Aeroplan vs. Air Miles

April 28 2007 by Ellen Roseman

There are a few key differences between these popular reward programs. If you want to keep your points and not have them taken away, choose Air Miles. It won’t zap your miles after three years of inactivity, as Aeroplan does. And if you have Aeroplan points, fill up your car with Esso gas every so often. That will be enough to keep you active.

Suppose your spouse dies. He or she has a lot of points saved up, which you want to transfer to your account. Aeroplan makes you pay a big fee to do so. Air Miles does not charge a fee.

Aeroplan charges a $30 fee for telephone bookings, but its website is far from reliable. Check this discussion forum for frequent flyers, where you’ll find many complaints about Aeroplan’s technical issues.

Air Miles gives you a wider choice of airlines for reward flights. Aeroplan has Air Canada (and the Star Alliance), whose customer service may leave you feeling frustrated. That’s a topic for another day.

117 comments

  1. sylvia

    Aug 5 2009

    I was notified my points would expire March 1/09.

    I had bought a return ticket in January, Vancouver/Brisbane/Auckland/Sydney, flying in mid-February. My 48,000 points were stolen by Aeroplan because there was a seat sale on Star Alliance carrier Air New Zealand. My travel agent had booked the first seat available.

    Silence greets my written protest to Aeroplan. So yes, I will join any class action with great pleasure.

  2. sylvia

    Aug 5 2009

    48,000 points down the drain because the first available seat Vancouver/Auckland was on sale and does not count. Outrageous!

  3. Francis

    Oct 9 2009

    I had the same problem as most of the people. Without any warning or notifications, all of my 30,000 Aeroplan miles were expired a couple months ago due to inactivity for one year.

    When I called Aeroplan and asked them why I did not receive any kind of warning before the expiration of all of my points, they have indicated that a warning email was sent to me. Of course, I never received that warning email from Aeroplan.

    In fact, I received the monthly statement up until my Aeroplan miles were going to expire and then I never received another email from them until I filled up my gas in Esso recently and received a statement with only 48 miles.

    The agent from Aeroplan said that the only way to get those points back was to purchase them back at 1 cent per point, with a $30 administration fee.

    Actually, by looking at how many points required to redeem a trip or some of the gift cards, I can basically buy those trips or gift cards with the amount I have to pay Aeroplan.

    I personally think that the Aeroplan is a company that has no integrity at all. All they care is figure out a way to EVAPORATE your points without giving you anything in return. I really don’t want to deal with Aeroplan any more.

  4. Dana

    Nov 5 2009

    Many businesses operate with integrity. Sadly, Air Canada is not one of them — eradicating Aeroplan points from loyal clients, points earned and paid whenever flights were taken. Thousands of points were diminished under their new directives without prior notice.

    To restore dignity to unsatisfied loyal clients, it should make restitution to all those who have unjustly lost their points. Under the new system, Air Canada should make a public announcement to restore its faith and integrity.

    Thanks to Ellen and others for their support. Otherwise, I would not have known had I not checked this website.

  5. Peter

    Dec 1 2009

    Bah Humbug Air Canada/Aerplan!

    I am a Senior (71 years old) and we were “forced” to cancel and re-book our return flight from Baltimore to Toronto because of inclement weather our cruise ship was 12 hours late in docking in Baltimore.

    We called from the ship to Air Canada/Aeroplan and were TOLD, PROMISED, they gave us their WORD, that’s okay Sir we re-book you on the next available flight out ( 2 days later)and there will be NO CHARGE!

    Right….guess what I found on my Visa? A charge from Air Canada/Aeroplan for $ 189.00 and we I called them they simply said” well Sir…you VOLUNTARILY cancelled and re-booked and for that we charged you $ 189.00.

    I have written Air Canada/Aeroplan, I have called Air Canada/Aeroplan, I sent an e-mail to their President Mr. Rovinecu in Montreal and all I got back was a “nice ” letter but noooooooo $ 189.00.

    There was a time when ones WORD meant something, it was to be HONOURED…but not by Air Canada/Aerplan or that’s what it looks like to me.

    Hope you can all sleep well Air Canada/Aeroplan.
    I am an old guy and I save from me pension to go on “cheapo” cruise every 2 or 3 years or so and this $189.00 HURTS….A LOT.

