First, my apologies for not posting anything until very recently but like most of you out there, I have been dealing with COVID-19 and it’s affects on my family and career. It’s certainly not ideal but I’ll do my best to post on a more consistent basis. Now onto some big news from Air Canada.
Air Canada Altitude Status Extention
Due to the pandemic, many flyers have been unable to take any flights and as such, are going to have a hard time requalifying for their Altitude status.
Air Canada realizes this challenge and has automatically extended all Altitude status members to the end of the 2021 membership year (February 28, 2022).
This will be well received by Air Canada status members and something that many other airlines are extending to their members. Notably, WestJet, Air Canada’s biggest competitor, has not released any information about the extension of the status of their top-tier members. This may be because WestJet’s qualification periods are different for everyone based on the date you enter the program. This means that it’s substantially more difficult to manage top-tier members, so a broad “everyone gets a 1-year extension on their status” is likely very difficult, if not impossible for WestJet to pull off.
If you are one of those frequent business travellers and you have already qualified for the 2021 year, you can gift that status to a family member or friend. As your status is already protected for the 2021 Membership Year, Air Canada is allowing you to give away the status you earned so it doesn’t go to waste.
For example, I am a 35K Member and due to COVID-19, my status will remain until February 28, 2022. If during 2020 (January 1 – now), I have somehow managed to requalify for either 25K or 35K, I will be able to give that status to anyone of my choosing.
This probably won’t affect too many people but it’s a nice perk nonetheless.
Earn Status at Home
Between now and April 30th, if you donate your Aeroplan Miles to a charity that is helping fight COVID-19, you can use those miles to cover off your AQM (Altitude Qualifying Miles) requirement for the 2021 year.
The Aeroplan Miles you donate are counted at a 5:1 ratio, meaning 5 donated Aeroplan Miles equal 1 AQM.
You can donate to a maximum of 125,000 Aeroplan Miles, which will result in 25,000 AQM.
Altitude has a two-part qualification. We talked about AQM but there’s another component, AQD (Altitude Qualifying Dollars), a spend requirement that must be met before you make status.
Unfortunately, the AQD portion of the Altitude Qualification is not waived, meaning that you cannot simply donate 125,000 Aeroplan Miles and make Prestige 25K … you still need to spend $3,000 with Air Canada to qualify.
Temporary Pause of Aeroplan Mile Expiration
Again, due to COVID-19, Air Canada has paused all expiration of Aeroplan miles until May 14th, 2020. This means that if you have Aeroplan Miles that were due to expire soon, you have about 1.5 months of grace period to put some activity into your account and extend your Aeroplan Miles expiry by another year.
This is a very nice benefit given that many people have their minds on other pressing matter so expiring Aeroplan miles may be the furthest thing from their minds.
Cancel Any Flight Reward Free
Until April 30th, all members can cancel any Flight Reward free of charge and receive their Aeroplan Miles back in their account. Any taxes, fees and surcharges will be refunded.
All of Air Canada’s steps are very customer focused and something they should be applauded for. Not a single announcement coming from Air Canada today is negative and speaks to how well they understand their customers.
I for one am quite happy with the steps that Air Canada has taken to help lessen the pain of the COVID-19 pandemic. Bravo.