In a new effort to boost tourism to Canada, the country’s namesake airline, Air Canada, is enticing travelers with a new status matching program.
Offered in partnership with Destination Canada, the status match program extends teh airlines’ Aeroplan membership for free through Dec. 31 to eligible frequent flyers, the tourism commission shared with Travel + Leisure. Eligible status programs include those who fly with American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Alaska Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest, and Hawaiian Airlines.
Travelers can then keep their status through the end of next year if they book and fly one return trip with Air Canada that would be eligible to accrue Aeroplan points before 12 a.m. PT on Jan. 15, 2022.
“We know that Americans are traveling in their own country at 2019 levels—we will reach these frequent flyers who have adapted to the realities of travel today. We believe the benefits of this program provides a great incentive to them to choose Canada for their next trip,” Gloria Loree, the senior vice president, marketing strategy & chief marketing officer for Destination Canada, said in a statement provided to T+L. “We can’t wait to welcome our American friends back and will lean in on our iconic landscapes and equally diverse communities in doing so.”
Air Canada Aeroplan members get perks like priority seat selection, priority check-in, and complimentary checked bags. Depending on their tier, members may also get complimentary access to the airline’s Maple Leaf Lounges and eUpgrade credits.
Canada opened to fully vaccinated U.S. tourists in August, requiring them to be vaccinated at least two weeks before their trip, get tested before going, and upload their documents to the ArriveCAN app or website. While the U.S. land border remains closed to non-essential travel from Canada, the closure does not apply to U.S. citizens coming back into the country after traveling abroad.
On Sept. 7, Canada extended its border opening to vaccinated travelers from other countries.
Between Aug. 9 and Sept. 12, Canada welcomed about 600,000 people, Destination Canada told T+L — nearly twice as many as arrived during the same time period in 2020 when the country saw about 348,000 arrivals.
While the U.S. continues to restrict travel into the country, the White House has said it plans to lift travel restrictions on vaccinated foreign visitors in November.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she’s not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.