Until last week, Air Canada's loyalty program members were on track to see Aeroplan split from the airline in 2020. Now, the program and miles are in jeopardy.
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It’s been a strange few days for Air Canada and members of its Aeroplan loyalty program. Early last week, it appeared as though everything was on schedule for Air Canada to split from Aeroplan and launch its own, separate loyalty program in 2020. Aeroplan had even come out with a new landing page and interview with its CEO making the case for flyers to stick around after Air Canada’s departure.
On Wednesday, though, everything got turned on its head when the news came that Air Canada was planning to make a hostile takeover bid for Aeroplan – the program that it abandoned less than a year earlier.
It’s not really clear why this is happening. Air Canada and Aimia, the company that oversees Aeroplan, initially couldn’t come to terms on the joint operation of the program – that’s what triggered this initial path. But now with Aimia’s stock in the dumpster and Air Canada realizing the complexity of starting a new program, it may make more sense for the airline to reinvest.
Loyalty program members are clearly being taken for a ride. And something tells us that the ride is going to get even stranger before it’s over.
— Grant Martin, Business of Loyalty Editor
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Southwest CEO Says Assigned Seats Still Don’t Make Sense: With higher fuel prices likely to stick around for the foreseeable future, U.S. airlines know they must increase revenue, both from fares and ancillary opportunities like bag fees and premium seats.
Hyatt Is Making a Play to Take Over NH Hotels: Hyatt Hotels Corp. has sent a letter to NH Hotel Group SA indicating its interest in taking over the Spanish hotel operator.
The Rise and Demise of the AAirpass, American Airlines’ $250k Lifetime Ticket: In the 1980s, American Airlines sold an unlimited, first-class ticket for life. But it didn’t account for supertravelers like Jacques Vroom and Steve Rothstein.
Skift Business of Loyalty Editor Grant Martin [[email protected]] curates the Skift Business of Loyalty newsletter. Skift emails the newsletter every Monday.
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Photo credit: Air Canada, the country’s largest airline, was supposed to launch its own loyalty program and end its relationship with Aimia Inc., operator of the current Aeroplan, in 2020. Those plans may be changing. Bloomberg