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[ANALYSIS] Air Canada Elite 35K

This is the continuation of our series on Air Canada Elite statuses. I previously wrote about the Prestige 25K status. Today, I will focus on the next level, which is the Elite 35K status.

To qualify for the Elite 35K status, you need to earn 35,000 Altitude Qualifying Miles (AQM) or flyer 35 Altitude Qualifying Segments (AQS) on Air Canada or Star Alliance flights during a calendar year. Furthermore, you will need to earn at least 10,000 AQM or 5 AQS on eligible flights operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Express or Air Canada rouge.

All the of the perks associated with Elite 35K are encompassed in the Prestige 25K perks, so I will not repeat those perks. For this post, I will focus on the additional perks that you will receive as an Elite 35K member.

Complimentary Checked Baggage Allowance – 3 complimentary checked bags (32 kilograms limit) on flights operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Express and Air Canada rouge.

Priority Security Clearance – Access to dedicated security screening process lanes at eligible airports worldwide.

Priority Boarding – Board your flight first via a dedicated lane on flights operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Express and Air Canada rouge.

Priority Rewards – Access to any unsold Economy Class Aeroplan ClassicFlight Reward seats on flights operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Express, or Air Canada rouge.

Below are additional benefits that you must choose from.

Choose 1 of 3:

1) Altitude Bonus with Air Canada and select airline partners – Earn 35% Bonus Aeroplan Miles on eligible flights operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Express, Air Canada rouge, Copa Airlines, United, Austrian, Brussels Airlines, Lufthansa, SWISS and TAM. Note that these bonus Aeroplan points do not qualify for AQMs with the Altitude program.

2) eUpgrade Credits – 10 credits will be deposited into your eUpgrade account and be used to upgrade to Business Class on eligible Air Canada and Air Canada Express flights.

3) Complimentary access to International Maple Leaf Lounges and Star Alliance Business Lounges – Complimentary access to the Air Canada International Maple Leaf Lounges located in the international departures zones of Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, as well as Maple Leaf Lounges located in Frankfurt, Paris or London-Heathrow and Star Alliance Business Lounges worldwide. You can also invite one guest at no charge when guest is traveling on a same-day flight operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Express, Air Canada rouge or any Star Alliance member airline. Visitors under the age of majority must be accompanied by an adult.

The choice is quite simple for me, I prefer Aeroplan bonus points over upgrades and lounge access. Furthermore, you can select eUpgrades or lounge access in the next section anyway.

Choose 2 of 3:

1) eUpgrade Credits – 20 credits will be deposited into your eUpgrade account and be used to upgrade to Business Class on eligible Air Canada and Air Canada Express flights.

2) Maple Leaf Lounge One-Time Guest Passes – Receive 3 one-time passes for access to Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges located in the domestic and transborder zones of Canadian airports, Los Angeles and New York (LaGuardia). Access applies when you and your guests are traveling on a same-day flight operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Express or Air Canada rouge. These passes are in addition to those that you would have received when you hit Prestige 25K first.

3) aircanada.com Travel Options – Enjoy complimentary Onboard Café or Maple Leaf Lounge access on eligible reservations completed at aircanada.com for up to six passengers. There are several restrictions to keep in mind. This options applies only on flights operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Express and Air Canada rouge, and all travel must be booked and completed by June 30 of the following year. Furthermore, Onboard Café only applies on flights within North America over 2 hours. This privilege cannot be used in conjunction with Flight Pass reservations or Aeroplan rewards flights, nor be used together with another promotion code.

The third option has too many restrictions that I would go with options 1) and 2). This is where you can receive your eUpgrade credits or lounge access that you might not have chosen in the previous section. Furthermore, since by this time you would have achieve Prestige 25K first, you can select the alternate (for example, eUpgrade credits then lounge access) as you achieve one level to the next so that you can benefit from both perks.

Choose 1 of 2:

1) eUpgrade Credits for eligible Flight Pass activities – For every eligible Flight Pass activity, earn 6 eUpgrade Credits that will be deposited into your eUpgrade account. Credits can be used on eligible flights operated by Air Canada and Air Canada Express in order to upgrade to Business Class.

2) Altitude Qualifying Miles for eligible Flight Pass activities – For every eligible Flight Pass activity, earn 1,000 AQMs for the Altitude program and 1,000 Aeroplan points.

This one will depend on whether you value business class or bonus points more. The upgrades to business class might have more value because business class tickets are much more expensive than economy, but if you need AQMs to qualify for elite status next year, then AQMs would make more sense.

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