It’s just a small change on the Aeroplan website, but a huge one. You can now check partner record locators online. Here’s why this may save you hours on the phone.
Reaching Aeroplan sometimes feels like trying to find the friend who owes you money and doesn’t have it: it’s a game of cat and mouse. Hold times routinely surpass 90 minutes during busy evening periods. Sometimes you reach an agent only to be placed on hold again for just as long as you initially waited while she attempts to coax her ancient systems into compliance.
One huge annoyance with Aeroplan (and Star Alliance in general) is the inability to easily assign seats across airlines. If you book a ticket with United that includes Lufthansa and Air Canada segments, you cannot assign seats on those flights. Same thing if you try to book United flights on Thai Airways. There are some exceptions, but Star is certainly lagging behind both oneworld and Sky Team in this area.
Some carriers have tried to help by at least making partner record locators viewable online. You see, every time you book a segment on a partner carrier, a unique record locator or PNR or confirmation number (all synonyms) is generated that is different than the PNR of the ticketing carrier. Put simply, the systems don’t talk to each other well. In order to assign seats on a partner, you need that partner confirmation number.
Up until now, you would have to call Aeroplan to obtain these partner record locators. That clogged the queue for more important calls and exacerbated already long hold times. But it was still worth it: seats are important.
> Read More: The Best Time to Call Aeroplan?
Log into your account, click on “Manage Your Rewards” and pull up your award.
You’ll see a small box toward the top that says “Seat Selection”. Click on that and a box will pop up that includes your partner record locators.
Use those record locators to pull up your reservations on those carrier’s website and you should be able to assign seats. In other words, use the Lufthansa record locator to assign seats on Lufthansa’s website for your Lufthansa (Group) flights.
With hold times to reach an Aeroplan agent notoriously bad, Aeroplan can attack the problem in two ways: hire more agents or add more functionality to its website. It seems to be approaching the problem the latter way, which I believe is wise.