At the beginning of November, I wrote about my frustration with redeeming my Aeroplan miles.
To recap…Aeroplan is the airline loyalty program for Air Canada. Members can earn (and redeem) Aeroplan miles on Air Canada. However, 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.
Interestingly, Air Canada announced they would be acquiring Aeroplan and planned a “migration of systems” between November 18-19. In other words, Air Canada would integrate the two systems so searching and redeeming points would be a much easier process.
Again, the system migration was only supposed to last two days but it hasn’t exactly gone according to plan. I have entered my information countless times and the login box continually “processes” my information without going to the next page.
Nearly 30 days later, I am still unable to make a reservation or check on current reservations. I’ve attempted to call the customer service line but the hold times are HORRIBLE! Either, I receive “we’re sorry, we can’t take your call due to higher than expected call volume” and it hangs up or I am presented with an astronomical wait time (e.g. 148 minutes <–no exaggeration, this was an actual time I was given).
On the Air Canada’s Frequently Asked Questions page, you’ll see the following:
Customers have reported check-in problems ranging from denied boarding, disappearance of seat reservations, and (obviously) the inability to make reservations using their Aeroplan miles.
When Air Canada announced the “migration” would only take two days, I was very skeptical. As amazing as technology is, I was fairly confident that it would take more than two days, however, this is difficult for me to wrap my head around.
My award redemptions have been in limbo for the past few weeks and that’s extremely uncomfortable for me. I have vacations booked around a specific flight but am unable to confirm that the ticket still exists.
Fortunately, my current award flight isn’t departing until the end of January so I have a few weeks determine an alternative path.
For other that find themselves in the same situation but have flights before I do, I recommend printing out the boarding pass ahead of time.
I would also recommend taking screenshots of your ticket details in case there are system operational failures.
If Air Canada ends up bumping passengers from their flights then they should keep records of that situation and also file a complaint with the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) and local authorities. Compensation could be requested depending on the situation.
Is anyone else having trouble booking award tickets with Air Canada? What has been your experience?