Yesterday I received my threshold bonus from Air Canada for flying too much.
What was it? Two upgrade certificates to fly Business Class… if you pay for a Latitude Class ticket.
While I’ve always disliked this ‘perk’ Gayle D. recently explained to me in greater detail why this reward program is a total failure for customers.
To begin with, of her 15 or so friends (who are stuck with flying Air Canada regularly) she knows of only one that can fly Latitude class. (I don’t know anyone.)
As a result this threshold bonus is completely ineffective, both as a reward and as an incentive. It fails as a reward because I’ll never enjoy the ‘perk’ of flying business class since no organization I know of pays for Latitude class tickets. Conversely, it fails as an incentive for the same reasons. Because clients won’t pay for Latitude class, I can’t be incented to buy a Latitude class fare.
As a result, I’m willing to wager that at least 85% of Air Canada’s Latitude upgrade certificates go unused. This means that Air Canada chops down trees, send lots of mail and spends on advertising, all to flaunt a perk its customers will rarely, if ever, get to use. Frustrating? You’d better believe it.
God I hope Westjet creates a rewards program. Or that we finally adopt an open skies agreement.
For those wishing to commiserate over some more Air Canada mistreatment stories try Andrew Potter’s recanting of his experience. Of course, Beltzner’s Air Canada inspired Haikus still make me laugh. And not to be outdone, I’ve vented on the subject previously myself.