Aeroplan

Banking and Saving strategies, maximizing interest rates, budgeting, GICs, HISAs.
tedster
Gold Ring
Gold Ring
Posts: 7235
Joined: 27 Feb 2005 10:11
Location: Montreal

Re: Aeroplan

Post by tedster » 10 Dec 2014 16:51

:shock: How do you pay a travel agent to get you the best options when you are using aeroplan points?

SQRT
Gold Ring
Gold Ring
Posts: 1914
Joined: 01 Nov 2012 11:33
Location: Alberta/Ontario/Arizona

Re: Aeroplan

Post by SQRT » 10 Dec 2014 18:05

tedster wrote::shock: How do you pay a travel agent to get you the best options when you are using aeroplan points?
I was wondering about that too. My DW is a registered travel agent so when we book our own trips she get the commission. Not aware of any commission paid on air flights.

Taggart
Gold Ring
Gold Ring
Posts: 6227
Joined: 05 Dec 2005 07:34

Re: Aeroplan

Post by Taggart » 10 Dec 2014 22:03

SQRT wrote:
tedster wrote::shock: How do you pay a travel agent to get you the best options when you are using aeroplan points?
I was wondering about that too. My DW is a registered travel agent so when we book our own trips she get the commission. Not aware of any commission paid on air flights.
Nothing to do with Aeroplan, but the last time I tried to use a travel agent about three years ago to buy an airplane ticket she was quite blatant about the fact I would have to pay a fee. I was quite blatant as well, and told her goodbye. From there I went to an east Asian travel agency where I was told there was no fee, but the ticket price I saw from Air Canada was no longer available. She quoted me a higher fare. I said I would think about it and went home and booked my fare online for the same lower price as I'd seen earlier. That was the last time I ever used the services of a travel agent. Like investing, it's all DIY now for me.

SQRT
Gold Ring
Gold Ring
Posts: 1914
Joined: 01 Nov 2012 11:33
Location: Alberta/Ontario/Arizona

Re: Aeroplan

Post by SQRT » 11 Dec 2014 04:20

Taggart wrote:
SQRT wrote:
tedster wrote::shock: How do you pay a travel agent to get you the best options when you are using aeroplan points?
I was wondering about that too. My DW is a registered travel agent so when we book our own trips she get the commission. Not aware of any commission paid on air flights.
Nothing to do with Aeroplan, but the last time I tried to use a travel agent about three years ago to buy an airplane ticket she was quite blatant about the fact I would have to pay a fee. I was quite blatant as well, and told her goodbye. From there I went to an east Asian travel agency where I was told there was no fee, but the ticket price I saw from Air Canada was no longer available. She quoted me a higher fare. I said I would think about it and went home and booked my fare online for the same lower price as I'd seen earlier. That was the last time I ever used the services of a travel agent. Like investing, it's all DIY now for me.
Since the airlines stopped paying commissions to book flights, agents have pretty well stopped booking fights. Sometimes they will book a flight if they earn commission on other aspects of a trip like hotels. On occasion we will still use a travel agent (very high end knowledgeable agent we have sometimes travelled with) for ideas on exotic or unusual travel. Otherwise my DH will book directly and earn the commish. Walking into the local travel agent ( I guess they still exist?) would be a total waste of time for us.

User avatar
kcowan
Diamond Ring
Diamond Ring
Posts: 13028
Joined: 18 Apr 2006 20:33
Location: Pacific latitude 20/49

Re: Aeroplan

Post by kcowan » 11 Dec 2014 08:02

When we travel to Europe on business class, our agent will check whether Lufthansa has better connections than AC (or BA). We offer her a fixed fee for that. When we find other items like hotels, she will check to see if she can get a better rate. Because we are booking a year in advance, she finds the time to help. Our trip to Rome was booked as soon as the AP seats were released. The fee is minor compare to the value we get for our 160000 points. Not all agents will be bothered. It helps when she can make money on other bookings like cruises.
For the fun of it...Keith

SQRT
Gold Ring
Gold Ring
Posts: 1914
Joined: 01 Nov 2012 11:33
Location: Alberta/Ontario/Arizona

Re: Aeroplan

Post by SQRT » 11 Dec 2014 10:27

kcowan wrote:When we travel to Europe on business class, our agent will check whether Lufthansa has better connections than AC (or BA). We offer her a fixed fee for that. When we find other items like hotels, she will check to see if she can get a better rate. Because we are booking a year in advance, she finds the time to help. Our trip to Rome was booked as soon as the AP seats were released. The fee is minor compare to the value we get for our 160000 points. Not all agents will be bothered. It helps when she can make money on other bookings like cruises.

A few years ago, my DW was booking a very complicated AP itinerary. She ended up getting referred to a "specialist" at AP who was particularly knowledgeable (many of them are not). We got her direct line and sometimes call her still for "tough" flights. She works out of Vancouver and is amazing.

Over the years we have booked countless business class flights on AP. The key is early planning, flexibility, patience, and a large supply of points. As I have said before, many people don't meet these criteria so AP not their best rewards card. If travel not your thing, don't get a travel card.

User avatar
kcowan
Diamond Ring
Diamond Ring
Posts: 13028
Joined: 18 Apr 2006 20:33
Location: Pacific latitude 20/49

Re: Aeroplan

Post by kcowan » 11 Dec 2014 11:51

SQRT wrote:She works out of Vancouver and is amazing.
I bet she is the goto person for our travel agent.
For the fun of it...Keith

2 yen
Gold Ring
Gold Ring
Posts: 2633
Joined: 09 Apr 2005 09:15

Re: Aeroplan

Post by 2 yen » 25 Sep 2015 10:32

New mileage levels from Aeroplan. e.g. Canada to Europe 1 is now 110,000 points in business, up from 90,000. A comparative chart of old levels and new levels from Dec 15, 2015 can be seen here:

https://www4.aeroplan.com/static/pdf/ai ... art-en.pdf

2 yen

peter
Silver Ring
Silver Ring
Posts: 542
Joined: 10 Oct 2005 21:37
Location: Alberta

Re: Aeroplan

Post by peter » 26 Sep 2015 13:54

I'm out. I went from E75k two years ago to 8k qualifying miles this year and used my last 65k miles on a $500 gift card. I got an email from Aeroplan a few weeks ago I've collected and redeemed about 1.4 million miles total.

slim
Silver Ring
Silver Ring
Posts: 173
Joined: 28 Feb 2005 22:52

Re: Aeroplan

Post by slim » 26 Sep 2015 15:45

In 2011 I booked 2 first class tickets to europe at 70,000 each.
A couple months later they rose to 90,000
Now they will change on Dec. 15 to 115,000

That is pretty amazing inflation :oops:

User avatar
AltaRed
Diamond Ring
Diamond Ring
Posts: 18403
Joined: 05 Mar 2005 20:04
Location: Ogopogo Land

Re: Aeroplan

Post by AltaRed » 26 Sep 2015 15:58

peter wrote:I'm out.
Ditto to AP. Still have AA and United points to use up and then I will be gone from all airlines too. I have an exceptional distaste for trying to find frequent flyer seats.
Imagefiniki, the Canadian financial wiki The go-to place to bolster your financial freedom

zeno
Silver Ring
Silver Ring
Posts: 154
Joined: 17 Jun 2008 23:47

Re: Aeroplan

Post by zeno » 26 Sep 2015 18:28

Aeroplan, one more reason not to fly air canada. I know they were spun off from AC, but the original intention to be a loyalty plan has been perverted. I'm completely disloyal to AC now. Aeroplan made me despise Air Canada.
I've booked a couple of transatlantic reward trips in business class. It was almost worth the days of flight search gaming and scamcharges. The new reward levels are yet another reason for my slow motion abandonment. Accumulation rules are almost as stupid. Due to the booking class my last few short haul flights earned me low double digit "miles". I got more miles out of buying a hammer and lightbulbs at home hardware. It's laughable.
I switched my aeroplan credit card for a cash back card last year and am much happier with the results. Those almost reasonable business class redemptions were the only thing that tinged my decision with regret, not so any more.

SQRT
Gold Ring
Gold Ring
Posts: 1914
Joined: 01 Nov 2012 11:33
Location: Alberta/Ontario/Arizona

Re: Aeroplan

Post by SQRT » 27 Sep 2015 09:33

It is getting more difficult to use the AP points for business class for sure. Business class redemptions are the only reasonable use of the points, so if this isn't possible we will be out as well.

Don't mind flying AC but have to admit their Rouge "service" sucks. Business class cost for economy service. Westjet's new "plus" service is a much better deal. The real benefit for us is the no cost change policy. AC change fee policy is outrageous. Often we pay as much in change fees as the original ticket.

Somebody must be using AP though, or the whole scheme would collapse. Maybe if will at some point.

User avatar
cedeebee
Bronze Ring
Bronze Ring
Posts: 95
Joined: 20 Jun 2011 20:10

Re: Aeroplan

Post by cedeebee » 26 Mar 2016 22:44

Previously, I'd join in on the lack of love for Aeroplan, but no more...

