Air Canada is changing the minimum Air Canada flight requirements to obtain Altitude elite level status for 2016.
Currently and for the 2015 Altitude membership year, along with the membership thresholds starting at 25,000 Altitude Qualifying Miles (AQM) or 25 Altitude Qualifying Segments (AQS), members must earn at least 10,000 AQM or five AQS on eligible flights operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Express or Air Canada rouge.
The threshold requirements for Altitude membership in 2016 will stay the same, but flyers will have to fly higher AQM or AQS on flights operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Express or Air Canada rouge as follows: Prestige 25K 12,500 AQM or 12 AQS, Elite 35K 17,500 AQM or 17 AQS, Elite 50K 25,000 AQM or 25 AQS, Elite 75K 37,500 AQM or 37 AQS and Super Elite 100K 50,000 AQM or 47 AQS. As before, AQM earned in conjunction with the purchase of an Unlimited Flight Pass will count toward the Minimum Air Canada Flight Requirement.
Other changes for Air Canada elite-level members are coming in March. As of March 1, 2015, there will no longer be a 500-mile minimum for flights–all flights operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Express, Air Canada rouge and Star Alliance member airlines will earn miles by distance flown. Also as of March 1, 2015, there will be changes to Altitude eUpgrades including an increase in the number of eUpgrade credits required to get an upgrade. More information about these changes will be announced later this year.
If you are an Altitude Elite 35K member, you will not have the option to choose complementary Maple Leaf Lounge and Star Alliance Business Lounge access with Select Privileges, but instead, will be able to choose a 50 percent discount on a Maple Leaf Lounge membership.
In a bit of good news, for reservations made as of March 1, 2015, the fuel surcharges on ClassicFlight awards for travel within Canada and between Canada and the U.S. will be waived for all Altitude members. ClassicFlight award fuel surcharges for travel between Canada and international destinations will be waived for Super Elite 100K members. The waiver for fuel surcharges are for flights operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Express and Air Canada rouge. You can read more about all of these changes, by visiting http://www.insideflyer.com/link/?11808
Bottom line: Altitude is becoming more of an elite level for Air Canada flyers only. At the highest level, Super Elite 100K, members will have to fly 40,000 more miles solely on Air Canada carriers than in the past. Altitude is the elite level program of Air Canada. Aeroplan has its own elite level called Distinction.