  6. JE Corser

    Dec 3 2009

    My mother was told that my father’s aeroplan points had expired because he had not used them. She told them that he had died nearly two years before. That made no difference to them. They said they had notified her that they were going to expire…by email. My mother, 83, does not \do\ email. (My father had had an email account, which no one had used after he died.) They did not offer to reinstate or transfer the points for a fee or anything else, they just told her his thousands upon thousands of points had \expired.\ This is robbery. And it’s worse, it’s robbery of orphans and widows.

  7. lesley

    Dec 8 2009

    Hello, just trying to find a way to use my points, having made the mistake of collecting Aeroplan rather than Singapore Airlines miles on my last trip.

    Does anyone know if it’s ok to book a hotel room on someone else’s behalf (e.g. for my daughter to use while overseas)?

  8. Semsem

    Dec 12 2009

    Air Canada SUCKS.

    I booked an N fare which according to United Mileage Plus entitles me to 100% mileage credit on my New York to Geneva flight. I never got it. Will certainly make a fuss to get it. Dishonest lies.

    My outbound flight was delayed 27 hours. No effort by AC to get me to GVA as quickly as possible.

    Return flight my suitcase is lost. Gone since a month.

    Meals: insufficient quantity. And disgusting deserts.

    Planes returning from GVA are hardly cleaned. The seat pocket had kleenex, a stirrer and plastic in them.

    My November flight still had the October in flight magazine.

  9. Lina

    Dec 14 2009

    RBC charges over 100 dollars just to have the card. Those 15,000 points will get your likely only from Malton to Toronto or Edmonton to Red Deer. It is a rip off because they also charge you ridiculous credit rates close to 20 or more percent. So lets see, 19 percent on 1000. Thats 190 a year add in 120 in fees thats 210 in one year…Oh did I mention that the interest is compounded. If you get one of these, you must have rocks in your head. Oh and did they tell you how much longer it will take to get enough points to go MORE than a VERY short haul? See you in Mexico in 20 years and 50k in debt

  10. GARY

    Dec 17 2009

    Come on people! We all knew this was going to happen when Air Canada sold Aeroplan to ONEX, a private operation. How in the world could ONEX possibly care about Air Canadas customers when it is trying to make a profit? What a phoney relationship this has become.
    Anyway I only got action from Aeroplan when I COMPLAINED TO AIR CANADA! Somehow Onex will only move on Air Canadas complaint. Not yours!

  11. Anne Nonymous

    Dec 30 2009

    There is a class action against Aéroplan for the way they wipe off thousands of points from people’s accounts.

  12. Anne Nonymous

    Dec 30 2009

    The class action can be seen here: http://www.merchantlaw.com/classactions/aeroplan.php

  13. Gloria

    Jan 22 2010

    How do I use my Aeroplan miles to travel from Toronto to Trinidad & Tobago?

  14. Steve

    Jan 25 2010

    To answer Gloria, you simply need to book the flights through Aeroplan.com when booking flights. But Air Canada doesn’t fly to Trinidad, as I understand, therefore you won’t be able to do this with Aeroplan. I would just call their customer service to confirm.

    Nice evolution of comments for this older article. First things first, the website has gone through a lot of changes, and I consider it to be one of the best.

    Secondly, I had my share of frustrations until I understood how the miles work and the different types of miles. The key is in understanding those parameters and booking in advance.

    When someone says it cost them 138,000 miles for a trip that should have been 60,000, please note that you may not be getting the type of ticket that costs only 60,000. If you don’t book in advance, you will end up paying more for the ticket.

    I do agree that expiring miles is not customer friendly, but the real question here is: Why even have a loyalty card if you aren’t using it?

    All you have to do is use it once a year to collect or redeem points. How hard can it be to go through Esso and swipe it once a year?

    Another cool way is to simply get a credit card that gives you those miles and then you’ll never worry about having them expired.

  15. Steve

    Jan 25 2010

    I would also recommend that anyone who has questions should go direct and contact the customer service at Aeroplan, rather than vent frustrations that you are not answering by contacting more individuals that have even less information.

