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If you’ve ever signed up for an Aeroplan card, chances are you have a love-hate relationship with the popular rewards program. On one hand it’s easy to rack up the points thanks to credit card sign-ups and bonuses on everything from gas to drug store purchases, and you can earn also points by travelling with any of their Star Alliance counterparts.
But when it comes time to use all those hard-earned points…that’s when things usually go south. Here are some secret tricks for booking Aeroplan rewards that will have you flying first-class for less in no time.
Ditch the taxes
I’m going to cut right to the chase: Aeroplan is one of the worst offenders when it comes to tacking on a stupid amount of taxes for reward flights, which is why the program gets a bad rap. Those who’ve searched for a redemption from Canada to Europe know exactly what I’m talking about—why would anyone in their right mind pay $600 in tax and part with 60,000 points for a trip across the pond, when you can simply buy the ticket outright for about the same price?! Mind boggling. Fortunately, there are some ways around it.
You see, the program passes along a fuel surcharge on behalf of airlines such as Air Canada and Lufthansa, which is why that ‘free’ flight suddenly costs so much when you go to book. But here’s the secret…many of the program’s partners don’t! United, Swiss Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Air China and Singapore Airlines are just some of the carriers who don’t levy the extra fee for redemptions, which is why savvy travellers always look to fly with them to save big bucks.
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For example, I once searched for an Air Canada flight to Sydney, Australia via Vancouver, and the taxes were a staggering $1,200 on top of my 80,000 points—umm, no thanks. Instead, I found a United flight that travelled to Sydney via San Francisco, and only paid $250 in taxes. Not bad for a flight that literally goes around the world.
Pick up the phone
That brings me to my next point. Sometimes it takes a bit of work to find those low-fee redemptions, which is when using your social skills comes in uber-handy. I know what you’re thinking: “Who picks up a phone these days when you can just book everything online?” But when it comes to redeeming Aeroplan rewards, you’ll be surprised at how much you WON’T find on the website, which only an Aeroplan agent can help you track down.
If you have a rough itinerary but can’t find a low-cost reward that fits, it’s worth calling customer service to see what they can pull up on their end. When I was travelling around South America I wanted to book a reward flight with Avianca that was on United’s redemption website, but lo and behold when I went to aeroplan.com it was nowhere to be found. I simply gave them a call, read the agent the flight information, and she managed to book it for me.
One caveat is there is a $30 charge per ticket to book through the call centre, but seeing as how I saved myself hundreds of dollars by forgoing the pricier options (and got first class tickets out of it to boot) it was well worth the surcharge.
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Travel like a celebrity
Are you frugal but want to live like a one-percenter? I have great news for you: booking business and first class tickets are the best use of those coveted Aeroplan miles. Premium plane seats can cost thousands of dollars, but when you break down the cost of redemptions per point it’s actually better value to redeem them for a first class reward versus economy.
You’re welcome. Please save me some champagne.
Here’s another secret about booking Aeroplan rewards: the cancellation fee is only $90. Now you may think, “A hundred bucks just to change a flight I already paid for!? What the…” but apparently you’re a person who has never had a modify an itinerary before because then you’d realize THAT’S SO CHEAP.
You see, when you call most airlines to try and change your plans they’re all like, “Oh that’s cute. That will be $600 please, even though your flight was only worth $300” and I’m not even kidding. That’s why Aeroplan is amazing if you need to book a flight but aren’t 100 per cent sure if you’ll need to reschedule—you simply cancel, and they give all your points back minus the $90 bucks! Easy peasy.
Update as of November 2016: Aeroplan is changing their cancellation and refund charge structure, which now range in price from $30 to $150 depending on program status.
No turning back
One of my absolute favourite things about the Aeroplan program is that unlike conventional airlines, they don’t penalize flyers for one-way trips. That means the rewards redemption for a one way flight is exactly half the amount of points required for a round trip ticket (as everyone should do, IMO). Smart travellers visiting multiple destinations on one trip can use this to their advantage, for example by flying into Paris and home from Rome.
Now, pay attention as I have a HUGE. TIP. FOR. YOU. It turns out that sometimes you can actually save points by booking two one-way flights, instead of a return flight.
Reward availability occasionally means there are only premium seats for one leg of the flight, but not on the the other. However, Aeroplan will try and ding you points for a premium reward both ways. Yuck! If you’re stealth enough to notice the discrepancy, simply book each leg separately and you’ll get to keep those extra points from the economy leg.
Do you have any secret tricks for booking Aeroplan rewards to add to this list? Please share them in the comments below!
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Thanks for posting this!
My wife and I have been all over the world on Aeroplan using your exact same stradegy. Going to south east Asia thru San Fran, or Europe thru Chicago, etc etc!! People have asked why we’ve had so much success with the program, where they seem to not?
I also have to agree about the call centre. The $30 surcharge and being on hold for 20 mins saved me $1400+ a few times!!
So great to hear! I love that you guys are finding ways to take advantage of the program too! Do you have any tricks to add that I may have missed?
so what questions do you need to ask the call agent in order to save the dollars? They do not offer any advice for free.
They might be able to see flights that you can’t through the Aeroplan website (i.e. ones with less taxes) so if you’re specific about what you’re looking for, which airlines etc. you can end up saving a lot of money if there’s a match available.
Great article; thanks for the pointers…especially on how to lower the taxes and surcharges.
One irritant, though, is your use of “try and” vs. the grammatically-correct “try to”.
On one occasion you say, “Aeroplan will try and ding you…” Aeroplan will either “try to” ding you and fail (presumably if you catch on and change your plans) or they will simply ding you (no need for the try – and or to – at all.
Yes, I’m being pedantic; but, if you’re going to be in the business of communicating, it’s best to do so correctly.
Thanks John, noted!
Shut the fuck up, nerd.
Mind your manners Calvin. If you’re going to use expletive, use an exclamation mark!
LOL …get a life
What’s the policies on canceling those cards after that XXXXX points bonus at sign in?
Can one just cancel it after a few months and keep the points?
Yup, that’s usually allowed. However as I understand it, it doesn’t do your credit rating any favours if you go through cards so quickly. What I do is keep the card right until before it’s set to expire (even if I haven’t used it for 9 months) and then cancel it right before the annual fee is due.
Do you have any advice on redeeming Aeroplan miles specifically for FIRST class on Lufthansa or Singapore? I can never seem to find a first class option on the Aeroplan website despite finding the route and availability via Lufthansa or Singapore’s website.
I hear ya. Singapore Airlines (my favourite) is one that typically doesn’t show up on the Aeroplan booking site unfortunately. You can try navigating their Kris Flyer site to track down availability, but as far as I know the only way you can actually book it is by calling Aeroplan. They have that $30 call fee, but you might be able to ask the agent to waive the fee if you’ve already done all the work of tracking the flight down yourself. They’ve waived fees for me before, so worth a try!
Do you usually have to do all the work yourself before calling in to an agent, or can you simply call Aeroplan and let them know where you want to go on which dates and which airlines (on Star Alliance but not Air Canada) and they do the work to find the flights?
In my experience it helps to do the work yourself before calling, so that when they inevitably say they can’t find anything you can helpfully direct them towards the exact booking you’re looking at.
How do you know if the flight you are tracking down is even available through Aeroplan? I thought they only have limited seats they release every so often? I hope you are right!! I’m trying to book 7 seats to Costa Rica and finding NOTHING on the aeroplan site.
Thanks for the great tips!
Do you know if stopovers are allowed on a one way flight (Aeroplan points redemption)?
It seems that these days most of the aeroplan cards only let you get the welcome points once in a lifetime. I’ve already got a welcome bonus from visa once and AMEX once, so what now? Any trick to keep getting those bonuses?
Hi Nick, I have seen some cards limit how often you can get the bonus (for obvious reasons), but have also heard stories about people being able to reapply and get the bonus. Have you had any luck trying to reapply for a card you once had?
These are great tips – thanks! Any idea about using miles more than a year in advance? I’m a planner … It’s tough to wait
I think Aeroplan only releases their dates 365 days in advance, but as the rules always seem to change and differ between rewards programs it’s definitely worth looking into.
