After drastically improving hold times after years of tiresome queues, hold times are once again a problem on Aeroplan. What is going on?
Long Aeroplan Hold Times Return
At Award Expert, we’ve noticed hold times have spiked up rather drastically when calling Aeroplan. For the last couple years, hold times have been minimal…but not any longer.
Those hold times suddenly improved when it looked liked Aimia, the former parent company of Aeroplan, and Air Canada would part ways in 2020. At the time, Aeroplan realized a simple truth: if it was to survive without Air Canada, customer service would have to dramatically improve. Improving customer service started with improving hold times.
But what has caused hold times to suddenly climb over the last two months? Recently, I waited on hold 45 minutes before an agent answered. Others have reported holds exceeding 90 minutes.
Aeroplan: The Problem Is Temporary
I reached out to Aeroplan and asked what was going on. A spokesperson promptly responded to me:
First, you are correct we are currently experiencing longer than normal wait times. This is a temporary situation and it is not related to staffing levels as there has been no change.
Instead, it is related to our preparations to relaunch Aeroplan in 2020. As part of this, we’ve been making a number of changes to the program including a new account login system that will make our members’ experience simple, convenient and secure. Because of this, members were asked to give each of their Aeroplan accounts its own unique email address associated with it and questions about this are generating incremental calls. In addition, unrelated to this, a password reset was recently required as part of our ongoing efforts to enhance security and this has also added to call volumes.
We apologize to customers for any inconvenience and assure them we are working hard to restore normal response times.
In short, the problem is the new account login system. I should have realized this before I even asked…
The Pesky New Login
In early September, Aeroplan required everyone reset their password. If you have not reset since then, expect a prompt next time you login.
The new password must be more “secure” than the previous minimum threshold and a confirmation is sent to the email address on file to verify the new password. Frustratingly (for families with multiple accounts), an email address can only be associated with one account. In my house, for example, all Aeroplan email had previously come to one email address, specifically set up for our loyalty programs. I had to assign my wife’s Aeroplan account to another email.
As if that was not bad enough, Aeroplan began requiring two-factor authentication when logging in. Every time I logged in, I would get the following message:
A six-digit numerical code was sent to my email. Except when it wasn’t. Sometimes it was delayed…
This was tough enough for this tech-savy young(ish) person to figure out. Imagine the many older, less tech savvy Aeroplan users. It became quite clear why calls centers are snarled.
But good news: I haven’t seen that pesky code lately for myself or any Award Expert client. Hopefully Aeroplan realized they were taking security just a bit too far.
The explanation makes sense as to why Aeroplan hold times have suddenly increased so drastically. Hopefully, as people update their passwords, hold times will once again retreat.
Have you experienced long hold times with Aeroplan lately?