Irony Alert: Aeroplan’s “Plan B” Marketing Campaign

Filed Under: Air Canada, Media

Yesterday Air Canada announced that they’d be discontinuing their relationship with Aeroplan as of June 2020. Aeroplan is Air Canada’s spun off frequent flyer program, which they contracted out when they were in a much worse financial situation about a decade ago.

Now that their contract is running out in a few years and Air Canada is in a much better financial situation, they’re ready to take over control of their program again. While I’m generally skeptical of how airlines approach these programs nowadays, this at least has the potential to be a positive development for customers, given that it will eliminate many challenges that presently exist due to the loyalty program being run by a third party.

Not surprisingly, the stock of Aeroplan’s parent company, Aimia, plummeted yesterday. Ouch, ouch, ouch.


In theory Aeroplan could continue to be a Canadian points program even after their contract with Air Canada runs out, though I can’t imagine they’ll be able to make it work. After all, the reason they were so successful is because they were associated with Canada’s largest airline.

Anyway, I can’t get over the irony of Aeroplan’s current marketing campaign. Within the past couple of months they’ve tried to appeal to peoples’ FOMO (fear of missing out) by having ads showing “Plan A” and “Plan B” for a given situation. The point is that Aeroplan miles can get you where you want to go, so Aeroplan is always “Plan A.”

They have these ads all over several Canadian airports, for example:


They also have a couple of 30 second ad slots for this campaign:

Aeroplan has been encouraging us to look at our “Plan A” vs. “Plan B.” Aeroplan, I think it’s time you show us your Plan B. 😉

  1. They can get you to most places you want to go to only if you are willing to pay, often there are no available seats unless you pay significant more points to get the market fare seats. Also, they will try to show you the flights with high surcharges and hide the others with low fees…or you are willing to make couple stops instead of direct…

  2. Aeroplan will survive past 2020 in Canada as they are a coalition program just like AIR MILES. Even though they have the ties to Air Canada they in reality became a frequent shopping program to challenge AIR MILES and will continue to be that. They’ll likely drop the costs to potential retailers in the Canadian market space to join Aeroplan and compete with AM, Cineplex’s SCENE, More Rewards and all of our other host of programs.

  3. Im trying to book a oneway in F for Sin to nyc on ana. I was considering moving my points to aeroplan to do so. Would i be better off moving my points to krisflyer and booking via them?

  4. Ben, it’s time you look into Aeroplan’s blocking of non-scamchargeable A* awards, like CA,AV,CM,LX,etc. It is currently not possible to book awards on those airlines via Aeroplan, and I guess it is not going to be ever fixed in this situation.

  5. (Repost from the earlier Aeroplan post, from yesterday):

    Lucky and Tiffany,
    Here is a data point. About seven hours ago, I was able to book three business class award tickets on LX, for India-ZRH-MIA on LX using United miles. Not available on Aeroplan, and I know this was available until April 15 or so.

    Also, just a check, I tried multiple days for the India-ZRH-US cities today. On the United website, I was also able to see quite a few other days, from October to February, with availability on LX. None of them showed up on Aeroplan.

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