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.


  • I am outraged about the 7 years expiry to the
    accumulated miles. I find that revolting and an obvious lack of
    respect towards the members. For ordinary people that takes years and years to accumulate something which you will withdraw after 7 years. If this decision is maintained I hears completely ceased the services of air Canada to the depend of a company which ajit not of the kind. It is not because of other expiries put which you must be a “suiveux” good. I am frankly dégouté.

  • Aeroplan stole many thousand miles (50000) from the account of my kids – just deleted on June 30th. We were not informed in any of their regular emails about the policy change.
    Guess, there are other, better airlines out there.

  • I have 1,500,000 Aeroplan points which I have been accumulating for my retirement travel. They are going to disappear without a trace and I am really angry. I am searching for the start of a class action suit over this. CIBC can decide which side of the suit they are on with their Aeroplan VISA card.

  • We are in the same boat as everyone else, we too also lost all of our aeroplan points without any notification whatsoever. When we contacted aeroplan after lots of run-around, we were finally told “too bad”.
    I would also like to find a class action law suite to join.

  • Gord Dornstauder

    Similar to the above comments, we also had our account terminated and lost in excess of 80,000 points. We were never informed about this rule change and were completely blindsided by this. Aeroplan’s response on Wendy Mesley’s TV program says it all…they do not care one bit about what the customer feels.
    I think that a class action suit is the only way to get Aeroplan to listen.

  • My account was cleared out in July 2006. I had spent 10 years collecting points(I paid the Visa Aerogold annual fees for many of these years. I had 82,272 miles. Imagine my surprise when I went to book a trip in July – having received my regular account statement in June- and my account was empty! Again the staff person told me “too bad”. I find this a totally unacceptable corporate policy. I would love to see Aeroplan taken to court. I tried sending registered letters to head office, but they did not respond. My lawyer tells me a class action suit could be extremely effective in this case, because so many of us have been affected, and with no notice. So if someone wants to put a class action suit together I will definately support it. My children are leaving home and I am finally free to travel – I had counted on using my aeroplan account for that. I hope someone will pursue this, with my deep gratitude.

  • Alas, I too just lost 48,000 points. No notice, but hey, I can buy them back for $480. Are you kidding me, “hey kid, give me your bike you aren’t using it”
    “well i’m going to take it anyways,”
    “but it’s my bike, I am going to use it later”
    “well, ok, I guess you can have it back, just give me $480!”

  • We checked in nov to see if we could book a flight,then we had points 100,000+ checked in jan &they were gone.Expired nov 30.We had no idea.

  • I’m all for a class action. Lets get started!

  • I also found out this week that I lost all my aeroplan miles. They want over a thousand dollars to reinstate them. I’ll sign up for a class action suite.


  • Sign me up for the class action suit.

  • First time I go to use the air miles, I discover I have lost all 95000 of them. Not happy with air canada or cibc for not notifying that the miles would be lost. How many others have no idea that their miles are gone?

  • spent many years and a lot of travelling to get my 80,000 points then poof all gone. never fly with them again. I have points from NWA fromt he same time frame and guess what ? still have them , they never expire either.

  • I also found out this week that I lost all my 250,000 miles !!
    Sign me up for the class action suit.

  • Aeroplan just eliminated my 225,000 points accumulated a few years ago from my VISA gold. I paid for the card to accumulate the points. I kept them for a more significant trip – as with everyone else here, my June statement showed all the points. I just signed in to my account which, as of July 7th, 2007, showed 0 points. Class action suit – I’m on board.

  • Aerogold has gotten pretty tight now….
    I just redeem all my points for a trip to japan it was awesome…
    I got all my points in a year, but now it seems its going to be harder…
    They got started to charge cash advance on poker deposits when you could before recognize poker deposits are cash purchases…. at least it was good when it lasted….

