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Air Canada has announced a positive change to their advanced seat selection policy for Aeroplan Elite Status members and their travel companions. Standard and Preferred seat selections will now be available to some Elite members at no cost. The Status you hold, the type of fare, and the type of flight will determine when you can select your seats on a complimentary basis. These new benefits will apply to all bookings from October 2, 2023 onwards.
Advanced Seat Selection – Standard Seats vs. Preferred Seats
Advanced seat selection is the way to go if you don’t want to be stuck in the middle seat. Standard seats are the default seating options on a flight, whereas Preferred seats offer much-needed extra space to make the journey more comfortable – think bulkhead seats for extra knee room or exit row seats for a proper stretch. Advanced seat selections come at an additional cost, especially if the fare type booked is Basic or Standard. However, seat selections are complimentary once web check-in opens for the flight.
The price of Advance selection of a Standard seat can range from $14-$90, depending on the fare type;
Preferred Seat prices range from $20 to $199. Aeroplan Elite Members and customers travelling on a Latitude or comfort fare can select a Preferred Seat at no extra cost or a reduced price.
Complimentary Seat Benefits for Elite Members
Starting October 2, 2023, Air Canada is set to make Preferred and Standard seats complimentary for Elite members with specific fare types. The availability of complimentary Preferred Seats will depend on your Aeroplan Elite Status, fare type, and flight category.
Complimentary Preferred Seat Benefits for Elite Members:
- Aeroplan 25K and Aeroplan 35K: Members can select Preferred Seats at no cost during check-in for all flights, excluding Basic fares.
- Aeroplan 50K: For flights within North America, members can choose their seats at any time. For all other flights, they can select seats during check-in, again excluding Basic fares.
- Aeroplan 75K: Members can choose seats anytime for all flights, excluding Basic fares.
- Aeroplan Super Elite: Members can select their preferred seats anytime for all flights, excluding Basic fares.
Complimentary Standard Seat Benefits for Elite Members:
- Aeroplan 50K, 75K and Super Elite members can access complimentary standard seat assignments when booking all flights and fares, except Basic fares.
When travelling on Air Canada, Air Canada Express, and Air Canada Rouge flights, these new benefits extend to the Elite member and up to 8 companions in the same reservation. They do not extend to codeshare flights or flights operated by partner airlines. While the new benefits apply to bookings made before October 2, 2023, refunds for Preferred Seats purchased before this date will not be issued.
With the introduction of these new benefits, the 50% discount for Preferred Seats on Flex fares will be discontinued.
If you are an Elite member with Aeroplan, this benefit is another reason for not booking basic fare. I love locking in an exit row seat when I am travelling economy, and the new policy on seat benefits for elite members adds another layer of savings to my plans. The new approach will be reflected on the Air Canada Advanced Seat Selection website later this week and will be emailed to members later this month.