I’m leaving Aeroplan

Aeroplan increases its payouts to its shareholders, I mean “unit holders”, while at the same time sticking it to people who have been loyal in the past. People like my wife, for example, who does not travel much but has been steadily accruing points for some future reward, and in doing so has put up with a lot of crap from Air Canada.

Tough luck: we just changed the rules.

So now what is my incentive to continue being loyal if some future CEO can come along and delete my accumulated miles. Having just broken my trust, why should I now be loyal to Aeroplan?

People have made decisions in the past based on the promise that they were accumulating this quasi-currency we call air miles. It is wrong to take them away. What if a bank said that you were not making enough deposits or withdrawals and therefore they were closing your account and keeping the proceeds?

The Globe story:

Aeroplan puts a time limit on miles

Aeroplan Income Fund on Monday announced several changes to its points system and said it’s boosting distributions by 12 per cent.The rule changes relate to the way miles accumulate and expire.

From Jan. 1 onwards, Aeroplan will start date-stamping Aeroplan miles each month and any miles that aren’t redeemed after 7 years will be automatically deducted from members’ balances.

Currently, the average time between a member earning an Aeroplan mile and redeeming it is about two-and-a-half years, the company said.

As well, Aeroplan says it will change its mileage expiry policy to make members use the program at least once every 12 months. This means that, from July 1 onwards, each member will have to use the program — either redeeming or accumulating points — at least once over the next year to avoid losing the miles they have accumulated.

Members whose accounts expire may re-instate those miles for $30 plus 1 cent per restored mile, effective today. Any Aeroplan member whose account has previously expired can use this reinstatement option.

The changes will “encourage members to maximize the value of their everyday spending with Aeroplan’s partners, and welcome some members back to the membership fold,” said Liz Graham, vice president of operations.

“Our objective is to make the Aeroplan membership card the only loyalty card in our members’ wallets.”

Aeroplan also confirmed that it is introducing an escalating scale of points required to redeem rewards, beyond the 8-per-cent seat limit on so-called ClassicFlight rewards.

… Montreal-based Aeroplan also said its so-called “breakage rate” — miles never redeemed — is expected to remain unchanged at 17 per cent, based on preliminary estimates.

90 comments

  • I as well just lost all my points from a weak and misleading attempt to notify me they were about to expire. I even talked to an Aeroplan rep. in December of 2006 just to ensure that my points were safe where there was NO MENTION OF AN EXPIRY DATE!

    If anyone is starting a CLASS ACTION SUIT against Air Canada, I am definitely interested in joining. This is one last screw over from Air Canada i’m not going to stand for.

    Please write me at lee_walker82@hotmail.com

  • C’mon people. Wake up .. You just need to use them every once in a while. Stop banking them, their not RRSP’s!!

    PS. I dropped Aeroplan AeroGold in favor of the Aventura. At least you can get a seat – none of that sill 7% of the plane business anymore!

    Good Luck All

  • Hi,

    I also lost all points, best thing is bring this matter to media and expose these guys, No email notice, no information, I think I got cheated by aeroplan crab card

  • Ah it is nice to see we are not the only ones but sad to see so many in this situation as well. Lost enough to get a RWT, over $2000 to buy them back… Air Canada has lots of competition, let Darwinian economics play it’s course, may the fittest finch win! In the case of a class action count us in.

  • Ripped off by Aeroplan for 200,000 points. They were mine. I bought and paid for them. Then they were gone. Is that not THEFT?

  • Ditto to previous comments! And where do I sign up for the Class Action Suit?. Checked my points in early February ’08 — 27000+ — with intent of using some this spring. On March 14 I discover I have ZIP as last Air Canada flight we took was in Feb ’07 to Hawaii and points expired on Feb 15. Helpful Aeroplan person said I could buy the points back for $300 and change!!! Not likely to happen as I already ‘paid’ for them with the flight. Aeroplan person couldn’t have cared less that Aeroplan & Air Canada just lost 2 customers forever by their inane policy — at least Air Canada’s customer service philosophy has filtered through to Aeroplan: “We’re not happy until you’re not happy.”

