When speaking about airline loyalty programs, typically, the airline owns the program. For example, Delta owns SkyMiles, United owns MileagePlus, etc.
On the other end of the spectrum is Aeroplan. Aeroplan is Air Canada’s spun off loyalty program. In other words, an independent company owns the loyalty program. A few years ago, Aeroplan was a personal favorite of mine, however, after quite a few devaluations, I find myself only using them for niche redemptions.
THE HUGE PROBLEM
The biggest challenge is that Aeroplan is a completely separate company from Air Canada and that’s a horrible situation for the airline. With Aeroplan (the points loyalty company) being separate from Air Canada (the airline), Aeroplan has little incentive to provide a decent experience for those that have Aeroplan points, since they have a captive audience for redemptions.
I have a specific Star Alliance redemption that I want to book. However, United Airlines is charging a crazy amount of points because of their new award chart. I have quite a few miles sitting in my Aeroplan account and I would prefer to use them rather than use any other source of miles. However, when attempting to login to my Aeroplan account online, it gives me the little spinny..sand time glass (think 1990 blackberry phone).
I’ve attempted to call but Aeroplan’s hold times are HORRIBLE! What makes it even worse (when I call) is I get a message saying “we’re sorry, we can’t take your call due to higher than expected call volume” and it hangs up.
I can’t redeem my miles online. I can’t redeem them over the phone. How am I supposed to get to my destination!?!?
And this has been going on for weeks now.
I called Aeroplan yesterday morning at 7am EST, sharp (this is the time they open) and was told the hold time would be 78 minutes. I’m not sure how this is possible considering you just opened less than a minute ago but regardless I have quite a few blogs that I need to publish so i hold. After 111 minutes of waiting on hold, I hear a ringing on the other end, and then it was disconnected. How Sway!? How!?
Let’s be clear…the hold times are completely unacceptable but the part that really blows my mind is that in ~2020 they don’t have a callback feature.
To add salt to an open wound, while waiting on hold, the recording talks about Aeroplan.com being the fastest way to book Aeroplan redemptions. And when that doesn’t work…..???? C’mon Aeroplan. You’re killing me!
Fortunately, Air Canada announced in a statement that they finalized a deal to buy the Aeroplan rewards program and members’ current Aeroplan Miles would be honored 1:1 under the airline’s new program when it launches next year.
Anyone else having trouble redeeming miles with Aeroplan?