeem Aeroplan Flight Rewards for another person.

Q: In case I don't have enough points for a trip, can I redeem what I have and pay the difference with a credit card?

Laara Y.

A: Unfortunately, not at this time. We will, however, take this as a suggestion for our new program launching in 2020.

Q: How any Aeroplan Miles have I accumulated?

Henry B.

A: You can find your most up-to-date Aeroplan Mileage balance by going to aeroplan.com or contacting Aeroplan Customer Service.

Q: 300 characters - Why did you even set this up?

Adam S.

A: We are very interested in hearing from you. Our goal is so make sure we are answering your questions, and the 300-character limit helps us all get to the point, and enables us to get through as many of your questions as possible. Please submit as many questions as you like!

Q: Why are you making this change?

F. Pollard

A: It’s pretty simple. We believe owning and operating our own program will benefit our customers the most. We’ve had a great partnership with Aeroplan over the past decade, and we fully expect this to continue for many years to come. That said, it is time that we take a step forward and create a program more tailored around Air Canada and our customers. When we launch in mid-2020, you will see what we’re talking about.

Q: In the new program will we be allowed to collect miles through other partners such as credit card companies, hotels etc. as has been the policy and practice of Aeroplan?

Jessie

A: Yes. Stay tuned as we get closer to when our new program launches in mid-2020.

Q:You have not said anything about affinity cards like Aeroplan Visa. There are a number of earned privileges that go with the card. What is your plan on that front?

Richard K.

A: Your Aeroplan credit card, including the privileges that come with it will continue for the foreseeable future. Should anything change, this will be communicated to you by your credit card company.

Q: Request to join Air Canada membership.

Ching Wang C.

A: Hi Ching Wang, we are not yet accepting enrolment in our new program. This will come closer to our launch in mid-2020. Stay tuned!

Q: I am looking to earn lots of points through day to day living through use of credit cards, shopping at specific stores, etc. Will the new program support this? Or is it mainly for frequent flyers?

Levin M.

A: Yes. Our goal is to create a program that better serves the way you live and travel, and that includes credit card and shopping partners. More details on this as we get closer to launch in mid-2020.

Q: I am a charter member of the Aeroplan Amex Platinum card - how is that affected?

Sean S.

A: Your Aeroplan affiliated credit cards will continue to earn Aeroplan Miles, based on the terms of the credit card and the Aeroplan programs respectively. Should anything change, this will be communicated to you by American Express or Aeroplan.

Q: Will Aeroplan members still have access to partner lounges at international airports where Air Canada does not have its own, dedicated lounge?

Jeremy W.

A: There will be no changes to lounge access privileges offered to our Altitude members and Business Class customers.

Q: Why won’t Air Canada guarantee to protect our points?

Nancy M.

A: Aeroplan Miles are not Air Canada’s miles to guarantee. Aeroplan is a separately-owned and operated loyalty program from which Air Canada purchases miles – meaning Air Canada has paid Aimia (the company that owns and operates the Aeroplan program) for the Aeroplan Miles you earn from flying with us. As a result, how you use your Aeroplan Miles is subject to Aeroplan’s program and is not controlled by Air Canada. That said, Air Canada is committed to doing right by its customers, and is committed to working with Aeroplan to ensure both business as usual for now, and a smooth transition once our new program is launched.

Q: If I don't have enough miles to fly somewhere when the plan changes over what will I do with the miles I have with Aeroplan?

Melissa M.

A: Your Aeroplan Miles will remain in your Aeroplan account under the Aeroplan program. Aeroplan currently offers many ways to redeem your Aeroplan Miles, and they’ve announced their intent to continue providing strong redemption offerings. Also, Aeroplan has several partners with whom you can earn Aeroplan Miles to give your balance a boost. For more information about earning and redeeming your Aeroplan Miles, please visit Aeroplan.com or contact Aeroplan Customer Service.

Q: After the end of June 2020, will I still be able to redeem any of my left over Aeroplan points with Aeroplan?

Ruth B.

A: Your Aeroplan Miles will remain in your Aeroplan account under the Aeroplan program. Aeroplan currently offers many ways to redeem your Aeroplan Miles, and they’ve announced their intent to continue providing strong redemption offerings. For more information about earning and redeeming your Aeroplan Miles, please visit Aeroplan.com or contact Aeroplan Customer Service.

Q: One thing that made Aeroplan stand out from other programs was that purchases were based on regions rather than dollar value. Will the new program be similar to other $$$ based programs?

