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WebFlyer Home > Programs > Ratings & Reviews

Ratings & Reviews

(Program Reviews - Side by Side Comparison - Website Reviews)


(446 ratings)


This program was reviewed and rated by our editors in October 2012. Changes in the program past this date are possible, especially program partner information. We recommend you subscribe to the #1 source of frequent flyer information, Inside Flyer Magazine, to get the most current information possible.

Avion Canada

Aeroplan has been operating independently of Air Canada since June 2005, when Aeroplan completed its initial public offering.

As an independent entity, the program has picked up a growing network of more than 75 partners representing more than 150 brands in the financial, retail and travel sectors. Being able to earn more miles is generally viewed as a positive development for members, but the downside is that programs occasionally increase their award charts, something that happened when Aeroplan made changes last year.



Air Canada has six levels of booking classes (excluding award tickets) and most fare classes offer 100 percent of miles flown with a minimum of 250 miles. Air Canada elite-level members earn a 500-mile minimum. Members flying on the airline's lowest fare, Tango, earn no status miles and 25 percent of miles flown with a minimum of 63 miles on flights within Canada and between Canada and the U.S. On flights to all other international destinations, Tango fares earn 50 percent of miles flown, 50 percent of status miles and one status segment. Members flying in the highest fare classes, Executive Flexible and Executive Lowest, earn a 25 to 50 percent mileage bonus.

Air Canada is a member of the Star Alliance and on partner airlines, members generally earn 100 percent of miles flown, although mileage earning varies with the partner and fare class.

Aeroplan has an extensive array of earning partners including hotels, car rentals, online retailers, credit cards, financial services and more.



Flight awards fall into two categories, ClassicFlight and ClassicPlus. ClassicFlight awards are capacity controlled and ClassicPlus awards offer access to more seats for variable mileage levels and are only available on Air Canada and Air Canada Express. Roundtrip economy class ClassicFlight awards within Canada and the U.S. are 15,000 miles for selected short-haul flights and 25,000 miles for long-haul flights. Business class ClassicFlight awards are 25,000 miles for short-haul flights and 50,000 miles for long-haul flights. Flights from Canada to Hawaii are 45,000 miles in coach and 80,000 miles in business. Flights to Mexico, Central America or the Caribbean are 40,000 miles in coach and 60,000 miles in business; to Europe 1 are 60,000 miles in coach and 90,000 miles in business and to Asia 1 are 75,000 miles in coach and 125,000 miles in business.

The miles required for ClassicPlus flight awards on Air Canada and Air Canada Express are variable and fluctuate according to availability, flight time, travel dates and other factors.

One-way awards are available for ClassicFlight and ClassicPlus tickets but require more than 50 percent of the cost of a roundtrip award. For example, a one-way long-haul domestic ClassicFlight ticket award requires 17,000 miles (roundtrip is 25,000 miles).

Infant flight awards start at 5,000 miles in economy class. Around the World awards start at 200,000 miles in coach.

Upgrades on Air Canada start at 7,500 miles for an upgrade on a short-haul Air Canada flight. Members can also redeem for upgrades on participating Star Alliance carriers from eligible booking classes.

Hotel awards are available for stays at over 2,800 locations worldwide with partner hotels and mileage required varies by location, travel dates and category of hotel. We searched for participating hotels in Vancouver and found award nights for between 10,500 and 47,000 miles. When redeeming with Best Western, Delta and Fairmont, members also earn an additional 500 miles bonus. Car rental awards are available with Hertz or Avis and with Avis, you can also earn a bonus of 400 miles with each redemption.

Aeroplan offers a wide range of activities and merchandise awards, from a NBC studio tour in New York City for 5,000 miles to a Panasonic 60" plasma home theater system for 367,000 miles. Members can also redeem miles for digital media, carbon offsets and mileage donations. Over 260 million miles have been donated to charitable organizations to date, including War Child Canada, Engineers Without Borders and Veterinarians Without Borders, among others.



Air Canada partners with all of the airlines in the Star Alliance as well as airline partners in Canada including Air Creebec, Bearskin Airlines, Calm Air, Canadian North and First Air.

Members who rent cars with Avis earn up to 500 miles per rental and between 50 and 5,000 miles with Hertz.

Members can stay and earn miles at over 75 hotel brands worldwide with mileage offers ranging between one to three miles per dollar spent or 250 to 1,000 miles per stay. Participating hotel partners include Best Western, Choice, IHG, Hilton, Marriott, Delta Hotels and Resorts, Fairmont, Starwood and Wyndham, among others.

Aeroplan partners with American Express and CIBC to offer nine credit cards. Canadian residents can choose from three CIBC consumer credit cards and one small business credit card with offers ranging from one mile per CDN$1 or CDN$2 spent. In addition, the CIBC Aerogold Visa Card and CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite Card lets holders earn 1.5 Aeroplan miles for every CDN$1 you spend at gas stations, grocery stores or drug stores. American Express has three consumer credit cards and two corporate credit cards with offers ranging from one mile for every CDN$2 spent and up to 1.5 miles per CDN$1 spent anywhere you use the card. Sign-up bonuses with Aeroplan credit cards tend to be low compared to U.S. counterparts but limited-time offers of 50,000 bonus miles occur occasionally.

Aeroplan has a wide variety of retail partners. Signing up for phone service, booking a cruise, buying gas at Esso and purchasing products at the pharmacy, grocery and hardware store as well as through online retailers at Aeroplan's eStore are all Aeroplan mileage-earning activities. Aeroplan also participates in Points.com, American Express Membership Rewards (1,000 points = 1,000 miles) and Diners Club Club Rewards (1,000 points = 1,000 miles).



