NOW LIVE: Aeroplan’s Spectacularly Unique New Award Chart

NOW LIVE: Aeroplan’s Spectacularly Unique New Award Chart

103

Back in August, Air Canada revealed the full details of its new Aeroplan frequent flyer program. Well, the new program has just gone live as of today.

In this post I wanted to recap all the changes, because there’s a lot to love about the program. I’ll be focusing specifically on Aeroplan’s radically new approach to award pricing, which is unlike any other program out there.

Among other changes, Aeroplan is switching to both a zone and distance-based chart, eliminating fuel surcharges, and introducing stopovers on one-way awards (at a cost).

Aeroplan Logo

In separate posts, we’ve covered the changes to the Air Canada elite program, and to the co-branded Aeroplan credit cards.

Why you should care about Aeroplan awards

As mentioned above, in this post I’ll be talking specifically about how award ticket redemptions work with the new Aeroplan program. If you’re an Air Canada frequent flyer you’ll care about this for obvious reasons.

However, even if you’re not, there’s potentially big value to be had with the program. Aeroplan is transfer partners with Amex Membership Rewards and Capital One, so these miles are easy to come by.

The Aeroplan program has long been great for booking Star Alliance awards. On top of that, Aeroplan has been expanding its list of non-alliance partners, and has recently added Azul, Etihad, Vistara, and Air Serbia, with more on the horizon.

Redeeming miles with the new Aeroplan program

Aeroplan’s approach to award pricing is unlike anything being offered by another frequent flyer program. Some airlines have distance based award charts, while other airlines have zone based award charts. Aeroplan, on the other hand, has created award charts that integrate both zones and distance. Let’s talk more about how that works.

Let me note upfront that the number of miles required for award tickets is increasing an average of 12.7%, but there are several positive changes that help offset that.

Aeroplan breaks the world into four zones

With Aeroplan’s new award pricing, the world is broken up into four zones:

  • North America
  • Atlantic
  • Pacific
  • South America

Here’s a map showing which countries belong to which regions:

Aeroplan has 10 distance based award charts

With the new program, Aeroplan has 10 different award charts, including:

  • Award charts for travel entirely within each region
  • Award charts for travel between each of the four regions

Once you’ve determined which regions you’re traveling between (or within), award pricing is distance based.

Aeroplan has pricing for travel on Air Canada, and pricing for travel on partner airlines. Partner awards can include travel on any combination of Air Canada, Star Alliance partners, and non-Star Alliance partners. I’d recommend focusing on the partner award pricing, because that’s where there’s the most value to be had.

Here’s the new award chart for travel within North America:

Here’s the new award chart for travel between North America and the Atlantic region:

Here’s the new award chart for travel between North America and the Pacific region:

Here’s the new award chart for travel between North America and South America:

Here’s the new award chart for travel within the Atlantic region:

Here’s the new award chart for travel within the Pacific region:

Here’s the new award chart for travel within South America:

Here’s the new award chart for travel between the Atlantic and Pacific regions:

Here’s the new award chart for travel between the Atlantic region and South America:

Here’s the new award chart for travel between the Pacific region and South America:

For context, here’s Aeroplan’s old award chart for travel originating in North America (which is no longer valid):

Aeroplan eliminates fuel surcharges

This will no doubt be welcome news for just about everyone — Aeroplan has eliminated fuel surcharges on award tickets. Period. Previously Aeroplan imposed fuel surcharges for travel on Air Canada and select partner airlines, including Lufthansa.

For example, the cost of a one-way Lufthansa first class award ticket from Chicago to Frankfurt will increase in cost from 70,000 miles to 100,000 miles one-way, but you’ll save about ~820USD in fuel surcharges. I’ll take it!

Aeroplan allows stopovers on one-ways for 5,000 miles each

With the new Aeroplan program, you’re permitted stopovers on one-way awards at the cost of 5,000 miles each. To me this is a ridiculously exciting development.

Alaska Mileage Plan is one of the only programs to allow stopovers on one-ways, so to be able to have stopovers on one-way awards for travel on dozens of airlines is great. These are even allowed on awards wholly within a region, with the exception of within North America.

For what it’s worth, in the process Aeroplan no longer allows a free stopover on a roundtrip, but instead you could pay 5,000 miles for a stopover in each direction. While I liked how Aeroplan allowed free stopovers on roundtrips, personally I prefer the new system.

Note that for the time being these can only be booked through the Aeroplan contact center, but at some point in 2021 they should be bookable online.

Aeroplan now allows stopovers for 5,000 miles

Aeroplan change & cancelation fees

Previously Aeroplan charged 100CAD to change an award ticket, and 125CAD to cancel an award ticket online (it cost 150CAD if done by phone).

With the new program, Aeroplan uses a tiered change and cancelation fee structure, as follows (all prices are in CAD):

As you can see, for premium cabin awards:

  • Changes now cost 75-100CAD
  • Cancelations now cost 150CAD

Cancelation fees have gone up slightly, while the change fees have stayed the same or been lowered. Aeroplan continues to have very reasonable change and cancelation fees compared to other airlines, so I’d consider these changes to be a wash.

Aeroplan’s 39CAD partner booking fee

Aeroplan has added a 39CAD per passenger partner award booking fee. This applies for every partner award booked, whether online or by phone.

Obviously this is a negative development, though if fuel surcharges are being eliminated in the process, this is something I’m okay with.

All partner award bookings now incur a 39CAD fee

Aeroplan’s generous award routing rules

Aeroplan is taking a very liberal approach to award routing rules, which is awesome. With few exceptions, you’re able to build your own awards as long as you don’t backtrack, even if you’re traveling double the distance between two city pairs. Want to fly from Bangkok to Los Angeles via Sydney, with a stopover in Australia? No problem!

In terms of transiting third regions, this is allowed if there’s no backtracking involved, like being able to travel from North America to the Pacific via the Atlantic.

