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The Aeroplan awards you should book now

by on Mon December 14, 2015 • No Comment
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Aeroplan gets a lot of grief for regularly increasing the price of awards and passing on hefty fuel surcharges on many international awards.

And it’s about to get more flack as it’s raising many popular award prices tomorrow, December 15th.

You have until the end of the day today, December 14 to book awards. Amex Membership Rewards point generally transfer instantly to Aeroplan, so you still have some time to lock something in.

What is Aeroplan making worse?

You can see all the changes here, and they almost entirely affect Business / First Class awards, so if you’re saving for an Economy Class award very little is changing.

The three biggest changes to focus on are:

  • North America to Europe in Business Class increases from 90,000 – 105,000  points roundtrip to 110,000 – 115,000 points roundtrip
  • North America to Europe in First Class increases from 125,000 – 145,000 points roundtrip to 140,000 – 160,000 points roundtrip
  • North America to Southern South America in Business Class increases from 95,000 points roundtrip to 110,000 points roundtrip

We’ve highlighted awards from Canada and the U.S. that are going up in price below. The prices on the right are the new prices, effective December 15th.

aircanadaincrease

These prices were all cheaper than other major mileage programs like United MileagePlus for the same flight options, and now they’re getting a lot closer to the United prices, so some bargains are going away.

What should you do now?

Aeroplan is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, so if even if you don’t have Aeroplan points, but have Membership Rewards points, you should think about opportunities.

Even though the key Business and First Class awards that are changing are bargains in terms of mileage prices, the fuel surcharges Aeroplan passes on when you fly many airlines, including Air Canada and Lufthansa make them less attractive.

But there are some bargains that involve low or no fuel surcharges, and you should try to find them and book before the prices go up.

Right now you can book flights with Aeroplan for dates as late as August 2016. And by December, you’ll be able to book flights up to November, 2016.

What Aeroplan won’t tell you when you compare flights is that if you find award space on these airlines to Europe you can avoid or pay few surcharges:

  • Brussels Airlines
  • LOT
  • SAS
  • Swiss
  • Turkish
  • United

United flies to most major European cities from Newark, Chicago, Washington D.C., and Houston, though award space can be hard to find.

For the other airlines, try searching for space on these routes:

Brussels Airlines routes

  • New York – Brussels
  • Washington D.C. – Brussels (seasonal)

LOT Airlines routes

  • Chicago – Warsaw
  • New York – Warsaw
  • Toronto – Warsaw

SAS routes

  • Chicago – Copenhagen, Stockholm
  • Newark – Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo
  • San Francisco – Copenhagen
  • Washington D.C. – Copenhagen

Swiss Airlines routes

  • Boston – Zurich
  • Chicago – Zurich
  • Los Angeles – Zurich
  • Montreal – Geneva / Zurich
  • Miami – Zurich
  • New York – Geneva / Zurich
  • San Francisco – Zurich

Turkish Airlines routes

  • Boston – Istanbul
  • Chicago – Istanbul
  • Houston – Istanbul
  • Boston – Istanbul
  • Miami – Istanbul
  • Montreal – Istanbul
  • New York – Istanbul
  • San Francisco – Istanbul
  • Toronto – Istanbul
  • Washington, D.C. – Istanbul

Here’s an example of a flight on Turkish Airlines that costs just $44 CAD in fees via Istanbul, a great bargain for now at 45,000 miles one way:

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 12.13.28 PM

Also remember that Aeroplan lets you take two stopovers on a roundtrip international ticket. So to Europe you can say spend time in Paris and Rome on the same ticket, all for the same mileage price.

 

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