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Why Aeroplan Collectors Are Fed Up With Their Rewards Program

I’ve received dozens of emails from readers who are upset with the way Aeroplan rewards are calculated and the amount of fees and taxes they pay for flight redemptions.

Many find the fees almost wipe out the reward, and they also wonder why the fees for booking flights through Aeroplan are higher than the same flights booked directly through Air Canada.

Related: TD Unveils New Aeroplan Credit Card Line-Up

As a result, many long-time Aeroplan collectors say they have left or will leave the plan in favour of a more flexible rewards program, such as CIBC’s Aventura, RBC’s Avion, or TD’s First Class, where customers can redeem points on any airline and have access to any seat on the plane.

The reader emails were in reaction to an article I wrote about an Aeroplan member who tried to redeem his points for two business class tickets to Glasgow, Scotland and was shocked to see the taxes and surcharges for his “free flight” added up to $2,200.

Here are some other reader comments and questions answered about the Aeroplan program.

Why do fees seem to cost more when paid for with miles?

Several readers complained there appears to be more taxes and fees when you book an Aeroplan rewards flight than if you were to book the same flight directly via Air Canada’s website.

Former Aeroplan collector Ann Dennis shied away from redeeming her points because of these charges.  She compared the cost of booking a one-way flight from Fort Lauderdale to Toronto using points and paying for it through Air Canada’s website.

She found that using points, the flight would cost 12,500 miles, plus $63 in fees and taxes when booking through Aeroplan.  The same flight booked through Air Canada cost $134, plus $28 in fees and taxes.

“It’s the same flight, leaving at the same time.  Why is there a difference in the fees?”

Here’s the answer:  Patrick Sojka, founder of the Rewards Canada website, says the fees are exactly the same in both cases, but are just displayed differently.  Air Canada includes fuel surcharges in the ticket price for any travel in Canada and between Canada and the United-States.  Aeroplan lists its fuel surcharges separately along with the taxes, fees, and other charges.

“It’s no different than booking directly through WestJet versus redeeming Air Miles for the same flight,” said Mr. Sojka.

Margie Krisch, 78 and living in Lac La Biche, Alta. has been an Aeroplan member since 2001.  Last summer she redeemed 65,000 miles and then paid $1,070 for a flight to Paris.  Her daughter booked the same flight through Air Canada and paid $1,350.  She didn’t feel the 65,000 points got her very much.  The experience left a bad taste in her mouth.

“My Visa is with CIBC and I have changed to their new Aventura program,” said Ms. Krisch.

Why all the fees?

Taxes and fees are not included in any frequent flyer program, whether it’s Aeroplan or Air Miles.  Airport fees are another hidden cost of travel and Canada taxes on air travel are among the highest, as are those to the United Kingdom.

Related: Aeroplan To Enhance Recognition Program, Cancel Expiry Policy

Sojka says airports in the U.K. have a fee scale where the taxes go up depending on the class of service; for economy it is lower, while business is more and first class is even higher.

Surcharges include fees for fuel, navigation, insurance, air travellers security, airport improvement fees, and something called a peak travel premium.

According to Christa Poole, spokesperson for Aeroplan parent company Aimia, when Aeroplan issues reward tickets for their members, a $27 fuel surcharge is added along with the government taxes and airport charges, collected and passed on to those third parties.

“This has been the case ever since the last period of record fuel prices in 2008,” said Poole.

Who Gets The Points When A Spouse Dies?

After Deborah Schultz’s husband died eight years ago she called Aeroplan to change his plan to her name.  She was surprised to learn that if she wanted her late husband’s miles she’d have to pay for them.

“I thought it would be easy but, oh no, that wasn’t happening.  They told me I would have to pay two cents per mile!”

Related: Best Ways To Redeem Aeroplan Points

The terms and conditions on Aeroplan’s website say that your membership is not transferable so it’s not possible to share miles.  However, the company has a policy that allows a surviving beneficiary to redeem the outstanding balance of Aeroplan miles within one year of the member’s death by providing supporting documentation and paying a $30 admin fee, plus taxes.

Other tips from Aeroplan Collectors

Readers also offered their advice.

