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Air Canada, United expand partnership with more codeshares, loyalty perks

July 22, 2022
3 min read
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Air Canada, United expand partnership with more codeshares, loyalty perks
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Two of the largest airlines in North America are expanding their relationship.

United Airlines, one of the largest carriers in the U.S., announced Friday that it's deepening its ties with Air Canada, the flag carrier of Canada. Under an existing antitrust immunity, the two airlines have been close partners for years in the transborder market.

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Now, the airlines are growing their tie-up to include additional coordination, subject to necessary regulatory requirements.

This includes coordinating networks and schedules, expanding codeshares on transborder flights, sharing revenue in certain hub markets and aligning policies for greater consistency, the two airlines said in a joint press release.

These "aligned policies" could possibly include complimentary same-day standby and additional same-day confirmed change perks on transborder routes with multiple United or Air Canada frequencies.

In terms of codeshares, United and Air Canada promise that the expanded tie-up will unlock 46 transborder codeshare destinations on more than 400 daily frequencies in 2022, with more to come.

Other passenger-facing changes include United and Air Canada co-locating in certain major airports, offering a more unified onboard product and providing additional frequent flyer benefits.

Though details of the proposed benefits weren't announced, it's possible the airlines will team up to offer additional perks to top-tier elites, such as access to upgrades and extra-legroom seats. Both airlines are founding members of the Star Alliance and already offer members the ability to earn and redeem miles on either carrier.

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Of course, the carriers could offer expanded award availability as part of the joint business agreement; only time will tell which benefits will be made available to members of the Aeroplan and MileagePlus programs.

"With this new agreement, we are further strengthening our long-standing partnership with Air Canada," Patrick Quayle, senior vice president of global network planning and alliance at United, said in a statement. "As international travel continues to recover, this expanded partnership will provide an enhanced experience for all transborder travel."

The airlines didn't announce a timeline for when they expect the expanded partnership to gain the necessary approvals and officially be implemented.

On the surface, the tie-up seems similar to the one that Atlanta-based Delta and Calgary-based WestJet already have. The two carriers have a transborder partnership that includes schedule coordination and elite benefits, among other perks.

Air Canada and United tried implementing a similar partnership back in 2010 but didn't move forward with the implementation after facing regulatory hurdles.

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees