Please rate Aeroplan

Discussion in 'Air Canada | Aeroplan' started by Lynda, Oct 20, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. Lynda
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    Lynda Milepoint Staff

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    InsideFlyer magazine is reviewing Aeroplan in our December 2014 issue and would like your input.

    If you would like to participate, please post your response in this thread with the pros and cons of membership in Aeroplan and grade the program from A to F (A being the highest grade). You can include a plus or minus with the rating.

    We look at the program based on the following: Earning Ability, Award Choices, Partnerships, Elite-Level Program, Rules and Conditions, Service Support and Online Services.

    You can also respond directly to the editors at InsideFlyer at lynda@insideflyer.com if you would prefer. You can read the review when it posts in December HERE.

    Thank you!
     
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  2. Sammich

    Sammich Gold Member

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  3. ACMM
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    ACMM Gold Member

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    Big difference between AC and AE @Sammich ... ;) But of course will do the task - as all good MPers should ;) just as soon as I have some martinis ;)
     
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  4. Sammich

    Sammich Gold Member

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    Are you off work already...?
     
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  5. NoahVail

    NoahVail Silver Member

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    Earning Ability: C (F for EQMs, A for RDMs equals a C average)
    Award Choices: C (F for International due to co-pay, A for Domestic/NA equals a C average)
    Partnerships: B (Star Alliance is as good as any, everything else is irrelevant)
    Elite-Level Program: F (SE is excellent, the rest are irrelevant)
    Rules and Conditions: C (average for Rules, average for Conditions)
    Service Support: C (average)
    Online Services: B (easy booking engine)
     
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  6. ACMM
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    ACMM Gold Member

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    What does that have to do with Martinis ... now stop spamming this thread :D
     
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  7. ACMM
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    ACMM Gold Member

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    I preface this by the comment that as an Air Canada SE I have easier ability to redeem my AE points for flights that non-SEs may have ... so that may be causing a jaded view from me ... also I am looking at this from Aeroplan and not Altitude miles - as they are distinct... Lynda - I assume you did want Aeroplan and not Altitude (which is the AC tier program)

    Earning Ability: B - I find I can earn Aeroplan miles relatively easy in a multitude of vendors etc. Of course AC miles and bonuses count towards AE so that is also a goodness

    Award Choices: B - again looking at this solely as AE awards, this is jaded for me - as an AC SE I have little issue getting an award when I want it - does it always happen - no, but pretty much am able most of the time to get economy (100%) or business(95%) when I want it. Plus I am likely one of the few who is happy to use his plethora of AE miles on merchandise from the AE catalog and not only flights.

    Partnerships: B - Aeroplan partners are wide and varied - from retailers to magazines etc. I think the range is quite broad. Do I make use of most or any of them - pretty much zero - as I focus my point gathering on AC flights which count not only to my Altitude (AC) status but also the Aeroplan distinction level

    Elite-Level Program: C - Again I am focusing on Aeroplan NOT Altitude (AC) here... I find the AE levels of no interest to me - I happen to be and get Aeroplan Diamond distinction but I can honestly say I never use the features as long as I am AC Altitude SE

    Rules and Conditions: B - they are clear enough

    Service Support: C - Have to say average as I never use or call Aeroplan for any reason

    Online Services: B (easy booking engine) - I will say the web site is pretty good for booking Aeroplan reward tickets - but again taking advantage of my Altitude SE (AC) status

    So my comments again are based on Aeroplan (AE), which I think is what was being asked for and not AC Altitude levels.

    Let me know if you need other .... ACMM
     
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  8. mevlannen
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    mevlannen Silver Member

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    Also an SE (or, if you prefer, charter member of Pterodactyl Class):

    Earning Ability: B-, alas, the hard way, by 500-'mile' segments.

    Award Choices: C+, I really don't need another toaster, nor do I care to bid in an auction for tickets to an execrable rock concert.

    Partnerships: D, nothing of interest there.

    Elite-Level Program, B+, would be an A-,but the choice of business-class rewards is still not what it could (or should) be.

    [edit to add]: talking about AC programme here. The AE 'Distinction' programme appears to have no practical utility: I think of it as the "cheese food product" of loyalty schemes.


    Rules and Conditions, C, my major beef being their opacity.

    Service Support, B+ (again, speaking as SE; below SE, I suspect it's more like E or F because of long waits for the call-centre). I am particularly grateful for the proactive assistance of AC's concierges, who are a genuine national treasure.

    Online Services, C, on account of the frequency of website errors explained only by gibberish error-codes. AE's website works better than AC's website, but neither are reliable.
     
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  9. ACMM
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    ACMM Gold Member

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    My question is are you folks rating the AC Altitude program or Aeroplan?
     