    Go directly to the source. Please note that Aeroplan is not Air Canada, so when contacting customer service relating to Aeroplan miles, you don’t go to Air Canada customer service. They are 2 different legal entities. Hope this helps.

  16. Nick

    Feb 17 2010

    I just did another comparison where I compare the quality of sponsors and the different types of redemptions each program offers. You can find it here: http://scwpg.com/?p=62

  17. AERO PLAN ROCKS

    Mar 16 2010

    AEROPLAN DOESNT WORK FOR ANYBODY HERE, THEY DO NOT NEED TO REMIND YOU WHEN YOUR MILES ARE GOING TO EXPIRE!!!! WHEN YOU SIGNED UP FOR AEROPLAN, YOU SHOULD HAVE READ YOUR END OF THE BARGAIN. ITS A LOYALTY PROGRAM, NOT A GIVEAWAY. IF YOU WERE LOYAL TO THEM, AND KEPT USING YOUR CARD EVERY 12 MONTHS, THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN LOYAL TO YOU AND NOT TAKEN YOUR MILES. ITS YOUR OWN FAULT FOR EXPECTING EVERYTHING FOR NOTHING. PUT IN SOME EFFORT PEOPLE.

  18. Kerry

    Mar 31 2010

    I too was 21 when I took a trip and gained my Aeroplan miles. I was a student and had not traveled for a few years when I went to use the miles. They said I could not because I was not an active member.

    I now am a mother and took a big trip with my nine year old daughter. When I called, I was told that I could get my “MINOR” daughter’s points because she could not have a card.

    Then, when I called to register my trip and get the miles, I was told I had been misinformed and my daughter actually needed her own card. As it was after the trip, it was too late and she lost out on the 13,000+ miles she would have gained.

    I have escalated the complaint, but am having no luck. When I asked for an email address or phone number to their office of the president, I was told they did not have one and there was no way of contacting the office of the president with my complaint.

    The lady then proceeded to call me a liar and said there was no way I could have been misinformed. Well, I was and I am extremely upset.

    I am awaiting notification of my escalation. I call every few days and keep getting put off. I told the agent I will wait until the end of next week and then I am going to the press.

    I feel that Aeroplan should be held accountable for their actions. While I was not in a position to travel regularly before, I earned those points fair and square, so why take them away?

    And as for my daughter’s points, she is a minor so her activity level will be low. I disagree with the fact that she has to call and identify herself for security reasons, because it is her card.

    Aeroplan is a scam! I will not rest until my daughter gets her points! I will be their worst nightmare!

  19. Considering my options

    Apr 14 2010

    For many years I have had a low interest/no rewards RBC Visa and have recently decided to upgrade to a credit card that has a return in a form of points.

    My dilemma was whether to collect Air Miles or Aeroplan points, but after reading the above comments, I must say that I’m in shock.

    I had no idea that I would have to deal with blackout periods, expired points, misleading claims and rude customer service agents.

    I will keep my low interest/no rewards credit card and instead opt to buy a ticket when there’s a seat sale.

  20. andrew

    May 5 2010

    is there anyway i could transfer my aeroplan points to a differnent airline award like for e.g skypoints or continental points or ANYTHING

  21. Shane W

    May 9 2010

    For those who are using the Aeroplan credit cards (CIBC Aerogold, Amex, etc.), do run the numbers before paying those credit card membership fees. I did and can’t think of a single situation where these cards are profitable for the consumer.

    Much better to go with a no fee card that pays 1% cashback on all purchases, such as MBNA SmartCash or similar. The cashback exceeds the value of either Aeroplan or Air Miles. Just use the refund to buy your flights.

    The best part, cash does not expire.

  22. Lan T

    Jun 10 2010

    I have been using Air Miles since it was mentioned in my marketing class in university (over 10 years ago). I then started collecting Aeroplan points when I was started working and able to afford to fly.

    The service at Aeroplan is atrocious compared to Air Miles. I have dealt with Air Miles many times in the past and while they are not perfect, they are head and shoulders above Aeroplan.

    I have long given up on collecting Aeroplan points.

  23. Nina

    Jun 13 2010

    I, too, gave up on Aeroplan some years ago. THE worst customer service I’ve ever had (and I remember Bell Canada from the 1980s 🙂 I love Air Miles, and have had many, many flights through them, because they’re fairly easy to redeem and they accumulate forever. Plus, you can exchange them with other people without charge. Brilliant and simple.

