Air Canada today announced that it would extend Altitude member tiers by 12 months due the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic following Delta’s (read more here) and United’s (read more here) extensions on Sunday.
Members that qualify for the extension but do fulfill status requirement in 2020 can gift it to a friend or family member. Those that donate miles to charity can get one elite qualifying miles (up to 25,000) for every five given to fight COVID-19.
You can access Air Canada’s page for COVID-19 here.
Here’s the announcement from Air Canada:
Altitude members will enjoy their current status through the end of 2021
Members have opportunity to gift status to a loved one
Donating Aeroplan Miles to select medical charities will count towards Altitude Status until April 30th
MONTREAL, April 6, 2020 – Air Canada today announced several updates for Altitude members to ensure their status remains in effect until they are able to resume flying. The changes include the extension of current status until the end of 2021, the ability to share any status achieved in 2020 with a loved one, and new opportunities to qualify for Altitude status and earn Aeroplan Miles from home.
“Loyalty is a two-way street – certainly in good times, but especially so in hard times. Altitude members have shown outstanding commitment to Air Canada, and to provide some certainty during these uncertain times, we are extending members’ current Altitude status to the end of 2021. We’re also making it easier to share status with a loved one, and earn both status and Aeroplan miles from home.” said Mark Nasr, Vice President, Loyalty and eCommerce at Air Canada. “The entire Air Canada team is looking forward to welcoming all customers back in the skies when the time is right.”
In order to provide greater ease and flexibility, changes for Air Canada Altitude customers include:
Automatic extension of 2020 Altitude status
All Altitude status for 2020 will automatically be extended through to the end of 2021. Should a member reach a higher status before the end of this year, they will enjoy it upon qualification, and maintain it through 2021 as well.
Share Altitude status with friends and family
Since Altitude status is secure through 2021, if a member has already achieved status for next year, or does so by the end of 2020, they can gift it to a friend or family member.
Continue to earn Altitude status and Aeroplan Miles – from home
While at home, a member can still earn Aeroplan Miles, progress towards Altitude status and make a difference with their miles. From now until April 30, for every five Aeroplan Miles a member donates to a charity engaged in fighting the COVID-19 crisis, they will receive one Altitude Qualifying Mile – up to a maximum of 25,000 AQM – all of which count towards 2021 status for the member, and a loved one.
These improvements come in addition to other changes for all Aeroplan members already announced:
Cancel any Flight Reward free of charge
Until April 30, all members can cancel any Flight Reward free of charge and receive all of their Aeroplan Miles back in their account, plus a full refund of any associated taxes, fees and surcharges on the unused value of their travel. This is available for flight itineraries departing any date in the future.
Temporary pause to expiration of Aeroplan Miles
We have paused expiry until May 14, 2020. This means that between now and May 14, any Aeroplan Miles which would have expired will not. Effective May 15, our normal expiration policy will once again apply, meaning that miles will expire if an eligible transaction has not been completed prior to this date.
Here’s what Delta and United did yesterday:
The airline status extensions for 12 months have now started to roll in, and I would assume that most hospitality sector loyalty programs will end up following this formula.
Delta has the best incentive to keep frequent fliers flying whose status is now valid through early 2022. They will simply roll over all miles earned this year to 2021, and you effectively have two years to qualify.