North

Nunavut Aeroplan members worse off than others: Northern flyer

One frequent flyer living the North says a limited number of seats set aside for users of Aeroplan even further limits their ability to cash in on the frequent-flyer program.

Limited seats, lack of Air Canada flights to Iqaluit make it tough to cash in, he says

Gustavo Oliveira in front of a float plane in Yellowknife. Oliviera says Aeroplan members in Nunavut are in the worst situation in the country because First Air and Canadian North only allow two Aeroplan seats on each flight. (Gustavo Oliveira/Facebook)

One frequent flyer says Nunavut customers are even worse off than southern ones when it comes to redeeming their Aeroplan frequent-flyer miles.

Last week CBC's Go Public reported on concerns from customers in Quebec and Alberta that cashing in on the reward program is almost impossible for travel dates as far ahead as a year.

But Gustavo Oliveira, an Aeroplan member from Yellowknife and author of a blog post called "How to Book Aeroplan to Iqaluit," says people in Nunavut are in the worst situation in the country because First Air and Canadian North, which participate in the program, only allow two Aeroplan seats to be booked for each flight.

He also cites the fact that Air Canada — which created the program — dropped flights to Iqaluit in 2011. 

"My biggest advice is plan ahead," said Oliveira. "Try to get those seats down as soon as you can because it books up. If you can't, just keep calling back because the inventory changes all the time."

Aeroplan has about five million members. Its members can collect rewards by using their Aeroplan credit cards and by shopping at certain businesses — everything from hardware stores to car rental companies to gas stations.

The company did not return CBC North's request for an interview. 

Aeroplan told Go Public it has tried to address the issue by offering collectors other options, such as using points to buy merchandise, book hotels or car rentals. 

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