  24. kelly

    Jun 29 2010

    If you want to sign up for this class action suit, you can do so online at:

    http://www.merchantlaw.com/classactions/aeroplan.php

    These thieves must be stopped. I lost 40,000 points today, and only noticed when expecting to book a trip to Mexico for a family wedding, after years of saving points through business travel. Down with Areoplan!!!

    I will actively post everyone so you can all get involved also.

  25. nick

    Sep 10 2010

    Let’s face it all!

    Air Canada and Bell Canada are a pair of companies that lie and cheat to get every nickel they can from us every chance they get.

    And you may wonder why and how they get away with it. The answer is quite clear and simple. Their corporate offices are full of ex-politicians who have made a career out of screwing the likes of you and me at every turn.

    Until we expect real democracy in this country instead of quasi democracy — no, the socialist state we have — companies like Bell and Air Canada will always act like the government. And we, as we have always done, complain a little then bend over before getting screwed again while asking them to be “a little more gentle this time please.”

    Look at the G20 fiasco! If we are not ready as a nation to take a stand when our so called democracy is crushed by our police force, when our politicians and certain members of the public think it is fine to have passes to access our own homes, then all this complaining about these two corporate giants is going nowhere.

    They don’t care. We have given them the power to do what they want with impunity!!

  26. Anne-Marie

    Oct 8 2010

    After saving points for a few years, I finally decided to treat myself to a “free” flight to Paris by redeeming 60,000 points. After hitting “book,” the taxes and fees appeared on the next screen: $492! What a rip-off!

    A so-called “fuel surcharge” accounts for $346 of that, the rest being various security and “solidarity” fees.

    Sure, if I buy the ticket on Air Canada’s website for the same dates, the same “taxes” apply (base fare $758 + $492 = $1,250).

    However, when I checked prices with KLM for the exact same dates, the fare is only $764.12 + $127.62 taxes = $891.74.

    How come Air Canada still charges such a hefty “fuel surcharge” in 2010?

    Clearly, Air Canada and Aeroplan are in cahoots to gouge customers.

  27. Rusty

    Oct 27 2010

    Like so many others, both my wife’s and my accounts, held and occasionally active since 1993, were vacuumed of >90,000 points, but under unusual circumstances.

    We’d been living overseas for some time and recently moved back to Canada (2009). One boring evening, I checked our balances and decided to update our personal details, including our mailing address.

    While we lived outside of Canada, our account balance remained. About a month after this change, I checked the accounts again to discover the balance of both our accounts had been set to zero.

    It is apparently too much to expect that Aeroplan might have been ‘loyal’ enough to us to have sent us an email giving some warning that we should ‘tank up at Esso’, or some such, prior to absorbing our points.

    Like much that we’ve experienced of the changes during our absence from Canada, it is disappointing and disheartening to realise just how low corporations and institutions here have sunk.

    Thank you, Aeroplan, for that first ‘welcome back’ slap-in-the-face.

  28. Elizabeth Dixon

    Nov 4 2010

    I recently had a horrendous customer service experience with Aeroplan. I plan to write letters to everyone on their board including links to articles like this and links to customer service research.

    Yesterday, I called Aeroplan to book a flight from Montreal to Boston on points. The agent told me that the flight I wanted was available for 20,000 points, but that there was a $30 fee to book over the phone.

    I opted to try to book it online, but the website was clearly not working. I called Aeroplan again for assistance.

    They wanted to check my security settings, but since I was calling from work I was unable to see them. They insisted they could not waive the fee if I was unable to check my security settings and also refused to stay on hold for a moment while I confirmed with my internal support that the website wouldn’t be blocked.

    (Absolutely no other websites that I use, including this site, my bank’s site, or Facebook are blocked where I work, so I knew the issue was with Aeroplan’s website.)

    At this point, I asked to speak to a manager and was put on hold (go figure) for quite a while waiting to speak to the manager. During this wait, I IM’d my technical support, who confirmed that there was custom security set up but that this type of web site would definitely not be blocked.

