Aeroplan website down for the count

April 25 2008 by Ellen Roseman

At 11 a.m. today, I heard from a reader, Osama Survery, asking if I knew of this folly at Aeroplan.


Our web site is down for routine maintenance and will be unavailable
for a few hours. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this
may cause you. Be sure to come back later and try again.

Thank you for your patience.

Who does routine maintenance in the middle of a busy weekday? Didn’t ring true.

Aeroplan’s spokeswoman, JoAnne Hayes, didn’t know anything when I asked. She promised to find out. I hadn’t heard anything by 4 p.m. and asked again.

Sorry Ellen! Thanks for the reminder… This is what I know so far:

During a routine maintenance activity, a significant system outage occurred. At this time, members cannot access their Aeroplan accounts online or through the contact centre, which means no reward redemptions can be made.

We are doing everything we can to restore the system as quickly as possible.

Oh boy. That’s a serious crash, involving phone calls as well as web hits. I checked again with Osama Survery.

I have been trying for a couple of days. Should have never asked for that credit. Good to know it’s not just me.

It’s not the first time I’ve heard of problems getting through to Aeroplan. I’d hate to be trying to cash in my points for a flight and facing a deadline to do it. How do companies get themselves into such messes?


  1. MA

    Apr 27 2008

    I found your blog after finding the Aeroplan website unavailable. As of 9:40 am Saturday, the site was still down as was the online booking for aircanada. I can’t find any news other than your site that has any update or further information.

    It seems that the Aeroplan agents aren’t being updated either; all they could tell me is that technicians are still working on it.

    I’m trying to get out of town on Monday and I think Aeroplan is going to ruin my plans! Do you think you can get another “official” update, please?

  2. Leo

    Apr 27 2008

    So you know, I lost a great chance of a trip to Havana on Thursday night. After checking everything, I could not book anything.

    Try the Friday morning, again no way.

    Now I trust that a return to Toronto on May 20 is not possible anymore. (I was going out on the May 15, still available.)

    I hope they will do something for us.

    Do you have any more news?

  3. JoAnne Hayes, Aeroplan

    Apr 27 2008


    I recommend that the members call our contact centre for immediate assistance: 1-800-361-5373.


  4. Greg Belanger

    Apr 27 2008

    Please contact me so I can sell you a backup solution. To have a commercial website down for 4 days is inexcusable. You would think there would be redundancy or at the very least a proper backup/recovery solution in place for situations like this?!?! What are you planning to do for all the members affected by this outage? Incidentally, calling the contact center has proven to be just as frustrating – long hold times and staff with little information.

  5. Harvey Levenstein

    Apr 27 2008

    The site was still down as of 7.25pm Sunday Apr. 27. Still the same (lack of ) info in the message thereon.

  6. Ellen Roseman

    Apr 29 2008

    My colleague Chris Sorensen wrote a story in today’s paper about Aeroplan’s systems crash. He quoted Carmi Levy, senior v-p for AR Communications Inc.

    “This kind of outage, given the severity and length, is clearly unacceptable in any modern business.”

    That’s particularly true when you’re supporting a customer base that includes a large number of high-income earners and other time-pressed business people who are on the road and might need access to the website to book flights or other rewards.

  7. Mitch Barnett

    May 3 2008

    Good article and comments! As a professional software developer, this type of behaviour gives us in the software industry a bad name. I wrote about it here: