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What does Air Canada dropping Aeroplan mean for you?

(CNW Group/Air Canada)

Air Canada will drop Aeroplan after 2020 and instead launch its own loyalty program

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – With Air Canada deciding to drop Aeroplan after 2020 and instead launch its own loyalty program, we’re speaking with some experts to get a better sense of what this will mean for you.

If you’ve got a whackload of points, it’s not a total crisis – you’ve got more than three years to unload those points on some first-class tickets you wouldn’t normally book.

But even then, McGill University professor Karl Moore believes Air Canada and Aeroplan will try to do things in a way that isn’t too rocky for loyal customers.

“[Rewards programs] keep people loyal,” says Moore. “And it means that people will absolutely fly Air Canada and its partners airlines.”

The group Rewards Canada which tracks loyalty programs feels there’s a chance this situation could mean companies compete with some new offers.

“Good news and bad news in terms of the loyalty space in Canada,” says Patrick Sojka with that group. “Bad news for Aeroplan members, because after 2020, we don’t know what’s going to happen. You’re going to be able to use on Air Canada, but you’re going to lose out on a lot of other potential airline partners that you use right now.

“We’re guessing that Aeroplan has the wheels going right now to negotiate contracts with other airlines as well, but good news in general for the Canadian loyalty space in that it creates even more competition. We’re going to see some stronger bonus offers on credit card sign ups, maybe retailers fighting it out for partnerships.”