Marian Hof, a 58-year-old frequent traveller from B.C., suggests flying out of any nearby U.S. city.

“Here in Vancouver it is easy to drop over the border to Bellingham to fly to the U.S., Caribbean, Hawaii and many other destinations,” she said.

Because U.S. airport fees can be substantially cheaper than those in Canada – and with much more competition among U.S. carriers – fuel surcharges and other expenses are either much lower or do not exist at all.

56 Comments

  1. Colin on March 28, 2014 at 8:53 am

    Consider flying on other Star Alliance airlines since most of them do not have fuel surcharges. It often requires a stop at a hub airport but can be significantly cheaper.



    • Robb Engen on March 28, 2014 at 8:57 am

      @Colin – That’s a good idea. Unfortunately, the Star Alliance is losing one of these airlines as US Airways is leaving the program at the end of the month – http://www.staralliance.com/en/press/us-airways-prp/



    • Wanda on April 4, 2014 at 9:49 am

      I do travel from USA airports where possible and also use Star Alliance partners. But that is not possible when redeeming miles. You need to book on Air Canada if you wish to use Aeroplan miles.



      • Dave Lewis on April 5, 2014 at 8:22 am

        Not true. I have flown several times on Lufthansa, Asiana and Thai using AP miles.



        • Paul on April 19, 2014 at 7:38 pm

          Sure, you can redeem to fly on other Star Alliance partners when booking with points, but Air Canada will still charge you a bogus fuel surcharge. AC will collect if you fly on Swiss, Lufthansa etc. I’m told are still some Star Alliance partners that AC doesn’t scamcharge for (likely at the partner’s insistance), but these flights never appear on the Aeroplan website.



          • Dino on June 5, 2014 at 2:59 pm

            Actually it varies from airline to airline. The big issue is fuel surcharges. Some airlines include this in the reward (ANA, United) and others don’t thus passing it on as a fee (Air Canada, Lufthansa). Therefore the airline you choose to redeem on makes a big difference in price. The Aeroplan website only shows you the price at the end after you’ve chosen your flights so it makes it a bit tedious to shop around.

            Also, if you have points in other programs like United’s MileagePlus, the rules are different. I recently booked a trip to Italy. I paid about $100 in fees for my ticket using MileagePlus. The exact same flights and dates using Aeroplan would have cost $1000.



  2. Barry on April 2, 2014 at 8:00 am

    I have been an Aeroplan member for 15 years. In the past, it was fairly easy to get a decent flight, despite the surcharges.
    Now flights have several stop-overs and are a complete waste of travelling time. 18 hour flights to the Caribbean???! 22 hours to Europe?? The plan has become a complete joke.
    I have 450,000 Aeroplan miles plus Db status. If I could transfer these miles to a different reward program, I’d do so immediately.
    Cancelling my Aeroplan credit card this August on renewal.



    • RM on April 2, 2014 at 8:11 am

      Barry, you can book hotels and flights from family and friends – I hope you do and use up the miles. It won’t go far though 2 nights in a hotel in Europe recently cost me 53,000 points! But in the end it is money I would have spent – about 400 cdn.



    • MGB on April 4, 2014 at 9:48 am

      Barry, consider purchasing gift cards with your points. You can get AC gift cards or Amex gift cards (and others). I do this and then use a $500 card towards the flight I purchase, which I then earn points on. Aeroplan has made it impossible to get a direct flight anywhere without using 200,000 miles and its unfeasible to get a business class seat anymore. It’s ridiculous. I cash out my Aeroplan points as soon as I can. I know ppl say it’s not worth it to buy merchandise but if you can’t get a flight anywhere and have to pay loads in fees & taxes, well that’s not worth anything. I now have an Amex with reward membership points – they let me apply the points in cash value to any travel charge for the last 12 months. Way better, much more value in my opinion.



    • Kieran Biggins on April 4, 2014 at 8:28 pm

      For the same reasons you give, I also no longer use Aeroplan miles for air travel…..I use them only for car rentals.



