More Aeroplan fuel surcharges coming soon!

Last week I wrote about the fact that Aeroplan, Air Canada’s frequent flyer program, began imposing fuel surcharges for award redemptions on partner airlines. Previously they only imposed fuel surcharges for award redemptions on Air Canada flights, so this was a big shock to many.

Realizing the backfire among members they initially only rolled out fuel surcharges for Lufthansa redemptions, though now they’ve announced more fuel surcharges that are on the way, as follows:

Fuel surcharges to flight rewards on the following Star Alliance airlines will be effective as of the dates noted below:

November 30th, 2011: Asiana Airlines, Thai Airways International, All Nippon Airways, Austrian Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, British Midland Airways

December 14th, 2011: Aegean Airlines, Japan Airlines, TAM Airlines, South African Airways, TAP Portugal airlines

These are in addition to fuel surcharges to flight rewards on Lufthansa that became effective on November 9th 2011 at 7pm.

Allow me to summarize. After next month you’ll be able to redeem your Aeroplan miles on US carriers, Swiss (which never releases award space in advance out of the US) and on Singapore Airlines (though Singapore hardly releases award space, so it’s more or less a moot point).

On the plus side they’ve given advance notice, which I can appreciate.

Gary, are you ready for round three? šŸ˜‰

#TeamSapphire for the win! All the more reason to get the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

In case you’re not up to date with the (playful) bickering going on between Gary and I, here’s a two minute summary:

Yes, I’m the whiny kid. šŸ˜€

Filed Under: Air Canada, Awards
  1. This is the third devaluation in 2011. Wow.

    I can’t wait to see what enhancements we’ll see in the 2012 Top Tier program.

  2. Looks like you slugged Gary in the eye and gave him a shiner.

    On the Aeroplan matter; good of them to delay the remainder of their press release for a couple days to let the heat subside. What a joke.

  3. Kind of glad I held off on trying to accumulate Aeroplan miles. Looks to me like the program has gone from one of the best to one of the worst in no time.

  4. Looks to me like the program has gone from one of the best to one of the worst in no time.


  5. Kicking myself for transferring my MR to Aeroplan before I canceled my GR Amex šŸ™ Makes the Aeroplan pretty much worthless now.

  6. Hahahahahaha. The video is awesome. I am thoroughly enjoying this back and forth banter between you and Gary. It brings out in depth the pros and cons of these programs in light of the recent changes. Keep it up!

  7. Can you even redeem Aeroplan miles on Japan Airlines???

    How much is the fuel surcharge on Lufthansa to go USA-Asia with a stop in Europe?

    This totally destroys the value of aeroplan miles! Who wants to pay $500-$800 on a “free” mileage ticket!!!

  8. Lucky, enjoyed meeting you last month at the Chicago Seminars.

    This ongoing thread of which cards to use has me really confused about my own card setup. My primary card is the Platinum DL Skymiles Amex, though I am likely to switch soon to the Reserve, because I find I need the MQM bonuses to maintain my DL Platinum Medallion status some years.

    My secondary card has been the Starwood Amex, and for non-Amex charges, I use an old Mileage Plus Visa, which I know I should switch out for something more valuable.

    If I am unwilling to lose the primary DL Amex card for my first 50-60K of spend, and am primarily a DL flier living in a DL hub city (MSP), but do like the idea of having award alternatives, particularly with Skymiles’ limitations, how would you suggest I apportion my remaining 20-40K of credit card spend a year? (I queried Gary Leff as well to see how your takes differ.)

    Thanks for your input.

  9. @ Adam — In your shoes I would cancel the United Visa and instead acquire the Chase Sapphire Preferred. The card’s annual fee is waived the first year and is only $95 after that, which is very reasonable. Beyond that you would earn double points on dining and travel, and all points can be transferred to Continental, United, Hyatt, Marriott, etc. The card also comes with a 7% annual points dividend, earning you even more miles. That gives you lots of opportunities for award redemptions that you don’t have through Delta, especially for premium cabins to Europe and Asia.

    Best of all you would get a 50,000 point sign-up bonus after spending $3,000 on the card. I firmly believe it’s the best card out there, and if you sign up in the next few weeks you can still earn the 7% annual points dividend for this year, which would include an additional 3,500 points thanks to the 50,000 point sign-up bonus. There’s more info on the card here:

    Thanks for attending the seminar!

  10. In Europe the majority of airlines (BA, VS, LH, KLM, AF, etc) already charge YQ on award tickets and a selection of Asian airlines do the same.

    Whilst North American airlines, except Air Canada, do not (please correct me if I’m wrong) it would certainly appear likely that while they may not charge YQ if flying with them, if flying with partners there is a greater possibility that YQ will be charged.

    Do you think YQ will eventually become standard across all airlines on award tickets?

  11. @ Euan — It’s a slippery slope. Frankly I don’t see US airlines adding fuel surcharges anytime soon because they’re more or less owned by the credit card companies. Adding fuel surcharges would reduce the lure of mileage earning credit cards, which would earn the airlines more than it would help them.

  12. @ Lucky – I would tend to agree that US airlines are unlikely to charge YQ when redeeming miles on their own metal.

    However, I think it’s potentially more likely that when redeeming miles on their partner airlines YQ could potentially be charged, similar to what is happening with Air Canada.

    Based in Europe I am use to paying YQ and whilst I don’t necessarily like it that’s the way it is and frankly I don’t see it changing.

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