I am a big fan of the Air Canada + Aeroplan award program for several reasons. They have been my go-to lately for most of my award travel over the past year. But, there was one little thing that kept bugging me and actually had me choosing to pay more money in certain situations. Well, that is now fixed!
You Can Now Change Aeroplan Awards Online
For those not familiar with the Aeroplan award program, here are some of the reasons I like it so much:
- Star Alliance partner (so book awards on all Star Alliance carriers)
- Etihad partner (book awards like the First Apartment with Aeroplan)
- Emirates partner (book awesome awards on Emirates)
- Air Serbia partner
- Gulf Air partner
- Flat, low fee to add lap infant
- Ability to use cash and points to lower the overall point cost, if you don’t have enough
- Many transferrable programs transfer into Aeroplan
So, you can see why I am a fan! But, over the years, a huge annoyance – and, really, an unnecessary one – was that you could not change awards online. Aeroplan charges $150 (CAD) for award cancellations and $100 (CAD) for award changes. So, if you want to just make a change, obviously you want to just pay the change! Plus, there are sometimes that the miles do not appear back in your account right away so cancelling is not always a good way to go.
The problem starts that you cannot get a hold of Air Canada for award changes until after 7AM EST. I cannot tell you how many times over the past year I needed to make a change and found the flights I needed with just enough seats to book – but I was in Europe and it was 9 in the morning for me. This meant it was still 5 hours before Air Canada’s reps would be available to talk to and change the reservation. You know how fast awards can disappears? 🙂 Well, they did on me a couple of times.
When you are booking for a family of 7, you cannot run the risk of one of the 7 available seats disappearing. Which meant I needed to pay to cancel online and then rebook – incurring a cost of an extra $350 (CAD).
However, that has now changed as the “Change flight” button on the reservation page is no longer greyed out! It can now be pressed and it works! 🙂
To get there, just go to your My Bookings page and select to change flight. Done! You will have the $100 CAD fee (if you are outside your 24 hour US window from booking) but this is better than paying $150 CAD to cancel or calling in!
That to me was just stupid – have this button there to change a ticket but tell you you have to call in to change it. Finally they added the functionality which, frankly, should have been there long ago.
I found this this morning when I went to one of my reservations and was delighted to see it! It appears that it was changed in the last few days as it wasn’t there the last time I checked.