  3. Vince P. Mayne on April 2, 2014 at 8:11 am

    Here is another unpleasant experience that Aeroplan delivers.
    While planning a trip, I usually sign into my Aeroplan account (member since 1995) and identify the mile requirements and flight times to planned destination.
    When the destination and travel dates are locked in with the travellers, I access the account again to book the trip and am frequently surprised to find that the mile requirements have changed significantly. Recently, the mile requirement for a trip to Calgary doubled in the span of 2 days.
    I suspect Aeroplan tracks its member activities in order to harvest the air mile requirements for their benefit.



    • Tara on April 2, 2014 at 9:24 am

      I suspected this might be the case when I had a similar experience. I had to wait to book as I was waiting for a refund of points from Aeroplan for a reward I returned (because they took too long to send it to me and I couldn’t use it – they were gift cards for a hotel and they arrived after I left for the destination, despite ordering them well in advance). To add insult to injury, I ended up using most of my points to fly business class as I was afraid I was going to lose them all….only to have them cancel their expiration policy shortly after I booked. I had been saving them for a bigger trip.



  4. RM on April 2, 2014 at 8:11 am

    ..”For family and friends” not from.



  5. Jeff on April 2, 2014 at 8:14 am

    How is fuel a surcharge? What next? Pay for air on the plane? Fuel is directly tied to the service the airline offers and should therefore be part of the ticket and part of the reward.



    • Red on April 2, 2014 at 11:10 am

      It’s not for fuel exactly, it’s for supposed increases (never decreases 😉 )in fuel pricing to the airline between the time they set fares and the time you actually book.
      But you’re right. These additional nickel and dime fees sometimes add up to more than a ticket is worth.



  6. Gregg on April 2, 2014 at 8:16 am

    I know it is difficult to impossible to get a decent reward with AC. IDK who they are giving the seats to, but if try to find a flight with standard status, all that is offered are connection flights on partner airlines, even when there are plenty of seats on the direct AC flight. And if available then double points are required. It’s a joke. I too am going to switch off Aerogold card to RBC Avion – just not sure of the timing because I travel a lot on business and am Super Elite. If you are lucky to be AC Super Elite then you can get reward seat of coach or business pretty much anywhere anytime. Just try getting business without status. IDK if I will be able to use all my miles, so need to dump the credit card now and just accrue the miles I get for flying.



  7. Rob on April 2, 2014 at 8:21 am

    I have been an Aeroplan members since the beginning and have logged hundreds of thousands of miles. I am moving away from the program this year to a new travel plan. Aeroplan have slowly chiselled away at our benefits for years, hoping no one would notice. Well, I for one, have noticed every change and there is nothing that they can now do to win my business back. Consumers in the end will win against this pathetic company. I book the same flight every year with the same friend to the same destination for the same dates. We alternate whose program will buy the tickets. Each year it gets more expensive (taxes are more than the flight value) and every year it gets more difficult for me to get the flights. In fact, last year we had to fly hundreds of miles away from our destination and rent a car to get there. Each year it gets easier for my friend to get tickets and he pays no fees. After 15 years of pain I am switching for good and will never return to Aeroplan.

    Signed,
    Extremely disgruntled loyal travel reward member.
    PS: why I waited so long to switch is beyond me, but I will not return.



  8. Ed on April 2, 2014 at 8:35 am

    I’ve been using Aeroplan for years to fly to SE Asia. My flight plan usually includes a stop in an asian city on the way there, my main destination and then another stop in a different asian city on the way home. I call Aeroplan and find out which airlines have the cheapest fuel charge then use the Aeroplan website to find the flights I want. I then phone the call centre and book the flights. I fly out of Toronto and as long as I stay away from Air Canada I save big. For comparison I asked them to include at least one AC flight and the taxes more than doubled. I’ve never paid more than $300 for taxes and other charges. Normally I use United to leave Toronto. For me Aeroplan has been awesome. I go out of my way to collect their points.



    • Jane on April 7, 2014 at 3:33 pm

      I agree. Rewards are harder to use but not impossible. Business class is by far the best value proposition for us. Have flown dozens of times within North America and overseas. Need flexibility and long lead times. Recently booked a flight to Taipei (EVA air) non stop, on 3 days notice in business class. Awesome flight. Carried on to Bangkok via Thai.