Paul F.

A: It’s still a bit too early to share details about our new program. Our goal is to provide new, more flexible flight redemption options, which suit the way you live and travel. More details to come as we get closer to mid-2020.

Q: I am a senior who has been very loyal to AC. However, I don't travel as often as a young person. How will you reward my loyalty?

Elizabeth M.

A: First of all, thank you for your business over the years, Elizabeth. We are committed to making this program attractive for all of our customers -- whether we’ve known each other for years, or if you’re just getting started with us.

Q: Will the new program offer a U.S. resident with a U.S.-based credit card earning miles in the new program?

Mark R.

A: We do plan to offer credit cards that will earn miles and Air Canada travel benefits with our new program. While this will likely start out focused on our Canada-based customers, we do intend to have credit card offerings for customers based outside Canada as well. Stay tuned for more details as we get closer to our launch in mid-2020.

Q: That means I will lose all the Aeroplan miles in June 2020. Is it correct?

Francis T.

A: Nope. Aeroplan Miles should remain in your Aeroplan account in June 2020 under the Aeroplan program unless you’ve chosen to redeem them for flights or other Aeroplan Rewards before then. Aeroplan will determine the types of flight and other rewards Aeroplan will offer for those points in accordance with the terms and of their program.

Q: Is AC maintaining the 3 million miles = Super Elite for life program?

Stephen S.

A: Yes. There are no plans to change our offerings for Million Mile members as part of our new program. All Altitude status levels we offer for current Million Mile members will be the same when our new program launches.

Q: Will you eliminate merchandise rewards?

Chris K.

A: Regarding our new program, we haven’t yet determined whether there will be options to redeem miles for merchandise rewards. Currently, Aeroplan does offer the ability to redeem Aeroplan Miles for merchandise rewards. For more information about earning and redeeming your Aeroplan Miles, please visit Aeroplan.com or contact Aeroplan Customer Service.

Q: If Canadian Pacific could transfer the points to Aeroplan, why can't Air Canada transfer the Aeroplan points to new program?

Kin L.

A: Good memory, Kin. In the case of our new program, it is quite different. When Air Canada merged with Canadian Airlines, Air Canada fully owned the Aeroplan program, and therefore our ability to transfer miles from one frequent flyer program to the other was fully within our control. Today (and for the past decade), it’s different. Aeroplan is a separately-owned and operated loyalty program from which Air Canada purchases miles – meaning Air Canada has paid Aimia (the company that owns and operates the Aeroplan program) for the Aeroplan Miles you earn from flying with us. As a result, how you use your Aeroplan Miles is subject to Aeroplan’s program and is not controlled by Air Canada.

Q: Concerned that Air Canada owned Aeroplan, sold it and now is starting its own loyalty program again. Is this encouraging customer loyalty?

Stuart R.

A: Great question, Stuart. For background, Air Canada sold its final stake in Aeroplan almost 10 years ago to Aimia, and when we did, it enabled us to strengthen our airline during a very difficult time. It helped us initiate the transformation that resulted with the Air Canada you know today. Over the years, for nearly a decade, Aimia has been a great partner and we are very grateful for everything they do for us and for our customers. Looking to our future, however, it is clear that Air Canada needs more than just a way for its customers to earn and burn miles. We also need to own our relationship with you – which involves creating more personalized interactions, compelling rewards, and making our end-to-end customer experience as seamless as possible. That is the promise of our new program, and we know that if we do it right, we will encourage loyalty in ways we previously never imagined.

Q: Will my Amex Aeroplan card be automatically transferred into being a card for the new program or will I have to apply for a new card?

Nic H.

A: Your American ci Aeroplan credit card will continue to be associated with Aeroplan for as long as their partnership continues, and will not be automatically transferred to our new program. We do plan to offer credit cards that will earn miles and Air Canada travel benefits with our new program. Stay tuned for more details as we get closer to our launch in mid-2020.

Q: Is joining the program of another Star Alliance carrier best for rewards after June 2020 when crediting before that date?

P. Plouffe

A: If earning miles toward Star Alliance carrier rewards is a priority for you, earning miles with one of our Star Alliance partner’s programs is indeed an option. In doing so, however, you wouldn’t receive credit toward Air Canada Altitude status or Million Mile qualification. Additionally, you wouldn’t have access to the wide array of Air Canada rewards that Aeroplan offers beyond just the standard flight rewards you might have access to in the program of another Star Alliance carrier.

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