Aeroplan

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Quebec
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Re: Aeroplan

Post by Quebec » 15 May 2017 12:27

Given the recent announcement, I've booked flights for 4 people yesterday (family vacation) to consume most of my aeroplan miles. However I had to pay nearly $800 for the privilege of getting ''free'' tickets. Hummmm.

I don't want to accumulate more miles in a program which only has 3 years left, and charges so much for ''free'' flights. I fly Air Canada quite a bit (4-6 times a year, cattle class), and that will not change in the future.

Would it make sense to join the loyalty program of another member of Start Alliance immediately, instead of waiting 3 years to join the new Air Canada program?
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Re: Aeroplan

Post by AltaRed » 15 May 2017 15:09

Can't answer that for you, but I book all my Air Canada flights to my United frequent flyer number (actually originally Continental). I'll probably use the points on Luthansa eventually.
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Re: Aeroplan

Post by Quebec » 15 May 2017 16:42

AltaRed wrote:
15 May 2017 15:09
Can't answer that for you, but I book all my Air Canada flights to my United frequent flyer number (actually originally Continental). I'll probably use the points on Luthansa eventually.
I'm looking at United Mileageplus too. Why did you originally choose the United program over Aeroplan? There is 53 pages of debate over at flyertalk.com but judging by the first two pages and the last two pages, the people there are interested by free upgrades, are also debating which airline is better, etc, so that discussion does not seem that useful for me.

But there is also 34 pages of discussion on Air Canada to Launch Its Own Loyalty Program in 2020 there, will start reading that and report.
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Re: Aeroplan

Post by AltaRed » 15 May 2017 17:21

I was primarily a Continental (now United) and American (both American and Alaska Airlines) frequent flyer because of our corporate business travel programs and where I was stationed and doing most of my flying at different points in my career. I was also with Delta at one point in my career but lost all those points not paying attention. C'est la vie.

I was also part of Aeroplan since it began....when my flying was done in Canada (never flew AC out of country if I possibly could avoid it due to its crown corp attitude in the 70's-90s). I earned a lot of points with AP too....which I used up mostly in North American travel as they accumulated.
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Re: Aeroplan

Post by Quebec » 15 May 2017 20:13

Quebec wrote:
15 May 2017 16:42
But there is also 34 pages of discussion on Air Canada to Launch Its Own Loyalty Program in 2020 there, will start reading that and report.
I've read the 1st four pages and the last 10 pages. The discussion is mostly about Aimia potentially going bankrupt (and Aeroplan points becoming worthless), how Air Canada is greedy, are frequent flyers programs a Ponzi scheme, burn your points a.a.s.p., etc. It seems that many frequent flyers will join the new Air Canada program when it launches, the debate is mostly what happens in the next 3 years.

There are a few people suggesting joining the United program immediately. Had I booked the same flights I just did with Aeroplan as a MileagePlus member, I would have used the same number of miles, but apparently paid about $400 cash instead of $800. I have no reasons to believe that the new Air Canada program will be better for customers than Aeroplan. And what prevents them from again selling it off in 5-10 years, then cancel the agreement with Aimia 2.0 about 10 years later...

I have close to zero confidence left in Air Canada after this move. Increasing the cost of a flight to Hawaii from 40 000 points to 45 000 points (like Aeroplan did a few years ago) is one thing. But with AC's decision, many people will loose some/most of their points, or be forced to use them to buy toasters or plane tickets at 'market' rates, which can be 2-4 times as expensive as the 'classic' ones. It's not a devaluation, more like a cancellation. Which is now supposed to be illegal in Ontario?
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Re: Aeroplan

Post by Quebec » 16 May 2017 19:13

The most relevant FlyerTalk topic so far: Document your post AC/AE breakup activities/strategies here

A few people are indeed contemplating switching to United, for example:
Strategy 1 - Burn Points and continue to accrue Altitude and AP
Strategy 2 - Burn Points and start to accrue United Points
Strategy 3 - Burn Points and start Strategy 1 until the value of AP forces us to Strategy 2.
Having just cleared out my Aeroplan account I'm sitting in a relatively good position. The question going forward is that since I do my travel within NA to the US should I just earn in UA's MileagePlus?
But that's cherry picking out of 6 pages of discussion. There is no consensus.
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Re: Aeroplan

Post by Quebec » 17 May 2017 16:10

Well I've joined United MileagePlus this morning and switched two already booked international trips there.

