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Air Canada Extends Aeroplan Elite Status to 2022

It’s official: with travel activity heavily curtailed for most Aeroplan members in 2021, Air Canada has announced that all members’ current Aeroplan Elite Status will be extended through to the end of 2022.

In addition to the automatic status extension, Aeroplan members’ 2021 flying activity will also count towards status qualification in 2022, provided that their activity in 2021 was enough to earn or retain at least Aeroplan 25K status.

Aeroplan Elite Status Extended to 2022

All members’ Aeroplan Elite Status level in 2021 will be automatically extended through to the end of 2022.

This is effectively a continuation of last year’s status extension, in which everyone’s 2020 Air Canada Altitude status (as it was known at the time) had been granted a one-year extension through the end of 2021. By extending status for two years now, Air Canada is ensuring that no one loses their status unfairly due to the reduced capacity for travel throughout the pandemic.

Of course, if you were to achieve a higher level of Aeroplan Elite Status through your flying activity in 2021, you’ll enjoy all of its benefits upon qualification and through the end of 2022 as well.

Along with the status extension, a few key benefits relating to Aeroplan Elite Status are also being extended or amended:

  • Just like in 2021, Aeroplan Elite Status members will be able to choose a new set of Select Benefits for next year as of January 1, 2022, including eUpgrades, Status Passes, or bonus Aeroplan points on their flying activity. Because of the additional allotment of eUpgrades granted in 2022 (as part of both Core and Select Benefits), eUpgrades expiring at the end of 2021 will not be extended unless you hold a premium Aeroplan credit card.
  • If a member had chosen the Lower Requalification Level as one of their 2021 Select Benefits, they will be allowed to make a one-time adjustment later this year (as the benefit is now a moot point since everyone’s status has been extended automatically).
  • Any unused Priority Rewards that would be expiring in October 2021 will also be granted a one-year extension to October 2022.
Aeroplan Elite Status members will get a new allotment of eUpgrades in 2022.

2021 Qualifying Activity May Count Towards 2022

With Aeroplan Elite Status being extended into 2022, what happens to your 2021 qualifying activity?

Well, provided that your flying activity in 2021 would’ve qualified you for at least Aeroplan 25K status, all of your qualifying activity – Status Qualifying Miles (SQM), Status Qualifying Segments (SQS), and Status Qualifying Dollars (SQD) – will be rolled over into 2022 and give you a jumpstart on your 2022 status qualification year. This is in addition to the Rollover SQM benefit if you hold a premium Aeroplan credit card.

Effectively, the 2021 and 2022 status qualifying periods will be merged into a single two-year period – but only if your 2021 activity was enough to qualify for the lowest level of Aeroplan Elite Status (by earning at least 25,000 SQM or 25 SQS, as well as 3,000 SQD or 1,500 SQD for non-Canadian residents).

Let’s consider a few examples:

  • If you hold Aeroplan 50K status for 2021, you’ll keep your Aeroplan 50K status through the end of 2022.
  • If you earn 29,000 SQM, 20 SQS, and 3,000 SQD in 2021, you’ll have met the qualification requirement for Aeroplan 25K, and therefore all 29,000 SQM, 20 SQS, and 3,000 SQD will be added to your qualification balance in 2022.
  • Similarly, if you earn 65,000 SQM, 45 SQS, and 9,500 SQD in 2021, you’ll have met the qualification requirement for Aeroplan 50K, and therefore all 65,000 SQM, 45 SQS, and 9,500 SQD will be added to your qualification balance in 2022.
    • If you also held a premium Aeroplan credit card, then 15,000 SQM (i.e., the excess above the 50,000 SQM associated with your Aeroplan 50K status) would be rolled over into 2022 as part of your credit card benefits, giving you a total 2022 starting balance of 80,000 SQM, 45 SQS, and 9,500 SQD.
  • However, if you only earn 12,000 SQM, 4 SQS, and 2,200 SQD in 2021, 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.

Now, I should note that it’s something of a minimum expectation that 2021 qualifying activity should be rolled over into 2022 following the blanket status extension, as members’ 2021 flying activity would be “wasted” otherwise.

But even so, with a qualification period that’s twice as long compared to usual, this makes it easier for Aeroplan Elite Status members who are aiming to achieve a higher level of status to meet their goals over the course of the next two years.

Use your 2021 flying activity to jumpstart your 2022 Aeroplan Elite Status qualification.

Pause to Aeroplan Points Expiry Extended to 2022

Finally, Air Canada has extended the temporary pause to the expiration of Aeroplan points from June 30 to January 30, 2022.

Between now and January 30 of next year, any Aeroplan points that would’ve otherwise expired will not; starting January 31, 2022, the normal points expiration policy will apply. 

This is an expected and appreciated gesture, as it gives Aeroplan members who are less active about maintaining their accounts one less thing to worry about during the course of the pandemic. 

Conclusion

We’ve been wondering for a few months now whether Air Canada would continue last year’s status extension and extend status once again into 2022. It’s great to see the one-year blanket status extension being officially granted, in recognition of the continued reduced travel activity throughout at least a good chunk of the year.

In addition, Aeroplan members’ 2021 flying activity will also help them get a head start on their 2022 elite qualification, giving us effectively a two-year window in which to earn Aeroplan Elite Status that will last through 2023.

Combine this with the Rollover SQM benefit on the premium Aeroplan credit cards, and some higher-tier Aeroplan Elite Status levels may well be within reach (although you’d still need to tackle the SQD requirement through your organic flying activity). 

Note that Air Canada may yet introduce future promotions (similar to last year’s Travel at Home promotion) to make it even easier for us to achieve Aeroplan Elite Status within this two-year period. With the knowledge that my status is safe until the end of 2022, I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what promotional incentives Air Canada puts on the table to entice us back into the skies.