  • We were suppose to have over 70k points…just checked our account yesterday, ZERO balance…we saved up for this for over 3 years…we went to Japan last year and accumulated a lot of points…now they’re gone? I can’t believe this!

    Where do I sign-up for a class action suit? What a bunch of scammers!

  • 44,000 pts accumulated over many years is gone. I was notified of the change but thought that my previous years’ points donation would keep my account in good stead (as was once the policy). Apparently not anymore.

    If no lawsuit is forthcoming at least boycott Air Canada.

  • I too checked my Aeroplan account and that of my wife. Aeroplan deleted over 26,000 points from each one even though those points were only acquired in January, 2006. If Aeroplan advised us, our spam filter probably directed their email to the spam folder and the email was never read. If a class action suit has been commenced, please advise me and I will sign up.

  • Dear Mr. Montie Brewer
    President, Air Canada:

    I just learned that Aeroplan has wiped out my accumulated 153,000 points. While I understand that Aeroplan is now somewhat separated from Air Canada, I will no longer be traveling on your airline despite being a loyal customer to date. Not only that, as company president I get to determine what airline is chosen by my staff and it will no longer be Air Canada—ever. For the price of deleting my points I reckon Air Canada is losing tens of thousands in annual business from me, my business and my family.

    Doug Hull

  • I just called Aeroplan today thinking that it was time to book a trip to see the inlaws – had 210,000 points accumulated over my 10 year loyalty to their program (not to mention the $120/yr fee on my Visa card for 10yrs) and was told that they were all taken away on July 4, 2007. They claim to have sent me an email warning that this would happen – probably got spam filtered – and since their system showed it went through, didn’t send any other warning.

    When I asked why they didn’t send the notification by mail the lady told me that email is FAR more reliable than conventional mail which could get lost…….. not sure if I remember the last time a VISA BILL got lost in the mail!

    I said “don’t you think I would have acted on the letter if I would have received it? Who in their right mind would throw away $2,000? I could have used it all to buy Future Shop certificates – given it away – anything would have been better than letting it disappear wouldn’t you agree?”

    What a load of crap! I’m just furious! To top it all off, the lady offered to let me buy them back for $2000!!!!!!!! thanks Aeroplan – what a generous offer!

    Thank god we have WestJet!!! Thank god we have options other than CIBC!!!

    I agree with everyone else – lets try to get back what was rightfully ours!!!!!!


  • I just found that Aeroplan deleted my 66000+ miles from my account. please sign me up for class-action lawsuit.

  • My miles are gone too. I would also like to find a class action law suite to join.

  • Naresh K. Fernando

    I’ve lost over 200,000 miles and am incensed at Air Canada. I have diligently saved up all those miles over the years to put towards a big trip when I had the time to take a break from building my business. Now that that time has arrived, and I can relax a little, Air Canada pulls THIS.

    My business has succeeded because I look after my customers, treat them with respect and sincerely value their loyalty. I know what Air Canada seems to have forgotten: it’s less expensive to maintain a good customer than it is to go and find a new one.

    Everyone who has written comments here has been a good customer to Air Canada and they should realize what a collosal error they have made. They should also be big enough to admit as much and make the appropriate U-turn. There is no shame it that, Mr. Duchesne. A simple apology is all you need and all will be forgiven. Try it and see!

  • “Glad” I’m not alone! Just found out last night as I was about to book our trip for Jan 08. Every last point was gone. Been a member, saving points, since 1993.

    Thought it must have been a technical error so phoned Aeroplan. Waited for almost 20 mins to reach a human. I was told the points had “expired” just a week ago.

    Imagine my surprise! Was told they sent me an email back in June. I never received any such email. I certainly would have acted on something like that had I received it. I, too, question why a letter was not posted to me advising me as it is more likely to be received and dealt with.

    I was informed that I could “buy back” my points. As if…. I will be on the look out for any class action suit, absolutely!