Air Canada's new elite-level program as of March 1, 2013 is called Air Canada Altitude. Altitude has five tiers, starting at Altitude Prestige 25K that requires 25,000 status miles or 25 status flight segments. Altitude Prestige 25K members receive 25 percent bonus miles or a 35 percent lounge discount as a Select Privilege and members will be able to upgrade one travel companion. Additional perks include priority waitlist, seat selection, check-in, standby, two free checked bags, Star Alliance Silver status and complimentary preferred seats.

The second tier, Altitude Elite 35K, requires 35,000 status miles or 35 status flight segments. Elite 35K members can choose to receive a 35 percent flight bonus and are given Star Alliance Silver status and entry to North American Maple Leaf Lounges, but not international lounges. They can also check three bags for free, receive priority boarding and one eUpgrade nominee.

Altitude Elite 50K requires 50,000 status miles or 50 status flight segments. Elite 50K members can receive 50 percent bonus miles as a Select Privilege. They also receive priority baggage handling, access to all Maple Leaf lounges and two eUpgrade nominees.

Altitude Elite 75K requires 75,000 status miles or 75 status flight segments and offers 75 percent bonus miles as a Select Privilege. They also receive complimentary Preferred seats from Latitude or Tango Plus fares.

Altitude Super Elite 100K, earned after flying 100,000 status miles or 95 status flight segments, can choose to receive 100 percent bonus miles as a Select Privilege. Super Elite 100K flyers receive four eUpgrade nominees, Air Canada Concierge service and first award change fee is waived.

Select Privileges members can choose include Maple Leaf Lounge passes, eUpgrade credits, bonus miles and other options. To qualify for elite status, members need to fly a minimum of 10,000 status miles or five status segments on eligible Air Canada or Air Canada Express flights. The Million Mile program offers lifetime benefits.



Miles will expire in accounts without any earning or redeeming activity within 12 months and accumulated miles have a shelf life of seven years. Expired miles can be reinstated for a fee of CDN$30 plus CDN$.01 per mile. Award flights can be booked for anyone the member chooses and miles can be purchased and transferred. Members may buy up to 50 percent of the miles needed for an award for CDN$0.03 per mile (plus taxes). Miles can also be transferred through the aeroplan.com website only for CDN$0.02 per mile with a minimum transfer of 1,000 miles. Members have been charged a fuel surcharge on award tickets on Air Canada flights since 2004 and now a fuel surcharge on some partner Star Alliance flights is required, including Lufthansa, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian Airlines, LOT Polish, THAI, Adria Airways and TAP Portugal. Changes to award tickets require a CDN$90 fee, not waived for elite members. For roundtrip travel within Canada and the U.S. (excluding Hawaii/Puerto Rico), one stopover is allowed (excluding itineraries that include a United Airlines flight) or one open jaw. Awards solely on Air Canada within North and Central America can include two stopovers or one stopover and one open jaw. If an itinerary includes a Star Alliance flight, one stopover and one open jaw are allowed. For travel between two continents, two stopovers or one open jaw and one stopover are allowed. For travel within the same continent (excluding North and Central America), only one open jaw and no stopovers are allowed.



Aeroplan call centers for members residing in Canada, the U.S. and Caribbean are located in Vancouver and Montreal and the operating hours are 7am to midnight ET. We were connected immediately to a knowledgeable and friendly customer service representative, an experience similar to what we hear from others. Milepoint member ACMM says, "I find the phone staff pleasant and willing to help." Members can also ask questions via aeroplan.com.



Aeroplan's online booking engine will not show all partner award space, but includes many Star Alliance carriers, such as United Airlines, Lufthansa, SWISS, All Nippon Airways, Singapore Airlines and TAM. When booking complex itineraries or an itinerary that isn't available online, a flight booked through a call center agent will cost CDN$30 per booking. An online calendar will show availability a month at a time and after you select your itinerary, a flight summary will show the miles and fees required.

Requests for missing miles from Air Canada and many Star Alliance carriers can be made online. Redeeming miles for hotel and car rentals, activities and merchandise can all be done online.

Aeroplan is a Star Alliance member and members can redeem and earn miles on the worldwide network of carriers. With so many non-airline partnerships as well, Aeroplan members have many ways to accrue and redeem miles. Aeroplan also has generous routing rules that allow members to include two stopovers or a stopover and an open jaw on international award itineraries.

Aeroplan made two changes in the past year and a half that have devalued Aeroplan miles in the minds of many members. The program made changes to its award chart last year and increased the mileage cost of many awards. Some increases, such as first class awards from the U.S. to Asia, went up over 45 percent.

The other negative to the program is Aeroplan's fuel surcharge policy. Until last year, the program used to only include a fuel surcharge on Air Canada metal, but now, the fuel charge is being tacked on to many partner awards as well. Also, miles expire with no account activity within one year and miles not redeemed within seven years will disappear.

Phone: (800) 361-5373

Aeroplan Head Office
5100 de Maisonneuve Blvd. West
Montreal, Quebec
Canada H4A 3T2

  Earning Ability Award Choices Partnerships Elite-Level Rules & Conditions Service Support Online Services Overall Rating
8.50 8.50 9.00 8.00 6.50 8.50 8.00 8.14
6.06 5.10 6.46 5.58 4.29 4.87 5.15 5.36

(446 ratings)


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