Uncovering the benefits of Distinction with Aeroplan
Last year we wrote about some of the big changes coming to Aeroplan in 2014. I have to admit, I’m still learning how the new Distinction program works. There’s lots of information and I’ve found it gets confusing.
Now that we’re a couple months into the new year and the Distinction program is unfolding, we’d like to take a moment and shed some light on the program and why you should consider being a part of the club. There are 3 levels of Distinction: dsilver, dblack, and ddiamond.
New Market Fare Flight Rewards
Now that we have two little boys, direct flights are our main priority. The thought of long layovers with two cranky babies is enough to send a chill down my spine.
Aeroplan members have two options for booking flights: ClassicFlight Rewards and Market Fare Flight Rewards. ClassicFlight Rewards are available to members at set Miles. For example, a round-trip flight to most North American destinations is 25,000 Miles. Market Fare Flight Rewards have access to every seat on the plane and mileage levels are derived from market fares at the time of booking giving more options.
When I search ClassicFlight Reward options, for many destinations, we have to hub through at least one airport before arriving at our destination. Since Market Fare Flight Rewards have access to every seat on the plane, we can now get more options for direct flights.
How is being a Distinction member beneficial when booking flights?
Distinction members get up to 20%, 25% or 35% off mileage levels on Market Fare Flight Rewards, depending on a member’s Distinction status.
Here’s a random example, Vancouver to Maui departing on Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 and returning Tuesday, April 16th, 2014.
As you can see above, since we have dblack status (the middle tier), we get up to 25% discount on Market Fare Flight Rewards. This means, for only 7,500 more Miles, we get direct flights on the same days and we even pay slightly less in taxes.
Notice the travel time difference coming home – we save 15 hours in travel time!
It’s best to check flights through both ClassicFlight Rewards and Market Fare Flight Rewards to see which option is best for you or your family.
Remember the good old days when you received two free checked bags, complimentary food and drinks, and free headsets when you booked a flight? For Distinction members, while on Distinction Flights, these are just a few of the benefits.
Exclusive to Distinction members are flights to a variety of popular destinations. Currently, the offering from Vancouver is to Los Angeles during Spring Break. When Distinction flights become available they are posted on Aeroplan.com, but they are only for a specific day and time.
Currently, departure cities include Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto and destinations have included Cancun, Orlando, and Los Angeles.
Our favourite Distinction benefit
When Distinction members book a stay directly with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts using their exclusive Fairmont Distinction Promotional Code (this can be found in your Aeroplan account), you receive special treatment based on your Distinction level.
For example, as dblack members, we would receive a room upgrade at check-in (when available), daily complimentary breakfast (full American breakfast in the hotel’s main dining room) for two, and a $25 hotel credit.
How do you get Distinction status?
We wrote a post about ways to gain Aeroplan Miles quickly, which also applies to gaining Distinction status. A few of the easiest ways to gain Distinction status is by shopping at stores that are partners with Aeroplan (for example, getting gas at Esso stations), using an affiliated credit card like TD Aeroplan, and flying Air Canada or any member airline of the Star Alliance.
To achieve Distinction status, you need to earn at least 25,000 Miles in one calendar year. Once you hit 25,000 Miles, you gain access to Distinction until the end of the following calendar year. To learn more about Distinction benefits, visit this link.
Are you a member of Aeroplan or Distinction? Do you like the program?
Disclosure – Aeroplan is one of our travel partners, however expressed opinions are entirely our own. We are long-time supporters and users of the Aeroplan rewards program.