    Nevertheless, the manager who picked up said that they could not help me since I couldn’t actually change the security settings on my own. (I should have just said that I COULD indeed change them, since there is no way for them to know this anyway, but I digress.)

    This manager suggested that I call later from my personal PC. I got his name, as well as that of the agent I had initially talked to during this call, and I also got a ticket number for my issue.

    Later that night, I attempted to book the flight on my own computer but ran into the same issues. I called Aeroplan’s technical support, having verified that I had the correct security settings (medium).

    At this point, they indicated that they would be able to waive the fee and book the flight over the phone…however, they insisted that this one-way ticket was now 50,000 miles!!!

    I persisted over and over again, stating that this was impossible, that the flight was too short and was showing up as a 20,000 mile flight online. But both the Aeroplan technical support person AND the Aeroplan bookings person continued to say that the flight would cost 50,000 miles!

    Further, the Aeroplan technical support person said that there was not a supervisor on duty and that someone would call me the next day (yeah, right). After about an hour, I ended up screaming at the technical support person and he hung up on me.

    The next morning, I came into work and decided to attempt to book the ticket just one last time before I called technnical support to try to resolve this issue. At this point, I was feeling pretty hopeless, and I was exhausted from the stress of the prior day and actually losing sleep due to the hour-long phone call the night before.

    Well, wouldn’t you know it? I was actually able, finally, to book this flight FROM MY WORK COMPUTER with no issue – for 20,000 miles.

    I called Aeroplan again, cited my ticket number, and told the lady who picked up what had happened. She said the people I talked to last night had probably been offering me another “product” entirely. Even a round-trip flight for an Elite customer such as myself should have only been 40,000 miles.

    Right now, I am telling my story here and plan to tell the CEO of Aeroplan as well as all the board members my story.

    I work with 13 people and we all travel to Canada every single week from New York. We have the choice of what airline we wish to fly with, as we work for a large corporation. And since our tickets are often booked at the last second, we pay a premium for many of our flights.

    This experience has convinced me that once the project I’m working on is over, I will commit to another airline and an entirely different rewards program.

  29. andrea

    Nov 5 2010

    I booked a flight with aeroplan and just looked at my visa statement. there was an additional charge of 33.60, when i called to discuss this I had the worst customer service awful person on the phone. I really hate him, he ruined my day…..Jerk! horrible service….

  30. Bill

    Dec 8 2010

    I just found out today that our Aeroplan points were taken away from us ‘expired’ in 2007. I am extremely upset that Aeroplan has the right to do this.

    Talking to a Customer Rep, I was told that my original signing document in 2001 indicated that points would expire without certain usage requirements.

    I told the Rep that most people don’t refer to their original documents and that an expiry ultimatum should have been published on each and every statement, which it was not.

    We have lost almost 24,000 Aeroplan points. Someone has gained from this theft, but not us.

    I can only hope I can find some way to pursue this matter further in order to reclaim these stolen points.

  31. Bill

    Dec 9 2010

    I have signed onto the class action suit located here:
    http://www.merchantlaw.com/classactions/aeroplan.php

  32. ERIC

    Jan 19 2011

    AEROPLAN SUCKS

    Yesterday I checked my Aeroplan account to book an Air Canada flight to Toronto. To my dismay, my 35,000 air miles had been cancelled.

    I called Aeroplan and talked to a Supervisor in Customer Service. She told me that my air miles had been cancelled due to “account inactivity” for 12 months.

    She said I had been notified by email but I can’t remember ever seeing an email reminder.

    I was told I could have the miles reimbursed for a fee of $30, plus one cent per mile. I find this hard to accept with something I thought I already owned.

    I have decided to leave Aeroplan and go with Air Miles since they don’t have any expiry date. I have also joined the class action law suit against Aeroplan.

  33. Paula

    Feb 6 2011

    Aeroplan employees get paid $11.00 per hour, so you know you are getting top notch customer service when you call (as they are paying top dollar to hire the ‘best’ people out there…NOT! My 15 year old babysitter makes this amount!).

    I know it would be BAD to have to call anyone at Aeroplan. I try to stick to online booking, which has been successful everytime I’ve booked. Sure, you have to book popular destinations 6 months to a year in advance for a family of four, but it’s totally worth it to save Aeroplan points with a CIBC Gold card if you’re planning on travelling to the other side of the country.

