I Love Air Canada’s Innovative Offers To Its Elite Flyers


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I don’t have very many dealings with Air Canada so I can’t comment on how well or badly the airline is dealing with customers in the current environment, but I can say that I love a couple of innovative offers that the airline put to its elite members in an announcement it released yesterday.

After weeks of apparent inactivity, the world’s major carriers are now announcing measures to keep their elite flyers happy (and loyal) in the coming months and, following in the shoes of Delta and United Airlines, Air Canada has now said that it will be extending Altitude status for all elite flyers through the end of 2021…but that isn’t my favorite thing from the airline’s announcement.

My favorite parts of Air Canada’s announcement are these two gems:

Share Altitude Status With Friends and Family

With all altitude elite statuses already guaranteed through to the end of next year, Air Canada wants to continue to incentivize customers to fly with it once the skies reopen…so this is what it has come up with:

[I]f a member has already achieved status for next year, or does so by the end of 2020, they can gift it to a friend or family member.

That’s a great idea…and it’s actually even better then it may first appear.

Here are the requirements for Air Canada Altitude status:

Click to enlarge

And here’s how the status gifting will work:

  • If in 2020, you manage to earn enough AQM/AQS/AQD for Altitude status you can gift status to a friend or family member.
  • If the status you earn in 2020 is lower than the status that Air Canada has guaranteed you though 2021, you get to keep your higher status while your friend or family member is gifted the lower status.
  • If the status you earn in 2020 is higher than the status Air Canada is guaranteeing you through 2021 bit you and your friend/family member will enjoy that higher status next year.

Essentially this is Air Canada’s way of making sure that elite credits earned so far this year aren’t completely redundant and it’s a way to encourage its elite members to continue flying with the airline once the current travel and social distancing measures are relaxed.

Earn Altitude Qualifying Miles From Home

Per Air Canada:

From now until April 30, for every five Aeroplan Miles a member donates to a charity engaged in fighting the COVID-19 crisis, they will receive one Altitude Qualifying Mile – up to a maximum of 25,000 AQM – all of which count towards 2021 status for the member, and a loved one.

Eligible charities are:

A minimum donation of 1,000 Aeroplan Miles is required and Air Canada says that Altitude Qualifying Miles will be posted by 15 December 2020 and that the AQM earned through this promotion will not count towards Air Canada Million Mile recognition.

This is another great idea from Air Canada – flyers can do some good by donating Aeroplan Miles to worthwhile causes while boosting their chances of higher status for next year and higher status for a friend or family member with whom they can share status.

Bottom Line

We saw a little bit of independent thinking from United Airlines yesterday but I think the two things I’ve discussed above are my favorite status-related announcements that I’ve seen so far.

A lot of the major airlines appear to recognize that they’re going to have to extend elite status for their flyers at some point this year (although American Airlines & BA don’t appear to have figured this out at the time of writing) so it’s good to see the likes of Air Canada thinking a little beyond that step and making things interesting.

Full details of Air Canada’s COVID-19 policies can be found by following this link

Featured image courtesy of Air Canada

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