  9. Operabob on April 2, 2014 at 8:43 am

    Airmiles is no better. They’ve:

    1. Instituted a 5 or 6 year cancellation period on miles (at least Aeroplan rescinded their’s)

    2. Eliminated all the popular gift cards

    3. Replaced hotel gift cards with a new booking system the requires a new “Loyalty Fee” to use claiming the they did it, “In response to feedback from members like you”. What member asks to pay fees?

    4. Their Facebook page is a disaster and they ignore all objections and appear to be trying to counter the back lash with with idiotic comments from shills

    5. About 2 years ago they slashed the average cash value of an airmile by 32%. If banks devalued your money 32% and charged you a “Loyalty Fee” to use it there’d be riots

    6. No one appears to be answering the phones anymore, at least not without a 45 minute wait

    7. It goes on…

    I have for years written a popular online forum about collecting Airmiles that has even been featured on the CBC. I’ve now cancelled my Airmiles credit card and done as Gregg above suggests. While Aeroplan and Airmiles are abusing their so-called members other are rolling out the incentives. If Aeroplan and Airmiles don’t pull up their boot straps they’ll be going the way of the dodo.



    • Robb on April 2, 2014 at 10:01 am

      @OperaBob – I used to redeem Air Miles for Shell gas gift certificates. Went from 150 Air Miles for $20, to 170 Air Miles for $20. Now with Air Miles Cash you get $10 for 95 Air Miles.

      But guess what? Not all the Shell stations are equipped to handle to Air Miles Cash redemption. Not one station in my city takes them. Brutal!



  10. Hai hoang Kim on April 2, 2014 at 8:48 am

    Aeroplan is a joke. You could have same flight on sale with payment, rather flying half way the world because Aeroplan decided that way. Our recent reward trips required 16 effective hours, while waiting in various airports for more than 15 hours. It is really disgusting the way how Aeroplan took advantage of their loyal customers, beside paying hefty fees for un-explained reasons. Bye, bye Aeroplan for good.



  11. Robb on April 2, 2014 at 8:55 am

    Thanks for your comments, everyone – keep them coming!

    If you’re in the market for a new travel rewards card I’d suggest looking at the Capital One Aspire Travel World MasterCard – https://rewardscardscanada.com/CapitalOneAspireWorldMasterCard

    With Cap One, you book your own trip — including hotel, airline, or rental car of your choice — then redeem your reward miles for your travel expenses. You’re able to use your miles to pay for any taxes on your travel, and there are no blackouts or hidden fees.

    You get 35,000 bonus miles when you sign up – worth up to $350!



    • Operabob on April 2, 2014 at 10:20 am

      Robb,

      I went with the World Elite card because it came with $2,000,000 medical & trip cancellation insurance included. That normally costs me more than the cost of the card alone. They also waived 2 years ($300 savings). Got the extra year because of something else. Came with $300 worth of travel/hotel points and 4 free visits to airport lounges. Usually won’t pay for a card. In this case it made sense but in 2 years I’ll decide whether to continue or not.



      • Robb on April 2, 2014 at 10:39 am

        Yes, the Elite card is very good too. Fees waived for two years? Impressive!

        I think it’s smart to churn these cards every year or two. Take advantage of the waived fees and bonus points and then shop around again.



  12. Hugh on April 2, 2014 at 9:02 am

    I cancelled my CIBC Aeroplan account in the Fall of 2013 after trying unsuccessfully for several weeks to book Air Canada business class to Dublin anytime this coming summer. There were NO seats available in business period. I joined RBC Westjet World Elite Mastercard at that time and am still sitting on my 137,500 Aeroplan points.



    • James on April 2, 2014 at 10:27 am

      It’s Rouge flying to Dublin, Hugh. There are no business class seats on those flights at all.



  13. Berton Cade on April 2, 2014 at 9:06 am

    I tried to use the classic miles (25,000) I have in Aeroplan to fly to Winnipeg from Victoria. The flight I could get was 17 hours travel time ? If I used 65,000 points I could get there in 11 hours ??
    Aeroplan is finished . A complete waste of time.
    I paid for the trip.