    It’s really sad that a lot of people had their points removed from their accounts, but this was widely publicized when it happened, so the fact that it’s a ‘shock’ to some people is surprising. I am not saying it was a good move on their part customer service-wise, but I am not sure there would be any point to a class-action lawsuit.

    I’ve been using my BMO Airmiles Mastercard for years now, and plan on moving back to an Aeroplan CIBC Visa Gold card again as I find my airmiles redemptions undervalued. I can get way more of a bang for my buck with my Aeroplan points. I’ve rarely had any issues redeeming for 25,000 miles – esp. since I can do so with partner airlines (like United) and there seems to be an endless supply of first class redemption for almost all flights I’ve checked. That’s good value for your points!!!

    Customer service is going downhill everywhere – Aeroplan is no exception. You just need to be informed, diligent, and persistent to survive is such a world. I feel sorry for th elderly, as it’s very different now than it was for them – and they need that good customer service more than anyone.

    Aeroplan points can work well for everyone, we just all have to work for ourselves to get the best out of it. The same can be said for the entire travel industry. I am my own best travel agent. Their value in the world is now obsolete. But, that’s another rant altogether…

  34. Phil Mess

    Feb 7 2011

    Aeroplan is terrible. They just don’t care and it shows. Awful customer service. Quit before you pile too many useless points.

  35. Richard

    Feb 14 2011

    I got my Aerogold CIBC card about 10-11 years ago and finally accumulated enough miles to travel First Class from a US airport to Kiev, return, on a top-notch Star Alliance carrier.

    Only the trans-Atlantic leg is First Class; the remainder is Business, which is fine. I’m very happy with what I was able to book, because those First Class/Business seats required only 50% more miles than a coach seat, but cash-wise were valued at about 10X the coach price.

    I’m travelling with another person who’s using Delta miles, and the benefits are not nearly as good as what I’m getting, and for less miles. Arguably, I haven’t actually flown yet with this reward flight, but I am trusting that I’ll get there and back as promised without any disappointments or cancellations.

    I know lots of others who have complaints against Aeroplan, usually concerning exotic or Canadian destinatiuons, but so far I’m pleased with what I’ve been able to book. We’ll see how it all pans out.

    I did discover that if I had used a Canadian departure point on Air Canada instead, the routing, stops, layovers and legs would have been really terrible and inconvenient.

    One minor complaint is that I was hoping to book one leg on an Star Alliance Airbus A380 (new double decker plane). Even though all the first class seats were available on the carriers for the dates I wanted, they were not released for reward flight booking. Dang.

  36. thenvironmentalist

    Mar 4 2011

    wow this is informative! I will never collect aeroplan miles!

    After reading this, I am hesitant to ever fly Air Canada.

  37. Bill Sangster

    Mar 7 2011

    Ripped off flight mileage on United. Both my wife and I never received a single mile for Detroit to Chicago, 1st Class Chicago to Seattle. After talking on four occasions with Aeroplan, I was told that I would receive the mileage.

    In December, the last time that I called Aeroplan yet again, my problem turned out my account was setup as “Bill,” not the name on my passport, “William.”

    My wife had a similar issue. Hers was still in her maiden name. We updated both accounts. However, they lied to us ! Air Canada and Aeroplan stink.

    I would rather try walk to Calgary than ever make the mistake of ever trusting Air Canada/Aeroplan ever again.

    SHAME ON YOU!

  38. myska

    Mar 23 2011

    A warning to everyone!!

    I would like to write about my recent experience with Aeroplan. I used Aeroplan points to fly basically around the world in four months.

    It was all going well until the earthquake struck in Japan. I was in the airport catching my flight back to Canada that day. Flights were cancelled, people stuck.

    When flights finally resumed on the second day, 27 hours after the disaster, I was not able to get on the plane. Many standby people were put on the first flight, but not me. At that point, I was still calm and accepting.

    We were told there was another flight the next day that had seats available. Many of us made calls to air Canada and they all got rebooked. Not ME!!

    At that point, I was becoming suspicious. After experiencing this terrible earthquake, after night and day spent at the airport with aftershocks occurring and running for doors, I was told I was of the lowest priority because I was flying on Aeroplan points!!!!! I could not believe it!!

