Aeroplan’s New Change Fees
As part of Aeroplan’s new simplified change fee structure, all Economy (Flex) awards will now include waived change fees.
This is an improvement to the change policy. Previously, Economy (Flex) awards levied a change fee of $25–50, depending on the time of making the change.
However, Economy (Standard), Premium Economy (Lowest), Business (Lowest), and First (Lowest) awards will now levy a standard change fee of $100, rather than differentiating based on when the change is made.
Previously, changes made at least 60 days prior would incur a lower $75 change fee, so this represents a worsening of the change policy if you typically book the lowest fare categories.
Book By July 5, 2022 and Get the “Free Change” Policy
The flexible change policy has now been extended through to July 5, 2022:
Enjoy flexibility if your plans change. We’ll waive all change fees on Aeroplan flight rewards through July 5, 2022. Starting July 6, 2022, flight rewards will be eligible for a one-time change fee waiver if booked prior to this date.
Prior to July 5, all change fees to Aeroplan flight rewards are waived. After this date, only the first change to a ticket booked through July 5, 2022 will be free, and subsequent voluntary changes may still incur a change fee.
This flexible change policy has been extended month-by-month since 2020, so the implication of a five-day extension to July 5 this time is that the flexible change policy will indeed end as of that date, as global travel has resumed in full force.
It might therefore make sense to lock in a few speculative bookings by July 5, so that you can continue to make your first change free of charge after that date, as new bookings made from July 6 onwards won’t be subject to this benefit.
Keep in mind that involuntary schedule changes on your itinerary (e.g., if the airline cancels a flight or changes the departure or arrival times) will entitle you to a waiver of the standard change fees if you were to make a reasonable modification to your itinerary as a result.
“Cancel Anytime” Policy Ended on September 30, 2021
In terms of cancellations, Aeroplan’s policy reads as follows:
Need to cancel your trip? Aeroplan flight rewards booked through September 30, 2021 can be cancelled free of charge, anytime. Flight rewards booked as of October 1, 2021 apply the cancellation fee structure of the fare option purchased.
For cancellations, you’ll receive points back in your account, plus a full refund of any associated taxes, fees and charges on the unused value of your travel. (Note that refunds will not apply for previously-charged fees, including contact centre booking fees and change fees, or for government taxes and fees which are non-refundable by law.)
As you can see, any bookings made through the September 2021 deadline are eligible for a free cancellation at any time.
For any bookings made after that date, the cancellation fee for new Aeroplan bookings will depend on the fare option purchased.
One consequence of this is that you should continually monitor the prices of any Aeroplan bookings made on Air Canada flights for bookings that you had made through September 2021.
Aeroplan’s dynamic pricing model can be highly variable over time, so if you see that your flight has in fact gone down in price, then it might make sense to cancel for free and rebook, saving yourself a nice chunk of points.
Lastly, if you’re an Aeroplan Super Elite member, you’ll enjoy the enviable benefit of waived change and cancellation fees across all your Aeroplan award bookings.
Aeroplan has made some slight modifications to its change fee structure, including waiving change fees on Economy (Flex) awards while standardizing a $100 change fee on the lowest fare category in each class of service.
Meanwhile, the program has confirmed that any booking made by July 5, 2022 will enjoy a free first voluntary change at any time, which all-but indicates that the longstanding flexible change policy will finally be coming to an end as of that date.