More complex itineraries will only be bookable online starting in 2021, but these are immediately bookable via the Aeroplan contact center.

Aeroplan’s website is becoming a lot more functional

Aeroplan has redesigned its award search with the launch of the new program, though the current offering is really just an interim solution. By 2021 Aeroplan is promising an industry-leading award search tool offering the following:

  • The ability to book stopovers online
  • The ability to book complex routings online
  • A robust award calendar
  • The ability to rebook your reservation online

If the finished product is half as good as it sounds, it will be in a league of its own. For the time being you’ll have to call the Aeroplan contact center for stopovers and complex routings.

Still, I really like the new Aeroplan search tool, as it’s responsive and easy to use.

Unlike before, you no longer have to log into your Aeroplan account to search for award availability. Instead you can search directly on the homepage of aircanada.com by toggling the little red bar to “points.”

When you get to the search page all the results will show, and I particularly love how clearly mixed cabin options are shown.

If you mouse over a mixed cabin itinerary, it will even show you what percent of an itinerary is in the cabin you requested, which is transparency that I really appreciate.

There are also so many options you can filter by, ranging from connecting airport, to aircraft type, to airline.

Aeroplan now offers Points + Cash

Aeroplan has introduced Points + Cash, whereby members can redeem part miles and part cash towards the cost of an award ticket. Members are able to pay cash to reduce the number of miles needed to redeem for an award by up to 40%.

What’s the value proposition of that like? Let’s use a flight that costs 70,000 miles plus ~47CAD in taxes as an example. Your options are to:

  • Pay 74,633 miles (you’re paying an additional 4,633 miles to save 47CAD, which is getting you a value of only 0.01CAD per mile)
  • Pay 56,000 miles plus 298.33CAD (you’re paying an additional 252CAD to save 14,000 miles)
  • Pay 42,000 miles plus 550.33CAD (you’re paying an additional 504CAD to save 28,000 miles)

In other words, for either of the Points + Cash options that save you miles you’re essentially acquiring Aeroplan miles at a rate of 0.018CAD per mile, which is a rate of 0.014USD per mile. Essentially being able to buy Aeroplan miles for 1.4 cents each at the time of booking is solid, and I’m finding that rate pretty consistently across redemptions.

However, I don’t recommend redeeming Aeroplan miles towards taxes & fees, as that gets you a significantly lower valuation per point.

Aeroplan Family Sharing

Aeroplan has also introduced family sharing, whereby you can pool miles with family members at no cost. Initially Aeroplan is taking an open approach to this:

  • You’re able to have up to eight people on a family account
  • The company isn’t dictating who is part of your family, recognizing that everyone defines that differently; you will be asked what your connection is to the other person, but again, it’ll be open-ended
  • If this is abused, this may be adjusted over time
  • Only redeemable miles can be pooled, and not elite qualifying miles

The ability to pool miles across multiple accounts is a great way for families to build up enough miles for an award ticket faster than they’d otherwise be able to.

Air Canada has introduced family points sharing

Why I love the new Aeroplan program

I had high expectations of the new Aeroplan program, and I wasn’t disappointed. This is a frequent flyer program run by airline nerds, and this new approach to award pricing really reflects that.

Aeroplan’s new award pricing is unlike any other — Aeroplan has mixed distance and zone based awards, while creating the opportunity to book stopovers on one-ways for a reasonable mileage premium, all while letting people book some really creative routings.

Let me acknowledge that not everything about the new program is positive:

  • Award pricing has increased for many types of awards
  • Free stopovers have been eliminated on roundtrip awards
  • There’s a new 39CAD partner award fee

But my gosh, we’ve gained so much as well:

  • Fuel surcharges have been eliminated (for premium cabin Lufthansa transatlantic awards these sometimes cost $800+ one-way)
  • Aeroplan is allowing the coolest one-way award routings of any frequent flyer program out there
  • Paying just 5,000 miles for a stopover on a one-way award is a bargain
  • Family accounts are possible

The program will be even better when the new award search tool launches in 2021.

Book Lufthansa first class without paying fuel surcharges

As someone who constantly books awards through the Aeroplan program, I like these changes. Personally I almost always book one-way awards, simply because of the way I travel, and that’s why I’m so excited about the new stopover policy.

Based on my own redemption patterns, I’ll certainly come out ahead with any Lufthansa redemptions (due to fuel surcharges), as well as with any redemptions that involve stopovers. Meanwhile some of the creative one-way transatlantic awards I’ve booked on partners without fuel surcharges will likely cost me more.

In many ways this also creates a complementary Star Alliance program to Avianca LifeMiles. LifeMiles is still a great program for simple one-way awards without fuel surcharges, and will sometimes have lower award pricing. However, LifeMiles doesn’t allow stopovers or creative routings, and that’s where Aeroplan will excel.

Examples of awards that can be booked with the new Aeroplan

Let me give some examples of awards that should be bookable with the new program with stopovers, just off the top of my head (the price includes the stopover, and without a stopover you’d pay 5,000 fewer miles):

  • Newark to London to Frankfurt in business class with a stopover in London for 65,000 miles
  • Los Angeles to the Cook Islands to Auckland in business class with a stopover in the Cook Islands for 80,000 miles
  • Miami to Frankfurt to Bangkok in business class with a stopover in Frankfurt for 90,000 miles
  • New York to Frankfurt to Dubai in first class with a stopover in Frankfurt for 115,000 miles
  • New York to Abu Dhabi to Seoul Incheon in first class with a stopover in Abu Dhabi for 145,000 miles

Those are just a few examples, but I’m sure as we play around with the new chart, all kinds of cool sweet spots will emerge. Again, for stopovers you’ll have to call for now, and some more complicated routings are also only bookable by phone for now, until the enhanced award search launches in 2021.

Redeem Aeroplan miles on Etihad with a stopover

Bottom line

Major changes have just gone live for the Air Canada Aeroplan program, which now has both zone and distance based award pricing.

While the number of miles required for some awards has increased, Aeroplan has eliminated fuel surcharges and is now allowing stopovers on one-ways for a very reasonable 5,000 miles each. Personally I’m also excited to have a Star Alliance program that’s unlike any other.

What do you make of the changes to Air Canada Aeroplan award redemptions?

Conversations (103)
The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
Type your response here.

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Anyone can comment, and your email address will not be published. Register to save your unique username and earn special OMAAT reputation perks!

  1. T Sedgwick Guest

    Yeah, BIG devaluation. YYC to FCO or NAP, Biz class, used to be110k (and not too long ago, only 90k!) - and now... 140k. Even with the savings around $500 in YQ, that's a $0.16 ppm trade. But, Economy is worse... used to be 60k, now closer to 80k. That's a significant devaluation. The only way around it is to eat the $39 partner booking fee and avoid AC. Disappointing.

  2. Sam New Member

    @Lucky I disagree completely with your assessment that the program has evolved for the better. The values of miles has been completely devalued ! For Premium members, where before flights could be found for 7,500 miles short haul (North America), at any time, now the best they can offer is 17K to 25 K !
    There is no win here !

  3. Michael Guest

    Hey folks...I just called Aeroplan to try and book this for my honeymoon in Nov 2021...USA to the Seychelles with a stopover in the UAE. I called in to book the trip with the 5k stopover, and was told unequivocally, and in no uncertain terms, that there are *NO* stopovers on one-way flights. Never were, never will be. They said you can do *ONE* on a round trip, but stopovers on one-ways are not permitted....

    Hey folks...I just called Aeroplan to try and book this for my honeymoon in Nov 2021...USA to the Seychelles with a stopover in the UAE. I called in to book the trip with the 5k stopover, and was told unequivocally, and in no uncertain terms, that there are *NO* stopovers on one-way flights. Never were, never will be. They said you can do *ONE* on a round trip, but stopovers on one-ways are not permitted. I called back and the next person told me the exact same thing.

    Who is wrong here? Are all the blogs wrong? Or are both of these reps wrong? Are there any data points on actually being able to do this?

    1. Tiffany OMAAT

      @ Michael -- The reps are wrong, and it's possible not everyone has been fully trained on the new rules. We've booked several of these. I would suggest calling again (nicely!).

  4. Ethan Guest

    Played around on the site and found it more cumbersome for awards searches compared to the old site.

  5. dee Guest

    As a super elite with the 50% off priority world wide, it's a big win for me.

    1. Pickering Guest

      However, you only get 4 priority rewards per year instead of 10 and each person counts as one redemption. Before a full booking used only one priority reward.

  6. miz Guest

    So flying between St. John's and anywhere in the west coast now costs 17,500 miles. This does not sound good ...

  7. Flo Guest

    Looks like SIN CPT FRA on SQ/LH should be possible then. Such a pity that no proper Asian airlines fly with F to South Africa anymore :(

  8. Frederik Guest

    Does Air Canada still have an international First product? The chart says so but only Lufthansa and Swiss to my knowledge serve Europe international first class from Canada in Star Alliance.

  9. you.go New Member

    Can we also acknowledge the massive quality of life improvement now that you can actually search for "NYC" all NYC area airports in one search, instead of separately searching for JFK, EWR and LGA?

    It's the little things...

  10. Al K Guest

    Agree with Brian on devaluation. Lucky points out some good changes to the program, but I do think he has been wearing slightly rosy glasses. :) May work for him but also be a much pricier exercise for some others.

    Midwest/West Coast to Europe business min 70,000 and can be much more. One specific Asian trip example: ORD - IST - DPS 105,000 while booked for 77,500 before the program changes. Some award prices are...

    Agree with Brian on devaluation. Lucky points out some good changes to the program, but I do think he has been wearing slightly rosy glasses. :) May work for him but also be a much pricier exercise for some others.

    Midwest/West Coast to Europe business min 70,000 and can be much more. One specific Asian trip example: ORD - IST - DPS 105,000 while booked for 77,500 before the program changes. Some award prices are going up by 30-40%.

    So do we add point inflation (and a substantial one in most cases) to other certainties in life, such as death and taxes? And yes, could have been worse.

  11. Sam Guest

    I'm trying to fly from Vancouver(YVR) to Saint John, NB (YSJ). According to the chart, it should cost 17,500-25,000 points roundtrip, correct? All I can see is 18k one way. Am I reading something wrong?

  12. Skaner Guest

    It's gonna be hard to find a 60k Biz partner award to mainland Europe due to distance restrictions. You pretty much have to fly nonstop from YUL, BOS or EWR to an imaginary vertical CPH-FRA-ZRH border and can not add an intra Euro connection as that would push you over 4000 miles.
    This pretty much brings Aeroplan on par with UA and other overpriced award redemptions.

  13. jose Guest

    I am not sure why all the hypes about great deal on 5000 points for a stopover on one way. In most cases you need to go back home by booking another one way ticket anyway so two one ways makes a return ticket. In the past a return ticket already offered two stopovers and then changed to one free stopover, now we have to pay extra points for stopover so why this is s deal? LOL!

  14. Luis Diamond

    LAX to Europe used to be 55k miles in business. Now, it's 55k miles in ECONOMY. Business class is now 85k miles for most of Europe. Big fail.

  15. Ksa63 Guest

    I booked YUL -GRU thru YYZ last month business using Krisflyer miles. If I recall, it cost about 110k miles return plus SGD640 in fees. The mileage was ok. The fees were in my opinion on the high side.

    So if I understand this, I may be able to do the same booking for 120k miles and lower fees? The fee differential will be based on the removal of the fuel surcharge, however the taxes remain - is this correct?

    Cheers

  16. JohnH New Member

    3 weeks to refund miles/taxes on cancelled awards....Oh Canada...

