I usually write concerning the positives of the Air Canada Aeroplan program, just like the beneficiant routing guidelines, stopovers for five,000 factors, and large array of airline companions. On this submit I needed to handle a query that I get each day about Aeroplan — what occurred to Etihad Airways and Oman Air awards, as they haven’t been accessible for fairly a while?
Aeroplan’s lack of Etihad & Oman Air awards
Air Canada Aeroplan has roughly 45 airline companions. Whereas Air Canada belongs to the Star Alliance, the airline additionally has all types of unbiased airline companions, which is without doubt one of the issues that makes this system so nice. I imply, you can e book a single award that features journey on Air Mauritius, Gulf Air, and Bamboo Airways — how enjoyable is that?! Okay, I’m going to have to determine what routing that might entail, however I digress…
For some members, two of Aeroplan’s most beneficial airline companions are Etihad Airways and Oman Air:
But for no matter purpose, awards on each airways haven’t been bookable by means of Aeroplan for fairly a while. For Oman Air, awards haven’t been bookable for a number of months, whereas for Etihad, awards haven’t been bookable for a few months.
What occurred to those award seats?
Suffice it to say that one thing is happening with Aeroplan awards on Etihad and Oman Air, or else we wouldn’t see availability pulled for thus lengthy. Formally, Aeroplan representatives inform me that the partnerships with Etihad and Oman Air haven’t ended, and that’s confirmed on Air Canada’s web site, which nonetheless lists each of those as airline companions. Nonetheless, there’s not a precise timeline for when awards on these airways will likely be restored.
With that in thoughts, all I can do is speculate, and share my tackle what is likely to be occurring. I’ve written earlier than about award availability discrepancies between airways, and what could cause that. Admittedly on this case it’s not a discrepancy, however quite availability simply isn’t there in any respect on some companions.
Typically, there are three commonest causes that an airline could not have entry to companion award availability for an prolonged time period, with out ending a partnership:
- A program is deliberately throttling the award availability it reveals its members with a purpose to restrict bills related to award redemptions
- There’s a technical glitch that’s stopping award availability from displaying accurately; you’d be stunned by how lengthy it will probably take for some tech points to be mounted
- There’s a dispute between airways and/or loyalty packages, usually in conditions the place one facet feels prefer it’s drawing the brief finish of the stick
Particular to this Aeroplan state of affairs, right here’s my assumption:
- If there’s one factor I do know for certain, it’s that Aeroplan could be very targeted on providing as many redemption alternatives to members as attainable (this has been an enormous focus of this system, because it was relaunched), and I’m assured it’s not Aeroplan deliberately blocking companion award area
- I wouldn’t essentially assume that the Etihad and Oman Air issues (no matter they could be) are the identical, since availability was taken offline at completely different occasions; when you could have dozens of companions (with many utilizing completely different programs), it takes quite a lot of effort to simply hold every little thing displaying accurately
- I consider that if Aeroplan truly knew these redemption alternatives wouldn’t come again on-line, then this system would simply formally take away these as companions
So, what’s my hypothesis? With Etihad I actually haven’t any clue what to suppose. The airline is used to having a excessive variety of companion redemptions, given that you would be able to additionally redeem American AAdvantage miles on Etihad. So it’s not just like the airline is nervous about individuals reserving their awards with companion miles. For what it’s value, American appears to have technical points with Etihad awards sometimes as properly, so I hope that’s additionally what’s occurring right here.
In the meantime within the case of Oman Air, I can’t assist however surprise if it is likely to be a bit extra difficult. The parents at Aeroplan are superb at including companions, and when the partnership first began, I puzzled if Oman Air was prepared for the quantity of inbound award bookings it will get.
In any case, Oman Air lacked “mainstream” airline companions with environment friendly redemption alternatives. Moreover, I think about there’s some imbalance in redemptions right here, with much more Air Canada Aeroplan members redeeming on Oman Air than Oman Air Sindbad members redeeming on Air Canada.
Everytime you add a small service with restricted companions to your redemption roster, I feel they’re not fairly prepared for the inflow of award bookings that are available in (I’ve to think about Starlux Airways would possibly really feel the identical after yesterday). 😉
One other fascinating factor to bear in mind is that Oman Air is becoming a member of the oneworld alliance in 2024, which is tremendous thrilling. Now, the airline can completely have partnerships with non-oneworld airways, so it shouldn’t have to at least one or the opposite. Nonetheless, maybe Oman Air is out of the blue extra targeted on that going ahead. In any case, the Aeroplan partnership launched earlier than Oman Air revealed its intentions to hitch oneworld.
Anyway, we’ll must mark this all as growing, and hopefully we get an replace a technique or one other fairly quickly.
For fairly a while, Air Canada’s Aeroplan program hasn’t had entry to awards on Etihad Airways and Oman Air. I do know these have been among the many favourite Aeroplan companions of OMAAT readers, and I’m additionally unhappy to see the dearth of availability.
The excellent news is that these partnerships aren’t over, at the very least formally. The dangerous information is that there’s no precise timeline for them coming again. If and once we study extra, I’ll you’ll want to report again…
What’s your tackle this award availability state of affairs?