I’ve written before about how Air Canada Aeroplan is my preferred frequent flyer program for redeeming points. Aeroplan is a program you should care about, even if you never fly Air Canada.
My only favorite thing about Aeroplan is the number of airline partners in the program, and that list just keeps growing. I wanted to look at it in a little more detail in this post – which airlines does Aeroplan work with and why does it matter so much?
Aeroplan has more airline partners than any other program
Aeroplan allows you to redeem points on 45 different airlines and counting. There is no other airline loyalty program in the world that has this many redemption partners, so it is truly remarkable.
Major global airline alliances usually allow reciprocal award redemptions as one of the concept’s key benefits. As Air Canada is part of the Star Alliance, of course you have access to over two dozen Star Alliance member airlines. But most impressive is the number of Aeroplan’s non-aligned partners.
Why should you care so much about this?
- Aeroplan points are very easy to earn, even with transferable point currencies, as I explain below
- Aeroplan allows an additional 5,000 points for layovers, which is rare these days
- Aeroplan allows all partner awards to be booked online, and there are no fuel surcharges for any award
- Aeroplan has some unique airline partners that are otherwise hard to redeem, from Air Mauritius to Gulf Air, Oman Air and Vistara.
- Being able to combine airline partners for a single award is great, especially when reaching far-flung destinations
There is simply no other airline program that comes close to this depth of partnership. This can be useful if you want to travel to the Canadian Arctic in the Canadian Northern Economy…
Or you want to travel to Madagascar in Air Mauritius business class…
Or you want to travel to Oman with Oman Air in first class…
Complete list of Aeroplan’s airline partners
Here is the current list of Air Canada Aeroplan’s 45 airline redemption partners:
- Aegean Airlines
- Air Canada
- Air China
- Air Creebec
- Air Dolomiti
- Air India
- Air Mauritius
- Air New Zealand
- Air Serbia
- All Nippon Airways (ANA)
- As a matter of fact
- Austrian Airlines
- Brussels Airlines
- Calm air
- Canada’s North
- Copa Airlines
- Croatia Airlines
- Ethiopian Airlines
- Etihad Airways
- Eurowings Discover
- EVA Air
- Gulf Air
- Juneyao Airlines
- LOT Polish Airlines
- Olympic Air
- Oman Air
- Scandinavian Airlines (SAS)
- Shenzhen airlines
- Singapore Airlines
- South African Airways
- TAP Air Portugal
- Thai Airways
- Turkish Airlines
- United Airlines
- Virgin Australia
Why does Aeroplan seem to be alone in adding partners?
Aeroplan is in a league of its own when it comes to adding airline partners for award redemption. This is not because the people behind the program have some secret recipe that other programs don’t. It’s simply because the people behind the program see that value to members and put a lot of effort into it, and other programs don’t.
I remember talking to the director of a certain airline frequent flyer program a while back and I brought up how the program had lost several airline partners over the years and it would be nice to focus on adding more partners. members can redeem their points. Answer? “It’s not really a priority for us.”
I find this logic puzzling, but then again, many of the changes we’ve seen in major loyalty programs in recent years are questionable at best. So why is Aeroplan resisting the evolution of the industry by adding an endless list of new partners?
- First, Aeroplan is genuinely run by avgees who are obsessed with airlines and flying, and I imagine they’ll be adding partners at some level that they’d like to redeem their own points for.
- The reality is that there is a business case for what Aeroplan does – award redemption rates are typically pretty low, so Aeroplan usually makes money when you transfer your points to Aeroplan and then redeem them from a partner. It’s not only a great business model on its own, but also a great way to increase engagement with Aeroplan and awareness of Air Canada
- Air Canada has clearly given Aeroplan leadership flexibility to add appropriate partnerships to the program rather than adding only a very limited number of partnerships based on revenue management and other commercial agreements. compare this to Delta, which these days seems only to want to work with airlines in which it has equity stakes.
I must say that I would love to be a fly on the wall at Aeroplan’s presentations and negotiations in connection with the addition of new partners. Aeroplan has managed to add some airline partners that are redemption only, meaning that Aeroplan management has convinced the people at those airlines to allow Aeroplan members to redeem, without any other commercial agreement. It must take skill!
If the whole Aeroplan thing doesn’t work out, these people could probably fly to the Canadian Arctic and be refrigerator salesmen (and they could fly there in the Canadian North with Aeroplan points, natch!).
How to earn Aeroplan points
As mentioned above, one of the great things about Aeroplan is that points are fairly easy to find. Air Canada Aeroplan has 1:1 transfer partners with Amex Membership Rewards, Capital One and Chase Ultimate Rewards.
That means you can transfer points earned on cards like the American Express® Gold Card ( review ), the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card ( review ), and the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card ( review ).
Transfers from all of these partners are usually instant, which is important because often rewards may be available, but then you find that the transfer takes several days, which can quickly ruin your plans.
In addition to this, there is an Aeroplan® credit card in the US ( review ) that offers a great bonus and unique benefits. Finally, Aeroplan often sells points at reasonable prices.
Aeroplan has more airline partners than any other frequent flyer program in the world, and I really appreciate that. There are now 45 airline partners in the program and there will be more. I love the consistency these redemptions offer, the ability to combine partners into one award, the lack of fuel surcharges, and the ability to stop at one-way awards.
The best part is that Aeroplan is just starting to add partners, and we’re told to expect more exciting partners in the future. I can’t wait to see what airlines are next.
Does anyone else appreciate the breadth of Aeroplan’s airline partners as much as I do?
#Aeroplans #amazing #suite #airline #partners