  17. James S Guest

    Please remove the extremely annoying pop-up you added

  18. Sandy Guest

    Does anyone know if I make a booking now and change the date later, will I be charged with new award rate or old award rate? I'd be interested in a NA - India RT with stop-over which is 150k points now vs 205k points in future. I would be ok to spend $56 USD than 55k points. Even the one-way is 75k points now vs 100k points with new chart.

  19. ConcernedFlyer Guest

    Ben,

    Your analysis doesn't address the most important question: are the ranges in the reward chart actual, firm limits, or are they just "estimates" in a market fare system that sometimes charges 1,000,000 points for a business class fare during a peak period? If they are not an actual limit, what is the point of the analysis? Aeroplan will just charge whatever they want, and there is nothing we can do about it.

  20. henrique castro Guest

    Hi!! the distance chart is for origin and destination distance or by the route flown? for example : GRU (Sao Paulo) to JNB in LH first class with stopover in frankfurt would cost me 100k or 130k?

  21. glenn t Diamond

    Wondering what the ongoing policy is for sales of miles. Back-to-back like AA, or every quarter or so like other programs?
    I must confess I paid no attention to the sale a while back, as I did not anticipate such a great (and fair) program!
    Canada really kicks ass!

    1. Ben OMAAT

      @ glenn t -- Aeroplan just started selling miles several weeks ago, so it's tough to pick up on patterns yet. So far we've seen two sales. They don't seem to be back-to-back, but I imagine we'll see them at least once a quarter.

  22. Karen Guest

    Thank you Alice ! In Europe, there is no choice and I have to fly with partners.... I will look into your suggestion !

    @Randy, I like AC for the business class, this is the only reason I was hoarding my Aeroplan Miles was to travel once in a lifetime on a long flight on Dreamliner, and my other miles went to business class within Canada to visit family.... I am now rethinking whether I...

    Thank you Alice ! In Europe, there is no choice and I have to fly with partners.... I will look into your suggestion !

    @Randy, I like AC for the business class, this is the only reason I was hoarding my Aeroplan Miles was to travel once in a lifetime on a long flight on Dreamliner, and my other miles went to business class within Canada to visit family.... I am now rethinking whether I should continue with my credit card as those point accumulations have also been reduced....

  23. Alice Guest

    @Randy, @Karen
    Well yes, of course there are good and bad with any new program. This is a NEW program, not an upgrade or changes to an existing one (yeah it is confusing I know). We just need to adjust to the new sweet spots of the program to our advantage.

    So since Karen is forking out 175k anyways and is situated on the west coast, why not make it NA-Pacific via Europe? Something like YYC-YVR-NRT-ICN-SIN; SIN-IST-AMS-YYC?

  24. Randy Guest

    @ Karen

    Yeah, unfortunate. Unless you fly with Air Canada during non-peak times, nearly everything in a premium cabin has been devalued, unless you're a relative stone's throw away (West Coast to Japan, for example).

    I avoid Air Canada like the plague, and prefer international partner airlines. Unfortunately, this means a markup of around 20-40% for trips I've taken in the past, with rather unique routing.

    @ Ben

    The program is better in certain situations,...

    @ Karen

    Yeah, unfortunate. Unless you fly with Air Canada during non-peak times, nearly everything in a premium cabin has been devalued, unless you're a relative stone's throw away (West Coast to Japan, for example).

    I avoid Air Canada like the plague, and prefer international partner airlines. Unfortunately, this means a markup of around 20-40% for trips I've taken in the past, with rather unique routing.

    @ Ben

    The program is better in certain situations, but those are far and few in between. Generally, it's been devalued. Such a shame

  25. Alice Guest

    @Karen, I see 170k round trip per person for business class since your total distance is under 8k. Another 5K to add a stopover in either direction. Air Canada flights are now all open to availability and is dynamic priced so points would be dependent on when you book. If you have status and own an AP affiliated card, there is a preferred discount (we don't know what that is yet).

    If your flights...

    @Karen, I see 170k round trip per person for business class since your total distance is under 8k. Another 5K to add a stopover in either direction. Air Canada flights are now all open to availability and is dynamic priced so points would be dependent on when you book. If you have status and own an AP affiliated card, there is a preferred discount (we don't know what that is yet).

    If your flights are a mixture of AC and partner flights, then the AC portion will be a weighted average of your journey, depending on the length of that flight, the increase from 175k will vary. If you fly only partners (no AC at all), then it is 175k per person round trip (this includes a stopover, add another 5K and that would be two stopovers).

  26. Karen Guest

    Thank you for asking!!
    It was from Calgary to Amsterdam, layover 6 nights, then Amsterdam to Romania (saw your post on Romania!) for 2 weeks, then back to Calgary. Cancelled it as this trip was in May 2020. On Air Canada from YYC to Frankfurt, then on Lufthansa to Amsterdam.. On way back, a mixture of Lufthansa and Austrian airlines to Frankfurt then Air Canada home. Total points for 2 business class tickets return...

    Thank you for asking!!
    It was from Calgary to Amsterdam, layover 6 nights, then Amsterdam to Romania (saw your post on Romania!) for 2 weeks, then back to Calgary. Cancelled it as this trip was in May 2020. On Air Canada from YYC to Frankfurt, then on Lufthansa to Amsterdam.. On way back, a mixture of Lufthansa and Austrian airlines to Frankfurt then Air Canada home. Total points for 2 business class tickets return (the legs from YYC to FRA and vice versa were both on the Dreamliner) was 230,000 points with a 2600.00 fuel surcharge/fees (which I'm still waiting for refund as booked on old system and has to be done manually they tell me....) I was still happy for the booking even with the 2600.00 charge.... So when I calculate based on new chart, I see that it will 100,000 min points will be needed each way per passenger.... Did I get that right?

  27. Karen Guest

    Big devaluation..... My first class Europe ticket went from 115,000 return to min 200,000 return... Not happy....