  • By way of update, I have pitched the idea of a class action suit to a couple lawyers, but they are preoccupied with other more pressing matters. If anyone wants to take this on, it would make for a very interesting case.

  • My wife just found out yesterday that her 78,000 points were wiped out. She and I are furious.

    We have two small kids at home and my wife’s mother has been undergoing chemotherapy treatments since March. As a result, my wife has not been able to get online in recent months and so it was only yesterday when she read the email that Aeroplan sent in May about her points expiring on July 1st (happy Canada Day!).

    She promptly called Aeroplan and explained our circumstances to Aeroplan’s “customer service” representative, and then a supervisor, but to no avail. They were unsympathetic and condescending.

    I agree with what others have expressed. Aeroplan should send letters by postal mail to inactive account holders if the email notice does not result in people doing something to keep their accounts active.

    People with substantial point balances wouldn’t let their points expire if they knew that they would be wiped out in 60 days. So, if the email notice doesn’t prompt them into action, there has to be a good reason.

    Efforts should be made by Aeroplan to contact people by other means. They have our postal address and phone number — why didn’t they use them?

    Also, how hard would it be for Aeroplan to restore points for customers who take the time to call the Aeroplan call centre and explain their situations? Why not use that opportunity to tell people about the new policy and say, “we’ll restore your points this time only, but not in the future should your account become inactive again.” Surely that approach would be far better and astute than the alternative — doing nothing but leaving people angry and with no points, causing them to move their business from Air Canada to the competition.

    Most organizations are deeply concerned about negative word-of-mouth. Unfortunately, Aeroplan and Air Canada are not among them.

    I’m a frequent flyer and will qualify for Elite status this year. I have accumulated nearly 200,000 points. Mine are not in any danger of expiring (at least not under the current, yet frequently-changing, policy).

    But Air Canada is in danger of forever losing me as a customer unless their Aeroplan partner rights the wrongs that it has committed. Stop treating your customers so poorly. Use other means of alerting them when email notices do not work and be sympathetic. Restore our points and restore our loyalty.

    Let’s keep pursuing the class-action option. I also think we need to get our stories out there in the media, online and offline.

  • Yesterday I found out that I had lost all my points. I was not given any notification email before my July 1 date. When I spoke to the lady on the phone and mentioned that I had bought 4 tickets on Air Canada in June, I was told it did not matter as buying Air Canada ticket or using the CIBC card does not qualify as earning a point. What crap?

    There are four of us on the Aeroplan card and I am researching to see if there are any other plan out there besides Air Miles (which I already have) that I could start using.

    Needless to say, Air Canada service in the past few years have gone from world class to simply ridiculous service, so why bother.

  • I also found out yesterday that I lost all my miles I accumulated in the last 6 years.
    Sign me up for the class action suit.

  • Learned today that I have lost 50,000 aereoplan points earned from flying over the years. I phoned Aereoplan and spoke with a customer service rep and then a supervisor who both did not listen to what I had to say and just talked about loyalty, letters sent out to customers informing them of new policies, etc. Aeroplan and its new policy is a joke. From its CEO on down they are stealing from customers and as is usual getting away with it…on behalf of, as they explain, customer loyalty…or their method of squeesing customers versus treating customers with respect, offering improved incentives and simply improving its overall program. Aeroplan like a lot of companies in our esteemed market place really do not give a hoot about its customers and will continue to get away with stealing as long as people out there turn a blind’s eye and believe the Aeroplan’s of this world are doing some profoundly strategic for their business…

  • Never Will I Join Aeroplan Again:

    Learned today that I have lost 50,000 aereoplan points earned from flying over the years. I phoned Aereoplan and spoke with a customer service rep and then a supervisor who both did not listen to what I had to say and just talked about loyalty, letters sent out to customers informing them of new policies, etc. Aeroplan and its new policy is a joke. From its CEO on down they are stealing from customers and as is usual getting away with it…on behalf of, as they explain, customer loyalty…or their method of squeesing customers versus treating customers with respect, offering improved incentives and simply improving its overall program. Aeroplan like a lot of companies in our esteemed market place really do not give a hoot about its customers and will continue to get away with stealing as long as people out there turn a blind’s eye and believe the Aeroplan’s of this world are doing some profoundly strategic for their business…