Just booked a round trip flight for kitty and me: YVR-FLL-YVR in August. In the past, I'd be paying upwards of $200 in fees, and consider myself lucky to get a flight for 25,000 points. This time, the points required were 18,800 and the fees? Less than $72. :shock: I paid more to get kitty on the plane than myself ($50 each way + tax.)

pmj
Gold Ring
Gold Ring
Posts: 2412
Joined: 27 Feb 2005 18:15
Location: Ottawa

Re: Aeroplan

Post by pmj » 26 Mar 2016 23:58

cedeebee wrote:Just booked a round trip flight for kitty and me: YVR-FLL-YVR in August. In the past, I'd be paying upwards of $200 in fees, and consider myself lucky to get a flight for 25,000 points. This time, the points required were 18,800 and the fees? Less than $72.
Was this a Market Rewards flight? I've noticed that the fees on MR flights are often much lower than on points flights. I've never booked one, but now that AeroPlan charges 50% for one-way, you can also mix-n-match points and MR on the same journey.
Peter

Patrick Hutber: Improvement means deterioration

User avatar
cedeebee
Bronze Ring
Bronze Ring
Posts: 95
Joined: 20 Jun 2011 20:10

Re: Aeroplan

Post by cedeebee » 27 Mar 2016 00:25

pmj wrote:
cedeebee wrote:Just booked a round trip flight for kitty and me: YVR-FLL-YVR in August. In the past, I'd be paying upwards of $200 in fees, and consider myself lucky to get a flight for 25,000 points. This time, the points required were 18,800 and the fees? Less than $72.
Was this a Market Rewards flight? I've noticed that the fees on MR flights are often much lower than on points flights. I've never booked one, but now that AeroPlan charges 50% for one-way, you can also mix-n-match points and MR on the same journey.
Yes, it was. I did click on the fixed mileage tab and had a brief glance, but since the market fare required less points, I went that route. But $72 for all taxes and fees (minus kitty's reservation)... I was absolutely stunned...

2 yen
Gold Ring
Gold Ring
Posts: 2633
Joined: 09 Apr 2005 09:15

Re: Aeroplan

Post by 2 yen » 16 Sep 2016 07:19

Just another heads up that multi-city international bookings on the website and what's available by calling are different. For example, 2 stopovers + destination are allowed from Canada to Europe when you call. The multi-city function on the website only allows one stopover. On a recent call to Aeroplan also had it confirmed that their call centre advisors have access to the airline booking systems and this information is not all available on the website. Some of the lower-fee carriers (like Swiss) don't necessarily have their schedules posted on Aeroplan (depending on how far out you are booking), so it's always worthwhile calling. As for the generally abysmal call centre service, try calling at opening time in the morning and especially a Sunday morning works quite well.

2 yen

zeno
Silver Ring
Silver Ring
Posts: 154
Joined: 17 Jun 2008 23:47

Re: Aeroplan

Post by zeno » 11 May 2017 10:28

The divorce between Air Canada and Aeroplan is official. Air Canada is going to start its own loyalty points program.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/air-can ... -1.4109868

Perhaps Air Canada is realizing that post spin-off Aeroplan was failing to serve as a loyalty program. Having an aeroplan card in your pocket doesn't make one prefer Air Canada when booking flights.

Transition ought to be fun. The cutover is supposed to be 2020. AC claims you'll still be able to redeam Aeroplan points for AC flights after that (but not for for Star Alliance). Personally, I anticipate AC will use that cutover as another opportunity to devaluate points. I will be using all my remaining points before the transition.

User avatar
AltaRed
Diamond Ring
Diamond Ring
Posts: 18403
Joined: 05 Mar 2005 20:04
Location: Ogopogo Land

Re: Aeroplan

Post by AltaRed » 11 May 2017 10:38

My AP card is long gone. I used (or let expire) all my AP points 2-5 years ago and switched entirely to AA or United or Delta as the case may be where there is broader acceptance of their points programs worldwide. I only collect points now when I pay cash for my air travel.
Imagefiniki, the Canadian financial wiki The go-to place to bolster your financial freedom

Taggart
Gold Ring
Gold Ring
Posts: 6227
Joined: 05 Dec 2005 07:34

Re: Aeroplan

Post by Taggart » 11 May 2017 15:51

I just use my Aeroplan card the same as the Asia miles card. Convert the points to gas gift cards.

