Aeroplan Will Soon Require A Call Center PIN

Aeroplan (Air Canada’s spun off frequent flyer program) remains a useful program for Star Alliance redemptions, especially since they’re transfer partners with American Express Membership Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest. It’s tough to beat redeeming 90,000 Aeroplan miles for roundtrip business class between the US and Europe with two stopovers, just to give one example.

Air-Canada-787

They’re also my favorite frequent flyer program for booking Lufthansa first class.

While Aeroplan’s website is fairly decent (and was recently improved), complex routings can’t be booked online, so I find myself having to book awards via their call center more often than not. Aeroplan is one of the stricter frequent flyer programs when it comes to “account security:”

  • Only the account holder is able to make bookings out of their account
  • The account holder can authorize someone else to make bookings out of their account, but needs to call in to add a nominee
  • Aeroplan agents confirm basically all your personal information every time you call (address, phone number, email address, etc.)

Well, it looks like Aeroplan is in the process of changing how they verify member credentials when you call. Aeroplan will soon require you to have a four digit PIN when phoning the Aeroplan call center:

To serve you faster and to better protect your account, we will soon require that all members set up a PIN to be used when calling the Aeroplan Contact Centre. Make sure to share your PIN with anyone who may contact us on your behalf.

To set up your PIN, go to the Aeroplan website and log into your account. Once on the “Your Aeroplan” page, click on “Personal Information” on the left side.

Aeroplan-PIN-1

Then scroll down to the section under the “Login Preferences” header, where you’ll see the option to add your four digit PIN number. Your PIN can’t:

  • Be “1234”
  • Have four of the same numbers

Aeroplan-PIN

When you call Aeroplan the phone prompt already explains how they’ll soon be switching to a PIN-based system, so I suspect this will be implemented shortly.

Personally my preferred type of call center verification system is where a PIN is required, and as long as you have the PIN you’re authorized to make a booking. That way even someone calling on behalf of the member can make a booking, which seems reasonable enough if you have the correct PIN. That being said, my guess is that Aeroplan is adding this PIN requirement, and on top of that will still require the same information as before, and only allow the member to make a booking. I hope I’m wrong!

What’s your preferred type of call center verification system? Are you in favor of a system where only the member can make a redemption, or should anyone with the necessary account info be able to make a booking?

Comments

  1. Ben, do you have a detailed post on your best tips and tricks to redeem Aeroplan miles? I’m thinking something about the permitted routings and rules, best ways to search for availibility, what can be booked online and what need to be by phone, when is inventory released for the most interesting partners… And every other detail you can think about!

    I know you wrote a few times about the fuel surcharges but I was wondering if you had a global “How To” for Aeroplan!

    Cheers!

  2. If I’m making a redemption from someone’s account, as long as we’re the same sex, do you really think the airline knows if I’m that person or not?

  3. Wow. Thanks for the information on Aeroplan. I didn’t know that “having to authorized on another’s account” business. I’ve booked on AA and they don’t seem to care who’s account the miles come from.

  4. Very confused/disappointed.

    Followed the link to the post on booking LH FC from FRA to MIA for 69K miles, which sounded wonderful. 🙂

    So I signed up for Aeroplan, and got my pin.

    Then I found 2 award seats available for FC N/S FRA JFK on the LH website on 9/3.

    But when I checked on the Aeroplan website, I was only offered LH J from FRA to JFK on that date. And that only with 2 stopovers, changing in both HAJ and then MUC. Total travel time over 12 hours, priced at 45K Aero miles pp. 🙁

  5. I sure wish this site had an edit feature.

    Went back to LH website to see what else they had, and the 9/3 seats had apparently been booked between when I saw them on LH and when I searched on AP. LH was now showing 9/4 FC N/S availability, and when I checked so did AE for 125K miles for 2 seats. So 🙂 for Aeroplan after all.

    Only problem now is that LH has stopped offering much at all in the way of FC availability at the start of booking. But that’s not AP’s fault.

  6. The opposite of “security” is…

    …..convenience.

    I agree with Ben. If you have the PIN, you’re good to go, IMHO.
    (If I WANT enhanced security, or grotesque inconvenience, I’ll ask for it.)

  7. i have been trying to enter an aeroplan pin for months no luck please help me you have my email address contact me

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