Air Canada Flight Pass: How does it work?

To the point The Flight Pass is an Air Canada savings option. Let's see if it's worth it.

What is an Air Canada Flight Pass?

An Air Canada Flight Pass is a prepaid package that allows travelers to purchase in advance a certain number of one-way flights (called credits), to a fixed destination and at a fixed price.

This has the advantage of “freezing” a price, for someone who is flexible with dates, who travels at the last minute or very often to the same destination.

A flight pass can contain flight credits or offer unlimited travel during a given period. These passes are available for different geographical regions and can be used for business trips, family vacations or frequent travel.

One flight credit = one one-way flight per person, including stopovers where applicable.

The Flight Pass gives access to Standard Economy, Latitude, Flex or Business Class fares, which may vary according to destination and zone. The Stand-by option can even be used for certain passes.

Some passes are for a single traveler only, while others can be shared between several travelers.

What’s more, the Flight Pass is valid for 12 consecutive months after purchase, most of the time. If a pass’s credits are not used after the given period, they are lost forever and will not be refunded.

Only Aeroplan Members may purchase a pass. It is important to always check in the small print whether the pass can be used on peak season dates, and if so, at what cost.

Aeroplan credit cards for travel with a Flight Pass

One of the best ways to pay for a Flight Pass is with an Aeroplan credit card. Since the purchase is made directly on the Air Canada website, you’ll earn more Aeroplan points. Here are a few examples:

So, for a flight pass costing $2,000, your credit card will earn :

Depending on the pass purchased, Aeroplan Points, Status Qualifying Miles (SQMs) and Status Qualifying Dollars(SQDs) will also be awarded after the flight, according to Aeroplan’s fare class and distance rules.

Flight Pass sales period

Sometimes Air Canada flight passes are sold for a limited time only. This offer is valid for a limited period, often just a few weeks.

But more often than not, flight passes for Sun destinations, students and business are available for purchase at any time.

There are often more than fifty flight pass options on the Air Canada website.

Benefits of purchasing an Air Canada Flight Pass

Air Canada Flight Pass offer many advantages to frequent travellers, business travellers or families who want to save money on their airline tickets:

  • Savings potential
  • Flexibility
  • Easy to book online, by phone or via the Flight Pass mobile application
  • Wide choice of destinations with some 50 Flight Passes adapted to different geographical regions

What’s more, eUpgrades can be used on a ticket purchased with flight credit, which can greatly increase its value!

People with Aeroplan Elite status who purchase a Flight Pass will earn, according to their status and for each eligible activity linked to a Flight Pass :

  • Between 4 and 12 credits eUpgrades
  • Between 750 and 2,500 Status Qualification Miles (SQM)
Air Canada avion vue

How do Air Canada flight passes work?

Air Canada flight passes work on a credit system or by unlimited travel over a given period.

Travelers purchase a number of credits, which can be exchanged for flights to specific destinations.

Once the traveler has purchased a Flight Pass, flight credits are available 24 hours after purchase. They can then book their flights online, by phone or via the Flight Pass mobile application.

Passes offer flexibility by allowing travelers to use a credit up to 2 hours before departure or to modify their reservations, subject to seat vacancies. This is extremely practical for travelers whose plans may change at the last minute, especially when the last plane tickets are more expensive than normal.

Some illimited flight passes may award Qualifying Miles to a Status each month (as mileage accrual is not applicable) or upgrades to Business class free of charge.

How to book a flight ticket with a Flight Pass

The easiest way is with Air Canada’s Flight Pass mobile application. In just six clicks, your reservation is complete! This is also where you can manage your Pass, upgrade, change or cancel a flight.

The Flight Pass mobile application can be downloaded from theApp Store and Google Play.

Or, on the Air Canada home page, select the Flight Passes tab.

Passe de vol homepage FR

Is the Flight Pass worth it?

For example, the Second Home flight pass contains 8 credits for a maximum of 4 travellers. A single travel zone can be chosen between Morocco, Algeria, South Korea, France, the UK, etc., at the time of purchase.

So these 4 people will be able to share 8 one-way flights between France (CDG) and Canada at a total cost of $3,592. To be profitable, the cost of each one-way ticket would have to average more than $449 ($3,592 divided by 8 credits).

passe vol france FR

We ran a comparison test without the Flight Pass. In the example below, where the four people travel together on the same round trip, this trip would cost $4,613, or $1,021 more than with a flight pass ($4,613 – $3,592):

YUL CDG argent passe FR

It’s very important to check the terms and conditions of each pass, as these flight credits can only be used on Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge, Canada Express (Jazz) and certain international airlines for code flights.

In addition, you need to pay attention to the dates of peak periods. For the example above, each use of a credit during dates designated as high season costs an additional $300 per credit.

In another situation, let’s say you often go to Orlando to enjoy the magic of Disney or because you have a second home there. You could buy a Flight Pass to Florida.

Passe vol Floride FR

If you click on Comfort fare, you’ll see that it costs $4,788, including 8 flight credits for 2 people, with free seat selection and modifications. For this pass to be profitable, the cost of a one-way ticket would have to be more than $498.50 ($4,788 divided by 8 credits).

When you click on View flight availability, you can analyze the flights where you can use the Florida pass for a given date. For a sunny getaway on April 1, several flights and seats are still available thanks to the Flight Pass.

disponibilite passe vol orlando FR

The cheapest round-trip flight from April 1 to 13 would cost $2,003 for 2 people in Comfort class on Air Canada Rouge. With the Flight Pass, this would cost 4 credits out of the 8.

If we decide to make a short getaway to Florida over the May long weekend, the flight would cost $2,181. The Flight Pass would use the last 4 remaining credits.

passe vol avril FR

For this example, paying $4,788 for a Flight Pass is not worth it for flights that would have cost $4,184 ( $2,003 + $2,181) if purchased separately. The person would have overpaid $604.

That’s why it’s important to calculate the cost of flights for your future travel year based on your usage!

Someone who often has to meet with clients at the last minute, an athlete with tournaments all over North America, or a student who often wants to go home for long weekends could save money with an unlimited Flight Pass or flight credits.

Other Flight Pass fees

The Flight Pass has a number of criteria to meet and if the traveler requires more flexibility, there will be additional costs depending on the fare (Standard, Flex, Latitude) and zone, such as:

  • Reservation changes: $0 to $125 per one-way trip
  • Name change on Flight Pass: $125
  • Fees for travel during peak periods : Up to $300
  • Flight Pass validity extended for a further 3 months: Up to $350
  • Cancellation: $0 to $50

Is it worth buying a Flight Pass?

Air Canada flight passes can be a convenient and cost-effective way for travelers to plan their trips.

For those looking for a convenient and affordable way to fly often to a particular destination or on dates when tickets are expensive, Air Canada flight passes are an option to consider.

The important thing is always to calculate carefully, as in the examples above, to see if it’s right for you!

Come to discuss that topic in our Facebook Group!
Caroline Tremblay
I'm Caroline, a loyalty program specialist! I use my points to travel more often and at a lower price with my spouse and our two children. I'm passionate about writing about the latest rewards news and how to put more points in your pocket.

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