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Air Canada's Altitude 2018 Program - Summary of Changes

Air Canada’s Altitude 2018 Program
Here’s a summary of changes to Air Canada’s status program, Altitude.
As in past years, there are both “core privileges” and “select privileges.” The “core” ones are fixed and extended automatically to all members, but improve with your tier level.   For instance, 25K and 35K members get access to the Air Canada Maple Leaf lounges, but only 50K+ members get access to all the Star Alliance business class lounges. “Select privileges” are the special perks you get to choose from a menu of offers, such as additional eUpgrade credits and bonus Aeroplan miles.
Core Privileges:
One new “core privileges” is that all Altitude members will be given 20 eUpgrade credits. (35K members and higher will get to choose more of these in their “select privileges.”)
Additionally, meal vouchers will be included automatically in your “core privileges.”
And finally, the Maple Leaf Lounge guest passes, formerly something you’d have to choose, will be offered automatically to 35K members and above.
The program is anything but egalitarian, so these new perks are offered in great number in relation to status, the higher the status, the higher the number of perks given.
Select Privileges:
(a)No deadline: there will no longer be a strict deadline to choose. You’ll have up to Nov. 15/18 to make your selection; and unlike past years you won’t be stuck with a “default selection” if you miss a deadline. One thing to keep in mind, though: there is a time delay from the moment you select your privileges to the time they are “delivered.” And some things are still printed on paper and sent to you in your membership kit. So, don’t delay making your choices!
(b)Wifi perk. 75K and 100K members will have a new perk: free wifi packages (12-months for 100K and 6 months for 75K).
(c)Simplified. This year, there will just be two “bundles” to choose out of. Bundle #1 is the key one which applies to everyone. Bundle# 2 is the old bundle 3, which only applies whenever you buy a Flight Pass (ie. you get to choose between extra eUpgrades or bonus AQM, “Altitude Qualifying Mileage,” that will be triggered with each purchase of a Flight Pass.
(d)Bundle# 1: as mentioned, this is the only part that matters for most Altitude members (unless you do purchase Flight Passes). I strongly recommend you strategize with your travel consultant before you choose these.  Your consultant knows the nuances of these perks (ie. whether they really are as valuable as they appear), and perhaps knows better than you what you did and didn’t use last year. 
One example of this is the “lower requalification level” benefit. 50K, for instance, can pick a lower requalification target of 45K instead of 50K. For sure, 5,000 miles has a dollar value (ie. perhaps no need to have to book the infamous “trip to nowhere” at the end of the year to reach your goal!) and your consultant can even help you arrive at a number. But, suppose you were really gunning for 75K or 100K this year, rather than 50K? This perk will be completely useless to you, because it only applies to requalifying for 50K status. (A few years ago, Air Canada offered 5,000 bonus AQM outright, which could have been applied to any level. That was a richer prize!)  
So, discuss your choices with your consultant before making your choices.


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