One of the brand-new features of the Aeroplan loyalty program that were announced back in August 2020 was the Status Pass, which allows Aeroplan 50K, Aeroplan 75K, and Aeroplan Super Elite members to bestow a series of travel benefits upon their friends and family members even when they aren’t travelling together.
Status Pass has been formally rolled out this week, and eligible members can now redeem their Status Passes directly from the Aeroplan online dashboard. Let’s take a look at how it all works.
Status Pass Benefits
A Status Pass can be applied to any reservation, including Aeroplan award tickets, as long as one flight on the itinerary is operated by Air Canada. A single Status Pass applies to an entire reservation, meaning that up to nine passengers on the same reservation can all enjoy benefits.
Once a Status Pass has been applied, the travellers on the reservation will enjoy the following benefits:
- Complimentary checked baggage: up to three bags of 32kg each
- Priority check-in prior to Air Canada flights
- Priority baggage handling on Air Canada flights
- Priority security clearance at select airports when departing on Air Canada flights
- Maple Leaf Lounge access
- Priority airport standby
- Priority boarding as part of the Zone 2 boarding group
These are on par with the standard benefits of an Aeroplan 50K member. However, it’s important to note that a Status Pass will not confer upgrade priority, Air Canada Cafe access, or any benefits on partner airlines (such as access to Star Alliance airlines around the world other than Maple Leaf Lounges).
Earning Status Passes
Only Aeroplan’s top-tier Super Elite members will receive a set of two Status Passes as part of their Core Benefits, without the need to forgo other potential benefits in favour of the Status Pass.
Meanwhile, a bundle of Status Passes is available as a Select Benefit for Aeroplan 50K, Aeroplan 75K, and Aeroplan Super Elite members to choose every year, starting in January:
- Aeroplan 50K: 2 Status Passes
- Aeroplan 75K: 3 Status Passes
- Aeroplan Super Elite: 4 Status Passes
Finally, exclusively for 2021, Aeroplan will be awarding a single Status Pass to Aeroplan 50K and 75K members, as well as an additional two Status Passes to Aeroplan Super Elite members. These bonus Status Passes will be deposited into eligible members’ accounts over the coming week.
For the magnanimous Super Elite member, it’ll be possible to earn up to eight Status Passes this year to distribute among your family and friends. And for anyone who knows an Aeroplan 50K, 75K, or Super Elite member, it’ll be as good a time as any to curry some favours. 😉
Redeeming Status Passes
Status Passes have now been formally launched, so you can go ahead and redeem a Status Pass for anyone’s reservation straight from your Aeroplan dashboard. You simply need to enter the booking reference and the last name of someone on the reservation.
Once you’ve shared a Status Pass, you’ll see it under the “Sent” tab.
Interestingly, the system is smart enough to prevent you from “wasting” a Status Pass on someone who’s already travelling in business class.
A recipient of a Status Pass will be notified of their gift upon checking their reservation using the “Manage My Booking” tool on the Air Canada website.
Once a Status Pass has been shared, it can still be revoked up to six hours before the first Air Canada flight on the reservation takes place. Similarly, the Status Pass will be voided if the reservation is cancelled.
In both cases, the Status Pass will be automatically returned to the Aeroplan Elite Status member’s account.
Status Passes have an expiry date of December 31 of the year in which they were earned, and travel must take place by that date. Indeed, they cannot be applied towards reservations taking place next year.
Personally, I’m currently sitting on a total of seven Status Passes: I had chosen two as part of my Aeroplan 50K Select Benefits, and Aeroplan also sent their media partners an additional allotment of five Status Passes to test-drive the feature on their own.
I’m looking forward to using these as a gift for anyone in my circles who might be flying with Air Canada in economy class sometime this year.
For example, Jessy and I plan to spend some time on the West Coast this year, and her parents will likely be flying back and forth a few times to visit. A Status Pass would be a great way to treat them to an elevated experience during the journey.
Nevertheless, I don’t necessarily see myself making use of all seven, so Prince of Travel members can stay tuned for a Status Pass giveaway coming soon.
Aeroplan’s Status Pass feature has now officially rolled out, allowing higher-tier Aeroplan Elite Status members to bestow their benefits upon friends and family members when they aren’t travelling together.
It’s another way for Aeroplan to emphasize the family dynamic in the new program, rewarding its most dedicated members with the ability to share the elite experience with their loved ones, and potentially enticing more travellers to pursue Aeroplan Elite Status themselves after having gotten a taste of it.
Since most of us will only be travelling on a limited basis this year, it would sure be useful for Air Canada to reduce elite requirements or otherwise introduce a way to qualify for status outside of the usual flying activity. I don’t expect it to be long before we hear some more news about this.