    On the third day, I was emotionally exhausted and stressed out to the point I thought I was going to collapse.

    I kept fighting Air Canada until I was finally put on the plane, after three days and two nights spent at the airport. Needless to say, until the very last minute they kept telling me there were no seats available.

    Shame on you, Air Canada, and shame on you, Aeroplan. This is not how your customers should be treated.

    I was discriminated against only because I was flying on Aeroplan points. Who says we’re all even in this country? Money talks and that is the sad reality.

    I’ve flown a lot with AC, but I guess I am not valuable enough to them when I fly on my hard-earned points.

    I know I am done with Aeroplan and I am done with Air Canada.

    Take this as my warning to you, Aeroplan customers, that you are worthless.

    Happy travels.

  39. herman

    Apr 3 2011

    Can any one tell me what hotels in Toronto accept air miles
    or aeroplan points.

  40. ricardo berner

    Apr 18 2011

    Visa and Aeroplan mislead people with all this deals.

    I have 122,000 Aeroplan miles and they cannot book me a trip to South America.

    They can fly me to Chile but they cannot fly me back to Canada. What a joke!!!!

  41. Francis B

    May 9 2011

    To Whom It May Concern:

    Aeroplan Accounts Supervisor:

    I have been an Aeroplan member since June 4, 1993. I attained most of my points as an Elite member flying with Air Canada while employed with NOVA Chemicals during the latter years of my employment.

    After I retired, I ended up with a considerable amount of air mile points in my account. I had always intended to take my wife on a trip to Hawaii and use most of my points. Somewhat to my surprise, all of my points disappeared.

    I contacted the Aeroplan service account representative and she informed me that my account had been inactive for over a year and Aeroplan had withdrawn all of my points. I was not aware of any such condition as part of my Aeroplan membership.

    I did, however, agree to purchase my points back. At that time, I think it cost me around $300 to re-buy my points from Aeroplan. These points meant a lot to me, so I agreed to this cost.

    Since then, I have found it extremely difficult to maintain sufficient purchases on a yearly basis to maintain my Aeroplan account as active. Most of the partners that Aeroplan is affiliated with are not those I normally deal with.

    An additional problem with trying to maintain my account active is the fact that I spend winters out of the country for six months every year.

    My last Aeroplan newsletter was April of last year. I had no idea this would happen and I was still making small purchases of gas in order to maintain my account activity requirement.

    When I came home this year in mid-April, I started to search for the status of my account balance. I managed to get in contact with one of the account representatives, who informed me that my account had been inactive for over one year. I found this very upsetting as I was sure that I had made a purchase at one of your affiliates before I left for winter vacation.

    I told the account rep that I had received no notification that my account was inactive. She said Aeroplan had sent me electronic notification to my email address. I received no such notice. If I had received an inactive notice, then I would have taken steps to have someone make a purchase on my account.

    The account rep informed that I could purchase my points back at the cost of $1,020. In my mind, Aeroplan just ripped me off to the tune of over $1,000.

    I think it is very unfair to treat a customer this way, someone who has been involved in your program as am Elite member at one time since June of 1993. This is very upsetting to me and I hope my points are restored before other people are involved in this matter.

    Please have one of the Account Supervisors call me for resolution of this matter.

    Regards,

    Francis

  42. Ted A

    Sep 22 2011

    I have a complaint about Air Miles and the way they extort money from you on flights.

    Prior to checking with Air Miles about redemptions (plus costs attached), I went on WestJet’s site to see what I would save using Air Miles. They would cover the airfare, but the taxes were another thing.

    For 2 people to fly return to Vancouver, WestJet’s total NAV charge was $92. Air Miles’ NAV charge was $212.

    Since we had booked 2 flights redeeming Air Miles, I sent them a letter asking for a refund of $240.

    I received a phone call late one Friday afternoon about 4 weeks later, saying it was a fuel surcharge (which it wasn’t because I had previously printed off the true ‘WestJet’ cost).

    All other taxes were the same. Air Miles cheats on redemptions.

    I wrote to BMO and told them they were dealing with an unethical organization. They suggested I contact Air Miles.

    Anybody else had experience with this? It’s a scam!