  • I agree, between my wife and I we lost over 300,000 points without any notice. I do not fly AC unless there are no other flights available to my destination.
    I would be more than happy to join a Class Action Suite against Aeroplan. Why should we have to pay for something we have already paid for.

  • I have been a loyal member since 2000 (as their web site describes it when I login). I had 97000 miles cumulated. I called them the day after my miles were deleted or expired as I was ready to buy a ticket, one day was too late and not very impress the way they make you feel cheap for not using your card during the last year…. I was deap down in Africa, were you don’t use your credit card Mr Aeroplan , never received a letter neither the e-mail they claim they sent.

  • There was an article last Sunday in the business section of the Montreal paper La Presse about angry Aeroplan members like us that got their miles wiped out. The article more or less said that although it is not very good business practice, Aeroplan has a legal right to change the rules on the management of their miles, provided they warn their clients adequately ahead of time. If a lawsuit was to be successful against Aeroplan, it would have to demonstrate that the company did not take sufficient measures to inform their customers about the rule changes before they were introduced. I’m not sure how easy that would be. It sounds like complaining to the media has more chance of getting Aeroplan to listen.

  • I have also experianced the very same thing. Had 93,000 points. Didn’t fly for about a year, went to check my points to get a flight, and it says i have zero. Called customer service, and they almost seem happy to tell you that your points are gone and its YOUR fault. Let me know if there is anyway i can get my points back or get in on this law suit

  • I just lost 75,000 pts, they want about $800 for them to be reinstated. The points are not even worth that. Their customer service is terrible.
    Is there a class action? Where do I sign up.

  • I lost over 214,000 point because I didn’t use aeroplan in the last 12 months.

  • Also, I will join to file the class action against aeroplan. I lost all of my points, so sad. they are bunch of liers.

  • Absolutely disgusting. I just received this glossy 30 page magazine/piece of mail this week from these criminals @ Aeroplan to find that my balance was 2480 miles, on basically Esso Purchases in the last while. Angrily, I call these jokes immediately, and spend 23 minutes on hold with customer service. Long story short, I too was robbed off the 76,410 miles that I had accumulated, after being loyal for forever, and only after I told him I was glad that “the call was being recorded for quality assurance purposes”, and that I would never, ever use them again, did he offer to let me speak to his supervisor. Before I got to that he then offered me a re-purchase for $834.00………Absolutely assinine. My next move is to google “Areoplan class action” and see if anything’s cooking. At the very least I will ‘word of mouth’ this atrocity, and vie to never use this joke/poor service/monopoly of an airline (unless I am absolutely forced to) ever again. HEY AC/AEROPLAN: Did you ever think to reason why I was ‘inactive’ for all this time in order to lose these Airmiles,…….maybe it was because I opt to fly with WESTJET in every possible instance? Friendly, courteous, much lower-fared, and wow, even a TV with live sattelite programming in every seat? You poor poor bastards. BOYCOTT the JOKE MONOPOLY, as best you can!

  • Everyone here fails to mention that they bothered to read the terms and conditions of the Aeroplan programme on either the website or in their original members guide which states : aeroplan reserves the right to modify the terms and conditions of this program without further notice. How can a class action suit even be thought of when none of these people appear to have read the small print on their contracts? Any notifications that were sent out were done as a courtesy , since according to this, changes can be made WITHOUT notice

  • I lost 39,566 aeroplan points – and my wife just lost 48,439 points – which we can purchase back for $0.01/mile plus a $30 transaction fee. What a joke! I’ve shopped at Esso in the past 6 months (should be a qualifying purchase), but unfortunately don’t recall using my card…

    I’m game for a class action suit, and will tell everyone I know about this to boycott ALL Aeroplan partners. I regularly fly WestJet as they offer much better service/price than Air Canada. The last time I flew Air Canada, it felt like I was at a funeral… Why have any loyalty to Air Canada, Esso, etc if this is how they treat their customers.

