Aeroplan Complaint - Aeroplan - Aeroplan Points Stolen by Aeroplan

Review by Ian Brett on 2008-05-16
I must add my name to your list. I just discovered that all the 49,000 we had accumulated were stolen by AeroPlan just 2 weeks ago. To get these back I must now pay $500. How can this be legal? Is there a class action suite anywhere?
Comments:10 Replies - Latest reply on 2008-05-17
Posted by Hugh_Jorgen on 2008-05-16:
Stolen? If Air Canada's plan is like the US carriers, they tell you when you sign up that if you go inactive for a certain amount of time you will forfeit your miles. After all it is a frequent flier plan.

Either plan to fly once every year or so or get a credit card that pays Aeroplan miles - that should count as activity.

Call them and see if you apply for their credit card if they will reinstate your miles - it's worth a call.
Posted by Ben There on 2008-05-16:
Most airlines now require you to be a current and active frequent flyer to keep your frequent flyer account live. I understand why they are doing this as the programs are designed to reward people who continue to fly the same carrier, not just someone who happened to fly either one or two really long trips, or fly a lot a couple years ago.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-05-16:
If you ever accumulate a lot of miles and can't use them to get flights, then cash them in for something else, like hotels or American Express dining cards. Never let them sit in your account--as you now know.

I tried for months to book 3-6 month advance flights with my Aeroplan miles and there was never availability. What a joke that is. My daughter can always use her Continental miles at pretty much a moments notice--as it should be. Otherwise, why should we be frequent flyers of one particular airline? No reason at all--without some kind of reward system that works.

I do hope you are able to get the miles reinstated. Thanks for the post.
Posted by wgaguy1984 on 2008-05-16:
I agree with Ben There. It's meant to reward customer loyalty, all FF programs have expiration dates. I imagine it's also to consolidate their databases. Can you imagine how much data they'd have if Ms Sally Flies Once-a-Decade and her friends, called in to check on their miles from seven years ago?

Dianec, they're usually easier to use at the last minute. Where I work, and I think everyone is like this, coach reward travel is released only for seats the computer software is projecting won't sell. It's impossible to tell 3-6 months in advance, but the day before, if a lot of seats are open, obviously, there will be empty seats on the plane so your rewards are available. In my experience, you have to book REALLY far in advance, like when the passenger load is zero for the flight, or, in the last 30 days before, sometimes even the last 14 or 7.
Posted by wgaguy1984 on 2008-05-16:
Same thing with comp travel, so when you're told you have a free ticket, you should understand that as a free seat that's not going to sell anyway. So, it's going to be hard, if not impossible, to use for popular destinations, Fridays and Sundays, around holidays, spring break, summer, and any three day weekends. A nice, midday Friday nonstop flight to Vegas, dream on. A Tuesday red eye connection to Sheboygan . . . why yes, that's available!!
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-05-16:
wgaguy--It seems the airlines should just stop offering the miles programs. I have rarely been able to book any flights using miles on Aeroplan or any other airline--in advance or last minute. If I'm such a great customer, then why do I have to fly the flights with the worst schedules or to the worst destinations? Of course, what else could be expect from companies that are continuing a downward spiral?

I'll use my miles for hotels, dining cards, car rentals, or whatever else I can get with them, and fly where I want, when I want. As for the "customer appreciation", there isn't any. Therefore, it really doesn't pay to fly the same airline anymore. I fly strictly by schedule now.

Many years ago I worked for an airline that really did care about it's customers--including serving real food. That was about 25 years ago--as you would probably imagine. What a horrible decline I have witnessed.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-05-17:
Ian, where are you located? If you are in the USA it may be difficult to fight them in Canada. A class action is a bad idea also as no one will get anything but a bunch of bottom feeding attorneys.

My next step might be starting a letter bomb campaign to all of the principals in the company. Send the letters certified or something so you have proof they got them. Maybe someone will pay attention to you and try to work with you.
Posted by Ben There on 2008-05-17:
A couple things to note - airlines manage to shake loose more free seats if you have elite status for the year. For example, if I am Platinum with a carriers FF program, I might see more free seats when I log on look for an award ticket. This means "Ms. I fly to New York three a year for market" will have a much harder time looking for that free seat to London than "Ms. I fly every week on expensive tickets". I know NWA.com even tells everyone this if you do a search and get nothing back.

Also, I am pretty sure that unlike most other airlines, Air Canada actually sold Aeroplan and is operated by another company. Aeroplan actually has to buy a seat from the AC(for next to nothing I am sure, but not the same as here in the USA).
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-05-17:
Yes, Ben There, I would have to say you are absolutely correct, but this seems obvious.

Even with higher status, we have still encountered problems. I was in Aeroplan's top tier of frequent fliers, and still no luck. I am talking a couple of years ago, so I don't know what it's like now. We flew to Asia a lot so we had well over 100,000 miles in one year.

My main point is that the airlines do not offer that great of rewards any more. You're better off looking for the best price/schedule than you are planning on using your miles for "free" flights.
Posted by Nohandle on 2008-05-17:
Agreed Dianec: My main point is that the airlines do not offer that great of rewards any more. You're better off looking for the best price/schedule than you are planning on using your miles for "free" flights.

I've lost count of the FF miles I have or had with Delta. About the only thing I found them good for were upgrades in the past. Some individuals have enjoyed their miles but generally I've found one has to be willing to trade off convenience with whatever schedule was available. I've also noted in recent years the number of individuals at the ticket counter before boarding on a "standby for upgrading" status. Works sometimes, sometime not. Free ticket? Forget it, I don't even bother checking anymore.

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