Air Canada has expanded the complimentary Preferred Seat selection benefit to include all travellers with Aeroplan Elite Status.
Depending on which status you hold, the type of fare purchased, and your destination, you’ll now be able to enjoy complimentary Preferred Seat selection for yourself and up to eight travellers on the same reservation, either prior to or during check-in.
The improved seating benefits came into effect on October 2, 2023, and will be rolled out on the Air Canada website in the very near future.
Air Canada Expands Complimentary Preferred Seat Selection for Aeroplan Elite Members
Air Canada has expanded the complimentary Preferred Seat benefits available to passengers with Aeroplan Elite Status.
As a reminder, Preferred Seats are seats at the front of the economy cabin or in exit rows, which typically come with a fee of $20–199 (CAD), depending on your fare and destination.
With Preferred Seats, you’ll enjoy some extra space, and you’ll also be amongst the first to exit the aircraft upon arrival, if you choose seats at the front of the cabin.
As of October 2, 2023, all Aeroplan Elite members can choose Preferred Seats at no cost; however, it’s important to note that the time frame during which you can select Preferred Seats without a fee depends on your status, fare, and destination.
Aeroplan 25K and 35K members are now able to select Preferred Seats at no cost at the time of check-in for all flights and all fares except for Economy (Basic) fares.
Aeroplan 50K members may select Preferred Seats at no cost at any time for flights within North America, and at the time of check-in for all other flights, on all fares except for Economy (Basic) fares.
Aeroplan 75K members can choose Preferred Seats at no cost at any time for all flights and all fares, excluding Economy (Basic) fares.
In addition to complimentary access to Preferred Seats across the board, Aeroplan 50K and 75K members now have complimentary standard seat selection at the time of booking for all flights and all fares, except for Economy (Basic) fares. This really only affects Economy (Standard) fares, since complimentary standard seat selection is already included with Economy (Flex) fares and above.
As always, Aeroplan’s top-tier Super Elite members can choose Preferred Seats at no cost at any time for all flights and all fares, including Economy (Basic) fares.
The seating benefits apply to the Aeroplan Elite status holder, as well as up to eight additional passengers travelling on the same reservation. Bookings can be made with cash or Aeroplan points.
Complimentary Preferred Seats are only available to eligible members travelling on flights operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Express, and Air Canada Rouge. Complimentary Preferred Seats aren’t available on Air Canada codeshare flights, nor on flights operated by partner airlines.
Previously, Aeroplan 25K, 35K, and 50K members were offered a 50% discount on Preferred Seat selection when travelling on an Economy (Flex) fare. Since Preferred Seats are now available free-of-charge to all members, this benefit is being discontinued.
The complimentary Preferred Seat benefit is currently being implemented, and an update will take place on the Air Canada website later this week.
If you purchased a Preferred Seat prior to October 2, 2023, and are now eligible for complimentary Preferred Seat selection, you won’t receive a refund for your seat fees.
Enjoy Extra Space at No Additional Cost
The expanded complimentary Preferred Seat benefit is definitely an improvement for members with lower tiers of Aeroplan Elite Status, and especially for anyone who tends to travel on Economy (Standard) fares.
Since Super Elites already enjoyed access to complimentary Preferred Seats with all fares on all markets, the changes really only affect anyone with 25K, 35K, 50K, and 75K status.
It’s worth noting that complimentary Preferred Seat selection is already available to all passengers travelling on Economy (Comfort) or Economy (Latitude) fares, and standard seat selection is free with Economy (Flex) fares and above.
Prior to these changes, complimentary Preferred Seats were available to 50K members on Economy (Flex) fares within North America, and to 75K members with (Economy) Flex fares to all markets.
For 75K members, these changes now offer complimentary Preferred Seat selection on Economy (Standard) fares to anywhere Air Canada flies, which can be chosen during booking or at any time prior to departure.
It’s a similar story for 50K members, who now get access to free Preferred Seats on Economy (Standard) fares. However, complimentary Preferred Seats chosen prior to check-in are limited to flights within North America, and for all other flights, you’ll have to wait until check-in.
Aeroplan 25K and 35K members will have to wait until check-in to select Preferred Seats for free. At that point, others may have already selected or paid for Preferred Seats; however, if any are available, it won’t cost anything to choose one.
Given that complimentary Preferred Seats are available at check-in for all Aeroplan Elite members and up to eight passengers travelling on the same booking, the best practice is to check in for your flight at the earliest possible opportunity.
That way, if there are still Preferred Seats available, you’ll be able to snag them for free, if you weren’t able to confirm them beforehand on the basis of your status or fare.
If you’d like to secure a Preferred Seat in advance when you’re not eligible to select one for free, with the 50% discount no longer available, you’ll have to pay the same as anyone else who wants to score some extra room.
Air Canada has expanded access to complimentary Preferred Seats to include all Aeroplan Elite members. Depending on your status, fare, and destination, you’re now able to choose Preferred Seats at no cost, either prior to or during check-in.
These changes are most beneficial to Air Canada travellers with lower tiers of status, and especially anyone who tends to travel on Economy (Standard) fares.
Complimentary access to Preferred Seats took effect on October 2, 2023, and will be rolled out on the Air Canada website in the near future.