A couple of weeks ago we learned that Air Canada made an offer to acquire Aeroplan, which is their spun off loyalty program. For over a decade Aeroplan has been the frequent flyer program of Air Canada, though in 2020 their contract ends. The termination of the contract has led to a lot of uncertainty for the future of Aeroplan.
After the news broke I explained what Air Canada buying Aeroplan would mean for consumers, and also what Aeroplan’s independent future could look like, if Air Canada’s acquisition doesn’t happen.
Despite Air Canada raising their bid from $250 million to $325 million, Aimia didn’t accept the offer, as they want $450 million. They say that they’re still open to discussions, though.
One thing I do have to give Aeroplan credit for is the number of new things they’ve managed to announce over the past week. I don’t necessarily think there’s much substance to the announcements they’ve made, but they sound nice.
Aeroplan seems sort of like an angry ex who is posting shirtless pictures on Instagram with a big smile and lots of people with the caption “never been happier,” purely in hopes of making their ex jealous. In other words, Aeroplan is trying to do everything they can to make Air Canada have FOMO and want them more.
Aeroplan has allegedly been in “discussions” with oneworld, though I’m not sure what exactly that would look like anyway.
Since then, Aeroplan has announced a “comprehensive partnership” with Porter Airlines, which will allow Aeroplan members to earn and redeem miles on Porter starting in 2019.
Today Aeroplan has also announced new “preferred partnerships” with Air Transat and Flair Airlines as of July 2020. With these partnerships:
- Aeroplan members will be able to earn and redeem miles for Air Transat flights and vacation packages
- Aeroplan members will be able to earn and redeem miles for Flair Airlines flights and ancillary items at fixed-rate costs
The thing is, Aeroplan isn’t actually revealing any details about how these partnerships will work. Aeroplan keeps talking about how with the new program members will be able to fly any airline anywhere, so it seems the only thing unique here is the ability to earn miles on these airlines? And it hasn’t even been made clear what the mileage earning rates will be.
Aeroplan deserves credit for the amount of talk they’re doing here. I’m sure most of these announcements are reassuring to members, and also Aeroplan probably thinks this is making Air Canada a bit worried.
But the reality is that there’s very little substance to any of this. I’m not surprised that’s the case, since the program is just under two years away, but at the same time I’m not going to get excited about anything where no details have yet been announced.
I have to hand it to Aeroplan, though. They’re talking a good talk.