Air Canada made an announcement yesterday about the upcoming changes to its Altitude program in 2015 that will see reduced benefits for most if not for all.
Seems that airlines are rapidly reducing benefits offered even for their elite fliers and it is Air Canada’s turn to announce their mostly negative changes for 2015.
You can access Air Canada’s web page for this announcement here.
Here are the main changes:
Half of the Status Miles Must Be On Air Canada Metal
You are now required to acquire half of the elite qualifying miles or segments on Air Canada flights.
500 Mile Minimums Gone
For flights less of 500 miles, you only earn the number of miles flown without any minimums.
The number of eUpgrades that you earn decreases and the number of eUpgrades required for upgrades increases. You can probably upgrade roughly half the number of flights.
Elites at the 35K level will no longer have access to all Air Canada or Star Alliance lounges. Only Air Canada domestic and transborder lounges including Los Angeles and LaGuardia are included.
Award Fuel Surcharges
All Altitude members will have fuel surcharges waived for domestic Canada and US flights starting on March 1, 2015. Super Elite members will also receive fuel surcharge waivers on all Air Canada international destinations.
Air Canada is eroding their program slowly but steadily. The problem is that many Air Canada fliers are captive audience for domestic flights, although WestJet and Porter do operate between some city pairs, and really don’t have a choice.
As is always the case with negative changes, the fliers should evaluate the benefits received and price premium paid for Air Canada flights compared to competitors and act accordingly.