Looked into the flights and reviews available at the Aeroplan site, and no thanks. Read Reddit and blogs to see what travellers do to obtain extra miles through shuffling credit cards and realized it wasn't my scene.

pmj
Gold Ring
Gold Ring
Posts: 2412
Joined: 27 Feb 2005 18:15
Location: Ottawa

Re: Aeroplan

Post by pmj » 14 May 2017 19:53

To my surprise, I just found a cost-effective opportunity to use Aeroplan miles. Long story, but I needed to book a last-minute one-way flight. Aeroplan charged half the miles for the same-zone return flight, plus just a bit more than half the taxes. Not cheap, but way less than the cash equivalent for the same flight. And the seat reservation was included, not $35 extra.
Peter

Patrick Hutber: Improvement means deterioration

User avatar
adrian2
Diamond Ring
Diamond Ring
Posts: 11551
Joined: 19 Feb 2005 08:42
Location: Greater Toronto Area

Re: Aeroplan

Post by adrian2 » 14 May 2017 20:46

pmj wrote:
14 May 2017 19:53
To my surprise, I just found a cost-effective opportunity to use Aeroplan miles. Long story, but I needed to book a last-minute one-way flight. Aeroplan charged half the miles for the same-zone return flight, plus just a bit more than half the taxes. Not cheap, but way less than the cash equivalent for the same flight. And the seat reservation was included, not $35 extra.
Have you compared the price with something like kayak? In the past few years, a one way ticket has come down in price to little more than half a return ticket. This was not the case longer ago.
Imagefiniki, the Canadian financial wiki
“It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong.” [Richard P. Feynman, Nobel prize winner]

westcoastfella
Silver Ring
Silver Ring
Posts: 361
Joined: 10 Jun 2009 15:47

Re: Aeroplan

Post by westcoastfella » 14 May 2017 22:55

zeno wrote:
11 May 2017 10:28
Transition ought to be fun. The cutover is supposed to be 2020. AC claims you'll still be able to redeam Aeroplan points for AC flights after that (but not for for Star Alliance). Personally, I anticipate AC will use that cutover as another opportunity to devaluate points. I will be using all my remaining points before the transition.
As will I.

I continue to covet my AP card and points, and use them exclusively for international business class travel - which IMO gives them tremendous value. I generally have no trouble booking flights that I want as long as I book an appropriate amount of time in advance (7-12 months depending on destination), and have yet to find a location I cannot get to via some star alliance connection. Given that it costs me nearly nothing to get these miles ($120 per year in annual fee), the value is well worth it for me and I will miss the program.

I'm sure that AC will find a way to devalue the remaining AP points when the conversion hits, and now need to figure out the best strategy for me starting June 2020 with zero AP points while maximizing my travel options over the next 3 years, as well as replacing my existing TD aeroplan card with some other rewards card when it makes sense to do so.

User avatar
kcowan
Diamond Ring
Diamond Ring
Posts: 13028
Joined: 18 Apr 2006 20:33
Location: Pacific latitude 20/49

Re: Aeroplan

Post by kcowan » 14 May 2017 23:02

So you have found a way to travel for free with AP.? Please share!
For the fun of it...Keith

peter
Silver Ring
Silver Ring
Posts: 542
Joined: 10 Oct 2005 21:37
Location: Alberta

Re: Aeroplan

Post by peter » 15 May 2017 00:55

kcowan wrote:
14 May 2017 23:02
So you have found a way to travel for free with AP.? Please share!
Not exactly free, but some tickets have minimal costs if you avoid Air Canada and some other carriers. Flyertalk forum will explain which ones. $20-$25 CAD per leg for Shanghai/Bali or Bali/Hong Kong in business class on Singapore Airlines, for example (40,000 miles per direction).

The $120/year mentioned above isn't the only or the main cost though, I'd argue the main cost is the opportunity cost of using a credit card for Aeroplan points instead of cash back or some other value. I agree international business (or even better, first) is by far the best value, depending on how much value you attach to business or first class.

I still accumulate AP points by flying Air Canada as as far as I know there's no longer a useful Star Alliance partner that's better because they now all have requirements for flying miles on their own metal or spending dollar amounts or give very few points for AC flights. I collect Amex MR points on a credit card (in addition to Amazon visa and Superstore MC) that can be moved to other programs, including AP, although I've not tried redeeming them yet. They have a fairly solid base value of $0.01/dollar because you can just use them to reduce your credit card bill on any travel expense for that rate. I'm certainly not keeping a lot of points in Aeroplan.

Post Reply