Related: Standard Aeroplan Star Alliance Rewards Chart Linky.
The blogosphere is abuzz with news that Air Canada’s Aeroplan program is pricing business class awards at coach pricing and first class awards at business class pricing. At first it was thought it was a mistake, but now it’s been confirmed that it’s a real, albeit unpublished, promotion. They are not saying when it will end, other than it can happen at anytime.
The promo works online and over the phone.
In other words with the discount, a business class ticket to Europe is 60K, Israel is 80K, Asia is 75K, and Australia is 80K. A first class ticket to Europe is 90K, Israel is 135K, Asia is 125K, and Australia is 135K. I checked the pricing for all of those routes and the discounted pricing did show up correctly.
With Aeroplan you can also get 2 free stopovers and you can cross both oceans, so a ticket to Sydney or Tokyo can include a stopover in London and Hong Kong for example for free. Stopovers must be booked over the phone.
In addition to this they are also currently running a promotion for 25% bonus miles, which means 80,000 Starpoints or 100,000 Membership Rewards points become 125,000 Aeroplan miles.
I’ve hesitated to post this as Aeroplan is a bit of a mess right now.
-Aeroplan now considers most domestic 2-class first flights as true first class awards, even though most other programs only consider them to be business class. So if you are connecting to an international business class flight in domestic first they will charge you for first class the entire way.
-They traditionally have only charged fuel surcharges on Air Canada travel and not for partner travel. Last month they suddenly started charging fuel surcharges on Lufthansa. Since then they have added fuel surcharges to ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, bmi, LOT Polish Airlines, and THAI. They will also be adding them to Adria Airways and South African Airways on 12/14.
They had said they were adding surcharges to Aegean, TAM, and TAP Air Portugal, but they backed away from that for now. They also don’t charge for travel on airlines like Air New Zealand, Swiss and Singapore, although that is likely to change soon as those carriers do collect a surcharge from their own members (which is supposedly Aeroplan’s litmus test to see who they should charge on). They don’t charge for travel on Air China, Continental, Croatia, EgyptAir, SAS, SpanAir, Turkish, United, and USAirways.
This can all change at any time.
-They won’t hold award tickets. This means if you transfer Starpoints you are at the mercy of whatever their policies are when the Starpoints reach the Aeroplan account a week or so later. You could call an agent, find a flight, tell them to hang on, go online and instantly transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to Aeroplan, and then finish booking the flight over the phone.
The only problem is that the 25% bonus points can take anywhere from 12 hours to 7 days to post, so you’ll be stuck with the bonus points in your Aeroplan account and won’t be able to use them to book that ticket unless you want to risk waiting during which time the discounted ticket promotion can end or the award seat avaialbility can go away!
Basically: Use this at your own risk as I assume no responsibility if it doesn’t work out the way you had envisioned!
HT: steve L, via DDF