  43. Ted A

    Sep 22 2011

    It’s not Air Smiles!

  44. Dawna

    Oct 9 2011

    I myself lost almost 40,000 points. I live a simple life and earned points through travel and Esso. Then my worklife became unexpectedly busy and I haven`t had time for vacation, and I also started busing and biking so didn`t need to fill up at Esso anymore.

    The classaction lawsuit is still underway. Please sign up to be a part of this if you are so inclined:

    http://www.merchantlaw.com/classactions/aeroplan.php

  45. Oren

    Nov 1 2011

    Does anyone care that the http://www.airmiles.ca website has been down since Saturday, Oct. 30th at 10 pm?

    They were supposed to go down for 24 hours, but it’s Tuesday afternoon, Nov. 1st, and it’s still down.

    No one is reporting on this at all. I can’t redeem my points for a trip I want to take in 10 days!

  46. Jim

    Nov 9 2011

    Is there a way that I can prevent my Aeroplan points from expiring (after 3 or 7 years earned) by transferring these points to another program…like Air Miles?

  47. vince

    Dec 27 2011

    Did you know, starting Dec. 31/2011, Air Miles will have date stamps of 5 years?

    This means there will be an expiration date on your Air Miles and no more hoarding.

    The announcement will be made Dec. 28th/2011.

  48. Donny

    May 9 2012

    Air Canada is the worst airline and ripoff and they completely screw you with miles.

    NEVER EVER TRAVEL WITH AIR CANADA. THE COMPANY OUTRIGHTLY LIES TO THEIR CUSTOMERS.

  49. W Robson

    Jul 30 2012

    Dear Ellen:

    You may recall that in November 2011, I emailed you to say how impressed I was that Air Miles had actually come thru with some miles after my husband’s death… many years later and retracted “needing a lawyer, etc.”

    Due to some other issues, I did not even notice that AEROPLAN (and guess who had created the Profile) had NEVER sent me a card in 2 years (never mind the fact that if I pay for a family member’s flight, I do not get the points).

    TIME SPENT: I have now spent a total of 85 minutes with 2 polite and gradually more flexible Aeroplan agents, one of whom was trying to solve how I could have a profile on there (see Privacy issues).

    WHOOPS, they just transferred the call at midnight and it hung up. So, like I know I am small potatoes (see famiy million milers from Qatar to St John’s). But really?

    An hour ago, as we tried to retrieve info (evidently iPhones don’t do Adobe well), we now have lost bar codes to scan for boarding passes.

    Bottom line: I create Profile last night and am told there is already a Profile. Phone for password. (See Privacy issues 2.) They neglect to send card and make it so complicated to get to site.

    Last night, it told me I didn’t TAKE the flight on July 11 to Calgary. So there are 4 flights to and from L.A., 3 flights to and from Calgary unaccounted for… and NO air miles.

    They don’t send out the card. make their tech support unfathomable and yet, they want people to fly??

    I really hope that next time you are asked to contribute to Marketplace and Customer Dis-service.. you mention AEROPLAN!!

    The agent herself (I was ready to hang up from speakerphone, waited 35 minutes and this was the second one) had to be persuaded that this was NOT a new card to get my one darned flight out of 5.

    Sad, since I wasn’t too thrilled with the crew on leg of last Westjet flight in May.

    I am not phoning them again, so if you have any suggested actions, I would surely appreciate them. Thanks.

    Meanwhile, yup, they have earned every negative reputation they got. THANKS AS EVER FOR having consumer action on this one too!!

  50. mel

    Jul 22 2013

    Air Miles screwed me over with their ‘cash rewards’ and ‘dream rewards’. I used to always redeem Air Miles for $20 certificates for use at Shell or Rona. After painstakingly amassing 1200 airmiles to use at Rona, I can’t because they have my air miles in the ‘dream rewards’ account. Absolute bs. Can only use those air miles to buy overpriced crap they have on their site. Basically, they keep changing their policy so you get less. Suggest you find another ‘reward’ card. I’d give them zero stars, but I cannot do it on this site.

    Suggest Rona and Shell and other signees to Air Miles reconsider, as this loyalty program has left a bitter taste in my mouth, and every time I visit a business with the Air Miles logo, I want to leave the store.