  14. nicolas lucien forget on April 2, 2014 at 9:21 am

    The problem (if you want to call it that) is that Aeroplan and Air Canada are no longer the same people. Aeroplan buys milage for its clients (the card holder). For Air Canada the user is not even a customer anymore. I’ve stop looking for points years ago, I am a member of a lounge club and that it. I buy my own tickets and upgrade to Business when necessary (or possible). The whole reward concept has been killed by Air Canada’s sale of Aeroplan.

    Maybe customers will get it now!



  15. KM on April 2, 2014 at 9:21 am

    I find whenever I want to use my aeroplan points, the requested route will cost multiples of 25000, or the route they provide takes me around the country instead of in a straight line. And, as for the fees, yes, they’re a total rip-off. My friend uses all of his on United which accepts aeroplan points but doesn’t charge the fees!



  16. JA on April 2, 2014 at 9:23 am

    First of all, don’t redeem Aeroplan miles for travel on Air Canada. Collect United MileagePlus miles and redeem on Air Canada without paying scam or so called “fuel” surcharges.

    Use your Aeroplan points for travel on United and any other Star Alliance carriers for which there are no fuel surcharges.

    Fuel surcharges are a simply scam. Don’t be scammed.



    • Jacek on April 2, 2014 at 11:36 am

      just to give you an example.
      Toronto to Frankfurt direct return flights on AC booked through Aeroplan are 59.5K miles + $656. Exactly same flights booked through MilagePlus are 60K miles + $160.



      • Tim B on April 2, 2014 at 3:39 pm

        Same experience here: United Airlines 60k point + $170 to go from Vancouver to Budapest with return from Munich to Vancouver. Flight would have been around $1600 so it was worth it.

        I gave up any loyalty to Air Canada and Aeroplan after they confiscated over half my points for lack of activity even though I had used it for gas purchases ( they asked me to send them the receipts from the pump — from a year prior — who keeps those ! )

        Good thing I used most of my Aeroplan points a few years ago on a big first class trip to Greece.



  17. Carlos on April 2, 2014 at 10:13 am

    I’ve been using RBC Avion for the past 9 years and it’s the best reward plan for me, WHEN combining with British Airways (American Airlines partner). For the past 9 years, twice a year, BA offers 50% more points when transfering from RBC Avion. I was able to fly to Brazil for free, including my wife, for 7 straight years. Until recently, 40000 points were required to fly to Brazil. This has recently been changed to 60000 but it’s still worth. During all these 7 years, I ALWAYS pay around $120 for the fee. Since three years ago, though, the flexibility with dates became an issue. I was unable to book a flight online BUT, after calling customer service, they found the dates I wanted!!!! I was successfull with this approach in 1 out of 3 tries. So, it doesn’t always work.

    Another good one is Capital One. You pay for the ticket on any date and then you have 90 days to expense that. It’s as good as RBC Avion + BA.

    Good luck in finding the one that suits you the most.



  18. AA on April 2, 2014 at 10:16 am

    Someone should be looking into whether a class-action lawsuit can be initiated against Aeroplan.



    • Operabob on April 2, 2014 at 10:23 am

      Someone did (out of Quebec I recall). Think it was over the points cancellation schedule which Aeroplan back tracked on.



  19. whatup on April 2, 2014 at 10:35 am

    i switched to the united loyalty program. much better!



  20. Janet on April 2, 2014 at 10:36 am

    I am a frequent flyer with Aeroplan as well as AA and Delta (all over 100,000 miles/yr). When I use my points to book a return flight from LGA to YYZ it costs over $120 in taxes when I fly on AA its less than $60 even though they are from the same airports. I now book through United (which is usually a code/share flight but is cheaper regardless).

    I fly business for work but when I fly personally its usually impossible to use the upgrades from Aeroplan as you have to have a certain category of ticket. Delta usually automatically upgrades me when I’m flying economy due to my status reglardless of the type of ticket- and I don’t have to request it. This year I have changed my aeroplan to United rather than Air Canada. Whenever possible i fly another airline. I think in the last five years of flights between NY /Toronto (over 50 flights roughly) they have been on time less than 10% of the time. Often its cheaper for me to fly to London via United/AA/BA/Virgin than it is to fly to Toronto on AirCanada.



