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Video: The Future of Aeroplan Ricky January 18, 2020

Video: The Future of Aeroplan

At this week’s Air Canada A220 launch event, I had the chance to speak with Mark Nasr, head of Aeroplan and a key figure in charge of the transition to the new loyalty program, to clear up some of these issues for members and get a sense of where the new program is headed in the summer of 2020, and in this week’s video, I share with you everything I learned from my conversation with Mark.

For some context, since buying back the program a few years ago, Air Canada have made clear their intention to launch a brand-new loyalty program in 2020.

To prepare for that, in November 2019, they implemented a change in their back-end reservations systems (known as “passenger service system” or PSS), migrating from a decades-old legacy system to a new Amadeus PSS. 

This has caused Aeroplan members to face many technical problems in recent months, such as login issues, difficulties in redeeming miles, being told over the phone that they may not piece together different flights “segment by segment”, and most pressing of all, incredibly long wait times on the Aeroplan contact centre.

In this video, we’ll cover the anticipated timeline for the new program’s launch, what kind of redemption structure we can expect to see, the clearing-up of the current frictions created by the Amadeus PSS, and the fate of the second stopover on Aeroplan round-trip redemptions (a key part of the Aeroplan Mini-RTW!)

Without further ado, you can watch the video below:

 

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9 Comments
  1. Avatar
    Anne Betts

    The return of the two stopovers will be cause for celebration. To me, it’s one of the best features of Aeroplan and sets it apart from other programs. A permitted stopover on one-way bookings would be very attractive as well. For the massive inconvenience and in some cases, additional costs faced by some members, Air Canada needs to offer lots of incentives to make things right and restore confidence in the program.

  2. Avatar
    Todd

    Dynamic pricing a la Delta. God help us all.

  3. Avatar
    YYCFlier

    How are the NA dynamic awards any different than "market" fares we have now? Sounds more like we’ll take away fixed awards and give you just market fares, which are valuable if you have Aeroplan Diamond, but with that gone, are not. At that point you’re better off using WSD for ME flights on WestJet or carriers, though it seems like in NA anyway almost all carriers are going this way, sadly.

  4. Avatar
    Stephane Delisle

    Thanks for all you do!
    I have a question for you…is it a good idea to get the CIBC and Amex Aeroplan cards now or wait for the new ones that will come out? When SPG disappeared it was a good idea to get the old card that way you could double up, but if the new Aeroplan cards are the same then maybe I should wait? If I got these ones would you think that I could cancel, apply for the new ones and still get the bonus?

    Thanks

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      I do think you would be able to go for the new cards even if you applied for the current cards. There’s still quite a bit of time until the new program launches, so I’d say you have enough time to go for one last round of the current credit card bonuses.

  5. Avatar
    linda McCallum

    Great video Ricky – thanks. Maybe they will do something about the availability of AC flights to Europe too!

  6. Avatar
    Hannah

    You did quickly mention the issue of being told by phone agents that it is not possible to stitch together trips, that they can only book what they see in front of them. This has always been a possible response that was possible when we phoned in to Aeroplan. You mention in the video that people normally used to to hang up and call again however I was not sure that this is what you are still recommending since the implementation of Amadeus. Is it still possible to find some agents that are able to stitch together itineraries that we can hand them? Or are they really hobbled to the extent that they can only book what appears in front of them?

    1. Avatar
      litokid

      Honestly, I’m a lot more concerned with the phone line and itinerary stitching than I am with the future program. As mentioned, despite Mark going on record, none of that is set until official launch. Meanwhile, their technical issues are real, present, and absolutely crippling. I really appreciate Ricky letting us know what he could from their conversation, but in that regard we basically still know nothing more than what was communicated in November.

    2. Avatar
      Ricky

      It’s still possible, and there are a few data points of people doing it successfully, but it seems that the majority of agents are saying it can’t be done. I’d still recommend persistently calling back to get what you want, just be prepared that it may take significantly more calls than before.

Ricky

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