MONTREAL (CP) - Aeroplan is sweetening its Air Canada frequent-flyer program in the face of growing competition in the credit card rewards market.
The Montreal-based firm said Thursday it will eliminate blackout periods and give its six million members access to a minimum of 15 per cent of seats every month on all Air Canada routes.
The moves "will remove some of the pressure on booking reward travel and enable Aeroplan members to redeem their miles for more flights, more easily and more often," Aeroplan said in a release.
In 2003, Aeroplan members had access to over four million seats on the Air Canada network. That number will rise to about six million reward seats with Air Canada (TSX:AC) and thousands available through the international Star Alliance network of airlines.
The Aeroplan program has been under pressure as major banks like Royal Bank and TD promote their own frequent-flyer programs. And even CIBC, which has an Aerogold Visa card for Aeroplan members, is competing with its alternative Aventura Visa card program.
Aeroplan members can also redeem travel "miles" for car rentals, hotel stays, vacation packages and retail deals.
© The Canadian Press 2004