New Air Canada Super Elite Perk: Free Drink & Snack In Economy

Filed Under: Air Canada

This November Air Canada is introducing an entirely new loyalty program, which includes a new approach towards award redemptions, new elite perks, and new credit card benefits.

Aeroplan Logo

In addition to all of the changes that have already been revealed, a new elite perk has just been announced for Air Canada’s top tier elite members.

Air Canada Super Elite members will receive complimentary in-flight refreshments, which wasn’t a benefit before. Here are the details of this new perk:

  • This perk will kick in when the Air Canada Bistro service is reintroduced onboard (Air Canada currently has very limited service due to the pandemic)
  • Eligible passengers can enjoy one free alcoholic drink and one free snack item when traveling on Air Canada, Air Canada Express, or Air Canada Rouge, in economy class
  • Drinks up to a value of $6.95 are eligible, and when it comes to food, fresh snack options (such as sandwiches and salads) aren’t eligible

Super Elite members have a new perk when traveling in economy

Air Canada’s Super Elite status ordinarily requires earning at least 100,000 elite qualifying miles and 20,000 elite qualifying dollars in a year, so the requirements are substantial.

It’s nice to see Air Canada add this as an elite perk, though it’s worth acknowledging that:

  • American and United both offer top tier elite members a free drink and food item in economy, with no limit on the value of either, and the food item can also be something from the “fresh” menu
  • In fairness, American and United both offer top-tier elite members unlimited complimentary upgrades (subject to availability), so this is basically a consolation prize when you don’t get upgraded; in the case of Air Canada, you always have to redeem some sort of an upgrade instrument for an upgrade

Complimentary economy snack on American Airlines

Complimentary economy snack on American Airlines

Bottom line

It’s nice to see Air Canada add yet another perk for Super Elite members. That being said, it’s anyone’s guess when this will actually be useful, given that it’s reliant on the full service resuming in Air Canada economy, and that could be years from now at the rate things are going…

What do you make of this new Air Canada Super Elite perk?

  1. It’s sad that the service level in the airline industry has fallen so far that a complimentary drink on board is regarded as a perk for the “super elite” (sic.)

  2. +1 to what Ben Dover said. It’s interesting to see the different approaches that different airlines (and the norms is different countries) take. Although it’s too early to know what the new normal will be, in the past Qantas included snacks (or meals) on all flights and complimentary alcoholic drinks were offered on all afternoon and evening flights. Elite status gave pax access to the lounge, and the chance to have a free few drinks before the flight.

  3. FYI I am an American Super Elite 100K member for 12 years and for non-Canadians the $CDN amount needed for Super Elite 100K is $10K CDN vs Canadian residents @ $20K spend. As long as your address is outside of Canada.

  4. What a joke, So you gotta have spent how many tens of thousands of dollars to be some super elite, and they are so unbelievably gracious to give you a $5 meal for free. Gone are the days when flying transpacific in Thai, Cathay etc you were wined and dined in Eco better than most business class nowadays.

  5. People ask me why I refuse to fly on a North American based carrier when I fly international. In the past few years I started paying extra for premium economy. Why fly an airline like this when I can fly JAL and get lounge access and a memorable experience.

  6. This replaces the “Travel Options” benefit, which gave a coupon for a buy on board meal consisting of a wrap or sandwich. I might have used this once or twice in the last five years. Not necessarily a bad trade off.

  7. Also, the point of this is that it applies to domestic/transborder flights. International is a whole different matter.

  8. The “new Aeroplan” is a hopeless downgrade with the only exception being the reduction of YQ surcharges. This is offset by the higher cost in miles for redemptions. As Aeroplan was one of my most used rewards (using non-YQ airlines) this is a huge loss for me.

    Offering a drink and a small insignificant snack to a super elite is an insult and luckily I will never reach that status level so am not personally offended (if you fly mostly on purchased points the high status levels can never be achieved).

    Unfortunately all the Aeroplan Credit Cards will be similarly downgraded as of Nov 8 offering “enhanced” benefits that a less than currently offered for various categories of transactions.

    Sadly, as predicted, the re-purchase of Aeroplan by Air Canada has resulted in a huge profit increase for Air Canada at the expense of the frequent flier.

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