  21. Doug on April 2, 2014 at 11:01 am

    2 comments here – 1) while in a meeting a few years ago with Aeroplan execs, they bragged about how they effectively have carte blanche to devalue the liability they have to Aeroplan members – ie. they consider the points that members accumulate a liability on their books, but one that they can change terms, devalue, and cancel them at any point to make their financials improve. Bragged and laughed about it.
    2) Same here, changing plans – used to be Elite member consistently over 15 years, but finally gutted my account flying the family at Xmas. Ridiculous, had to pay double the points, but the fares were only about 40% cheaper than if I paid cash. Bye Bye Air Canada and Aeroplan – I have other choices to Europe and Asia.



  22. CanadianInvestor on April 2, 2014 at 11:13 am

    I’ve always been underwhelmd by Aeroplan since becoming a member in 1985. The high fess, difficulty in getting reward flights at reasonable times, plus the cancellation of my accumulated points last year for not flying often enough, have convinced me to not bother with them at all. Instead, I really like my TD Visa card which has unlimited flexibility in using rewards points.



  23. Mack on April 2, 2014 at 11:22 am

    I know someone who works for Amia (parent company of Aeroplan). She earns enough to be on the Sunshine list and she’s hired friends and family to go work there, basically almost like a government job. She bragged that she works around 30 hours a week. That’s where your fuel surcharges and booking fees go towards folks. I now fly only Delta/WestJet/Porter and am never going back to that loyalty program.



  24. Aeroflop on April 2, 2014 at 11:59 am

    I won’t be renewing my Aeroplan Visa card when it’s up for renewal in December. It’s almost impossible to book a flight without having to spend double or triple the time to get where one wants to go, b/c of layovers and connections, even when a direct flight option is available. That’s not a ‘reward’ for my loyalty.



  25. Frank on April 2, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    Been a member since 1985. I have seen the gradual devaluation of Aeroplan points. In the earlier days, you redeem point for a flight and that is it. Taxes and all surcharges are taken care of by the points. The impression that you have always have to pay taxes and surcharges Aeroplan wants to perpetuate is simply nonsense.

    The only flight reward that is still kind of worth it is for business class which using other credit card programs will cost quit a lot ( have to avoid Air Canada to minimize you fees of course).

    The fuel surcharge is a really fun one. Last year I compared charges between a flight from Toronto to Rome and Toronto to Hong Kong. You think that since the plane has to fly so much further to get to Hong Kong that the fuel surcharge would be higher. The fuel surcharge for Rome is actually significantly higher for the Rome flight.

    I travel 50 weeks out of the year. The only reason why I have not cancelled my membership is the lounge access. Will be cancelling my American Express Aeroplan card and use up my points. Just let my flights accumulates the points.

    Now if Westjet can have more coverage to where I am going….



  26. Jules on April 2, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    I’ve had a bit of a different experience from most of the commenters here — I just switched *to* an Aeroplan credit card because after I priced it out (using draft itineraries that included the taxes/surcharges/fees everyone else is complaining about), I would still save more money on redeeming my Aeroplan points for a regular flight I take than I would receive from a cash rebate card.

    I’ve also had a great experience redeeming flights with Aeroplan… the biggest thing is just to book well in advance (I book six months ahead), not fly at Christmas, and be flexible (+/- 3 days) with dates. I paid $180 + 40,000 Aeroplan points last year and got a great itinerary: hopper flight to/from Toronto then direct Toronto to/from Costa Rica. Was even able to coordinate the itinerary with someone not flying on points. My friend’s flights cost well over $1k.



  27. Al on April 2, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    Seems like others are talking about this as well.

    http://www.creditwalk.ca/aeroplan-short-haul-flights-good-deal-suckers-bet/

    Creditwalk is commenting on how Aeroplan short hauls are a bad deal for most travelers.



  28. Tim B on April 2, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    I gave up any loyalty to Air Canada and Aeroplan after they confiscated over half my points for lack of activity even though I had used it for gas purchases ( they told me to send them the receipts from the pump — from a year prior — who keeps those ! )

    Most of my flight are Vancouver to US or Europe so I shop the cheapest flights rather than trying to maintain any loyalty to one airline. As I earn enough miles on the plans – mostly United and Alaska – I cash them in for a flight or gift cards as their value will decrease with time due to upping redemption requirements, surcharges, expiry, etc.

