The biggest news coming out of last month’s launch was that the new codeshare agreement would give Air Canada passengers more flight options beyond Dubai, along with giving Emirates flyers more route options beyond Toronto.
In total, the codeshare between the two carriers covers 46 destinations across North America, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. It was cool, but you know, nothing too sexy.
This Partnership Is Ready For Take Off
Well the good news is that this partnership is about to get a whole lot more lucrative and there’s some legitimately brilliant stuff!
Beginning today, Air Canada Aeroplan loyalty members will have the ability to earn and redeem on Emirates flights, even including dreamy first class A380 suites, and Emirates Skywards loyalty members will be able to earn and redeem on Air Canada flights.
In addition, Air Canada will now offer Emirates Business Class Lounge access in Dubai for its Aeroplan 50K, 75K, and Super Elite members. Similarly, Emirates Skywards Gold and Platinum Elites will also get access to Air Canada lounges in Toronto.
Travel with both airlines, and between both airlines is quite literally seamless now.
As mentioned above, Aeroplan and Skywards loyalty members will, as of today, enjoy reciprocal earning on all Air Canada and Emirates flights.
That being said, Emirates flights will not count towards Aeroplan member’s Elite status. Below is the accrual chart for earning Aeroplan points on Emirates flights:
|Class of service
|Eligible booking classes
|Business Flex & Business Saver
|J, C, I, O
|Economy Flex +
|R, Y, P
|U, B, M, K
|G, T, L, Q
|Economy Special/Ineligible classes
|V, X, S, N, D, Z
In addition, Air Canada loyalty members will be able to redeem Aeroplan points for Emirates flights, and similarly, Emirates loyalty members will be able to redeem Skywards Miles for Air Canada flights.
According to Air Canada’s press release, the “arrangement with Emirates is very unique,” thus, Emirates redemptions will have its own dedicated award chart, as outlined below. And really, it is unique — there aren’t too many other ways to fly Emirates business or first with points and there are some sweet spots.
|Up to 2,000
|15,000 to 35,000 pts
|30,000 to 77,500 pts
|65,000 to 175,000 pts
|21,000 to 65,000 pts
|45,000 to 14,000 pts
|110,000 to 325,000 pts
|40,000 to 85,000 pts
|80,000 to 185,000 pts
|225,000 to 475,000 pts
|60,000 to 110,000 pts
|120,000 to 225,000 pts
|300,000 to 600,000 pts
|85,000 to 150,000 pts
|180,000 to 300,000 pts
|400,000 to 750,000 pts
Aeroplan members will be able to book Emirates flights online at aircanada.com, through the Air Canada mobile app, or via Aeroplan’s Customer Contact Center.
For Aeroplan redemptions on Emirates flights, there will be NO carrier surcharges imposed, which is a H-U-G-E bonus and another reason why Aeroplan miles are one of the best transferable points currencies out there.
Just like all other Aeroplan partner award redemptions, Air Canada will only charge a CA$39 partner booking fee per ticket.
A few other important things to note about Aeroplan redemptions for Emirates flights:
- The distance bands on the Emirates chart applies worldwide, and are not specific to any geography.
- Emirates redemptions will be fully combinable with Air Canada and its 45+ airline partners, and all current Aeroplan rules and flexibilities will apply – including routing rules, change/redeposit fees, stopovers, etc.
- For the opening weeks following launch, Aeroplan redemption pricing for Emirates Business and Economy Class may be lower than the amounts on the above Emirates redemption chart, and more similar to Aeroplan’s current partner redemption amounts. This is because the Emirates chart pricing isn’t loaded yet in the Aeroplan systems yet, and it was more important to give Aeroplan members the earliest possible access to these rewards
- Emirates First Class redemptions are coming soon, and will become available once the new Emirates chart takes effect in early 2023
While the cost in Aeroplan miles for Emirates flights will cost you a pretty penny, the fact that you can book Emirates First via Aeroplan could make this a great option for folks with a large stash of Aeroplan miles and aspirational travel dreams.
In addition, if you are able to jump in and quickly book an Emirates award flight in the first few weeks of the launch with the current Aeroplan partner pricing, then you might score yourself a heck of a deal for Business or Premium Economy!
In terms of lounge access, Aeroplan Elite 50K, 75K and Super Elite members traveling in Economy Class with Emirates will enjoy complimentary access to the Emirates Business Class lounge along with access for one guest.
This benefit will also extend to departing Air Canada flights later in 2023, when Air Canada relocates to Terminal 3, and until then, eligible Aeroplan Elite members will continue to have access to lounges in Terminal 1.
For Emirates Skywards Gold and Platinum members traveling in Economy Class with either Air Canada or Emirates, they will enjoy complimentary access to Air Canada’s Maple Leaf Lounges and Air Canada Café along with access for one guest.
Additionally, for Emirates flights departing Toronto, Emirates Business Class passengers will have access to Maple Leaf Lounges and the Air Canada Café, and Emirates First Class customers (and up to one guest on the same flight) will have access to the Air Canada Signature Suite.
This is great news all around, and continues to bolster Aeroplan as one of the most valuable miles currencies out there! With easy transfers from Chase, Amex and Capital One, there are many ways to make the points stack up!
With reciprocal lounge access and the ability to book Emirates First with Aeroplan miles, Air Canada loyalty members will have that many more options to use their miles for their dream trip, and to travel in style with lounge access if they also have Elite status.
If you have a stockpile of Aeroplan miles or are able to transfer miles into Aeroplan in the next few weeks and want to fly Emirates Business class, then I’d highly suggest that you check out availability before the current partner rates increase once the new Emirates award chart is uploaded into Aeroplan’s booking system!
Emirates moves, first with United and now with Air Canada and Aeroplan make for interesting crystal ball predictions for the future…