Air Canada Will Let You Convert Cancelled Tickets Into Aeroplan Miles

Filed Under: Air Canada

Air Canada hasn’t exactly been the most forthcoming airline when it comes to refunds in situations where they cancelled flights throughout this pandemic.

However, the airline has just introduced a generous new policy for those who book a ticket with Air Canada and want to make a voluntary change down the road. While it’s perhaps not as generous as Qatar Airways’ policy, I do think it will give a lot of people peace of mind when booking Air Canada tickets.

Convert Air Canada tickets into vouchers or miles

As is the case with many airlines, Air Canada is offering added flexibility for those who make new reservations. The airline is allowing a free one-time change without a fee for all tickets issued through June 30, 2020, even for travel after that date. As such that policy is pretty standard.

What’s great is the flexibility you get beyond that. As of June 15, 2020, if you choose to cancel your booking for any reason up to two hours before departure, you can choose from one of the following options:

  • Convert your ticket into an Air Canada Travel Voucher that is fully transferrable and never expires
  • Convert your ticket value into Aeroplan miles, and get an additional 65% bonus, which is like buying Aeroplan miles for $0.013 USD each

For anyone wondering how that number is arrived at for the Aeroplan miles conversion offer, Aeroplan recently started selling miles, and the base rate is $0.03 CAD per mile. So when you add a 65% bonus that’s $0.018 CAD per mile, and when you convert that USD it’s $0.013 USD per mile.

Why this is a generous offer

If customers are going to feel comfortable speculatively booking travel right now, they need some reassurance. That needs to go beyond a voucher that’s valid for just one year, since at this point no one knows what the future will look like.

That’s why Air Canada’s initiative is so great:

  • A transferrable voucher with no expiration date is as good as it gets
  • Being able to convert tickets into Aeroplan miles at $0.013 USD each is a good rate, as it’s a lower rate than how I value Aeroplan miles

Just to give an example of how valuable the Aeroplan conversion option could be, you could convert a $750 ticket into Aeroplan miles, and then you’d have enough miles for a one-way business class ticket to Europe, including on carriers like Turkish Airlines.

Bottom line

Air Canada has an incredibly generous new policy for those booking tickets with the airline. Tickets that are voluntarily cancelled can either be converted into a transferrable voucher with no expiration date, or can be converted into Aeroplan miles at ~1.3 US cents each. That’s a cost at which I’d consider outright buying Aeroplan miles, so that’s a great offer.

Unfortunately Air Canada hasn’t been nearly as industry-leading with involuntary ticket changes. In cases where they’ve cancelled flights they’ve in many cases continued to avoid offering refunds, even when mandated by government regulations.

What do you make of Air Canada’s new voluntary change policy, and would you like to see other airlines follow?

  1. Aeroplan is really going too far handing out miles.

    Devaluations is coming way sooner than expected.

  2. Transferable and nonexpirable voucher would maybe persuade to voluntary cancel the early May ticket if they offered. Their offering at that time was not interesting if you do not live anywhere around destinations they serve.
    So being the bottom line, I am hoping US DOT will start the enforcement asap.

  3. This is an airline that has outright REFUSED to refund tickets to passengers for flights the airline cancelled due to COVID-19.

    Plus there is a major devaluation coming this year with the launch of the “new Aeroplan” and move to dynamic pricing for N. American flights

    Whenever you write about AC Ben – you always seem to have rose coloured glasses on.

  4. There is no IF devaluations are coming. Its already been announced that they are. It was supposed to happen in June but got postponed for obvious reasons.

    Note that you cant convert your already existing non-transferable vouchers into this new credit until June 15

    And they are still refusing refunds citing DOT and EU laws do not apply to them

  5. Yeah, I’m with the other commentators on this one.

    It’s clear a massive devaluation is heading our way, with the way AC-Aeroplan is selling miles, while also doing consumer unfriendly (and of questionable legality) moves like only giving extremely restrictive vouchers for flights they’ve cancelled themselves.

  6. As we all know, FF program gets devalued in many ways. Dynamic award structure which requires unreasonable amount of miles for award tickets; Award seats are not available;… I would never invest in miles. Don’t get me wrong- if one earns the miles through flying, credit card spending, making purchasing online…, that is great. However, converting the value of ticket to get some miles, think of Skymiles and MileagePlus miles before doing it.

  7. Beware,,, Air Canada’s new Aeroplan replacement program is in just a few days. And, if the company’s recent practices are any indication of what will happen in the future, EXPECT A HUGE AEROPLAN DEVALUATION ON JUNE 1, 2020!

  8. @BCT, they already announced the massive devaluations have been postponed from June 1 for now. They are still coming in 2020, but not June 1

  9. Cash is king. I wouldn’t book with them under current conditions without that option.

  10. What’s is Points Pro doing for their customers affected by involuntary ticket changes? Are you waiving the fees? Let’s talk about that

  11. @ Turco — Sure, we can talk about that! (Though given that all your comments here seem intended to incite, I don’t actually think this is intended as a serious question). But I’m happy to answer it regardless.

    Back in March we offered to help people who were stranded abroad get home for no charge (whether we’d helped book the ticket or not), we’ve voluntarily paused all membership subscriptions and renewals, and we’re continuing to pay our people even though there is no money coming in at the moment. On top of that, we are waiving our fees to help our clients cancel and redeposit their tickets, and offering a significantly reduced (75% off) fee for help changing dates or rebooking.

    If you’re an existing client (I don’t believe you are, but perhaps you use a different email address?), and have further questions, please feel free to shoot an email over to your regular award consultant.

  12. Air Canada has just been horrible – refusing point blank to refund money for flights which were cancelled by Air Canada despite several attempts. They claim the DOT rules don’t apply to foreign carriers so they can only give vouchers. I have put in a refund claim 6 weeks ago and even escalated the issue to executive contacts but no success. Tiffany/Ben, do you have any suggestions? Atleast Virgin and United have agreed to provide a refund albeit at a slower schedule.

  13. Is it still the case that Aeroplan phone agents can no longer manually book routings that the website doesn’t show? It went from one of the best programs into one of the most infuriating when its phone agents started refusing to ticket multi-segment trips because “computer says no”. That’s relevant to the value proposition of all these Aeroplan windfalls.

  14. I was literally hung up on by an agent when I tried to bring up refunds for a flight originating in the US that they cancelled weeks before scheduled. I don’t care what their offer is, I’ll never book with them again. I hope they enjoy those few hundred dollars to try and survive, now that they’ve lost a customer for life.

  15. @Tiffany & @Ben…..why so cowardly as to not post my remarks to this threads discussion? Tiffany appears to be a “smart” person who’d enjoy logically “speak(ing) to” my comments.

  16. @Tiffany I’m just gonna stop at “we are paying our people” you actually aren’t – TAXPAYERS are paying it and AC is covering some top ups which they are stopping June 8.

  17. As a Canadian, I wouldn’t take the points. It’s enticing, but if you have to fly out of here, it’s hard to find great value in the award chart, and if you’re travelling domestically, the fuel surcharges are killer. As well, more and more of the flights united
    used to fly from Canada are becoming AC operated (at least from YYC). I’d rather take the voucher.

  18. So does my AC tickets for $4699 US get exchanged for CA $ if I opt for the miles refund instead of voucher? Thanks.

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