First there was the announcement that Air Canada’s Aeroplan program would require flights on AC metal to earn elite status. Now there are rumors floating around that booking options for award flights – particularly on partner airlines – are being artificially limited by the company.
Previously one was always able to check for the award inventory directly via a number of different tools (AwardNexus or www.ana.co.jp are the most popular and comprehensive for Star Alliance) and then feed the flights to an agent segment by segment. Now the agents are apparently limited to only being able to sell the seats they see on their search screens. Among other things this restricts some carriers, including Asiana and Swiss, from being displayed at all. Not very helpful.
Currently partner bookings are still being processed by managers but it is not clear how willing they will be to process such requests going forward. Either way, it is a rather unfortunate devaluation of the Aeroplan program. Coming on the heels of their wins at the Frequent Traveler Awards program this past November these devaluations are especially unfortunate.
More discussion on this recent development here.
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