Air Canada (Negative) Altitude Program Changes (Again!)

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Air Canada slowly but steadily continues to devalue their elite program that was recently named Altitude (maybe in anticipation of “divorce” from Aimia’s Aeroplan that Air Canada spun off). Air Canada made the following announcement on August 19 and you can access it on Air Canada’s website here.

air-canada-altitude-updates

AQM’s (Altitude Qualifying Miles)

air-canada-aqm-qualifying-fares

The main change is that the Tango fares that didn’t used to earn any AQM’s for flights within Canada now earn 25%. The AQM’s on more expensive fares have been bumped up by 25%.

eUpgrade Add-ons

air-canada-eupgrade-add-on

It is starting to get ugly for non-Super Elite that are now required to pay an additional add-on (in addition to buying higher upgradeable fare and using eUpgrade credits).

air-canada-eupgrade-add-on-rates

Considering that you need to buy the higher fare that can be double or triple the lowest Tango fare + the required add-on, you may as well buy business ticket on some other airlines in the first place. The extra payment over lowest Tango fares including the new add-on pay is likely between $2K to $3K.

eUpgrade Eligibility & Transferability

eUpgrade nominees are now gone for all others than Super Elites and even those can now only nominate two.

Super Elites will lose the ability to upgrade award flights.

Conclusion

It is sad that Air Canada makes these announcement when two thirds of the year is already gone. The international upgrades now make very little sense for non-Super Elites.

Those that are non-Super Elites should examine IF the Air Canada’s program is right for them. You can easily get Star Alliance Gold status from Aegan (read more here) or from Turkish (read more here).

Considering that Aeroplan charges very high fuel surcharges (on Air Canada’s behalf) it doesn’t make sense to credit Air Canada’s flight to Aeroplan. I would choose United’s Mileage Plus instead.

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