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  10. mevlannen
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    mevlannen Silver Member

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    Rating AC, mainly, because AE mostly lies below my radar.I fly a lot, for work. Cashing in my Toasterplan RDMs for discounted air tickets sounds a lot like the proverbial busman's holiday. :/
     
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  11. ACMM
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    ACMM Gold Member

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    OK - as long as we make that clear to Lynda as I think her request was for Aeroplan ... no? Just clarifying...
     
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  12. The Lev
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    The Lev Silver Member

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    I'm making a slightly different assumption that Lynda is looking for feedback on the amalgam of programs that is Aeroplan plus AC Altitude...

    Also a Altitude SE and Aeroplan Diamond.

    Earning Ability: B+. If you are Canadian, IMHO this is the program for earning points - whether or not you fly. Lots of opportunities to earn whether it is on flights (plus bonus miles if you have altitude status), fairly generous bank credit card scams I mean schemes and a variety of other over-priced merchants. I orginally marked this an A but then downgraded to B+ based on the requirement of buying Flex or above fares to earn full mileage accrual.

    Award Choices: Award choices alone: A-. Award availability: B as a SE otherwise D unless you like toasters. In theory they offer a broad range of ways to spend your points. The only really sensible way of doing so is by booking a Business or first Class reward, preferably on an airline that does not impose scamcharges. Availability of those desirable rewards approaches nil if you are not SE. It is considerably better for SE, but not as good as it was.

    Partnerships: A-. Star Alliance is a very broad network unless you like South america and Australia. They have plenty of other "partners" for earning and redeeming points.

    Elite-Level Program: Altitude SE: B+ others C. Distinction: C. The Altitude program is pretty solid as an SE, but has been cut back dramatically from what it once was - especially if you are not SE. Kudos to Aeroplan for launching the Distinction program, but in practice I don't see the benefits as being hugely beneficial - although with the discount "Market" fares have sometimes required fewer points than "Classic".

    Rules and Conditions: B-. Positives: they did away with the short-lived idea of expiring miles. Negatives: miles disappear after one year of inactivity. Big Negative: imposition of "YQ" AKA scamcharge that was known as "fuel surcharge" until their legal people realized the surcharge was more than the per person cost of fuel for many flights.

    Service Support: B: Generally their phone agents are good and don't have long hold times (especially when compared with AC). It is really cheesy to force people to pay a $30 booking fee to use phone agents when their online travel booking engine has so many limitations. That fee should only apply if the itinerary can be booked online.

    Online Services: C. After so many years it boggles my mind that their software still has such limited ability to book flights online (despite the claim that the $30 booking fee was supposed to allow them to enhance the web capability).
     
  13. tomh009
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    tomh009 Gold Member

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    As usual with AC/AE, the line is blurry and it's not clear what we should be rating. My ratings reflect the combination, as that is comparable to other airlines' programs.

    Altitude SE and Aeroplan Diamond.

    Earning Ability: B Lots of ways to earn, and I do well even without a credit card.

    Award Choices: B (or D if you have no status). As SE, availability of flight awards is good, and *A helps a lot, without status it would be far worse. Non-flight awards readily available but much less interesting.

    Partnerships: A Star Alliance is by far the best, even if South America is limited. Lots of other AE partners, including multiple credit card choices (how many other airlines can say that?). Sobey's and Esso provide good earning opportunities in particular.

    Elite-Level Program: B (or C if you are not SE). Altitude provides pretty good benefits (in the context of 2014, the good old days are long gone) if your are an SE, much less so if you are not. Distinction doesn't really add much if you are an SE, but at lower levels the market fares can provide a decent option for award availability.

    Rules and Conditions: B This would be A if not for the fuel surcharges. One-year expiry only affects totally inactive people.

    Service Support: B This used to be A for SEs, but no dedicated agents any more. Concierges (for SE only!) are very helpful when you need them.

    Online Services: B Web site is decent but can still require calling in for more complex itineraries
     
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  14. londoncalling

    londoncalling Silver Member

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    Earning Ability: A Lots of ways to earn. I seem to get well over 2X the miles in total for each mile flown and have no Aeroplan CC. I do have CC's like Amex platinum that can transfer miles at 1 to 1 however.

    Award Choices: A (or D if you have no status). As SE plus 2MM I have gotten 100% of my requested flights on AC and about 90% on *A carriers

    Partnerships: A Star Alliance is by far the best and largest alliance. Sobey's, Home Hardware and Esso provide good earning opportunities in particular. There are also random hotel and rental car potential for miles.

    Elite-Level Program: B Nothing stands out to make it an A or lower than B
    Rules and Conditions: B Fuel surcharges are mostly going to disappear for SE's but change fees will reappear next year

    Service Support: B- I find agents not as knowledgeable as earlier years but they still have the nucleus of good knowledge behind them

    Online Services: C Web site cannot do most complex transactions but is getting better.
     

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