Air Canada Elite Status: How to Get it and What’s in It for You

Air Canada Elite Status: How to Get it and What’s in It for You

In October 2014 Air Canada announced a set of changes to their Altitude elite program. As a reminder, Altitude is separate from Aeroplan, which is the general Air Canada frequent flyer program.

Just like its U.S. peers, Air Canada tightened the screws by adding the revenue component to the list of the Elite Status requirements. The new requirements don’t go into effect until 2017.

Lingo

  • AQM stands for Altitude Qualification Miles, and based on distance flown
  • AQD stands for Altitude Qualification Dollars, and based on the amount you have paid for traveling on United and its partner airlines
  • AQS stands for Medallion Qualification Segments, and can be used for qualifying instead of PQMs

Earning the Status

  • For Altitude Elite 25K you need to fly 25,000 PQMs or 25 PQSs and $3,000 PQDs
  • For Altitude Elite 35K: 35,000 PQMs or 35 PQSs and spend $4,000 PQDs
  • For Altitude Elite 50K: 50,000 PQMs or 50 PQSs and spend $6,000 PQDs
  • For Altitude Elite 75K: 75,000 PQMs or 75 PQSs and $9,000 PQDs
  • For Altitude Elite 100K: 100,000 PQMs or 95 PQSs and $20,000 PQDs

The chart for the number of AQM or AQS and AQD required to reach Altitude status for 2017
The number of AQM, AQS and AQD required to reach Altitude status in 2017

Upgrades

In order to get free eUpgrades to a higher class of service, members should use credits earned with their Altitude Qualifying Miles. Not all fares qualify for eUpgrades. The Elite 50K members and up can earn additional threshold eUpgrades for flying over 60,000 miles.

In 2016, members will be able to earn from 20 credits (Elite 25K) to 55 credits (Elite 100K).

  • eUpgrades Booking Window:
    • Elite 25K: 2 days
    • Elite 35K: 4 days
    • Elite 50K: 5 days
    • Elite 75K: 6 days
    • Super Elite 100K: 7 days

Earning Miles

  • Deep Discounted Coach (Tango) in Canada: 63 miles
  • Tango in United States: 125 miles
  • Flexible Coach (Flex): 250 miles
  • Full Price (Latitude): 313 miles
  • Premium Economy: 313 miles
  • Business Class in North America: 375 miles

Altitude Bonus Miles

  • Altitude Elite 25K: 25%
  • Elite 35K: 35%
  • Elite 50K: 50%
  • Elite 75K: 75%
  • Super Elite 100K: 100%

Fee Waivers

  • Baggage Fees.
    • Elite 25K: 2 bags/50 lbs.
    • Elite 35K and up: 3 bags/70 lbs.
  • Complimentary sports equipment
  • All elites: Carrier surcharge (YQ only) on award flights in Canada and the U.S.
  • Super Elite 100K: Carrier Surcharge (YQ only) on international award flights.

Airport Services

  • Altitude Elite 25K and above: Priority check in and standby
  • Elite 35K and above: Priority security and boarding
  • Elite 50K and above: Priority baggage handling
  • Super Elite 100K: Concierge service

Complimentary Lounge Access

  • Altitude Elite 25K: access to Montreal Maple Leaf Lounge for travel to Toronto City Airport
  • Elite 35K: access to select Maple Leaf Lounges
  • Elite 50K and up: access to Maple Leaf Lounges and Star Alliance Gold Lounges
  • Super Elite 100K: access to London Heathrow Arrivals Lounge

Maple Leaf Lounges are located at all major airports across Canada and at key international locations
Maple Leaf Lounges are located at all major airports across Canada and at key international locations

Star Status

  • Altitude Elite 25K, 35K, and 50K, Silver 75K and Gold 100K

Notable Exclusive Rewards

  • Lower Requalification Level:
    • Altitude Elite 50K: 45,000 AQM or 45 AQS
    • Elite 75K: 70,000 AQM or 70 AQS
    • Super Elite 100K: 95,000 AQM or 90 AQS
  • Altitude Elite 75K and up: gifting status to a friend
    • Elite 35K from a 75K member
    • Elite 50K from a Super Elite 100K member

Other Ways to Earn Status

There are no ways to earn status other than by flying.

Status Match/Status Challenge:

Air Canada doesn’t offer a status match, but it does offer a status challenge. Conditions vary from an airline to an airline, so if you do have an elite status with another airline, email them and request additional information.

Earning Miles on Partner Airlines

You can earn Aeroplan miles and Altitude status by flying on Air Canada Star Alliance partner airlines. For more information, check this page.