For the 2024 benefit year, members will see changes to the benefits associated with Flight Passes, Air Canada Café access, and the lower requalification Select Benefit for Aeroplan 50K, 75K and Super Elite members.
Upcoming Changes to Benefits for Flight Passes
Air Canada has announced some upcoming changes to the benefits associated with Flight Passes.
Historically, members could choose Select Benefits from Bundle 1, which includes choices such as eUpgrades, lower requalification, and other benefits, and Bundle 2, which are perks specifically associated with Flight Pass activity.
Members had to choose between receiving extra eUpgrades or bonus Status Qualifying Miles for eligible Flight Pass activity.
As of January 1, 2024, members will receive both eUpgrades and Status Qualifying Miles for eligible Flight Pass activity as part of their Core Benefits. This means that if you complete any eligible Flight Pass activity, you’ll receive both eUpgrades and bonus SQM, and you won’t have to choose between them as part of your Select Benefits.
The number of eUpgrade credits and Status Qualifying Miles awarded for Flight Passes depends on the status you hold at the time of the eligible activity, outlined as follows:
- 25K: 4 eUpgrades and 750 SQM
- 35K: 6 eUpgrades and 1,000 SQM
- 50K: 8 eUpgrades and 1,250 SQM
- 75K: 10 eUpgrades and 1,500 SQM
- Super Elite: 12 eUpgrades and 2,500 SQM
It’s worth noting that the amount of eUpgrade credits and SQMs awarded are the same as what’s currently offered through Bundle 2 of the Select Benefits.
Upcoming Changes to Air Canada Café Guesting Privileges
Air Canada has also announced changes to the guest access policy for Air Canada Cafés.
Access is still limited to guests travelling in business class or Premium Rouge, Aeroplan 50K, 75K, and Super Elite members, Star Alliance Gold members, and for passengers with the following Aeroplan co-branded credit cards:
- TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Privilege* Card
- CIBC Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Privilege* Card
- American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card
- American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve Card
- American Express®* Aeroplan® Corporate Reserve Card
Eligible guests used to be able to bring one extra person in with them; however, eligible members may now bring one guest, plus their spouse and up to five dependent children travelling with them.
It appears that this new guesting policy is effective immediately, and we’ve reached out to Air Canada to confirm this.
Upcoming Changes to the Lower Requalification Select Benefit
Previously, if lower requalification was chosen as a Select Benefit, the Status Qualifying Mile (SQM) and Status Qualifying Segment (SQS) thresholds required for the aforementioned statuses would be lowered as follows:
- Aeroplan 50K: from 50,000 SQM or 50 SQS to 45,000 SQM or 45 SQS
- Aeroplan 75K: from 75,000 SQM or 75 SQS to 70,000 SQM or 70 SQS
- Aeroplan Super Elite: from 100,000 SQM or 100 SQS to 95,000 SQM or 95 SQS
All members were required to fulfill the full Status Qualifying Dollar (SQD) requirement, which will remain the case in 2024.
Going forward, if you choose lower requalification as one of your Select Benefits, you’ll receive a one-time bonus of 5,000 Status Qualifying Miles and 5 Status Qualifying Segments.
The bonus will be awarded immediately, and will count towards earning Threshold Gifts and Threshold eUpgrades.
This means that the SQM, SQS, and SQD requirements will be the same for everyone; however, if you choose the lower requalification Select Benefit, you’ll get a boost of SQM and SQS, instead of lowered thresholds.
The new lower requalification approach will be available once the Select Benefits become open in early 2024.
Air Canada’s Latest Changes to Aeroplan Elite Status
The latest changes announced by Air Canada about Aeroplan Elite Status won’t affect all members, since they only really make a difference if you use Flight Passes, frequent Air Canada Cafés, and/or choose lower requalification as a Select Benefit.
As for the inclusion of both extra eUpgrades and bonus SQMs for eligible Flight Pass activity, this is a positive development for anyone who purchases Flight Passes. Since you’d previously only get either eUpgrades or bonus SQM, you’ll now get both included as part of your Core Benefits in the same amounts that were previously offered separately.
As for an expanded guest access policy at Air Canada Cafés, this will benefit you if you tend to travel as a family, since you can now bring yourself, one guest, your spouse, and up to five dependent children.
However, I imagine that some members may be concerned about more crowding in Air Canada Cafés with an expanded guesting policy.
As for the changes to the lower requalification Select Benefit, I see this as a positive change, since the SQM and SQS awarded count towards Threshold Rewards.
On the other hand, I personally don’t consider this the be the most valuable choice as a Select Benefit, since you can earn SQM and SQS through spending on a co-branded credit card over the course of the year instead.
This is because you can earn the same 5,000 SQM or 5 SQS you’d get from the lower requalification Select Benefit with the following spending:
- $25,000 spent on a premium Aeroplan co-branded credit card (1,000 SQM and 1 SQS per $5,000 spent)
- $50,000 spent on a core Aeroplan co-branded credit card (1,000 SQM and 1 SQS per $10,000 spent)
Furthermore, Aeroplan often puts out promotions for earning bonus SQM and/or SQS throughout the year.
However, if you don’t tend to put a lot of spending on a co-branded credit card, or if you don’t pay much attention to promotions, you’ll still benefit from the lower requalification level, just as a boost instead of a lowered threshold going forward.
It’s worth noting that these changes come in addition to a number of other changes to the program this year, including:
- Aeroplan 35K members no longer having Maple Leaf Lounge access as of June 2023
- Expanded access to complimentary preferred seat selection
- New lounges in Toronto Billy Bishop Airport and San Francisco
- The debut of upgraded A321 cabins
Air Canada has announced a handful of changes to Aeroplan Elite Status benefits. Some are set to come into effect immediately, while others take place as of January 1, 2024.
The announced changes include introducing bonus eUpgrades and SQM for Flight Pass activity as a a Core Benefit, expanding the guest access policy at Air Canada Cafés, and changing the lower requalification Select Benefit to a boost of 5,000 SQM and 5 SQS instead of lowering the threshold by the same amounts.
Some members won’t be affected by the changes, while others will stand to benefit if they purchase Flight Passes, frequent the Air Canada Café, and/or choose lower requalification as a Select Benefit.