Aimia will deposit a fixed amount of Aeroplan Points in the accounts of eligible members if a court approves a settlement agreement announced on Friday.
Details of eligible persons and other specific information are not made public at this time, as the settlement is subject to approval by the Quebec Superior Court, Aimia explained.
The Merchant Law Group launched the national class action lawsuit in July 2009, almost three years after Aimia announced in October 2006 that it would amend the Aeroplan Points accumulation and redemption rules.
The lawsuit involved Aeroplan’s decision to cancel the points if there was no activity in a member’s account over a continuous 12-month period, as well as its decision to cancel points. they were not used within seven years of their acquisition.
Aeroplan has eliminated the seven-year expiry date for points in June 2013, but continues to cancel the accounts if there is no accumulation or exchange activity in the last 12 months.
Aimia argued on Friday that the proposed class action agreement was a positive solution for members and unitholders.
Attorney Tony Merchant said Friday in a phone interview that he was optimistic about the Quebec court hearing in September and expected a swift decision.
The company is committed to finding Aeroplan members eligible for compensation, calculating the number of points they owe and depositing points in their accounts, he said.
“In my opinion, Aeroplan acted responsibly by accepting a settlement as it did,” said Marchand. “This is a type of settlement that is very beneficial to the beneficiaries. ”
An opinion that is shared by Gabor Forgacs, an associate professor at Ryerson University, specializing in tourism, hospitality and branding.
“It does not make sense, from the business point of view, to create some animosity towards your loyal customers. ”
In addition, a significant portion of valid loyalty points are not converted into airline tickets, he added.
“Customers never find the right opportunity, or they forget it or they do not follow their account. So, whatever the reason, as a business, there is no need to limit it because it is largely wasted. ”
However, consumers like to collect points, especially business travelers who can use them for family trips, and airlines have discovered that data collected from their customers can be extremely useful.
“If they manage to move the needle down at a minimum, by being smarter, with all that data, that translates into millions of dollars,” said Forgacs.
Last week, Montreal-based Aimia signed an agreement in principle to sell the Aeroplan loyalty program to a group led by Air Canada, which includes TD, CIBC and Visa Canada.
The consortium also agreed to assume a liability of approximately $ 1.9 billion related to the redemption of Aeroplan Points after the expiration of the long-term agreement with Aimia in July 2020.
Marie Bram started working for Spruce Tribune in 2017. Marie grew up in a small town in northern Manitoba. But moved to Ontario for university. Before joining Spruce Tribune, Marie briefly worked as a freelance journalist for CBC News. She covers politics and the economy.