Aeroplan is one of Canada’s best known and most popular loyalty rewards program, with about five million active members – including Patrick Sojka, the founder of the Rewards Canada website that has been helping Canadians get the most out of their rewards programs since 2001. He’s one of the most knowledgeable experts on travel rewards in Canada and recently wrote a blog post for Rewards Canada under the headline “Why I am still invested in Aeroplan.”
Here are a few of his key observations:
1. “It provides a different and more valuable experience than most other Canadian travel rewards programs.”
Aeroplan members already know how easy it is to earn miles, whether they’re purchasing airline tickets, renting a car, or shopping through Aeroplan’s network of more than 75 world-class partners, representing more than 150 brands in the financial, retail and travel sectors. Members also know they can earn miles when they use an Aeroplan-affiliated financial card, such as those issued by TD, CIBC and American Express, and can earn bonus miles through regular promotions offered by Aeroplan partners.
For Sojka, an added value of Aeroplan is the ability to redeem those miles for business-class and first-class flights on some of the best airlines in the world, including Air Canada, Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines, among many others. Even when other rewards programs provide similar options, Sojka notes that Aeroplan allows its members to book those flights for two to four times fewer miles.
2. “Additional savings can come with the program for items like last-minute flights.”
Sojka says the ability to use Aeroplan’s Market Fare Flight Rewards to book last-minute flights represents a “huge value” for members and cites the experience of some of his relatives who needed to fly from Regina to Calgary the same day they booked their flights. By taking advantage of Aeroplan’s Market Fare Flight Rewards, they were able to book a return flight at noon for travel that same evening, for just 18,000 Aeroplan Miles. Sojka says his relatives saved $1,000 for their last-minute tickets, using just 3,000 additional Aeroplan miles.
3. “With over five million members, Aeroplan will not and cannot simply close shop.”
Sojka says people who think Aeroplan will disappear either “don’t know the industry or Aeroplan well enough.” He points to the many media interviews he has given since Air Canada announced in May that it would be creating its own loyalty program in 2020, and says he still believes strongly in what he said in all of them: that Aeroplan’s great relationships with airlines around the world mean it will be able to establish direct relationships with many of them even after its current arrangement with Air Canada ends.
He says any partnership Aeroplan negotiates with an airline will be a “win-win,” for the airline and for Aeroplan and its members. “It’s not like Aeroplan just opened shop. They have experience in the market working with these airlines for the better part of three decades, and the airlines know that.”
4. “I have not changed my earning or burning habits.”
Sojka is adamant that he is continuing to earn and redeem miles through Aeroplan and that he has confidence the significant value it offers members will continue well past 2020.
You can read the full blog here. And while you do, remember that your Aeroplan Miles held on June 29, 2020 will still be there to redeem for a growing selection of exciting travel, merchandise and experiential rewards, including multiple airlines.