This is very helpful, thank you. I often fly out of Halifax, and if I want to go to Europe, Aeroplan wants to route me via a Halifax-Heathrow Air Canada flight, which has a very high tax & surcharge fee. If I want to use United, the logical connection is Halifax-Newark-Europe, because there is a direct Halifax-Newark flight on United. But on the Aeroplan site online, the direct Halifax-Newark flight via United doesn’t show up – they are only offering me Halifax-Boston (via Air Canada), and then Boston-Newark on United. It will still save me some money, but the extra stop in Boston is annoying. Are you saying that the direct Halifax-Newark flight (via United) WOULD be available if I booked by phone using an agent?
So frustrating isn’t it! Yes, I would recommend going on the United rewards site first to check which flights they have available, then call Aeroplan and see if they can get you on one of them. Good luck!
Depending on where you want to end up in Europe… ZRH is a great hub to go to. From Zurich you can pretty much get anywhere in Europe using Star Alliance Carriers (via Aeroplan). I frequently fly YHZ-YUL-ZRH using strictly Aeroplan for Business Redemption. SWISS is very good, much higher overall standard than AC. LX87 out of Montreal periodically uses their new flagship, Boeing 777. Airport taxes are up to 8 times less going that route vs. LHR which you mentioned in your post. I suggest to never travel to LHR unless your final destination is London. Another decent route is YHZ-BOS-ZRH, again use AC from Halifax to Boston and then SWISS from Boston to Zurich. Business makes sense here as you have a longer layover and want to enjoy the international business lounge. I generally avoid using U.S. Hubs when going to or traveling from Europe. Especially coming back you will most likely deal with very long waiting times at Immigration. I use NEXUS but not everyone does. Here are a couple more: YHZ-YUL-MUC using Lufthansa from Montreal to Munich, Business and sporadically you can snag some First Class Tickets (O) as well. Another one: YHZ-YYZ-FRA, Lufthansa again from Toronto to Frankfurt on their newer 747-8 with upper deck business class or sometimes in 3 class configuration. Going first here, you will be picked up in a black BMW on tarmac and chauffeured to the arrival lounge. The LH First class lounge has it’s private immigration booth and every other luxury you could imagine. Just some food for thoughts. Enjoy! Philipp, Truro NS, 2Mio Aeroplan Points.
So helpful Philipp, thanks for sharing. Sounds like you travel a ton!
Excellent advice. Thanks.
Thanks Tamara for great tips. The only confusion about your tips is about First class or Bussiness flights rather than Economic ones. How might it benefit us when it costs so much more air miles compare to economic ones? Can you clear it up for me, please?
Hi Kay! Essentially it comes down to how you value the miles. For example, let’s say you redeemed 20,000 points for an economy flight that would normally cost $600, that means the points would be worth $0.03 each. But if you redeemed 50,000 points to get a first class ticket on the same flight which would cost $2100 if you bought it outright, your points are now worth more than $0.04 cents each, so you’re technically getting more value out of them.
Hope that makes sense!
Does that still work calling in to Aeroplan and getting them to find flights that are not actually on Aeroplan’s website?
For instance if I find a flight I want on Polish LOT’s website that isn’t on Aeroplan’s – I can call in and give them that flight information and they can use my points for it?
Hi Drew, as long as there are reward tickets available for that LOT flight, they should be able to book it. Unfortunately you need to remember that just because you can see seats available for a flight, it doesn’t mean there is reward space available, which is what the Aeroplan call centre can look into for you.
Hello Tamara! Thanks for this blog!
I want to add my recent experience with Aeroplan and believe it or not, it was pleasant! I booked flights online using my points for our trip in December…yes…11 months away! When I got my email confirmation, I saw that we were already assigned seats as I did enter our seat preferences when I completed our information. When I checked our seat numbers, we were way at the back – next to the washrooms and I was so disappointed. I know my family would be once they find out. I don’t want to spend money buying seats to change them. That is how I came across your blog hoping that you would have some tips about this.
Desperate, I tried calling Aeroplan and lo and behold – they were nice enough to change our seats. They said the system just automatically assign those seats because of course it has to start from the back. So that’s my tip! If you get bad seats when you book online using your Aeroplan points, just call and they could change them for you, depending of course on availability. The lady actually even said with Aeroplan, you don’t have to pay for seats. How sweet! Happy travelling to all!