  • I just got off the phone to find that my points had all expired on July 4-07 they send they sent me an email to my email address which would have sent it back to them as it no longer existed. Although my mailing address had never changed. The rude individual on the phone said that their terms and Conditions state that they communicate by email only. So when i asked to speak to a manager she hung up on me. I agree they are thieves and should be ashamed of themselves. This needs to become public, what do we do about it? i will do my best now never to fly Air Canada again Go Air Tansat!!!

  • Came home (Houston, TX) last week from a four month trip abroad. Found a letter from Aeroplan dated May 22 informing me that my 113,000 Aeroplan miles would expire by July 1. This is the first letter or E-mail I have received from Aeroplan since I retired in 2004 and stopped earning miles on Air Canada. Unfortunately, the person collecting my mail and having the authority to open important looking letters never opened this one, and the criminally short notice may not have been enough for me to react, anyway.
    The letter refers to an announcement of the new policy in October 2006, but although Aeroplan has had my postal mail as well as E-mail address, they have not sent me one word about it, until they knew that it would probably arrive too late.
    What a scam! Please sign me up for the class action suit.

  • I, too, have had my points removed (45,000+) from my account after being told by an Aeroplan service rep. six months previous that my points were valid until 2009! If there is a class action suit on the way, please count me in. How many Aeroplan promotional emails did all of you receive this week alone? When it comes to blasting customers with unnecessary emails, Aeroplan can certainly be counted on being on time with that. With the Canadian currency being what it is today, it would be nice that the government deregulate the skies for the aviation industry. Why would I not want top fly with American, Delta, or any other airline in a fair competitive open market. You want to smack Aeroplan in the face, this is what we should push for. Remove the monopoly that is Air Canada and Aeroplan…

  • Hi everyone. Well my story is similar to many out there. I found out last night that my wife’s 91,000 aeroplan points were forfeited due to inactivity. We moved in September 2006 and supposedly they sent notification via mail in October 2007. They offered us the points back at $1,000.

    So here’s the deal. My first reaction was to sue Aeroplan, although I’m not sure on what grounds exactly (perhaps a breach of duty). In any event, I see that there are many people who feel the same way. The thing is, I’m actually a non-practicing lawyer in Ontario. If people are really interested, we could try to consider making a go of this as a lawsuit. However, a couple of things to keep in mind. First, I am not an experienced litigator. Second, with any lawsuit, there is the potential that the plaintiffs could get dinged with costs and would have to pay the other side’s legal fees. So the question is…how far are we willing to go?

  • 46,500 miles wiped out in August. I was never sent any warning from Aeroplan. I called and was more or less told “too bad”…

  • I just found out I lost my 25,000 points. Not as many of some of you who have written, but same deal, same principles being violated.

    A class action suit – perhaps. But who has the time and $$ to set this up? I say we each write to our favourite newspaper to complain. Air Canada, I am sure, would be more sensitive to this type of intervention, its low cost, and gets each of us to channel our frustration.

  • While I definitely support any avenue of complaint, I think there were many articles written about this new policy when it first came out and that did little, if anything, to change Aeroplan’s actions.

    Starting a class action lawsuit is definitely no easy task. However, in terms of time, I am currently on leave from work and can try to work on this part-time. It might be worth a try even if the worst thing that happens is that it never goes anywhere and I waste my time. As for money, like I said, there is the possibility that the court might decide we started a frivolous lawsuit and force us to pay some of the defence costs. Of course, we are merely talking about a course of action at this stage, and much more preparation and research would have to be done. The point of this particular conversation is to find out how frustrated people really are with Aeroplan, how serious they are in trying to get justice, and whether they are willing to commit to the possibily of starting a lawsuit. Because I would handle all the paperwork, initial money would only be required for out of pocket expenses/disbursements such as court filing fees etc… Like I said, I am just testing the water to see who is willing to get wet. If there are enough people, then we can get into serious discussions. But think long and hard before you decide to jump on the bandwagon because this is definitely not a game.

