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Air Canada's new Aeroplan Program is a must for all travellers. Here's what you need to know about Aeroplan Elite Status.

In the past, Air Canada and Aeroplan were two separate entities. Each of these entities had its status:

  • Air Canada Altitude Status
  • Aeroplan Status

So members of both programs were confused.

From now on, only Aeroplan Elite Status exists (and therefore replaces Altitude).

Aeroplan Elite Status

When redesigning Aeroplan Elite Status, Air Canada wanted to:

  • make it simpler
  • with increased value
  • offering new ways to get or re-qualify for a status

Status qualification unchanged

You’ll earn an Aeroplan Elite Status based on:

  • distance travelled OR the number of flights
  • AND dollars spent for your trips

This includes both flights on Air Canada, but also with all Star Alliance partners. However, for the spending criteria, the ticket must have been issued on Air Canada stock (ticket numbers beginning with 014).

Thus, to earn Aeroplan Elite Status from Air Canada, it is necessary to understand the three qualification criteria :

Criteria Definition
Status Qualifying Miles ( SQM ) Distance travelled
Status Qualification Segments ( SQS ) Number of flights performed
Status Qualifying Dollars ( SQD ) Dollars spent
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Status Qualifying Miles (SQM)

The Status Qualifying Miles (SQM) correspond to the distance travelled on Air Canada or Star Alliance member airlines.

However, this criterion will be weighted by two other elements:

  • the fare
  • the area you are travelling to

With a flight booked at the standard rate, you will earn 25% of the distance travelled, while with a flight in Business class, you will receive 150% of the distance travelled.

You’ll find all Air Canada fare options on this page.

Status Qualification Segments (SQS)

The Status Qualification Segments (SQS) correspond to the number of flights you take on Air Canada or Star Alliance member airlines.

If you need some SQS to reach a higher status, it might be wise to book connecting flights rather than a direct flight.

  • Montreal – Vancouver = 1 SQS
  • Montreal – Toronto – Vancouver = 2 SQS

Status Qualifying Dollars (SQD)

Status Qualification Dollars (DQS) correspond to dollars spent for your Air Canada flights or Star Alliance member airlines (ticketed from Air Canada 014 stock).

Even if you have reached the level of Status Qualifying Miles or Status Qualifying Segments, you must have spent a certain number of Status Qualifying Dollars to earn your status.

Aeroplan Elite Status Levels

There are five Aeroplan Elite Status levels :

  • 25K
  • 35K
  • 50K
  • 75K
  • Super Elite 100K

For each of these levels, there are:

  • core privileges
  • select privileges: additional benefits that you choose

You have to choose the select privileges before October 31, each year. You’ll find more about these privileges on this Air Canada webpage .

Simplification

Previously, each level of Altitude status included a name (Prestige, Elite, Super Elite). From now on, only the numbers are kept (25K, 35K, 50K, 75K).

However, for the highest status, Air Canada has decided to keep the Super Elite designation, a real “Holy Grail” among frequent travellers.

Aeroplan Elite status qualification timeframe

You have one calendar year, from January 1 to December 31, to earn an Aeroplan Elite status.

Once earned, the Aeroplan status is valid:

  • For the remainder of the current year
  • For the whole following year
Calendar year

Previously, the Altitude status was valid until the end of February of the following year. Now Air Canada has simplified this by granting status until December 31.

Program digitization

Previously, the Air Canada program issued paper coupons for Maple Leaf lounge access.

From now on, all benefits will be digital and immediately recognized by Air Canada staff.

New features

Priority Rewards

Air Canada is changing the way Priority Rewards work in the Aeroplan program.

With Priority Rewards, you’ll save 50% off flight rewards for some travel zones or cabins depending on your status level. Every time you achieve a Status Qualifying Dollars (SQD) milestone, you will get an additional voucher, up to 11 vouchers per year.

You can use a voucher for a flight reward for one passenger. The voucher validity is one year from the date of issuance (but can be used for a later travel date).

Here are the geographical areas and cabins according to your Aeroplan Elite status:

Aeroplan status Geographical area Cabin
25K Canada / United States Economy
35K Canada / United States Economy
50K North America Premium Economy
75K Worldwide Premium Economy
SE 100K Worlwide Signature / Business Class
Introductory offer

At launch, all 35K members and above will get one voucher available in their Aeroplan account.

Preferred Pricing for Air Canada flight rewards

Air Canada introduces Preferred Pricing for Air Canada Flight Rewards for Aeroplan Elite members.

Aeroplan credit cards with status benefits

New Aeroplan credit cards introduced by American Express, CIBC and TD offer benefits for qualifying or renewing Aeroplan Elite status.

With some Aeroplan credit cards, for every $10,000 in Card purchases ($5,000 for some Premium and Business cards), you’ll earn:

  • 1,000 Status Qualifying Miles (SQM)
  • 1 Status Qualification Segment (SQS)

Besides, Aeroplan Credit cardholders get Preferred Pricing for Air Canada Flight Rewards.

Aeroplan credit cards

To learn more about the benefits of the new Aeroplan credit cards, read this post.

Status Pass

Air Canada introduces Aeroplan Status Pass.

Aeroplan 50K members and above can give a 50K status pass to anyone (this will be a selectable benefit available from March 2021).

Travellers with a status pass enjoy the following benefits while travelling on flights operated by Air Canada (even when travelling without the person who offered this status):

  • Priority check-in
  • 3 Complimentary Checked Bags
  • Priority Baggage Handling
  • Priority security clearance
  • Complimentary Maple Leaf Lounge Access
  • Priority Airport Standby
  • Priority Boarding

These benefits are not available for travel on Star Alliance airlines.

Introductory offer

At launch, 50K members and above will get multiple Status Passes in their Aeroplan account:

  • 2 for 50K members
  • 3 for 75K members
  • 4 for SE 100K members

25K Status more easily reachable

Air Canada introduces the ability to qualify more easily for Aeroplan 25K status.

Thus, members who earn 100 000 Aeroplan points from any eligible source will receive Aeroplan 25K Status.

Eligible sources are all base and bonus points earned directly with:

  • Air Canada flights
  • Aeroplan credit cards spending
  • partners (airlines, hotels, eStore , etc.)

Non-eligible sources are all base and bonus points earned with:

  • Credit cards welcome bonuses
  • Points conversions
  • Aeroplan Points purchases
  • Gifts or Transfers
“Gamification”

Air Canada told us it could eventually run promotional offers when non-eligible sources could become eligible (in particular regarding points transfer).

Conclusion

Air Canada has thoroughly reviewed the benefits of Aeroplan Elite Status and qualifying methods.

The most significant innovations being:

  • Status Pass
  • The Link between Aeroplan Credit cards and Status
  • Priority Rewards

It’s great to see an airline introducing a gamification process, with prizes to win, in its loyalty program!

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