Changing Lounge Access, Other Aeroplan Program Changes Coming in 2023 Changing Lounge Access, Other Aeroplan Program Changes Coming in 2023

Changing Lounge Access, Other Aeroplan Program Changes Coming in 2023

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Air Canada just announced changes to its Aeroplan program coming into effect in 2023. Most of the new changes come into effect on January 1, 2023. However, some will come into force later in the year. As expected, not all the changes are positive. And that's especially true for Aeroplan 35K members — who are losing a major benefit.

Aeroplan elite status program changes banner

Changes to Aeroplan 35K Benefits

Most of the changes in this announcement affect the Aeroplan 35k status. The biggest negative change is that from June 1, 2023, Aeroplan 35K members will no longer receive complimentary access to Maple Leaf lounges.

35K elites can still access the lounge using one of the two Maple Leaf Lounge One-Time Guest Passes awarded to 35K members. Eligible Aeroplan co-brand credit card holders can still access the lounge. In addition, members will still have access when flying on a business-class ticket.

While on the one hand, removing lounge access is a significant negative. Aeroplan is introducing some additional perks to 35K status. Hopefully, these will somewhat offset the loss of lounge access. The new benefits come into effect on January 1, 2023, and include:

Expanded Priority Rewards: Priority Rewards — which are Air Canada award discount certificates — earned in 2023 are being expanded to include economy or premium economy cabin flights in all North American and Sun destinations. These were previously limited to economy awards within the U.S. and Canada and you needed to reach 50K status to be able to use them up to premium economy awards throughout North America.

Priority baggage handling: Members will receive Priority baggage handling on Air Canada flights.

Additional eUpgrade credits as a Select Benefit: The number of eUpgrade credits a member can select as a benefit will be increased from 10 to 15. 10 credits are awarded during the Early Recognition period.

Read more: Sweet Spots of the Aeroplan Program

Elite Status rollover benefits

Holders of Aeroplan premium credit cards will have their eligible Status Qualifying Miles, and eUpgrade credits rolled over to 2023. The benefit applies to the following Candian cards.

Eligible Status Qualifying Miles and eUpgrade credits that roll over should post to your account by the second week of February 2023. To receive this benefit, if you are not already a cardholder, you must apply and be approved for a qualifying card by December 15, 2022.

Read more: Our Complete Guide to the Aeroplan Award Program

Aeroplan 50K and Above: Virgin Australia Lounge Access

Aeroplan members gain access to Virgin Australia Lounges when flying on Virgin Australia or Air Canada. The new lounge access is for Aeroplan 50K, 75K, and Super Elite Status, plus one additional guest. Currently, Virgin Australia operates lounges in all of the following airports:

  • Sydney
  • Melbourne
  • Adelaide
  • Brisbane
  • Canberra
  • Gold Coast
  • Perth (Terminal 1)

Keep in mind that these lounges are not part of any lounge network. This benefit is an excellent perk since it is one of the few ways to access these lounges.

Read more: Our Complete Guide to the Aeroplan Award Program

New 2023 membership kits

Aeroplan will be introducing new membership kits for all qualifying members in 2023. The kits are available to all levels, including Aeroplan 35K, 50K, 75K, and Super Elite. The new kit includes updated luggage tags and a new updated membership card.

Our Take

The new additional befits to Aeroplan 35K status are welcome. On the other hand, the loss of lounge access is a big hit and devalues the status considerably. And this especially stings as 35K elite status is an elite status that travelers can earn by spending $50,000 in a year on the Aeroplan® Credit Card.

While Virgin Australia lounge access is a nice perk if you're a 50K or higher that's heading down under. The rest of the changes are rather minor.

5 / 5 - (6 votes)
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