  • I tried to book a free ticket ticket and found out to my amazement that Aeroplan removed approximately 79,000 Aeroplan miles without notification plus 15,000 for my wife.

    I was told there is nothing we can do, they are gone forever, until I spoke to a Supervisor who said I could redeem them for $792.37?

    I was advised that the points were taken in early July, 2007 and our family of four flew to Europe at the end of July with Air Canada?

    Well folks there is something you can do, you are not powerless, together we can make a difference.

    Please come to my blog and read our story and get some great links we are adding daily, including the complaint department at the government.

    I want to hear your comments and I already have some great ideas.


  • Time to walk the walk. If any of you are seriously interested in pursuing a class action lawsuit against Aeroplan for forfeited miles contact me at ‘sueaeroplan@hotmail.com’.

    Although not currently practicing, I am an Ontario lawyer in good standing and I am willing to devote whatever time I can to this project.

  • Please keep me informed of any action to be taken or any breaking news regarding this situation and sign me up for a class action lawsuit. I just lost almost 92,000 points.

    Has any one considered taking this through small claims court?

    It seems to me that this might produce faster results. I do not see how they can simply cancel points without notifying people by registered mail.

  • Same thing here – 115,000 points gone! We got an email but it seriously looked like junk mail, and it wasn’t until the very end of the email (which you have to scroll down to read…who scrolls down junk mail?) that the points would be gone in 60 days. It was a terrible email and it should have been in bold print at the TOP of the email – not the bottom – that the points would be gone.
    A letter sent in the mail, versus “junk mail” via email would have been more appropriate. Aeroplan has done a terrible job communicating and they are thieves! We are furious!

    Those points were mine. I paid my $120/year Visa fee for using CIBC Visa over the years to then hopefully get a flight out of the deal. We are going to call our bank manager (CIBC holds our business, house mortgage, etc) and tell them to re-imburse us the $120/year fee. I don’t know if it will work but worth a try.

    Class action…we are on board with it!

  • If you are interested in the class action idea, please e-mail me at ‘sueaeroplan@hotmail.com’. I’ve posted in all the forums I’ve found and I’m trying to organize everyone through that e-mail address. I am not checking this forum very often.

    The problem with small claims court is that they usually only deal with straight monetary damages and not equitable remedies (i.e. what is fair). So small claims court may not be able to get you your points back or award punitive damages. Also, an individual in small claims court does not convey the same level of seriousness as a ‘class’ of plaintiffs.

  • Just discovered that 28,000 points were taken away due to inactivity on my account.

    I made a few mistakes that led to the mess. First, I lost my card and was not able to claim any points at Future Shop, Esso, Park & Jet and the like over the past year. Park & Jet was particularly frustrating because you used to be able to send in the receipt by mail to get the miles. Not any more! Next, I forgot to update my email address when I changed jobs. Apparently they sent the email, but why not mail me a letter when the email to my old account bounced back?

    It sounds to me like they are trying to take away points to clean up their balance sheet (since presumably any outstanding miles should be shown as a liability). Which begs the question, are they able to take back the prior expense (of accruing the miles) into current income? If I were an Aeroplan shareholder, I would wonder about the ethics of such accounting.

    One thing that bothers me is that I have tried repeatedly over the years to book a flight to use up the points but was always frustrated by the lack of availability on Aeroplan, and never found an appropriate trip to use them up. I was tolerant in the past because I assumed the points would always be there so that I could someday use them. Loyalty comes from trust, and I have no trust in Aeroplan any more.

