Aeroplan Changes United Mileage Earnings Rates

Aeroplan quietly updated their website to reflect decreased accrual rates of Aeroplan miles for travel on United. The chart for accruing Aeroplan miles for travel on United now looks as follows:

Aeroplan-United-Earnings-Rate

Then below the chart they added the following footnotes:

Mileage Accumulation Changes

1 Effective for travel April 1, 2014, earn 150% in booking classes J, C, D, Z or P. For travel until March 31, 2014, earn 125%.

2 Effective for travel April 1, 2014, earn 125% in booking classes Y or B. For travel until March 31, 2014, earn 100%.

3 Effective for travel April 1, 2014, earn 50% in booking classes S, T, L, K, G or N. For travel until March 31, 2014, earn 100%.

These changes kick in for travel as of April 1, 2014. Economy tickets are being hit the hardest, as the earnings rates for discounted economy are going from 100% to 50%.

It’s extremely common outside the US for airlines to offer less than 100% miles for discounted economy travel, though fortunately that hasn’t caught on in the US yet. And for that matter Aeroplan was a fairly good program to credit United flights to, since they have reasonable elite qualification tiers.

So this totally sucks, and frankly nothing in the industry really surprises me anymore. Interestingly Aeroplan members flying Air Canada only earn 25% miles for travel on Tango fares (discounted economy) within Canada, and just 50% miles for travel on Tango fares between the US and Canada.

My guess is that United instigated the change as they wanted to reduce their mileage liability to Aeroplan. Ultimately if United were willing to pay Aeroplan for the miles, Aeroplan would have no incentive to reduce earnings rate. Regardless of whether my theory is correct or not, I suspect in typical United fashion this would be spun as a “joint decision,” just as they claimed when they pulled Singapore Airlines award space from united.com (we later found out that this was exclusively United’s decision and there was nothing “joint” about it).

Comments

  1. This is matching the AC rates for transborder flights IIRC. That meshes with the fact that they now have the JV in place for those flights in nearly all cases.

    As for the UA/SQ thing, I am willing to bet that you are making that assertion without all the details.

  2. I think you are overestimating the regard AC/Aeroplan have for their customers. You think being hub-captive is bad, try flying from Canada where AC has the country captive.

  3. Actually this is great as I would never fly AC in economy. So now I get 150% EQM for flying C/F.

    Of course I am not sure why I would want elite status on AC rather than UA but I am sure you will address that in another post.

  4. A blogger quoting another blogger supposedly quoting a VP – not sure how reliable that could possibly be. Did you check facts with SQ directly?

  5. Lucky, I’m curious why you’re so willing to believe SQ, but not UA. When it comes to matters like this, I don’t consider either one to be all that trustworthy.

  6. @ Brian L. — Because there’s not a good reason that Singapore would request space be removed from united.com but not aeroplan.com, for example.

  7. @BOS Flyer – I was sitting 15 feet away from the Singapore Airlines VP at their headquarters when he told me that. I have at least 49 other FlyerTalkers who were there who can validate that statement.

  8. This stinks. What if you book on Air Canada under “flex” but are on a UA flight? What class is booked and do you get the correct 100% mileage? Gotta wonder why after five years as SuperElite i even bother any more. AA Advantage is far better ….

  9. @ Ken — If it’s an award ticket on United you don’t earn miles, unfortunately. Air Canada only has access to saver United award space, and that books into award fare classes.

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