No point accumulating more miles in Aeroplan. The United program provides an immediate substitute: no need to wait 3 years.
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Re: Aeroplan

Post by Quebec » 14 Jun 2017 19:33

Other family members had less than the minimum number of Aeroplan miles to get a plane ticket. So they ordered Esso (gasoline) gift cards to burn most miles, and the small balance was donated to our favorite charity. Their accounts now have zero miles left in them.
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Re: Aeroplan

Post by tedster » 22 Aug 2017 15:31

So AirCanada and (I suppose) Star Alliance will sever connections with Aeroplan. What is the best strategy to collecting Aeroplan Mileage Points. (For those who believe in "cash back" cards, by all means comment. :D )

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Re: Aeroplan

Post by Quebec » 23 Aug 2017 12:17

tedster wrote:
22 Aug 2017 15:31
(...) What is the best strategy to collecting Aeroplan Mileage Points. (...)
The best strategy is not collecting them anymore, IMO, since they will loose half their value or worse within the next 3 years. I've switched to the United program to collect points for my future Air Canada flights. And yes, for credit cards, use a card that gives cash back as soon as possible. Cash is real, whereas points or miles can be devalued at anytime.
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Re: Aeroplan

Post by tedster » 23 Aug 2017 12:58

Quebec wrote
United program
What is this?

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Re: Aeroplan

Post by peter » 23 Aug 2017 18:13

MileagePlus, the loyalty program of United Airlines. Since United and Air Canada are both in Star Alliance you can book flights on both with points from either AC or United. For most Canadians MileagePlus will be of dubious value though.

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Re: Aeroplan

Post by Quebec » 24 Aug 2017 16:42

peter wrote:
23 Aug 2017 18:13
For most Canadians MileagePlus will be of dubious value though.
Why do you think that?
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Re: Aeroplan

Post by peter » 24 Aug 2017 18:24

Quebec wrote:
24 Aug 2017 16:42
peter wrote:
23 Aug 2017 18:13
For most Canadians MileagePlus will be of dubious value though.
Why do you think that?
Accumulating miles on economy flights is very slow and like Air Canada United has also reduced benefits and made criteria tougher in the past few years. I don't think there are credit cards in Canada with MileagePlus points at the moment, although I do seem to remember reading about one in the past. They'd still have to be competitive with everyone's favourite reward card. Without credit cards and other ways to accumulate points like you have in the US it would be hard to accumulate enough miles to do anything with them for a non-frequent flyer, miles expire if you're not actively accumulating, and miles devaluate with time in practice if you don't use them.

If you are a frequent flyer the math changes, but becomes more complicated and no longer applies to 'most Canadians'. 1k or Global Service is very valuable but lower status gives very limited benefits, and if you fly enough on AC to get 50k/SA Gold I'd still prefer that. If you fly enough for AC super elite or United 1k you're in a small group and spend too much of your life in airplanes.

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Re: Aeroplan

Post by westcoastfella » 25 Aug 2017 11:48

tedster wrote:
22 Aug 2017 15:31
So AirCanada and (I suppose) Star Alliance will sever connections with Aeroplan. What is the best strategy to collecting Aeroplan Mileage Points. (For those who believe in "cash back" cards, by all means comment. :D )
My goal is to hit the 2020 cutover with zero or near-zero aeroplan points and no TD aeroplan visa. But between now and then, the problem is not necessarily how to collect them, but rather planning the collection to maximize travel and minimize remaining points between now and the end.

Based on my current spending habits (TD Aeroplan visa buys ~95% of everything we purchase) and non-award travel, I can expect to accumulate roughly 100k points per year. My current plan is:

- 2017 - started with 500k, minus 310k to asia, plus 100k accumulate, end with 290k
- 2018 - start with 290k, minus 220k to europe, plus 100k accumulate, end with 170k
- 2019 - start with 170k, minus (220k to europe or south america), plus 100k accumulate, end with 50k, give up TD Aeroplan visa
- 2020 - start with 50k, see where what plans are with new aeroplan

Plans may change as AC begins to divulge plans for new program and points migration.

Once 2020 rolls around I expect to have no loyalty credit card, having decided what I'll replace it with yet.

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Re: Aeroplan

Post by SQRT » 25 Aug 2017 12:02

Currently have about 500k points and have already purchased all our big planned flights for next year. Will have to keep an eye on this.

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Re: Aeroplan

Post by Quebec » 26 Aug 2017 09:15

peter wrote:
24 Aug 2017 18:24
Accumulating miles on economy flights is very slow and like Air Canada United has also reduced benefits and made criteria tougher in the past few years.
Yeah, sure. It took me 10 years to accumulate enough aeroplan miles that way to bring my family to Florida on holiday. But at least the MileagePlus points are not gonna loose half their value or more in 3 years. Better 'free' plane tickets every 10 years than nothing.

I agree with you that the decision one takes with regard to this 'points'/'miles' business very much depends on on much flying one does, business or not, what credit card one uses, etc. Joining United MileagePlus is not the universal solution.
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Re: Aeroplan

Post by Peculiar_Investor » 02 Oct 2017 12:49

Discovered this one that hard way. Air Canada flights booked using RBC Avion points no longer accumulate Altitude (and Aeroplan) miles, apparently this was silently changed back in May 2017. More details in Flight booked with Avion points not eligible for Altitude - FlyerTalk Forums
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