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Aeroplan (AP) periodically offers lower award rates (Market Fare Flight Awards) on select Air Canada routes. I stumbled upon a dedicated page on AP website which lists ‘Great Deals’ from select Canadian cities. The page lists origin and destination cities with a range of available dates with lower award rates. These are Aeroplan’s version of ‘Saver Awards’ – On face value, some of the rates are great until you account for the taxes involved.
Aeroplan Great Deals
The current ‘Great Deals’ page lists several international routes from Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa and Calgary. While most award rates translate to a savings of 5%-7%, some routes are pricing 35%-45% below standard award rates!! In addition, Aeroplan members with a status can enjoy further savings of up to 500 miles.
Some routes with great savings;
- Montreal (YUL) – Paris (CDG) return in economy for 20,800:
Obvious pitfall – the whopping $600 CAD in taxes, yikes!
- Ottawa (YOW) – London (LHR) Return, in economy for 29,200:
And again, savings on miles but a beat-down on taxes at $592 CAD!
Is this a good deal?
There are multiple ways to navigate your decision making with these deals. The ‘Great Deals’ are offered only on Air Canada flights, which pass down every cent of the taxes on the award ticket. Canada to western Europe would normally cost 60K miles + Taxes. So purely on saving miles, its a great deal!
However, we know that a better use of Aeroplan miles is to redeem them on airlines that do not pass any/very little fuel surcharges (United, Air China, Brussels Airlines, EgyptAir, Ethiopian, EVA Air, Scandinavian, Singapore, Swiss, Turkish ). For example, The YOW-LHR ($592 in taxes) Ac flight booked with United miles will cost 60K miles + $242 CAD, a $350 saving.
Simply put, with ‘Aeroplan Great Deals’, your options are to either save miles or save cash. And the decision for each person would be different. Some, flush with miles, would refrain from paying high taxes and book non-AC flights with lower taxes. While others, who only collect and redeem Aeroplan, may find the savings in miles worthwhile. I personally prefer to redeem AP on non-AC flights, to save money. While the savings on miles are great, the taxes are exorbitant and restrictive.
How do you redeem your Aeroplan miles? Share your thoughts with a comment below.
Completely agree with Ray! No great deal!
OK.. this reads like a click bait, title reads great deal, but it really isn’t. $600 in scamcharges plus 20k to 30k miles you might as well just buy the tickets out right. Pricing out the example you used, YUL to CDG for Oct 9 to Oct 30, on AC the grand total on a revenue ticket is $781… which means you are burning 20,800 miles for a value of $181… at less than 1 cent per mile, this is hardly a deal at all. I am not even adding the fact that the revenue ticket will earn your miles. Maybe you can consider a proper title for the post.
Hi Ray, sorry if that felt click-bait-y. That was not the intention. This deal is a perfect example of how everyone will treat it differently. Someone that only takes 1-2 leisure trips a year and saves a long time to redeem, may still be happy saving their miles via this promo. Plus there are Canadians that prefer to fly ONLY AC (dont ask why, but they exist), to them this may still make sense.
I agree with your calculations and that its not worthwhile for someone that tries the derive the max ‘value’ out of miles. Basically, redeeming AC award via AP on Y seldom makes sense when compared to deep discounted revenue tickets..