The Frequent Flyer Program of Air Canada is called Aeroplan. It is different from Air Canada Altitude, which is a membership tier program that defines the different levels of membership and their various benefits and privileges.
Earning the Miles
Aeroplan allows you to earn AeroMiles on flights of Air Canada, Air Canada rouge and Air Canad Express and rest of 27 Star Alliance members. Air Canada Altitude is a level which is earned by earning at least 10000 Altitude Qualifying Miles (AQMs) or 5 Altitude Qualifying Segments (AQSs) in a calendar year on qualifying flights of Air Canada or Air Canada Express ( Air Canada Rouge is not included in this calculation). Air Canada Altitude is a more niche and exclusive program than Aeroplan.
The AeroMiles are earned by flying on Star Alliance partners as well as by booking a car from the car rental partner companies, partner hotels, purchasing travel insurance and buying the duty free items from online store of the carrier.
For a distance flown up to 249 miles on Air Canada or Air Canada Express, Aeroplan members earn 250 miles whereas Air Canada Altitude members earn 500 miles. Also, for the same distance flow on Rapidair flights and for flights between Toronto and Montreal, you earn 500 miles. For flights of 250 miles or more, Aeroplan members earn as per actual miles flown. These minimum miles count towards Altitude membership as well.
The calculation of AeroMiles earned also depends on the fare class bought and sector of travel.
Flights of Air Canada (excluding Rouge), operating within Canada, earn AeroMiles and AQMs of 150% on Business Class (both J,C and D,Z,P fare classes), 125% on Premium Economy (both O and E,N fare classes) and Latitude (Y,B classes) and 100% on Flex (M,U,H,Q,V,W,G fare classes). The AQSs earned is 1 for each of these classes of fare.
For flights between Canada and USA, accumulation of Miles is also done on Air Canada rouge. You get to earn AeroMiles and AQMs at rate of 150% on Business Class (both J,C and D,Z,P fare classes) and Premium rouge, 125% on Latitude (Y,B classes), 100% on Flex (M,U,H,Q,V,W,G) and 50% on Tango (S,T,L,A,K,F,N,E). For all these fare classes, the AQSs earned is 1 on both Air Canada and rouge carriers.
For the flights between Canada and Caribbean, Mexico and Central America, also called the Sun destinations, the AeroMiles and AQMs earned are 150% on Business Class (both J,C and D,Z,P fare classes) and Premium Rouge, 125% on Latitude (Y,B classes), 100% on Flex (M,U,H,Q,V) and 50% on Tango (W,G,S,T,L,F,A,K) (N,E) classes. AQSs earned are 1 for each category of flight fare class.
For the flights between Canada and other international destinations, there are no AeroMiles or AQMs to be earned for Business Class (J and C,D,Z,P) on Rouge while 150% are earned on Air Canada. However, Premium Economy, Latitude (Y,B) and Premier rouge classes of travel earn 125%. Flex (M,U,H,Q,V) and Tango (W,G,S,T,L,A,K) classes of fare earn you 50%.
Redeeming the Miles
The AeroMiles can be redeemed in many ways. This is achieved by way of flight rewards, hotel bookings, car rental companies, charitable causes, carbon offsets, buying merchandise and transfer of miles. You also get benefits of at-airport services by redeeming these miles for comforts of lounges.
These ways of redemption are mentioned below:
Flight Rewards: So popular are the flight rewards programs of Air Canada in Canada that every 20 seconds, a reward seat is booked.
Non-flight rewards: You can also redeem your Miles by shopping online for a wide array of merchandise and buying lifestyle products and services such as dining, spa, events, theater, adventure and other recreational products.
Green It Up is the carbon offset program of Air Canada. It was launched in 2007 and aims to serve environment. AeroMiles can be redeemed for carbon offsets by the environmental conscious passengers.
Charitable causes: You can also make redemption of miles by donating to the various charities. Air Canada has a well established way of allowing you to donate for a noble cause. This program of Air Canada is called- Beyond Miles. There are 10 partner organizations and about 400 participating charities, for which AeroMiles can be redeemed.
Using the Share Miles, you can transfer the AeroMiles which you have earned to another member account instantaneously online. Applicable rate is 2 cents per miles.
Distinction Program of Air Canada
dSilver members need 25000 eligible miles
dBlack members need 50000 eligible miles
dDiamond members need 100000 eligible miles
Status of a member in a particular year depends on the number of miles earned in the previous calendar year. An interesting feature of this program is that the carrier offers Distinction flights on which 100% of seats are reserved only for Distinction members so that they can redeem at ClassicFlightReward.
The members are also eligible for Bonus miles as per following rates for each eligible roundtrip. These are 500, 1000 and 1500 Bonus Miles for dSilver, dBlack and dDiamond members.
Bonus miles are also available to dDiamond and dBlack members for hotel stays at partner hotels (Marriott, Starwood and Fairmont). You can earn bonus of 250 miles per stay for up to 20 stays in these hotels in a calendar year. These are not the qualifying miles for the purpose of determining the Distinction status.
Bonus is also available when dDiamond, dBlack and dSilver members shop at Aeroplan eStore. The respectively get 2, 1 and 1 Distinction Bonus mile for every base mile earned. While shopping at shop.ca, the bonus is of 1 distinction bonus mile for all types of members.