Air Canada’s Aeroplan program is quite useful for Star Alliance redemptions, given that it partners with American Express Membership Rewards.
Redemption rates on Star Alliance partners are reasonable, in particular for business class between the US and Europe (which costs 45,000 miles one-way). While Aeroplan imposes fuel surcharges for travel on some airlines, there are many on which they don’t.
However, Aeroplan’s website has always been one of the weak points of the program. The site is actually reasonably good for booking Star Alliance awards, though that’s where the positive aspects stop. Other aspects of the Aeroplan website have frustrated me:
- There has been no way to select seats online, even for Air Canada segments (that always kind of blew my mind)
- There has been no way to cancel/redeposit awards online (Aeroplan sometimes has long hold times)
- There has been no way to view actual itineraries through Aeroplan’s website (you always had to go through Air Canada’s website to do so)
This may partly have to do with the fact that Aeroplan is a spun off loyalty program, and isn’t actually owned by Air Canada. So while you redeem your miles through Aeroplan, they’re actually booked on Air Canada “ticket stock.”
Fortunately Aeroplan’s website is changing for the better. Aeroplan has just rolled out some new online self-service options.
For example, you can now view Aeroplan award itineraries directly on Aeroplan’s website, rather than having to go to Air Canada’s website.
Furthermore, it’s now possible to cancel and refund award bookings directly through Aeroplan’s website (keep in mind you must refund bookings at least 22 days before departure if you want your miles reinstated).
And Aeroplan is also finally allowing seat assignments online for Air Canada flights, which is long overdue.
These are some great changes which certainly make it much easier to book and manage an Aeroplan reservation directly through their website rather than having to call.
Kudos to Aeroplan for these website improvements. I’m a big fan of being able to manage reservations entirely online, rather than having to call. I’d say Aeroplan’s website is now among the better ones out there for managing award reservations online.
What do you make of the new Aeroplan website self-service options?
(Tip of the hat to Todd)