    1. Ben OMAAT

      @ Karen -- Where are you flying from, and which airline were you trying to fly?

  28. Brian Guest

    It is crazy to me that this blog (and all the others) are talking about how good a change this is. I can't tell if you guys are just buying the corporate PR or what. For most people, including me, this is bad.

    Aeroplan used to have the killer niche of 55K or 57.5K to Europe on the non Lufthansa airlines. If I wanted more expensive flights to Europe that include no fuel surcharges on...

    It is crazy to me that this blog (and all the others) are talking about how good a change this is. I can't tell if you guys are just buying the corporate PR or what. For most people, including me, this is bad.

    Aeroplan used to have the killer niche of 55K or 57.5K to Europe on the non Lufthansa airlines. If I wanted more expensive flights to Europe that include no fuel surcharges on Lufthansa airlines, I already had United and Lifemiles. I don't need another United/Lifemiles. Hell, Amex already transfers to Lifemiles! Aeroplan's most useful niche has been killed.

    So for people with unlimited travel time like Lucky, there's some good sweet spots with ridiculous stopovers that most normal people would never do. Or for people that are willing to manufacture thousands of dollars on their Amex a month so they have an unlimited supply of those points, this change is great. For the rest of us, the majority, it's an unfortunate devaluation.

  29. Tiffany OMAAT

    @ Adam -- They are vastly lower, which is surprising given that Aeroplan already had comparatively generous infant pricing; $25 or 2,500 points for a one-way, regardless of class of service.

  30. Adam Cummings Guest

    I read from another blogger that no stopovers in NA applies as well on an Atlanitc-South America ticket as well, can you confirm ?

  31. no one Guest

    Big devaluation for someone who mainly uses Aeroplan miles on LH F to US/West Coast, from the current 70K vs new 120K. I get YQ will be eliminated, but inbound-US has not been that bad (around $350 or so) compared to the 50K increase!

  32. Christian Guest

    Thanks for covering the changes! Am I seeing this right that YVR-FRA is now 140k RT vs 110k RT?
    I was just about to book YVR-FRA for next year for 2 pax and YQ were coming in at ~CAD1700 and 220k miles, YVR FRA on AC, FRA YVR on TK.
    Curious to see if I should wait now and buy a few more miles or book these flights cash and continue to save for Asia...

  33. Adam New Member

    This was asked earlier, but I didn't see an answer...any updates regarding infant in lap award tickets?

  34. Randy Guest

    Sadly, these changes are mainly ideal for people who fly AC metal off-peak. AC has, what I would deem, hands down some of the worst service on the ground, and in the air.

    I only use Aeroplan for partner reward bookings and rather complex itineraries that allow me to experience various hard products, but this has effectively inflated prices by 25%, if not more.

    Gone are the days where I can fly 13 segments,...

    Sadly, these changes are mainly ideal for people who fly AC metal off-peak. AC has, what I would deem, hands down some of the worst service on the ground, and in the air.

    I only use Aeroplan for partner reward bookings and rather complex itineraries that allow me to experience various hard products, but this has effectively inflated prices by 25%, if not more.

    Gone are the days where I can fly 13 segments, maximizing MPM, and experiencing 5+ hard products in J with sub $300 YQ for 160K miles. To do that now I would be needing to use 205,500 points--a 28.4% premium, for saving sub $260.

    Not worth it given that I could have gained more value out of the points with those complex partner reward J bookings.

  35. Robert D Gold

    Huge pet-peeve of mine is when bloggers don’t specify whether award pricing is one-way or round trip. I assume all the prices above are one-way, but it is not specified anywhere (unless I missed it, and I read through this several times trying to figure it out).

  36. Ross Guest

    India is in the Atlantic region? Well, I suppose, as long as they keep Brazil out of it.

  37. Ethan Guest

    @ Lucky, since this new program is kicking off on 11/08th, I can assume anything booked before this date (even for travels after 11/08th) will be based on current program right (specifically the required miles)?

  38. MattR Guest

    There are some nice Business class redemption opportunities within NA if United ever opens up Saver space. 20k for a 1500 mile flight is a pretty good deal.

  39. AJ Guest

    Another thing that has not been mentioned anywhere, what is the baggage allowance? Are we going to have to pay more for that too?

  40. Chesterwilson Gold

    This is a big devaluation if you are going from the West coast/East or East coast/West, but there are some great sweet spots if you travel your side of the coast. You can also use other programs to get better rates when going the opposite way.

    However, if you are in the midwest you pretty much get screwed either way.

  41. Andrew Guest

    for the YQ surchage: the website says
    "On any Air Canada flight you purchase with points, we have eliminated additional airline surcharges. That could save you hundreds of dollars in cash at checkout. In fact, only taxes and third-party fees (such as airport fees) are listed in cash, and you can use your points to cover those, too.
    If you’re booking a flight reward on another airline, there is a flat Partner Booking...

    for the YQ surchage: the website says
    "On any Air Canada flight you purchase with points, we have eliminated additional airline surcharges. That could save you hundreds of dollars in cash at checkout. In fact, only taxes and third-party fees (such as airport fees) are listed in cash, and you can use your points to cover those, too.
    If you’re booking a flight reward on another airline, there is a flat Partner Booking Fee of just $39 (per ticket) – which you can also cover with points"

    My read is that only YQ on AC flight will be eliminated, but will stay for LH, CA, NH, TG etc

  42. AJ Guest

    Our family is not happy with this change. The distance based chart was predictable and we could long term save for the whole family to travel to Asian1 at any time of the year. Now there are going to be peak seasons just like what I hated about Air Miles.

    The one thing that you need to clarify on your post is that the old chart is for RETURN flights. The new chart is...

    Our family is not happy with this change. The distance based chart was predictable and we could long term save for the whole family to travel to Asian1 at any time of the year. Now there are going to be peak seasons just like what I hated about Air Miles.

