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The Difference Between Aeroplan and Air Miles

airmilesAeroplan and Air Miles are two popular frequent flyer programs. Let’s see how they measure up comparing the following features: earning miles/points, redeeming miles/points, and general customer service (website design, customer support, etc.).

Earning Miles/Points
Both Aeroplan and Air Miles offer their customers a number of ways to earn points. Points can be earned through the purchase of flights, other travel services, with an Aeroplan or Air Miles credit card, or through sponsored websites and online retailers. They both also offer the option to purchase extra points or trade points. It is easier to earn points through Air Miles, as the number of airlines in their group is larger than Aeroplan’s (Air Canada and the Star Alliance). Also, Air Mile’s fees for purchasing and trading points are lower than Aeroplan.

Redeeming Miles/Points
Both Aeroplan and Air Miles have disadvantages when it comes to redeeming points for services. The common complaint with Aeroplan is that is it extremely difficult to redeem aeroplanpoints for flights. Flights have to be booked months in advance. Sometimes a seat is available for the outbound leg of a round trip journey but there is no seat available on the inbound flight. Other times, customers have found themselves in business class on one flight and economy on the next, despite the fact that they paid for business class the entire way. It is easier to book with Air Miles; however long-time customers lament the fact that Air Miles has been devaluing their points. Therefore, a flight that used to take 30,000 points may now take 50,000 or even 80,000 points to redeem.

General Customer Service
At first glance, Air Mile’s customer service is superior to Aeroplan’s. Air Mile’s website loads quickly and is easy to navigate. There is even a link that enables environmentally conscious customers to easily make greener travel purchases. Aeroplan’s website takes a very long time to load. Past customers have complained that it is difficult to see all the details of their flight booking on the website. They have also said that the web booking program is not reliable. However, Aeroplan charges a $30 fee for over the phone booking. Its customer support is also lacking. Various online consumer forums are full of stories of Aeroplan keeping customers waiting seven weeks for a response or charging exorbitant fees to change a flight date. The customer support complaints for Air Miles are few and far between.

Air Miles and Aeroplan are fairly equal when it comes to earning points. Air Miles requires more points to earn travel rewards, but Aeroplan makes finding flights extremely difficult. Aeroplan also has a higher fee structure and poor customer service. Based on these facts, Air Miles is the superior choice for one looking for a frequent flyer program .

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