    I also prefer better loyalty programs like Air Miles – that work well for the consumer, and have comprised a decent list of sponsers where points are much easier to collect, and I don’t believe they have any similar bad policy of expiring points.

    You wouldn’t put up with a bank taking your money if you had no transactions in your account – would you?

    I had received an email earlier in the year regarding the point being about to expire, but never noticed or opened it until tonight – and told their customer service manager that I expected a letter mailing for something as important as stripping me of the points I had worked hard to collect.

    Aeroplan can kiss any remaining “loyalty” (since 1993) goodbye with their acting in bad faith.

  • Anyone serious about a class action against Aeroplan, count me in. I just learned I’ve lost 60K points, even though I flew with Air Canada three weeks after the 12 month expiration period.

    Basically the Aeroplan customer service rep told me too bad, so sad.

    I would definitely take personal satisfaction in somehow sticking it back to Aeroplan.

  • Okay let’s get it started instead of waiting for others. Google class action lawyers in your city then email them this website. I am doing it here in Vancouver so the more the better.

    Also make sure to allow this website to release your email for this purpose so that the lawyers can find you. Just type in the post that for the purpose of a class action law suit against aeroplan you are allowing this site to release your email.

    Let’s get our points back and break the aeroplan bank!!!!

  • Oct 2008 Aeroplan just stripped me of 56,000 points I thought I had it set up through Primus to get points every month and it was working in 2003 what happened. Please give out my emil address John O’Halloran

  • Just redeemed 25000 points for a trip to LA. Aeroplan has a new admin fee of $80 per ticket issued for the USA.

    This is in addition to the taxes and security charges.

    Their promise of flying on points is quickly disappearing.

    If successful legal action is possible, count me in; if not, its time for a consumer boycott of Air Canada and Aeroplan

  • I also lost all the points I had saved since 1992. I don’t have alot and can’t afford to fly off anywhere I please so I had only accumulated 41,000 but enough to take the trip I had longed to do. Rather than get in to my story lets just say that no matter what I said to the supervisor and the executive representative, they just didn’t care. I see it as stealing my earned points. What happened to good customer service. What should have happened was “I am sorry Mrs. M, We do have a policy however we will reinstate your points this time but please remember to keep up to date”. I am so livid. I too would like a class action suit.

  • I also lost 120,000 points. I went onto the site November 8th to use my miles for a winter vacation. I was shocked to see I was set at zero. I called the call center but too be honest they were no help at all. I think they have a script that they read from due to all the calls. They stated that due to no activity since Oct 3rd that my points expired. I spoke to a supervisor who was even more difficult to work with as she had no compassion at all. She basically stated that this is the policy and there really is nothing I can do about it. Well I disagree…..we can do something about it. I will contact our local News station to see if they have ever conducted a piece on this issue. I think it’s time we get the word out to ensure no one else falls into this cost saving initiative for Air Canada.

    How do we start a class action suit? Do we have any lawyers who lost these miles? If yes, we sure could use your help as I would like to get these miles back and also make Air Canada change their policy.

  • I also lost all my points (a substantial number of 70,000+) and feel extremely frustrated about this. After long and pointless discussion with the customer service representative, I feel even worth. She was just reading to me their rules and regulations, which didn’t make any sense.

    I spoke to my friend, she told me the same story.

    After reading other complaints of people on this site, I don’t hold much hope for recovery.

    Perhaps, we should all get together and start sending emails to our MP’s have the government institute a fair consumers act that requires air lines to comply with their offerings and not be able to arbitrarily removed or cancel someone’s account.

    Least of all, I will never fly on Air Canada again and I am thinking of removing any accounts that I have with the CIBC bank.

    It would be interesting to know if the banks are receiving a refund on any credit card payment they made to Aeroplan by their customers usage of their credit card.

