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Aeroplan Elite Status Updates for 2022

Earlier this year, Air Canada and Aeroplan offered a blanket extension of Aeroplan Elite Status through to 2022 due to the continued impact of the pandemic on members’ travel plans. 

Today, the program has announced a few major updates to Aeroplan Elite Status to take note of as we approach the 2022 membership year.

eUpgrade Validity Extended to January 15

Air Canada eUpgrades currently operate on a calendar-year basis. If a member earns eUpgrades as part of their 2021 status, those eUpgrades are valid until December 31, 2021, and must be applied to a flight that takes place by that date. 

As you can imagine, this arrangement unfairly impacts Aeroplan members who plan travel during the winter holidays, as they’d be able to apply eUpgrades to their outbound flight that takes place in December, but not to their return flight that takes place in January 2022. 

Until now, members would need to wait until they could choose their Select Benefits for the following year to earn eUpgrades that can upgrade their return segments, which can be too close to comfort for the majority of travellers to confirm an upgrade.

In recognition of this, Aeroplan will extend the validity period of all eUpgrades going forward. Rather than expiring on December 31 of every year, eUpgrades will expire on January 15 of the following year after the eUpgrades were earned. 

Unused eUpgrades will expire on January 15 instead of December 31 going forward.

This change will apply to eUpgrades earned this year in 2021, allowing them to be applied to flights that take place before January 15, 2022. This should be reflected in members’ accounts by the end of November.

While this is no doubt a positive change, in the long term, I’d still like to see a major change applied to eUpgrades to allow them to be applied to any flight by their expiry date, even if the flight takes place afterwards.

That’s exactly how other Aeroplan benefits like the Buddy Pass or Priority Rewards currently operate, and more closely aligns with how members book their travel (i.e., often far in advance across calendar years, rather than separated by calendar year).

50% SQD Requirement for International Members Ending Soon

In a major change to status qualification, starting in 2022, members whose primary residence is located outside of Canada will no longer be able to qualify for status for 50% fewer Status Qualifying Dollars (SQD). Going forward, the same SQD requirements will apply to all Aeroplan members.

(As a reminder, SQD is determined based on dollars spent on paid flights with Air Canada and select partners, and is a key component of qualifying for the higher tiers of Aeroplan Elite Status in conjunction with Status Qualifying Miles or Segments.)

While Aeroplan’s international elite contingent will be negatively impacted by this change, Canadian-based elite members may view this as an improvement to the program that makes things fairer across the membership base. 

In tandem with this change, Aeroplan has stated that the program is “working on new ways to help all of our members earn Elite Status more quickly and easily in the years to come – in part due to the fact that we realize that travel plans in the coming months remain uncertain”. 

In light of this, I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw temporary reductions to SQD or bonus methods of earning SQD introduced for the 2021 or 2022 membership years. 

Further Extension of Priority Rewards

As part of this round of Aeroplan Elite Status updates, any unused Priority Rewards issued through the end of 2021 will be extended to December 31, 2022. 

This is a further extension from what was communicated earlier this year. Previously, Priority Rewards issued through 2020 had been extended to 2022, and now those issued through 2021 are given the same treatment.

Priority Rewards

If you’ve earned any Priority Rewards through your SQD activity or the one-time grant as an existing elite member at the time of the new program’s launch, you’ll have an extended timeline to redeem them for 50% fewer Aeroplan points compared to the regular price on an eligible itinerary.

Aeroplan Premium Credit Card Application Deadline for Elite Rollover Benefits

As a reminder, the Aeroplan premium credit cards grant certain elite rollover benefits. Cardholders can roll over by up to one year:

  • Up to 200,000 Status Qualifying Miles (SQM) above what was required to earn or retain your Elite Status level
  • Up to 50 eUpgrades 

As we approach the end of the year, Aeroplan has clarified the application deadline for members who don’t currently hold a premium credit card, but would like to get one for the rollover benefits: members must be approved for the card by December 15, 2021 in order for the rollover benefits to apply at the 2021 year-end and into 2022.