    The one thing that you need to clarify on your post is that the old chart is for RETURN flights. The new chart is only ONE WAY!

    Asian1 from North America under the old plan was 75,000 miles all year round. Now under the new plan the same flight is going to cost from 80,000 - 160,000 points for a return flight to our destination.

    Yes, no flight surcharges, but that would never make up for the double that we’ll most likely end up paying in points because we would often long term plan for a flight during peak seasons.

    So no this is not a better plan and if it wasn’t for this stupid pandemic we’d be sure to blow our points before this change over happened.

    The key thing that you need to update in your post @Ben is that the old chart is showing return flights and the new chart is not. Even under a partner airline, our flights will cost us ⅓ more per flight in points.

    I knew this was going to happen. They always tooted that your points were going to be 1:1 miles:points in the new system, but they never addressed the question everyone was really asking. Whether or not it was going to be 1:1 in value. We now have our answer. It is not.

    The reality for my family is that it is not 1:1.

    1:¾ (low demand) to
    1:½ (peak demand)

  43. Shawn McPhie New Member

    For west coast residents like myself, definitely a big devaluation for travel to crossing the Atlantic :'(

  44. Zach New Member

    Ben - Thanks for the info. Great options. I’m having a little trouble with your example of a first class NY to Dubai with a stopover in Frankfurt. Should it be 125k?

  45. countR Guest

    To me it looks like a devaluation for most Aeroplan users - the move to dynamic pricing will make losers out of most. You used to be a rational unbiased observer Lucky - you have clearly lost that with AC and become a blind cheerleader.
    For sure a few will gain from the changes - but the great majority will lose with dynamic pricing - especially for N. American rewards - which are the...

    To me it looks like a devaluation for most Aeroplan users - the move to dynamic pricing will make losers out of most. You used to be a rational unbiased observer Lucky - you have clearly lost that with AC and become a blind cheerleader.
    For sure a few will gain from the changes - but the great majority will lose with dynamic pricing - especially for N. American rewards - which are the biggest volume of redemptions. Be rational and show some objectivity with AC as you do with other airlines Lucky.

  46. Luis Diamond

    So LAX-ZRH-CDG which I recently booked for 55k miles one way will now cost 85k miles? Seems like most flights from LAX to Europe will now cost 85k miles if there is a connection. Sucks.

    Will have to find new creative ways to redeem Aeroplan miles.

  47. Esquiar New Member

    Thank you for putting this in an easily digestible form. Would like to see a head-to-head comparison on where to credit UA, SQ, LH, other A* flights.

  48. Ryan Guest

    @Ben - if I read this correctly; the amount required from USA-Western Europe in business has increase quite a bit, yes?

    Previously; USA-Western Europe round trip in business = 110k miles
    New plan; USA-Western Europe round trip in business = 140k miles

    The only benefit in this above example with the new plan is that I won't have to pay the (high) taxes on carriers that charged more. Is that right?

    1. Ben OMAAT

      @ Ryan -- That's correct. You'll come out way ahead under new program if you would have flown Austrian or Lufthansa. You're probably not going to come out ahead if you would have flown Brussels, Swiss, United, etc., unless you can benefit from the stopover on a one-way.

  49. KK13 Gold

    @ Ben -- That's a great idea! Thank you. :)

  50. KK13 Gold

    Well, glad I bought the 110% (or was it 120%?) bonus miles that one time.

    Now the question is, book Qatar or Cathay using 70K AA miles, or SA using 85K Aero + 5000 stopover miles in Singapore + $39 while flying to India... decisions, decisions.

    1. Ben OMAAT

      @ KK13 -- How about one in each direction? ;)

  51. UA Fan Guest

    The current Aeroplan and the new one will still not be of any use to me wrt to travelling to India (DFW-FRA-BLR). Currently a round trip costs 100K plus YQ and the new one will cost 140K and no YQ. At least with the current one I could have found some non-YQ partners. India has always been a bad redemption with AC miles.

  52. Gina Guest

    Thanks! How quickly do banked points expire? Still one year?

    1. Ben OMAAT

      @ Gina -- As of recently Aeroplan miles expire after 18 months of inactivity:
      https://onemileatatime.com/aeroplan-improves-mileage-expiration-policy/

  53. GoAmtrak Platinum

    Interesting that intra- South America only has partner rates listed. AC metal flies SCL-EZE.

    1. Ben OMAAT

      @ GoAmtrak -- Sharp eye, as usual. Maybe foreshadowing that the route won't be making a comeback? ;)

  54. Chase Guest

    Overall decent news despite rates going ever increasingly up. But I wouldn’t personally deem a drop in fuel surcharges as a fair exchange for adding a garbage partner booking fee if you’re doing all the work yourself (online). It wasn’t difficult to avoid fuel surcharges in the first place, you just pick the partners that don’t charge them (the way it should be IMO). So I think that fee is a HUGE negative here, at least for online bookings.

  55. Jay Guest

    Ben, do you know how they compute the miles? For example, MKE-LHR is 3900 miles, but there are no nonstop flights so the connection MKE-IAD-LHR is total 4300 miles.

    1. Ben OMAAT

      @ Jay -- You pay based on the segments you actually fly, so it would price in the higher tier then. MKE-YYZ-LHR would keep you right under the 4,000 mile limit, though. :)

  56. David Diamond

    @Ben

    Last seat availability is bookable... It's the Market Fare flight rewards.

    1. Ben OMAAT

      @ David -- Sorry, I wasn't clear. My point was that JD is saying that it used to cost 50K to fly roundtrip, and now it could cost 140K. The new chart shows a general range of 25K-60K one-way. If you were to use market fare flight rewards, I see some dates where that ticket would cost 341K miles roundtrip in business class.

      My point is that the saver level award cost shouldn't be going...