    Little wonder WestJet will be doing so well in the future.

  • I too, lost my miles due to their ridiculous 12 month policy.

    I had 13000+ miles in April of ’07, enough for a round trip to Montreal, but when I went to redeem them several months later, they had unilaterally (and without notifying me) raised the qualifying miles from 10000 to 15000.

    That would have put me in under the 12 month limit.

    So first screwed me out of my free trip to Montreal, and then screwed me again be deleting all of my miles.

    Unfortunately they have a monopoly on flights from Washington to MTL, but I’ll certainly never use them for overseas flights again.

    -R
    PS Their useless customer rep told me that I could have stayed under the 12 month limit by buying gas in Canada, even though he knew that I live in the U.S.

  • This is the worst….Aeroplan’s new policy now claws back the accumulated member’s miles upon the death of that member and if the survivor spouse wants these miles he or she now has to buy them back at a cost of one cent per mile. This may not sound like much however in the case of my friend who recently lost her husband at age 59, it will cost her $5,000.00 to buy back her husbands 500,000 Aeroplan miles; money she simply does not have.

  • I lost 31000 points and my husband lost 36000 points.
    Aeroplan policies suck. I found this out 5 years ago,
    cancelled my CIBC Aeroplan Visa, my CIBC business account, changed to TD Infinity Visa and never looked back.

  • I join the long list of consumers who have been informed that they have losted their points, for me that’s 50,000, because my account had remain inactive for over a year. There is a reason for this, which of course they are not interested in hearing. So please add me to the class-action suit which you have initiated on behalf of deceived consumers.

  • Ok, add another name!!!
    Apparently, mine expired 30 days ago. 63000 points.
    So I called customer service. Sorry, it’s not ‘Customer Service’ it’s a “contact centre”… This is because I got no “SERVICE”. Even a sympathtic ear!

    Apparently they sent me an email in December. I didnt get it. I delete nothing. It’s just not there. Still, I get more than 50 emails per day, and December where I work was hectic. It’s possible that ONE email would be missed. It happens.

    So I spoke to the contact centre agent. She was nice, but couldnt do anything. I get it. I called back and asked for a supervisor. I got “GORD”. I managed a team in customer relationship support. I know how it works. Front line has limited power, supervisor has a bit more, manager a bit more, etc. Eventually, in the interests of customer service, if it’s iffy, we make a case, apply common sense, and err on the side of the CUSTOMER.
    I asked Gord: does it ever happen that you miss an email, Gord? He assures me it doesnt happen to him. He described how he scans his email everyday and reads important items.
    I asked if, given the fact that it’s a month ago, there may be some room for compromise. I didnt wait 6 months or anything. I check it monthly. In Feb the points were there… now they’re gone. He said no.
    I said is there not an appeals process? Common sense should prevail… He SCOFFED at me.. “No, sir, there’s no APPEALS process” the policy is firm.

    Insane.

    Said he’d escalate it up the chain. I said I would LOVE that. Now that I read the notes above… Im not so sure it’ll matter…

  • No points were deducted from me. However I am upset with the Aeroplan customer services, which is no pleasant most of the time.
    I redeemed travel and since they only had business class I gave up 40,000.00 points. One of the segments of the flight is on economy because they claim there is no business class available. I got no points back for that.
    I was never told that if I do my travel arrangements on the phone there would be a charge of around $33.00 in addition to the taxes which I was told about. All was charged on my visa credit card.
    I wanted to do it all on line but it would not go through because I have multi stops.
    When I asked for a supervisor none came to the phone. There is no e-mail address where I could send my complaint. I am just furious with them.

  • Is anything happening with the class action suit? Let me know where I can sign up. Let’s get the bastards…

  • last week I looked at my account and 146,000 miles were gone. When I called customer service the girl I dealt with (Carolyn) was very nice and you couls kind of tell that she felt sorry. When I asked to talk to a supervisor and got Carol, that is when the attitude completely changed. She kind of enjoyed telling me that I lost my points and basically I did not know how the program worked so they are gone. When I got home I didn’t think I could be the only victim so I saw that a class action suit had been filed and I gladely joined.

