The new Air Canada Aeroplan program launched in late 2020, and that included changes to the elite program, and also major changes to award pricing. One of the new program features that was announced last year is formally being rolled out right now, so I wanted to go over how it works.
Air Canada Status Pass basics
The concept of Air Canada Aeroplan Status Pass is simple — it allows elite members to share their special privileges with friends and family, even when they’re not traveling with them. Air Canada is the first airline to roll out a feature like this on a widespread basis, and I think it’s pretty awesome. Here are some of the basics of how it works:
How do you earn Aeroplan Status Pass?
The Status Pass perk is potentially available to those with Aeroplan 50K status and above. Aeroplan members can choose this as part of their Select Benefits:
- Aeroplan 50K members can choose two Status Passes
- Aeroplan 75K members can choose three Status Passes
- Aeroplan Super Elite members can choose four Status Passes
Aeroplan Select Benefits choices
On top of that:
- On an ongoing basis, Super Elite members receive two Status Passes each year, above and beyond the ones they can choose
- Exclusively for 2021, Aeroplan 50K and Aeroplan 75K members receive one additional Status Pass
These Status Passes will automatically be deposited in accounts over the course of the next week.
Aeroplan 50K members and above can earn Status Passes
What perks do you get with Aeroplan Status Pass?
Those who are given a Status Pass can take advantage of the following perks when flying with Air Canada:
- Up to three complimentary checked bags, weighing up to 70 pounds each
- Priority check-in
- Priority baggage handling
- Priority security clearance at select airports
- Maple Leaf Lounge access
- Priority airport standby
- Priority boarding with Zone 2
As you can see, this doesn’t quite get you all elite benefits, but it does get you most. For example, you don’t get Star Alliance Gold benefits if traveling on a partner airline.
Get Maple Leaf Lounge access with Air Canada Status Pass
How do you apply an Aeroplan Status Pass to a reservation?
It’s now possible for Aeroplan members to apply a Status Pass towards a reservation directly through aircanada.com, or through Air Canada’s app. These can be applied towards any reservation, including flight rewards, as long as at least one flight is operated by Air Canada or a subsidiary. Benefits apply to all travelers on a reservation, for all directions of travel.
These Status Passes will be considered used as soon as one Air Canada flight on the reservation has been flown. Members can also “revoke” an unused Status Pass as long as it’s done at least six hours prior to travel, in which case it will automatically be returned to the account.
Apply a Status Pass to a reservation directly on aircanada.com
My take on the Air Canada Status Pass
I’m thrilled to see Air Canada roll out this feature for elite Aeroplan members. For years I’ve been saying that airlines and hotels should do more to reward family members of loyal customers (often road warriors).
After all, if you’re on the road a majority of the time (probably pre-coronavirus), that’s probably even tougher on your family than it is on you. Being able to extend your perks to others is such an underrated concept. I know I’d seek out a program that offers rewards like this, and would even be willing to give up some perks for a benefit like this.
This is a concept that World of Hyatt pioneered in the hotel industry for Globalist members with the Guest of Honor perk. That’s arguably still significantly more generous, since Globalist members can use their points for others and extend Globalist benefits, with no extra cost, and no limits on how often that can be done.
Even Air Canada’s execution here is quite good, if you ask me, and I’m hoping we see more concepts like this in the coming years.
Air Canada Aeroplan has officially rolled out its Status Pass concept, allowing select elite members to add perks to Air Canada itineraries of friends and family members.
What do you make of the new Air Canada Status Pass feature?