    Last year I flew United Airlines 60k point + $170 to go from Vancouver to Budapest with return from Munich to Vancouver. Flight would have been around $1600 so it was worth it. The value of each point was 2.4 cents each which is a decent return on value.



  29. Tony on April 2, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    Why is air Canada using 2008 as their benchmark for fuel prices? fuel prices should be set at the beginning of the year and adjusted from that point……ridiculous! Round trip to Europe from Vancouver is at least 1200 with air canada or Lufthansa, from Seattle with united 200.



    • JA on April 4, 2014 at 9:20 am

      First of all, fuel surcharges have absolutely nothing to do with fuel. It is just a means of extracting revenue from consumers. It’s labeled as a “fuel surcharge” because Aeroplan/Air Canada can’t tell you that you are paying for what is supposed to be a free ticket. It’s simply money that goes to their bottom line.



  30. HarryF on April 3, 2014 at 7:09 am

    I have encountered the issue of a spouse dying with unused Aeroplan miles when it happened to my friend. He was told by a friendly Aeroplan agent to ‘not’ report his spouse’s death. In other words log into the dead spouse’s Aeroplan account and continue to book tickets for himself and his children as if nothing has happened, and to continue to do so until the points were run down. In other words, act as if nothing has happened.



  31. John Anderson on April 4, 2014 at 7:16 am

    I recently tried to book 2 tickets to Tuscany and Florence. Aeroplan wanted 120,000 points plus $1,300 in fees to fly via Frankfurt. I booked 2 direct seats to Rome via AlItalia for $1600 total, rented a car and drove. The points were better used for hotels.



  32. Bob Verdun on April 4, 2014 at 9:49 am

    Something that will upset all Air Canada customers, but especially Aeroplan members who save points in the hopes of flying business class:

    Air Canada is converting “leisure” routes as fast as possible to its new “Rouge” brand, where the employees are paid much less, and the seats are much more crowded. The Airbus 319 currently seats 120 as Air Canada, but Rouge will squeeze in 136 seats.

    Business Class is replaced by seating at the front that is only a little more roomy than in Economy, with the middle seat left vacant. No footrests. No TV screens. No power ports. Definitely a disaster for anyone who needs a superior seat (due to disability) or who wants to do computer work on a long flight.

    Air Canada is asking for a huge backlash when flyers discover how crappy the Rouge experience is.



    • JA on April 4, 2014 at 10:24 am

      Rouge is spreading like bedbugs. But I’m not sure about a backlash as unfortunately, there aren’t many other options in Canada especially if you want to fly nonstop.



  33. Walter Kalyn on April 4, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    All of this adds further proof to the following: Get rid of all your travel reward cards and get a good cash back card. You can then use your refund money to buy whatever travel you need, whenever you need it and it might even get more for your money when all is said and done!



  34. patricia on April 4, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    I have lost my aeroplan miles TWICE- and I had never received any info telling me they had to be redeemed by a certain time period. Then when my husband passed away, I was told that unless I was the executor, I couldn’t have the miles transferred to my plan.
    I WILL NEVER GET AN AEROPLAN CREDIT CARD CARD AGAIN!
    i ACTUALLY PAID FEES TO COLLECT MILES AND WAS INSULTED WHEN i WAS TOLD i ‘HAD TO BUY MY MILES BACK” WHEN i HAD NEVER BEEN ADVISED ABOUT THE REDEMPTIONI PERIOD. tHEY CHANGED THE BLOODY RULES WITHOUT EVER INFORMING ME BY MAIL.



  35. Wiser on April 5, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    The key is to always remember, Aeroplan exists to benefit Aimia, the “loyalty” management company and the card issuer, like CIBC or TD. It is not to benefit you the user/collectors, although their marketing materials make it appear to be so. So stay away from them.



  36. Michael Jackson on April 5, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    Aeroplan is a total joke and so is Air Canada.
    They have reduced my significant points to zero over a period of 15-29 years and I would not fly on Air Canada even if they paid me to do so!



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