I’d expect December 15 to be the standard application deadline every year going forward for the rollover benefits on the premium cards to apply. 

Aeroplan Premium Credit Cards
Credit Card Best Offer Value
90,000 Aeroplan points + Buddy Pass $2,551 Apply Now
90,000 Aeroplan points + Buddy Pass $2,236 Apply Now
65,000 Aeroplan points + Buddy Pass $1,422 Apply Now
Up to 75,000 Aeroplan points $425 Apply Now

2022 Membership Kit

Finally, those of you who are interested in the vanity factor may be disappointed by Aeroplan’s approach to the 2022 membership kit: only members who achieve a higher status level in 2021 will receive a new membership kit for 2022. If you simply had your 2021 status extended into 2022, you won’t be getting a new membership kit in the new year.

This is presumably due to the sheer volume of processing membership tags, cards, and kits for the entire ranks of Aeroplan 35K members and above, since everyone was granted a carte-blanche status extension this year. 

As a side note, US-based members who status-matched to Aeroplan Elite Status for 2021 also won’t be receiving a membership kit unless they retain their status through 2022 by flying a round-trip flight with Air Canada by January 15, 2022. 

Conclusion

Aeroplan has announced a few key changes to the elite status program as we approach the 2021–2022 transition period. Most significantly, the eUpgrade expiry date has been adjusted from December 31 to January 15 of the following year, allowing members to upgrade flights that take place towards the tail end of the winter holiday season. 

Meanwhile, the 50% SQD allowance for international Aeroplan members will come to an end this year, with Aeroplan hinting at continued innovation in helping members earn or accelerate their status both at home and in the skies. I’m looking forward to seeing what the program offers up in the coming months. 

20 Comments
  1. Mkritch

    I have my SE status, Do you know if we will be issued additional upgrade credits for 2022? Just booked a flight to Dubai for January in latitude fair only to find out that my credits can’t be used cause it is after the 15’th

    1. Ricky YVR

      Yes, when you choose your Select Benefits on January 1 you’ll be able to claim eUpgrades that are valid throughout 2022.

  2. WT

    Questions guys. Just used an eUpgrade. Said “seats avail for this upgrade” vice “you will be waitlisted”. When I checked out….it said “you are on a waitlist” !!!!

    Is this normal? Thx.

    1. Ricky YVR

      Sometimes the checkout process shows “waitlist” even though seats are available, and when you click through, the upgrade processes as normal. Give that a try and let us know.

      1. WT

        I now suspect that it’s because I’m not booked latitude fare. Now need to check to see if I can change it to that.
        I’m in Prem Econ…but twice in last 2 weeks they changed to smaller plane and I was bumped down to Econ. And in both cases I actually have to request a refund of the initial upgrade. Pathetic. Want Business Class to protect myself!!!

      2. WT

        Thx,

        Cancelled my previous request and went through motions again. Would post a pic but don’t think possible.
        Said “available”…selected…said 2 credits…then at payment page it says “Waitlist for Business Class”.
        Called Aeroplan who said I would be waitlisted and won’t find out until 4 days before trip.
        Lastly…it is using my 2022 eUpgrade credits…as the others still say Dec 31, 2021 expiry…though they are supposed to be extended until Jan 15.

        1. WT

          I now suspect that it’s because I’m not booked latitude fare. Now need to check to see if I can change it to that.
          I’m in Prem Econ…but twice in last 2 weeks they changed to smaller plane and I was bumped down to Econ. And in both cases I actually have to request a refund of the initial upgrade. Pathetic. Want Business Class to protect myself!!!

    2. Andrew

      Depends on a number of factors. Could be normal, could be a glitch. Need more information to assess the situation.