Hi Maria, that’s so awesome to hear, thanks for sharing your tip about seat selection! Enjoy your vacation 🙂
Thank you so much Tamara for this information. Exactly what I am looking for as I am trying to redeem my point for very first time. Just one question how do I find out about other airline which have seat available before I call in, Do I just go on the website of that airline ? Thanks again Tamara
Check the options on the Aeroplan website first, and if you don’t see anything you like then try to go to the specific rewards program of each airline (i.e. Kris Flyer for Singapore Airlines, United’s Mileage Plus, etc) and try to see award availability there before calling in. Hope that helps!
Do I have to be a member of those other programs to see what flights are available? Any tricks on how to do that?
Yes you do, but you can just sign up for a new account and once you do it will let you access their rewards flight schedule, even if you don’t have any of the airline’s specific “points”
I am trying to book a flight to India and would have preferred Business/First Class but can’t seem to find anything in May. Any other hints. The Air Canada, economy ticket taxes and fees are almost $650 plus 75000 points. The ticket itself to purchase is only about $1,300. i am so disappointed. I have been saving for years to get a First class flight.
Unfortunately availability isn’t always the best, especially if you’re trying to book a ticket only a couple months out as it sounds like you are. I’d suggest calling Aeroplan and seeing if there’s first class availability through one of their partners, like United or Singapore Airlines. Good luck!
Being new in this game this may be a novice question. When I look at another airlines site like United they have saver award and regular higher priced awards available for different flights. Am I only allowed to call Aeroplan to get the saver award flights for a United flight?
Hi Danny, unfortunately while you can book some United flights through Aeroplan’s site directly, those saver rewards you’re referring to are actually part of United Airlines’ frequent flyer program so you’ll need those type of points (Mileage Plus) to book the flights you’re seeing on their site.
If you think you’ll be booking United flights a lot, it may be worth signing up for their program and earning Mileage Plus points on flights instead of Aeroplan miles.
Any hints on using aeroplan points to book a business class fare to Australia ? They NEVER seem to be available – even looking at flights 1 year away, operated by Air Canada, where the normal commercial AC booking site, shows no existing bookings in bus class. Very frustrating.
Hey George, I actually had good luck using Aeroplan to book my Calgary-Sydney flight, but through United. Don’t go with Air Canada- their fuel surcharges are crazy high.
This weekend we just booked 2 one way business class tickets from Toronto to Perth Australia, flying out next year. The one thing I strongly recommend to reduce the taxes is to keep your dates flexible as there will be different flight routes on different days. For example, depending on the day I found the following flight choices to Perth:
1 – Air Canada (AC) to Denmark and then Thai Airways via Thailand – Taxes for both tickets $1690
2 – Brussel Airlines to Belgium and then Thai Airways via Thailand Taxes $1630
3 – AC to Beijing and then Singapore Airlines via Singapore Taxes $969
4 – AC to Tokyo and then Singapore Airlines via Singapore Taxes $965
5 – Ethiopian Airlines to Addis Ababa and then South African Airways via Johannesburg Taxes $214
6 – Eva Air to Taipei and then Singapore Airlines via Singapore Taxes $153
Based on this we chose the Eva Air flight not only because of the low taxes but also due to its high business class reviews and the opportunity to check out the Singapore business class.
We plan to fly back from Sydney in premium economy the taxes on both tickets will be just $93!
Hi Raj, that’s so awesome! As you’ve illustrated, it can take a lot of work to find the best rewards option, but is so worth it when you can fly around the world for only a couple hundred bucks. Have fun in Australia!
Thanks Tamara, even though we had to book almost a year ahead it is still worth it to fly business class.
If one is traveling from Calgary to Paris and only a few flights are available, how does one fly through for example Zurich without using additional Aeroplan miles by booking two separate trips? Or does one find their own itinerary and then phone the booking center and then they book it all for you under one trip. Can you help?
Hi Clarence, Europe is interesting because it’s so cheap to get around once you’re there, so you may want to look at flying into a different destination with an airline that doesn’t have fuel surcharges (i.e. landing in Brussels, Zurich or Poland) and then paying your own way from there to Paris. For example, Brussels to Paris is a quick train ride.
Failing that, look through other Star Alliance partners’ websites (such as United Mileage Explorer) and see what they have available. This will save time when you phone the booking centre to see if they can get you on that flight.