      @ David -- Sorry, I wasn't clear. My point was that JD is saying that it used to cost 50K to fly roundtrip, and now it could cost 140K. The new chart shows a general range of 25K-60K one-way. If you were to use market fare flight rewards, I see some dates where that ticket would cost 341K miles roundtrip in business class.

      My point is that the saver level award cost shouldn't be going up here, but rather the price range reflects situations where there's no saver level award availability.

  57. JD Guest

    I used to be able to do YYZ-YVR business for 50k round-trip. Now that could cost 140k+? Insane devaluation.

    1. Ben OMAAT

      @ JD -- This will continue to cost 50K roundtrip as before if there is saver award space. Nothing is changing for you. The higher pricing comes with last seat availability, which wasn't previously bookable with miles.

  58. Jake Guest

    Are these roundtrip costs?

    If not, WOW, what a devaluation: a roundtrip from North America to Bali in business class on an Asian carrier would be a whopping 210k. VERY ugly.

    1. Ben OMAAT

      @ Jake -- These are one-way costs. I'm not sure I follow your math though? 7,501-11,000 miles between North America and the Pacific costs 85K in business class, or 170K roundtrip. I'm not sure what routing you're taking to Bali that requires more than 11,000 miles, because that's the only way you'd be paying 210K roundtrip.

  59. David Diamond

    Bad development for the route I frequently fly, as EVA never charged YQ to begin with, so I'll be paying an additional 10k miles per way plus $78 CAD in fees, and an additional 5k for each stopover.

    Could've been considerably worse I suppose.

  60. JC New Member

    What about infant award tickets? Any news on that?

  61. Julian Guest

    Theoretically, could you fly from North America to South America, booking a stopover in Tokyo and then being forced to fly via Europe (like Frankfurt or Zurich) to South America without backtracking? All of that would (theoretically) only cost 65,000 miles in business class (or 105,000 in first), making it one of the best sweet spots in the industry, though I have high doubts on whether it would actually be bookable.

    1. Ben OMAAT

      @ Julian -- Unfortunately that would go way beyond the limits of the program. You can't transit a third region when traveling between North America and South America.

  62. Ram New Member

    @Thanks Ben, I found East coast to india [DTW-YYZ-BOM] for 85K miles as the distance is 7,989 miles.

  63. Ram New Member

    How much US/Canada to India cost on AC direct Vs AI/UA Partner awards ?

    1. Ben OMAAT

      @ Ram -- It depends on the distance you're flying, but at the saver level pricing would be the same. For example, if traveling 6,001-8,000 miles between North America and the Atlantic region you'd pay 85,000 miles in business class on Air Canada or Star Alliance partners. If you're traveling 8,001+ miles then the cost increases to 100,000 miles.

  64. Tahsin Gold

    @Ben, thanks for clarifying. Still could be a good way for you to do multiple flight reviews in one trip by adding more segments even without the stopovers.

    1. Ben OMAAT

      @ Tahsin -- For sure! This new pricing system is a dream for those of us who enjoy flying/love maximizing routings. This is truly an approach to award pricing that's built for avgeeks and mileage nerds...

  65. tyler Guest

    @Ben, thanks for clarifying.

    Any idea why AC has pricing for F if you're saying an itinerary mixed with AC and partner prices at the partner level?

    1. Ben OMAAT

      @ tyler -- That would be for situations where you're combining a non-saver award Air Canada flight with a saver award partner flight. In other words, if you book Toronto to Chicago on Air Canada in business class, and Chicago to Frankfurt on Lufthansa in first class, you could pay anywhere from 100,000 to 200,000 miles one-way, depending on the type of availability on that first flight. Hope that makes sense.

  66. EC2 Gold

    @Anthony....Good point on partner availability. Maybe Ben was alluding to that when he mentioned having a lot of flexibility.

    Side note...where is everyone that felt that Aeroplan was bringing forth a devaluation? One can raise some questions on the changes, but they did not devalue their program.

    1. Ben OMAAT

      @ EC2 -- Hah, I'd certainly love to hear what some of the commenters on this post have to say now:
      https://onemileatatime.com/new-aeroplan-program/

      A few of my favorites:
      -- "Sounds like you were paid to make this post. You can count on a huge devaluation will be coming soon given all the miles they printed and sold during the recent promotion."
      -- "There will be no good coming from Air Canada getting their...

      @ EC2 -- Hah, I'd certainly love to hear what some of the commenters on this post have to say now:
      https://onemileatatime.com/new-aeroplan-program/

      A few of my favorites:
      -- "Sounds like you were paid to make this post. You can count on a huge devaluation will be coming soon given all the miles they printed and sold during the recent promotion."
      -- "There will be no good coming from Air Canada getting their paws on Aeroplan. If you think otherwise, you are dellusional."
      -- "Ben – you’re being way too optimistic buddy."
      -- "Ben – your fawning and obsequiousness to AC in recent months has been unbelievable. Why are you doing this?"
      -- "So is this sponsored post or did they make marijuana legal in Florida and I just don’t know about it ?"
      -- "Glad to see you’re being paid by airline shills for your insanely bias analysis. Thanks! Dipshit."

      Anyone? ;)

  67. tyler Guest

    Ben, it looks like YQ is only being eliminated on AC flights - where are you seeing that they're eliminating YQ on partner awards?

    "On any Air Canada flight you purchase with points, we have eliminated additional airline surcharges. That could save you hundreds of dollars in cash at checkout. In fact, only taxes and third-party fees (such as airport fees) are listed in cash, and you can use your points to cover those, too."

    1. Ben OMAAT

      @ tyler -- I can promise you with 100% certainty that YQ is being eliminated on all partner airlines on awards. That's direct from the people running the program.

  68. Tahsin Gold

    Combining partner airlines can make for some cool combinations. For example, United/Air Canada/Lufthansa/Swiss/Austrian from North America to FRA/MUC/LHR/VIE/ZRH on business class, TK to Indian Subcontinent on business class via Istanbul stopover, and take Etihad to go to Africa on business class, with stopover in Abu Dhabi. 5 segments = 120,000 miles (100k + 5k x 4 stops). Endless possibilities! I wish I bought their miles when they went on sale!

