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Changes Coming to Air Canada’s Frequent Flyer Program


Air Canada Altitude changes for 2015 include the elimination of 500-mile minimum and an increased flight requirement.

Air Canada frequent flyers will face a new set of elite qualification requirements in 2015. The carrier announced the upcoming changes to its Air Canada Altitude plan in the FlyerTalk forums on Friday, and a more detailed list can be found on the Air Canada website.

In order to achieve elite status next year, Air Canada frequent flyers will need to meet a higher minimum Air Canada flight requirement. Starting March 1, 2015, half of the miles or segments flown must be made on Air Canada operated flights, including Air Canada Express and Air Canada rouge. For example, in order to reach the Super Elite 100K tier, at least 50,000 miles or 47 Altitude Qualifying Segments must be accumulated from Air Canada flights.

In addition to the increased flight requirement, Air Canada flyers will no longer earn a minimum of 500 miles per route. Instead, effective March 1, 2015, all routes will earn the actual distance flown. This change will apply to flights operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Express, Air Canada rouge and Star Alliance member airlines.

Although Air Canada Altitude elites will be forced to spend more eUpgrade credits to move into Business Class, flyers will soon be able use credits to move into Premium Economy. In addition, Altitude elites will be granted priority boarding beginning in early 2015.

Lastly, fuel surcharges for ClassicFlight rewards between the U.S. and Canada will be waived for all Altitude elites. Fuel surcharges for Super Elite 100K members will be waived for all international destinations originating from Canada when flying on Air Canada, Air Canada Express and Air Canada rouge.

Ben Lipsey, Air Canada’s commercial projects manager, posted in the forums that the carrier understood flyers’ trepidation over the program changes, but indicated the carrier was open to questions and feedback. “This upcoming year will see some big changes, and I’m not going to pretend that they won’t impact many of you,” Lipsey wrote. “I understand some will be frustrated with some of the changes, but I hope that other aspects will go over positively.”

[Photo: Air Canada]

Comments are Closed.
ridefar October 26, 2014

CarreraMarc... eUpgrade credits are barely any more valuable for Super Elite members than they are for anybody else. In fact, in some ways they are less valuable, because the more you fly the fewer you earn. And the premium commanded to fly a class of service that earns Super Elite status and a chance to earn eUpgrade credits means that you could end up paying $1200 or more in additional fares for each upgraded flight. Unlike the charitable spin in the article, this is nothing other than a massive and comprehensive devaluation of the program. The only positive change is the removal of YQ (fuel surcharges) on reward flight for Super Elites on AC metal only. Other than that, everything is much much worse than it used to be.

weero October 25, 2014

Yes another de facto departure from Star Alliance, even though de jure not an as thorough one as UA's. One can - for the time being - still redeem miles on *A parters and also collect select RDM ... but qualification is no longer possible. Pretty bleak an outlook for the largest of the alliances.

CarreraMarc October 25, 2014

There are no positive aspects to any of these changes for Aeroplan members. And so-called eUpgrade credits are now essentially worthless to all but Super Elite members. The program, which used to be one of the best in the world, has been gutted. It might as well no longer exist. My only remaining tangible benefits as an Elite 50K member for 15 out of the past 16 years are Lounge access and priority boarding. :-(