  • Same thing here. Discovered all points stolen by aeroplan when trying to maintain acct activity 3 days beyond the 12 month period. Also have no record of any email notification as if it would have made a difference. We do have credit card records of purchases made at qualifying aeroplan sponsoring retailers within the 12 month period in question which for whatever reason we did not have applied to the acct at the time of purchase. Of course aeroplan refuses to acknowledge these transactions as valid after the fact although they did say that they would recognize purchases made after point of retail at other businesses such as hotels, car rentals, or airlines. I fail to see why there should be any difference…a valid purchase at one affiliate should just as good as another. Also, we did try within the last 12 months to have some points owed to us from an earlier purchase (within 12 months from the time of purchase)at a qualifying affiliate hotel but we were refused then as well. I agree with a class action. I also agree with a letter writing campaign to all aeroplan affiliate business executives proclaiming a boycott of their businesses because of their association with aeroplan and why with copies of these correspondences also going to areoplan.

  • Same as above – I lost approx. 120,000 pts. I collect air miles and reward miles, neither of which “expire”. I to the same BS from them on the phone, they claiming that notification was sent out by email. I never received any emails from them. Aeroplan is disloyal, dishonest, and hopefully will be out of business shortly.

  • there is such a litany of fraud performed by aeroplan & air care less that it doesn’t make much sense to complain. they steal our taxpayer dollars and commit fraud at the same time. i am moving on to the avion card, and west jet.joe mackinnon

  • My wife lost 40000 points which she painstakingly accumulated each trip we took with AC. We did not know about the expiry date. When we checked the account, the points had expired …30 days before. We called Aeroplan but received the same ”well trained cynical answer” all the others received: too bad! You have the choice of buying them back!
    Surely there must be something that can be done. Of ALLL the people that lost points, at least ONE must be a lawyer who can guide us to resolve this nonsense! AC and Aeroplan must be held accountable for their unilateral actions and litteraly stealing people’s hard earned points.

  • Has anyone ever gotten their expired points back? (For free, not paying a ridiculous rip-off amount)…

    I accumulated 40 000+ points since ’05 and have been keeping it active since they changed their policy in ’07. However, this past year I was too busy and forgot to keep it active. Now I’ve notice that I have 0 points in my account, and it expired in March 2010 (so it JUST expired).

    What really fustrates me is that Aeroplan makes no effort in notifying their customers about their expiry date. If they at least sent an email my points wouldn’t have expired.

    I was planning on using my points in May/June for a grad trip (I’m about to graduate!). Now I won’t be able to go anywhere since I can’t afford a vacation with my huge student loan.

  • If you want to sign up for this class action suite you can do so online at:
    http://www.merchantlaw.com/classactions/aeroplan.php
    These the ives 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.

  • lost 260k plus points ouch just didn’t know, didn’t recieve an email, stating they where about to expire. thought they where safe and sound, really they should have sent a registered letter explaining what was in store for my hard earned points, i see this has been going on for a long time, emails being missed, why dont they change that policy and make sure info has been recieved . such a simple thing to do, probably has something to do with the bottom line.. and yes of course, sure hope a class action suit brings justice to this situation !!

  • They stole my points worth of $300 as well. It is a total joke that only Air canada flies to most of the oversea countries. Otherwise, you bet I will be leaving them forever. Any news for class lawsuit?

  • Garry MacKenzie

    My 251,038 areoplan points were removed from my account in 2007, I called and was told an e-mail was sent to me advising of their actions, Our computer and e-mail account as well as myself were in for repairs and not functional for several months that year. Phone calls and faxes in Dec 2008 did not produce any action. Very Displeased with them! Will support where possible. Garry

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