    1. Ben OMAAT

      @ Tahsin -- Just to clarify you're limited to one stopover per direction.

  69. cam Guest

    Wow! After adding Etihad, I thought that they were going to completely nerf the chart and add much stricter MPM requirements. The increases are modest and the routing rules are even MORE generous than in the past. Plus they're eliminating fuel surcharges??? Amazing. I'm incredibly pleased.

  70. Anthony Diamond

    The key here remains partner availability. Before this year, it seems that all airlines were becoming more stingy with releasing partner saver availability. Do you expect that to change next year and in 2022? If so this program seems like it will be great. However if I can’t find EWR to LHR to FRA availability on United or whatever the relevant airline is, it will be tough to use

    1. Ben OMAAT

      @ Anthony -- I can only speak for myself here, but in general I've found Star Alliance transatlantic award availability to be pretty good even pre-pandemic. Personally I think we'll see lots more award space in the next couple of years as airlines struggle to fill planes, so I think it's mostly good news for those with miles.

  71. Andy 11235 Platinum

    While it sounds complicated, as you said, it does avoid the issue of balancing the distance v. cost of travel from NA to Europe and Asia. If surcharges are eliminated, it also has the potential to make transborder flights a reasonable redemption value.

  72. Josh Gold

    Thanks Ben. On stopovers, then, is it your impression that en route from Bali to London, stopping over in Singapore would cost the same as stopping in, say, Alaska? They're both maximum mileage. That'd be... pretty awesome.

    1. Ben OMAAT

      @ Josh -- We'll have to see how the new system prices things out, but my impression is that this would be considered backtracking and wouldn't price. You can transit third regions in some cases -- you can do North America to Pacific via Atlantic, but you can't do Pacific to Atlantic via North America.

      I like how creatively you're thinking, I just think it may be a bit *too* creative. ;)

    2. Ben OMAAT

      @ Josh -- As a follow-up, the maximum number of segments is six per one-way.

  73. Cliff Guest

    After this pandemic, it’s time for some SYD-AKL-MEL-SIN-KUL-BKK-HKG-TPE-NRT-CTS-ICN-PEK-SGN fun!

  74. Jacob Wootten Guest

    Ben, can't wait to see you cover the full changes. While they kept the award charts intact, the new points-based earning structure they will be introducing next year seems to leave a lot to be desired.

  75. Josh Gold

    So cool. Some initial questions...
    1) are you permitted more than one stopover each way?
    2) are stopovers only permitted at hubs?
    3) is there a maximum number of segments (or some other way to encourage me to route SYD-SIN-LON instead of SYD-NRT-ICN-BKK-DXB-FRA-LON for the same price)?

    1. Ben OMAAT

      @ Josh -- 1) Just one stopover is allowed in each direction 2) Nope, stopovers don't need to be at hubs, so as long as you keep moving in the same direction, you have a lot of flexibility 3) Let me double check that, as there definitely is a limit, but I think it's at least four; I suspect the routing you're talking about might be pushing the limit

  76. Daniel Guest

    @ Ben - I hope you're right. Thanks for explaining it so clearly.

  77. Brian New Member

    I like NYC-HNL on partner airlines for 35,000 points.

  78. Daniel Guest

    What a complicated mess. Why not just make it totally distance based?

    Also is the distance the total distance traveled or just the distance between the starting and ending cities? (IE, is it "further" from EWR to IAH to NRT (8,042 miles so 100k points) than from EWR to NRT (6,732 miles so 80k points)?)

    1. Ben OMAAT

      @ Daniel -- The distance is based on the total cumulative distance traveled.

      Regarding your question of why Aeroplan didn't create a single distance based award chart, I think this system will work in our favor. For example, look at the British Airways Executive Club program, where awards between the US and Asia are almost never a good deal because of how far they are. Creating a distance based program within zones allows Aeroplan to...

      @ Daniel -- The distance is based on the total cumulative distance traveled.

      Regarding your question of why Aeroplan didn't create a single distance based award chart, I think this system will work in our favor. For example, look at the British Airways Executive Club program, where awards between the US and Asia are almost never a good deal because of how far they are. Creating a distance based program within zones allows Aeroplan to account for its costs while still adding value. In other words, you're being charged less for flying long distances between the US and Asia than you're being charged for flying long distances between the US and Europe, accounting for relative distance in most cases.

  79. Asarious New Member

    My own experience was always that plenty of low fuel surcharge redemptions existed with the old Aeroplan as long as you weren’t flying transatlantic.

    Nevertheless, as much as I’m sorry to see the high rates becoming normalized, this may be one of the more exciting things to develop for sweet spot chasing enthusiasts in a while.

    For me, this may finally cushion the blow of United eliminating stopovers in favor of their “excursionist perk.”

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Pickering Guest

However, you only get 4 priority rewards per year instead of 10 and each person counts as one redemption. Before a full booking used only one priority reward.

0
T Sedgwick Guest

Yeah, BIG devaluation. YYC to FCO or NAP, Biz class, used to be110k (and not too long ago, only 90k!) - and now... 140k. Even with the savings around $500 in YQ, that's a $0.16 ppm trade. But, Economy is worse... used to be 60k, now closer to 80k. That's a significant devaluation. The only way around it is to eat the $39 partner booking fee and avoid AC. Disappointing.

0
Sam New Member

@Lucky I disagree completely with your assessment that the program has evolved for the better. The values of miles has been completely devalued ! For Premium members, where before flights could be found for 7,500 miles short haul (North America), at any time, now the best they can offer is 17K to 25 K ! There is no win here !

0
Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
4,523,713 Miles Traveled

25,807,500 Words Written

28,675 Posts Published

Keep Exploring OMAAT