Hi, Tamara – my wife and I are planning a points trip from Ottawa to either Zagreb or Ljubjana for September/October this year, and we are trying to avoid taxes as best we can. Using the Aeroplan trip planner I can’t book on any of the airlines that charge low or no surcharges (Turkish, Brussells, and LOT) even though they all provide connections from Ottawa to Zagreb. So what do I do? Do I call Aeroplan with the flight I want and ask them to book it using my points? Or is that even possible?
Hi John, in this case I would definitely call Aeroplan, and make sure you have a few flight options with those other airlines up on your screen so you can point them in the right direction. There’s a chance that there won’t be award availability, but you should definitely try!
I need to buy 4 tickets to Sao Paulo BRA (4 adults 2 kids) for Feb/2018 and only have enough miles to cover 2… I can see already not retrieving direct flight for departure… what would your recommendation to best solve this please ? We’d prefer direct flights and paying for 2 tickets fair fare (not paying for making up miles to cover the other 2 tickets)…
Thanks in advance for your help!
I have booked 2 award ticket from YYZ to YVR but I want to change it to business class. Does it considered as a change and I have to pay $100 each? Any way to avoid it?
Hi Christine- you might be able to get away without a change fee. I’d try tweeting Aeroplan or calling them to find out. Good luck!
Helpful thread – thanks Tamara.
I had to cancel 2 tickets bought through aeroplan last year with my wife. I have the points credited, but apparently they need to be used within one year, or they are lost(!). We have holidays in another month, but that will be past the expiry date. Do you happen to have any tips on how I could preserve the credits? Any help would be appreciated!
Hmm I’m not sure I 100% understand the situation- will the specific points that were refunded expire within a year, or are they referring to all of the Aeroplan points in your account? If it’s the latter then that’s true- the program stipulates that accounts must be active at least once a year or all of the accumulated points will disappear. The good thing is it’s super easy to get points- you can just swipe your Aeroplan card when you fill up at an Esso station for example, or use a credit card that earns Aeroplan points (or allows you to transfer to them, like Amex does). Hope that helps!
something is not right with aeroplane. I’m trying to book a flight to Rome business class ,but it keeps on giving mixed cabin options, with the transatlantic flight in economy. Very frustrating. i tried other dates and different destinations, and they all have the same pattern. 1 0r 2 stops and the the transatlantic is ALWAYS ECONOMY class.
Hi Tony, that’s definitely very frustrating. I’d phone their call centre if I were you as they might be able to find more options on their end (and ask them to waive the $30 booking fee, since it doesn’t sound like it’s possible for you to book it online).
There is extremely limited space on overseas flights and if you don’t have status with Air Canada (often needing Super Elite), you are not getting business spaces. Tony did not state how far ahead he is looking. Maybe he isn’t allowing maximum time. Sometimes can get lucky with last minute type booking if space not sold. Anyway, I have seen situations with new date opening and only 1 business seat for reward sale – not even two!! Sure, they might open another later, but no way to know when.
Getting business award on AC overseas flights is almost impossible without status. That is my experience. Maybe better with an Alliance airline. Strange but true.
Hi Tamara, very informative article.
I have a question regarding the pending Air Canada split from Aeroplan on 30 June 2020. I know that it is business as usual, in booking and taking reward flights, until that date and that it may or may not be possible (likely not in current form) to book Air Canada/Star Alliance flights using Aeroplan points after June 2020. However, I cannot find any information on the following situation, where an Aeroplan rewards flight is booked on Air Canada/Star Alliance airline before June 2020 but the actual flight will be after June 2020.
Would you have any insight if this would be allowed or would all Aeroplan flights have to be booked and taken before June 2020? Thanks in advance.
Bookings for rewards flights are only opened up 365 days in advance, so it’s not possible to book flights in 2020 yet. As such, we’ll have to wait and see what happens- unfortunately they haven’t shared too many details about the new rewards program yet!
When you dont have points to redeem frequently, you end up in a situation like mine. I had accumulated enough to do a return reward flight Business class. So, I booked 9 months in advance. Lo and behold, two months away and I find I need to cancel the first leg. Called Aeroplan and was told me I could not ask for a refund for the outbound unless I cancel the whole trip and rebook but of course there are no reward seats. Or, I could change the date to within a year with a $150 charge but will lose my points if I do not use the ticket within a year. BIG mistake I made was not to buy 2 separate reward flights, this way I could have happily canceled one. Any tips on something I might be missing and could do?
Oh no! Sorry to hear that Troy. I think you’ve flagged a really important tip for everyone here, about booking legs separately if possible to avoid exactly what happened to you. Thank you for sharing!
Yes, wise words. We always book one leg using my points only and the other leg using my wife’s points only. The other advantage of doing it this way is that if I were to book both legs for myself using my own points then there is a possibility that when my wife went to book her flights, none may be available!
Totally- such a risk but worth it if it works. Have you ever had that happen where the other flights disappeared? I guess one way to avoid that would be if you both pull up the booking platform at the same time and hit “Confirm” simultaneously!
The only time where there was a case of “the other flight disappeared” was when we booked an Aeroplan flight for the very first time ( economy return Toronto to Vancouver) back in 2003 we booked separately using our own points and when we went to book my wife’s flight the same return flight was no longer showing and as she didn’t want to fly back separately I had to call customer service and have my return flight changed to match her flight (paid $50 I think), since then we have always booked each leg separately for both of us together using one person’s points only to avoid this situation..
On a related note, it is strange that on a particular day Aeroplan states no flights are available, when every seat is still available that day. This happened when we booked our return leg from Australia earlier this year, according to Aeroplan there were “no available flights” in Premium Economy on the day we wanted to return with the next available flights being 2 days later which we then booked. However, checking the available seats on the Air Canada website, every single Premium Class seat was still available/unoccupied for the original day that we wanted to return, just not according to Aeroplan.
How do you guys see other airlines on the Aeroplan website? All I get is AirCanada for every single search I do. Is there a trick to this that I’m missing?
Unfortunately it usually defaults to that for Canadian flights- the only way to see other airlines is when you’re flying internationally. If you’re still not seeing any from other airlines, it’s worth phoning Aeroplan to see what they can dig up on their end.
This is such a helpful post! I am about to book my honeymoon flights and was wondering if you knew when new flights were loaded? Is it midnight EST? I’m booking the max number of days out for my YVR > CPT trip hoping I’ll be able to snag business 🙂
Hope you’re well!
Thank you for the post, Tamara. I enjoyed it, as well as all the comments. The best tips I can offer are:
– Have a list of airlines without fuel surcharges close by;
– Make a list of airlines without fuel surcharges serving your departure airport and nearby hubs. My departure airport is Halifax, so my nearby hubs are Montreal, Toronto, Boston and Newark.
– Only fly Air Canada to one of these hubs. That is, if it’s not impossible to avoid Air Canada altogether.
– Visualize your trip in segments, a string of separate flights from your departure airport to your destination. And the same back home – a one-way string of flights.
– Search in segments. Where you start will depend on a number of factors. For example, earlier this year I flew business class from Canada to Oceania to SE Asia and back to Canada via Istanbul. It consisted of 9 segments, and cost $444 in taxes, fees and surcharges. My destination was Brisbane, and my free stopovers were Auckland and Singapore. Where did I start? Finding a scarce business class flight into Auckland with Air New Zealand. Once I snagged it, I worked forwards and backwards from Shanghai and Auckland.
– Last week I booked a trip to Europe using this approach. I wrote a guide using my trip as an example and the steps I followed. It’s called “Finding Aeroplan flights: a step-by-step guide” at Packing Light Travel. Here’s the link: http://packinglighttravel.com/travel-tips/travel-hacking/aeroplan-step-by-step-guide/
Thanks so much for this, interested to find out how you booked it in segments so I’ll be sure to check out your article!
I booked a flight yesterday within Canada that out of necessity (because of lack of reasonable travel time, i.e. needing an overnight stopover) needed to be out of Montreal as opposed to Ottawa. Is it worth my while to try calling to see if I can change to an Ottawa flight. My destination is Iles de la Madeleine.
If my partner is an Aeroplan member and pays for my Air Canada flight on her credit card would she receive points?
No, the only people who earn Aeroplan points is the actual passenger.
Hi, I read this last night while on the aeroplan site and only seeing AC flights. I am trying to book 2 – 1 way flights. From Victoria-Paris and then Rome-Victoria. Any suggestions for which carriers with low fee options I should look into?? So far it looks like I can fly United as an option out of YVR, or YYZ with connections in SFO or IAD. Coming home from Rome all I’m seeing is Lufthansa flights through either FRA or MUC and then YYZ or YVR (these ones will have higher fees correct?). I wasn’t seeing these routings on the aeroplan site yesterday so I’m going to give them a call later. We are also looking to book business class, or at least premium economy. Thank you in advance for any insight! We may not be able to be to picky since we have specific dates as the trip is for work/ and short notice as we just found out. Flying out on April 30th with a return date that is flexible between May 9-12.
A question. I remember seeing a page where there were “mileage reductions”. As an example, YYZ to BUD would normally be 60k in points, but on this page it said there was a “sale” for 27k points. I can;t seem to find it now, where are those “sales” advertised?
I just tried to book a car rental online with my points. Once I received the quote (9700 for 3 days) I decided to check other points cards too, when I logged in the second time (within an hour) the rate went up to 11,000 pts, logged out and tried again, 20,000 and so on all the way up to 112,000 pts! Wtf Aeroplan? Within 3 hrs the rate went up by 10 x! I even tried to use a different computer and go incognition but that didn’t work….
Whaaaaa? That’s so weird, I’ve never heard of anything like that. Then again, I’ve never booked a car rental through Aeroplan. Did you try reaching out to them to figure out what was going on?
Yes, I’ve had that happen with other situations like booking hotels! I’m convinced they track you and if you don’t buy right away, when you come back next time the price or points required goes up! So I totally can see Aeroplan doing the same thing.
That also happened to me with flights. At first it is really cheap. Each time you look at it the fuel surcharge goes up. We tried it on my friends account, same result. If you want to book with Aeroplan, you need to do your research outside of the site and then go in only once an book on the first try.
Hi Tamara, Hoping you can help. I went onto Aeroplans website to plan my trip. Using the multicity box, I put in Toronto to Seattle, Seattle to Charlottetown PEI and then back to Toronto. The planner said the flights were available and gave me a selection to choose from for 25000 points. Great…….I plan my trip with all of the people and go back to book and it shows its still all available. Click on first and second flights and it is good. However non of the third flights will allow me to choose them as it says on of the other flights needs to be changed. So I try multiple scenarios to no avail. Non of them will work. I call Aeroplan and am told…nope you cant book that as its a circle trip?? All stopovers trips are circle trips? I asked why does it show available online when its not and she said the computer was wrong in saying its available. Any suggestions?
Hi Jim, maybe you can try booking Toronto to Seattle and then Seattle to Charlottetown, then do a totally separate booking for the Charlottetown-Toronto leg. Or would that affect the number of points you need to redeem?
Awesome post and the discussion thread. Is there any feedback on how to combine points from more than one Aeroplan account to make a booking. For example, my wife and I have two separate Aeroplan accounts with enough points to book a trip for the whole family with children, but not enough on each individual account, hence need to find a way to use points from both accounts.
Hi Samuel, you could just book these separately (i.e. you book for yourself and one child from your account, and your wife books for herself and the other child from hers). My recommendation would be that you either book them simultaneously (each have your computer open with the bookings at the same time), or call Aeroplan and get them to do it. Might be worth the small fee to ensure you get the flights you all need. Good luck!
Help!!! Trying to book tickets with aeroplan and after putting in my date it says no availability and tell me to choose another date from the availability calendar. Several dates are in yellow which is supposed to be available but when I click on any of the other yellow dates it still always says no availability. I have called in and yes they confirm there is no availability but cannot tell me why I can’t use the calendar to see what is open to me???? Very frustrating and wondering if others are running into this problem??? Thanks great site.
Hi Tamara, I just booked an international flight from YVR using United’s MileagePlus award miles. The flight is operated by United but is an Air Canada flight. Will I get Aeroplan miles for the trip since it is an independent program and not linked to United’s MileagePlus?
Hi Tanmay, I don’t believe that you can get any reward miles for that flight, since you used reward miles to book it.
You can fly to two locations with aeroplan for one point redemption. For example, we flew from Regina sk. to Cartagena Colombia, spent 10 days in Colombia and then flew onto our final destination Nicaragua, spent 2 weeks and then back to Regina. All for 40000 points. But wait theres more…. Since we had to change in Miami, we had a dreadful 6 hour lay over so instead we opted for a 28 hour layover and spent the night at a hotel on Miami beach and had a mini trip. On the way from Colombia to Nicaragua we did the same thing and spent 26 hours in Panama seeing the canal, market and a few other things.
I just tried calling in to ask Aeroplan to search a United flight that was available on the Mileage Plus website and the agent said they can no longer do this. She said that the flights that she can see are the same that we can see when we search on the Aeroplan site. Unfortunate for me as there are multiple mileage plus flights on the date I’m looking for and yet there are no aeroplan flights.
Hi Jenn, yes unfortunately Mileage Plus is a different program so those flights aren’t always available for Aeroplan members. It may be worth signing up for both programs and splitting your points earnings between the two, as Mileage Plus does always seem to have more availability.
Is there a better time to book(day of the week, time of day) with Aeroplan regarding availability
Hi Cheryl, they usually suggest as far in advance as possible to ensure the best availability, and seats are usually released as far as one year in advance.
Thanks for the great tips. Just wondering whether I can still collect Aeroplan points if I bought a ticket from FlightHub that is flying with AC and Lufthansa. Thanks
Yes, you should be able to as long as you add your Aeroplan number to your ticket when you check in for the flight. Enjoy!
I booked with Aeroplan for the first time today and I must admit the without the help of the CSR I would have not been able to complet my booking without paying much more and got much worse connections with longer travel time. She was nice enough to walk me through on the website. Thanks for all the tips.
Hey Richard, great to hear! Their customer service team can definitely be an asset in some circumstances- they’ve always been very helpful for me, no matter what the situation.
Hi Tamara, I have booked YEG-South Africa at the end of January on a Business Class ticket. This is the third time I have done this in the past few years but I am having a hard time getting a couple of LONG legs upgraded from economy this time. I am a Diamond member so I think think the Air Canada legs will have me on an upgrade list? i.e. London-Toronto is Air Canada. Have you had any experience with this? Also does Aeoplan keep adding tickets towards travel dates if they do not sell out? Last question, there are a lot of Lufthansa options. Do I understand correctly that if the Lufthansa reward program has seats I have a higher likelihood of getting an Aeroplan seat on that flight if I call in to the call center? I am completely spoiled by Business class for long flights, lol…Thank you!
I am having trouble booking a short flight from Edmonton to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. I put in all the information they required and submitted. I got a Flight Redemption Failure. There was no explanation on why this is happening. This is my first attempt at booking flights. Not sure if I am doing something wrong. I have over 300000 miles. Could you help me with this.
Hi Gladys! Give Aeroplan a call and they should be able to help you out (and make sure they waive the booking fee, since you already tried to do it online). Good luck!
Something to know… Aeroplan cranks up the price of the fuels surcharge if you look at the ticket a couple of times. It starts at $125 and goes up to…well sky is the limit. I have tried calling Aeroplan to look into options and book through the centre. Plan to be on hold for an hour to reach someone that is shockingly rude. Try again. Same result. They are clear that what you see on the website is what you get. This idea that there are other ‘hidden options’ is not correct. I changed my rewards plan on my credit card. I have hundreds of thousands of points I have never been able to redeem due to lack of availability and the outrageous fuel surcharge on the flights. Aeroplan gets two thumbs down from me. There are better options out there.
I’ve definitely seen some sky high fuel surcharges (especially to Europe) but find usually when I redeem for flights between Canada and the US it’s not too bad.
Right now, 7 AM on Saturday December 7th, when can I book a flight online for November 27th? It still has a line thought it. At what time in the day can I book a flight for that day?
Hi Bill, typically seats are released 365 days in advance, so you should be able to book a flight for next November by now.
How do you book a flight on say Delta or United, when you have an aeroplan card? Do I need to call Aeroplan to ask – I am just redirected to Air Canada every time I do search. Thanks!!
Hi Julia, you can’t book an Aeroplan rewards flight on Delta because it’s not part of Star Alliance- only United. All rewards need to be booked through Aeroplan’s website. Some routes are only serviced by Air Canada (for example, flights within Canada) which is why you won’t see other carriers listed there. When you look at routes from Canada to the US, Europe and Asia you’ll begin to see options for other airlines.
Hey friends, any tips for flying into Portugal? At the moment I can’t use Aeroplan to book a flight out for end of Nov out of Toronto.