Last week, I talked about how Aeroplan was blocking all online bookings for one-way flights that don’t touch the United States or Canada. If you went to make a booking, say from Bangkok to London, you’d get this message:
The phone number indicated is not Aeroplan’s normal reservations line. My contact at Aeroplan indicated that this was their fraud line. Shortly after reaching out to my contact, this problem was fixed and things went back to normal. Well, surprise surprise, Aeroplan has implemented a new function for bookings that don’t touch the United States or Canada.
Please wait on hold…
Once you select your desired flights and enter passenger information, instead of being directed to the payment page, you’ll see this:
The system is generating a PNR, and wants you to call Aeroplan’s fraud line within 24 hours to pay for the reservation. According to an Aeroplan agent, this function was implemented as a counter-fraud strategy. Further, Aeroplan is waiving telephone booking fees for these types of bookings. This function seems to apply to bookings that do not touch the United States or Canada.
While it’s always good to reduce instances of fraud, this new function can be a challenge for users. First, Aeroplan’s telephone lines are notoriously packed, and it can often take an hour or more to connect. Second, Aeroplan has limited opening hours, based on Eastern Standard Time (according to the above image, their fraud line is open 7:00-23:00 ET). If you need to make a same-day booking and Aeroplan is closed, too bad so sad. This is a significant devaluation for Aeroplan, since last-minute flights outside of the United States or Canada may not be ticketed in time if the booking is made when Aeroplan is closed.