    We’re going to use my wife’s miles ASAP. We’re going to get rid of her CIBC Visa. We’re going to start flying Westjet. And we’re going to be done with Aeroplan.

  • We also lost 40,000.00 hard earned points. some from various “loyalty partners”

    Thing is we paid for those points and they were our property. Air Canada cannot just steal them, with ambiguous wordings which (even though we are reasonably well educated and fairly intelligent) are difficult to interpret.

    There are two things you can do about this.

    1, Write a letter condemning the program to all of their “loyalty partners” such as Esso, (list can be found on Aeroplan .com. the letter should be brief and to the point do not whine. Ensure it is addressed top the CEO, and cc’d to the VP Customer Service, and the president of Aeroplan. All names and addresses are available on thier respective websites.
    2. Join in on a lawsuit to be brought by an Ontario lawyer (see sueaeroplan@hotmail.com.

    Or you can be a true Canadian and roll over – which is what Aeroplan expects you will do

  • Aeroplan is essentially performing fraud. By taking customers money for services they have not received and keeping it, this is a form of fraud. This is a criminal offence. The problem with Aeroplan is no one has the balls to fight back.

  • I have also had almost 70,000 points deleted from my account due to the sneaky way in which Aeroplan informed their customers of the change in policy. In the email they sent to me, the MOST important information was at the very bottom of the email. In this day and age where we get so much email correspondance, a Business letter should have the most important information at the beginning of the letter and not at the very end. Who reads all the way to the bottom? I have written two letters now to Aeroplan and they do not even have the decency to reply in any manner, which definitely leaves me feeling completely robbed and now disregarded. I will do every thing I can to never fly Air Canada and to tell everyone I know not to fly Air Canada as well. I would definitely be interested in participating in a class action law suit against Aeroplan.

  • Richard and Bunty

    We recently lost 190,000 points!
    Aeroplan should have notified customers by registered mail because they are dealing with thousands of dollars for individuals.
    We retired, moved provinces, had no e-mail or phone service for 7+ months…did recieve one letted on June 17th dated May 22nd but because we had used aeroplan to move in July 2006 we assumed all was up to date.
    Have been dealing with aeroplan rep. and same run around except that we were told if we could produce receipts from a “Partner” for the required time frames our points could be reinstated. We located the necessary receipts, spent $14 faxing them to aeroplan and are now getting the run around. Have to speak with aeroplan rep on Monday so will update after that. Not holding out any hope and will support any legal action planned.

  • I also lost 50,000 points. Unlike some of the others who commented on this site, I did receive a letter from aeroplan telling me about the new ‘rules’. Problem is, I misunderstood the rules. Their website indicates that until June 30, 2007 miles expire in accounts that have no activity for the prior 36 months.

    So, I made a purchase in May 2007 to ensure my points were not wiped out, and planned to gas up at Esso at least once a year. To my surprise, my miles had already been wiped out in February 2007 because of the ‘no activity for 36 months’ rule (applied prospectively from the last purchase, rather than retrospectively from June 30, 2007). To create confusion, Aeroplan also has several other misleading statements that contradict the above policy-things like “So, if you have not been an active Aeroplan member in the last 6 months of 2006, you have until July 1, 2007 to either accumulate or redeem miles in your account to avoid expiry.” Gee-why didn’t this ‘rule’ apply to me?

    Or how about this one “Please note that all miles in your account at the end of 2006 will be given an accumulation date of December 31, 2006 regardless of their actual accumulation date, meaning that these miles will be available for redemption until December 31, 2013.”

    I guess Aeroplan gets to pick the rule that best serves them.

  • A suggestion for getting points back. If anyone has insurance through Clarica and met with their advisor this past year, ask the advisor to submit for the 500 bonus points. This can be made retroactive to the date of the meeting so if your meeting took place before your points expired, you can make a case to get your points back. This information came from an Aeroplan customer service agent. Good luck!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *