On September 16, 2020 Air Canada announced the launch of its new Infinite Canada Flight Pass. The new pass is designed to give customers ultimate flexibility when booking domestic flights. For one flat fee, pass holders can book travel without any blackout or booking restrictions, make changes or cancellations without penalty, and fly as often as they want for up to three months (depending on the duration of the pass they purchase).
“Air Canada recognizes that as air travel begins to return to normal customers want flexibility and certainty. Our new Infinite Canada Flight Pass provides both by enabling customers to easily book and change their travel plans without any blackout restrictions or change or cancellation fees, while locking in the price of their flights for up to three months with one flat fee. The pass also gives customers the option to choose which class of fare they desire — Standard, Flex and Latitude — and allows them to earn Altitude Qualifying Miles,” said Lucie Guillemette, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at Air Canada in a press release.
The Air Canada Infinite Canada Flight Pass will be available for purchase in Canada from September 16 to 23, 2020. The price for the pass starts at $2,000 per month (excluding taxes) and passes are available for time periods of one, two or three months. Customers can also choose from among three classes of service: Standard, Flex and Latitude.
The features of the new unlimited passes include:
- An unlimited amount of flights within Canada for a set price throughout the duration of the pass;
- Customers can accumulate Altitude Qualifying Miles;
- Passengers can book travel up to one hour before the flight, with no blackout dates or booking restrictions;
- No fees for changes or cancellations
You can read more information about the new Infinite Canada Flight Pass on Air Canada’s website.
The new passes are Air Canada’s latest attempt to increase domestic travel within Canada. Last month, Air Canada’s president and CEO Calin Rovinescu reported unprecedented revenue losses and urged the easing of coronavirus travel restrictions. He suggested that the carrier’s losses were the result of Canada’s “devastating and unprecedented…COVID-19 pandemic and government-imposed travel and border restrictions and quarantine requirements.” Rovinescu went on to note that “…Canada’s federal and inter-provincial restrictions have been among the most severe in the world.”
Coronavirus pandemic travel bans have hit all airlines hard. In its latest quarterly earnings report, Air Canada reported a net loss of $1.752 billion. Canada’s major airline has laid off tens of thousands of workers and has also cut seat capacity. According to Rovinescu, total revenue for Air Canada declined by 89 per cent during the second quarter of the year.
The airline is especially anxious to win over customers because Air Canada is suffering from bad press for its refusal to issue refunds for flights cancelled due to Covid-19. On August 21, 2020 the U.S. Department of Transportation released its July 2020 Air Travel Consumer Report, which contains a collection air travel complaints concerning things like delays, mishandled baggage and more for May, 2020. (You can read the full report here.)
The report showed that Air Canada had the most complaints of any foreign airline (out of over 80 foreign airlines) in the U.S. Additionally, the carrier also received the second most complaints out of any foreign or domestic airline in the month of May.
It will be interesting to see if the new unlimited passes increase the beleaguered airline’s customer base and finally win them some positive press during the coronavirus pandemic.