  3. Zach

    So I got Elite 35K using the status match offer and matching with my AA Platinum Card. Note that I also have the Aeroplan Reserve Card and have met the $10K minimum spend for the status boost on Nov 30th. Would this mean that my status would upgrade to Elite 50k? (FYI – I’m a dual resident)

    1. Ricky YVR

      In theory, yes!

  4. Andrew

    The eUpgrade extension throws a hitch in my plans to use up my eUps that expire in Feb 2022 which were issued on a promotional basis (so they can’t rollover). I wanted to rollover my eUps that expire in Dec 2021 and then use Feb 2022 expiring eUps for Jan 2022 travel, but guess that won’t be happening with the new policy.
    If Nasr is reading, I’d appreciate some sort of policy adjustment for this! Using eUps that can’t be rolled-over first might make sense in some cases, rather than using eUps on a first expiring basis.

  5. James

    I was hoping to only travel around 75K next year and roll over the 25K in SQM I have this year for 100K to make SE for 2023. But if the SQD doesn’t roll over as well there’s no point to getting the card.

    1. Adam Carr

      It had been my previous understanding (perhaps incorrectly) that any SQM and SQD earned in 2021 would be rolled over to 2022 providing this at least represents what would normally be required to earn Elite 25k even without a credit card. Is anyone able to confirm this please?

      1. James

        I found this info on another forum.
        “Elite Status qualification jumpstart for 2022If you achieve any Aeroplan Elite Status based on the published qualification criteria through your 2021 flight activity with Air Canada, the Star Alliance member airlines, and other eligible airline partners, we’ll honour your 2021 Status Qualifying Miles (SQM), Segments (SQS), and Dollars (SQD) in 2022, jumpstarting your status qualification for 2022 and beyond.

        For certainty, over the course of 2021, members would need to earn at least 25,000 SQM or 25 SQS, and at least 3,000 SQD (1,500 SQD for non-Canadian residents), in order to be eligible for this jumpstart in 2022.

        Example: If you hold Aeroplan 75K status for 2021, you’ll keep that status through the end of 2022.
        Based on your 2021 flight activities, if you earn 26,000 SQM, 15 SQS, and 3,500 SQD, you’ll have met the qualification requirement for Aeroplan 25K, and therefore all 26,000 SQM, 15 SQS, and 3,500 SQD will be added to your qualification balance in 2022.
        Similarly, based on your 2021 flight activities, if you earn 79,000 SQM, 35 SQS, and 12,500 SQD, you’ll have met the qualification requirement for Aeroplan 75K, and therefore all 79,000 SQM, 35 SQS, and 12,500 SQD will be added to your qualification balance in 2022.
        However, based on your 2021 flight activities, if you earn 12,000 SQM, 4 SQS, and 2,800 SQD, you will not have met the qualification requirement for any Aeroplan Elite Status, and therefore your 2021 SQM, SQS, and SQD will not be honoured in 2022.”

        1. Martin

          Hi James,

          For the SQM/SQD rollover based on flight activity, does that include the extra 1 SQS that was obtained through credit card spend on the premium Aeroplan cards? The status tracker does not separate your SQS/SQM by flight activity only as far as I am aware.

          1. Ricky YVR

            Yes, those would rollover too.

            1. Martin

              Do they count towards the qualification threshold to rollover? If I have 25 SQS but 5 are from credit cards, will I trigger the rollover?

              I’m mainly asking because the bonus SQM don’t count towards the lifetime million mile status so I’m wondering if they will only count the SQS from flight activity

  6. Pete

    Does anyone know when AC will switch to the new Aeroplan earn rates on flights? Haven’t heard a peep and if I remember correctly they claimed roll out towards the end of 2021?

    1. Ricky YVR

      I think they’ve removed the mention of this from the site, and may be mulling over some changes to these changes as we go into 2022.

  7. Ann

    Clearly SE will only be for OPM if it ever rebounds.

    Anyone spending $20k of their own money on a budget airline like AC needs their head examined.

Ricky Zhang

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