Air Canada & Bell Partnership: Free In-Flight Wi-Fi Messaging For Aeroplan Members

To the point With this new partnership between Air Canada and Bell, Aeroplan members will get free in-flight messaging service via Wi-Fi.

Air Canada: Free Wi-Fi messaging for Aeroplan members

Starting May 15, Air Canada and Bell will offer free messaging for all Aeroplan members worldwide on all Wi-Fi equipped aircraft across Air Canada’s fleet, including Air Canada Rouge and Air Canada Express flights.

This offering will enable customers to send and receive text-based messages via onboard Wi-Fi using popular messaging apps including:

  • Apple’s iMessage
  • Messages by Google
  • Meta’s WhatsApp and Messenger
  • Rakuten’s Viber
message texte wifi air canada

In addition, this benefit will be available to strategic partner airline loyalty members, including:

  • United MileagePlus
  • Lufthansa Group Miles & More
  • Emirates Skywards

To access the free Wi-Fi messaging service, members of these programs will need to have their account numbers associated with an Air Canada booking.

Aeroplan: Upcoming promotions

In the press release announcing this partnership between Air Canada and Bell, the two companies hinted at the expansion of Air Canada’s in-flight entertainment offering with the addition of live television service on flights to the U.S. (expected later in the summer of 2023).

But also Aeroplan “promotional rewards”. For example, we could imagine promotional rewards like Wi-Fi Access beyond the simple message functionality.

For the record, Aeroplan regularly sends promotional codes to Aeroplan credit cardholders for free Wi-Fi on their next Air Canada flight.

cdg-yul – air canada eco – covid-29

How to access Air Canada free in-flight messaging service via Wi-Fi

Here are the steps to start Air Canada Wi-Fi messaging:

  • Put your cell phone in Airplane mode
  • Enable Wi-Fi
  • Select ACWiFi network
  • If the window opens automatically, select Free Text Messages for Aeroplan Members
  • Enter your last name and seat number, then click on Confirm.
messagerie texte Air Canada aeroplan

If the window does not open automatically, open your browser and enter the address in the navigation bar.

Messagerie texte air canada confirmation

Bell: SIM cards for newcomers to Canada

With this new partnership between Air Canada and Bell, newcomers to Canada will gain easy and immediate ways to stay connected as they arrive in Canada.

Bell will be offering complimentary mobile SIM cards on select inbound international flights. These SIM cards can be activated in flight, allowing them to get off the plane and be connected.

This is part of the Bell for Better approach, in which initiatives are made for newcomers to the country.

carte sim bell

This partnership represents an excellent opportunity for Bell to capture a part of the newcomer market that will necessarily look for ways to communicate (a bit like what banks do with offers dedicated to newcomers like National Bank, BMO or HSBC).

If you’re looking for a SIM card that offers data, you may also want to consider the Airalo eSIM card. And if you want to shop around for your mobile plan, use a comparison tool like PlanHub.

Bottom line

Air Canada’s free Wi-Fi messaging service for Aeroplan members is a good step forward.

However, this service is already offered by many airlines worldwide to their customers. Like Porter (which offers free Wi-Fi access on board specific aircraft), WestJet offering complimentary Wi-Fi access to World Elite Mastercard holders, United and Delta in the U.S. offering complimentary Wi-Fi messaging, or Air France with its Complimentary Message Pass.

Air France - A350 - Pass Message

In our view, this is a case of catching up with the market. A market already interested in offering more advanced solutions like Starlink Aviation (Hawaiian Airlines, airBaltic, JSX, etc.)

We would have liked to see Air Canada go a little further than that: for example, by offering unlimited Air Canada Wi-Fi to members with an Aeroplan 50K Elite Status and above or an Aeroplan premium credit card like the American Express®* Aeroplan® Reserve Card or the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Privilege* Credit Card.

And one or two annual passes to Air Canada Wi-Fi for occasional travellers with Aeroplan 35K status or holding an Aeroplan core credit card such as the American Express® Aeroplan®* Card or TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card.

TD Salon AC-58

Much like what World Elite Mastercard cardholders have on airlines offering Boingo Wi-Fi (although this benefit was recently reduced).

Of course, Aeroplan 75K and Super Elite members can choose the Air Canada Wi-Fi subscription for 12 months as a select benefit. But it may be more attractive for them to select other benefits such as 100% Bonus Aeroplan points or 50 eUpgrades credits.

In short, let’s hope that this new partnership between Air Canada and Bell heralds more benefits for Wi-Fi connectivity on board Air Canada aircraft!

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Jean-Maximilien Voisine
Jean-Maximilien is an expert in Canada and France about Loyalty programs, Credit cards and Travel. He is the Founding President of Milesopedia.

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