In late September I wrote about the Aeroplan program announcing an award chart devaluation. Aeroplan is Air Canada’s (spun off) loyalty program, and has some lucrative award costs, even for those who wouldn’t otherwise fly Air Canada.
Air Canada 787
At the time, Aeroplan announced that their award costs would be adjusted for bookings made as of December 15, 2015, which is two weeks from today. If you’d still like to redeem Aeroplan miles at the old award levels, this is a good time to start finalizing those awards.
Fortunately this award chart devaluation isn’t nearly as bad as the award chart devaluation Aeroplan had in 2011, whereby some award costs went up by nearly 100%. To further add insult to injury, months later they added fuel surcharges to awards on many of their partners.
While the changes aren’t as drastic this time around, some of the most lucratively priced awards, which really set Aeroplan apart, are going up in price. As a reminder, here are the award chart changes for travel originating in North America:
- The cost of short-haul awards within North America is increasing:
- Business class is increasing from 25,000 miles to 30,000 miles roundtrip
- The cost of awards between North America and Europe 1 is increasing:
- Business class is increasing from 90,000 miles to 110,000 miles roundtrip
- First class is increasing from 125,000 miles to 140,000 miles roundtrip
- The cost of awards between North America and Europe 2 is increasing:
- Business class is increasing from 105,000 miles to 115,000 miles roundtrip
- First class is increasing from 145,000 miles to 160,000 miles roundtrip
- The cost of awards between North America and Southern South America is increasing:
- Business class is increasing from 95,000 miles to 110,000 miles roundtrip
- First class is increasing from 135,000 miles to 140,000 miles roundtrip
- The cost of awards between North America and Australia is increasing:
- Economy class is increasing from 80,000 miles to 90,000 miles roundtrip
The most significant increase, in my opinion, is for travel between North America and Europe 1. Under the current pricing, Aeroplan charges just 45,000 miles for one-way business class travel between the US and Europe, while under the new pricing the cost will be going up by 10,000 miles in each direction, to 55,000 miles each way. That was the single most lucrative Aeroplan award, in my opinion, so it’s sad (though not surprising) that it went up in cost.
As a reminder, among transatlantic airlines, Aeroplan doesn’t impose fuel surcharges on Brussels, Swiss, Turkish, and United.
Redeem Aeroplan miles for Swiss business class without paying fuel surcharges
Similarly, first class between the US and Europe is going from 62,500 miles to 70,000 miles one-way. Lately Aeroplan has been my preferred way to book Lufthansa first class, so that’s quite unfortunate. Fortunately you can once again redeem LifeMiles for Lufthansa first class, though at 87,000 miles one-way (without fuel surcharges) it’s not that exceptional of a value.
Aeroplan redemption rates for Lufthansa first class are going up
The other great thing about Aeroplan is that they allow two stopovers on a roundtrip award, meaning you can actually visit three destinations on a single award. There aren’t many programs which allow that.
Aeroplan is transfer partners with American Express Membership Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (there’s even a transfer bonus from SPG at the moment), so if you are thinking of planning travel to Europe and have transferrable points, Aeroplan is a great option.
There’s one really positive change coming on December 15. Under Aeroplan’s current chart, one way awards are only allowed for travel originating or terminating in North America. Under the new chart, Aeroplan will allow one-way awards for half the cost of a roundtrip in all regions.
Redeem 45,000 Aeroplan miles for Ethiopian business class between Los Angeles and Dublin
While the devaluation isn’t massive compared to what we’re seeing with other programs, there are a few truly special awards which are being eliminated.
If you have Amex Membership Rewards points and are thinking of going to Europe anytime soon, I’d seriously consider trying to book a ticket through Aeroplan in the next two weeks.
Do you plan on booking an Aeroplan award before the devaluation in two weeks?