February 11, 2013

A number of years ago I decided to try and use up my Aeroplan points. Thereafter my intention was to cancel my Aeroplan card.

Unfortunately Aeroplan has made it so difficult to use points that my account just keeps growing. The company either blocks the dates of interest, proposes to charge an exorbitant number of points or charges for business class tickets while only providing business class service for 10% of the flight time.

Most recently I have been trying to book a couple of flights to Calgary. Aeroplan is now using the new tactic of recommending an untenable itinerary. I think 12 hours and 22 minutes between Victoria and Calgary (typically a 1 hour and 21 minute flight) doesn’t suffice.

Undoubtedly the company is doing this because of the multi-hundreds of millions of points overhang.

However, the unintended consequence of all this is that people like me can’t use their points. We end up continuing to accumulate at a meaningful rate serving to grow the overhang of unused points.

These loyalty programs used to be terrific. I guess they are victims of their own successes.