Wow: Free Air Canada Elite Status For U.S. Frequent Flyers

U.S. residents who are airline elite frequent flyers can get free Air Canada Aeroplan elite status for the rest of 2021, and keep that status for the 2022 program with by booking and flying just one roundtrip on Air Canada (or Air Canada Express or Rouge) by January 15, 2022.

How The Status Match Program Works

Elites with American, Delta, Alaska, Southwest, JetBlue and Hawaiian are eligible for a match. Naturally Air Canada won’t poach elite members of partner airline United’s Mileage plus program.

This grid will tell you what your current status level will get you with Air Canada. Interestingly,

  • Southwest’s Companion Pass is treated as a higher level than A-List Preferred (I have the former from credit card spend, but not the latter).

  • They will match Southwest and Hawaiian status – but not Spirit or Frontier status.

  • Air Canada will match to their top tier – though only for American Airlines Concierge Key member and Delta 360s.

While temporary status lasts through the end of 2021, you have until January 15 to complete the requirements to keep status. That means you may lose status temporarily – if you qualify for a match, but don’t fly your required trip until the last day possible, you’ll be without status for the first half of January.

This is not a once in a lifetime offer, but if you successfully obtain a status match through this offer you will not be able to request another one for two years. There’s no defined end date for the match, but they hint at a cap on number of matches they’ll offer, so the opportunity could end at any time.

Expect a response to your status match request within 3 days, which would be a great experience for a status match prgoam. Status will be reflected in your account within 5 busines days of approval.

A Status Match To Encourage Travel To Canada

The program is being managed by status match concierge service They ran a status match program last year for Frontier Airlines, which included a fee however here there’s no processing fee. The effort is funded by tourism organization Destination Canada which aims to encourage U.S. travel to Canada with this offer.

Canada has re-opened to vaccinated U.S. travelers. Of course this offer doesn’t require visiting Canada. It may be worth a mileage run, or considering Air Canada for a Europe trip – for American’s living in non-hub cities they’re often the same one-stop service as connecting on a U.S. airline. Unfortunately Air Canada award travel doesn’t count for keeping this status.

Air Canada Aeroplan Is A Useful Program For Americans

Air Canada Aeroplan elite members get significant discounts on award redemption through “Priority Rewards so this program is going to be useful for those with big balances with Chase, American Express or Capital One since Aeroplan is a transfer partner of those. And we’re about to see the launch of a new Aeroplan credit card in the U.S. from Chase.

And Aeroplan award redemption is very useful with no fuel surcharges and access to both Star Alliance airline awards and award travel across an extensive network of partners (even Etihad). Moreover when redeeming for business class awrds on Air Canada generally a 10,000 to 12,000 point premium gets a business flex award and that comes with access to probably the best business class lounges in North America, the original Signature Suite in Toronto and the one in Vancouver.

air canada signature suite toronto
Air Canada Signature Suite Toronto

While some might eye this as a convenient and quick path to Star Alliance Gold status, for lounge access in the U.S. on domestic United Airlines itineraries without buying a club membership, it’s worth remembering that Air Canada is the largest foreign carrier in the U.S. serving 60 U.S. cities pre-pandemic. Not only are they convenient for travel to Canada but for one-stop service across both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

If I were a Concierge Key or 360 member I’d be all over this for Air Canada Super Elite status, arguably the best standard top tier status level in North America and really unique for its concierge agent program.

As a mere Executive Platinum with American and Southwest Airlines Companion Pass holder I’ll look at this as Star Gold and cheaper Aeroplan redemptions for my Chase and Aemx points.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. […] View from the Wing flags the fact that Air Canada’s Aeroplan is offering a really interesting status match opportunity that will give the matching member status through the end of 2021 with the ability to keep that status for 2022 with one round trip on Air Canada, Air Canada Express, or Rouge by January 15, 2021. This could easily be mileage runnable for many people and marks an especially good opportunity for those with a Southwest Companion Pass. […]


  1. Thank you Gary! Submitted as companion pass and was approved within 30 mins. Is there any way to fly air canada in the US? I cant enter Canada right now

  2. My status based on Southwest’s Companion Pass was already approved! Please allow up to 5 business days for your account to reflect your new Aeroplan Elite status. Thanks

  3. Well maybe not fully approved the website is saying “Status Match Conditionally Approved.”

  4. Same for me with Delta Diamond – it was approved about 10 minutes after submitting with the 5 day email.

  5. Good for status but not much else

    Once you fly Air Canada you ll regret it immediately.
    Then you ll regret it more when it’s late and there is noone to help you rebook.

    Smells of desperation from an airline worse than Spirit

  6. I applied and got an application number but when I check on the status match tracker it says no application with these credentials (email and application number ) I got an email newsletter from Destination Canada so I assume my email was correct – should I apply again ?

  7. Note that the Air Canada 35k elite level is the borderline useless Star Silver level. So if your elite status level in a US airline program only matches up to the 35k elite status level in the Air Canada program, don’t expect lounge access when flying UA.

  8. @gary – I have tried twice and gotten an application number each time but BUT BOTH say no status match application when checked on the status match tracker they provide . Any idea why this is happening ? I did both from my IPhone but don’t think that should matter as they were both accepted .

  9. Believe the AC Signature Lounge is off limits for Aeroplan J class redemption, only with paid business ticket holders.

  10. @Maxie Dean, same here on my match to AA EXP.

    @Gary, got a contact at Status Match or Air Canada that could help us?

  11. @Andy – you cannot fly Air Canada between two domestic US destinations (by law) but you can connect in Canada to much of the world where you might travel

  12. On the issue of not showing your tracking # in their system, I’m told

    “Yes we’re aware of a very small number of people with problems not being able to track their application.

    These folks are existing members, and their application was causing some account conflicts.

    No need to resubmit (actually, it won’t let them resubmit). Might take 24-hours to resolve but we are aware and on the case.”

  13. Attention all- United Clubs are running out of baby carrots because of this promotion. Let’s get serious. This only works if you plan to leave your alliance (SkyTeam, oneworld) for good. By switching, you can kiss your hard work, eg. lifetime goodbye.

  14. @Gary Is there anywhere I can fly on Air Canada if my passport is expired? Just discovered this after I was approved for the status match.

  15. Now accepting my application and received submission email confirmation. Also removed my middle initial when submitting. Whether they fixed it or I did, I’m now waiting as fast as I can.

  16. Hi Gary: Since you seem to be all-knowing re: this promo . . . my status tracker says “conditionally approved” but it isn’t reflected in the system. When people say they’ve been approved, was it “conditional” or outright approval (and if so, should I be concerned that it’s only conditional)? Thank you.

  17. When I submitted my application last night it took all but a few seconds for it to change to “conditionally approved”. This morning it still said “conditionally approved”. Just checked this afternoon and it now says “Status Match Approved. Pending account update”. So it took roughly a half a day from the time I submitted to where it is now. Not bad. Now I’m just waiting for my Air Canada Account to actually reflect the change. I’ll update once it does.

  18. For those whose status said “conditionally approved” my hunch was correct. It meant the match is approved, but doesn’t yet reflect in Aeroplan’s systems. (This can take up to 5 business days.)

    And just like that, flagging the question got an improvement in communication from the status match folks – they’ve changed the text in the tracker to stay “Status Match Approved. Pending account update.” That’s both clearer and more accurate.

  19. Thanks Gary. I was just about to update my email. I did indeed get approved. Thanks for following up.

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