Back in March, I wrote a story about Bob Muir, a 53-year-old consulting manager from Ontario, who was upset because the two business class flights to Scotland that he tried to redeem through Aeroplan would have cost him $2,200 in surcharges and fees.
To make a long story short, he didn’t end up booking the flight and instead sent emails to Air Canada and Aeroplan to try to figure out why his so-called “free” flight cost so much money. Aeroplan was no help and Air Canada offered a measly 10 percent off his next flight.
But after my article in the Toronto Star, and some thoughtful reader comments and suggestions, Mr. Muir was able to figure out a plan to get to Scotland and to use up the rest of his Aeroplan miles.
Here’s how he did it:
I thought I would drop you a line and give you an update. We are booked on flights to Edinburgh in July.
I had to use 180,000 points and pay $556.00. It wasn’t easy. The date was not my first choice, nor was the airport (Glasgow is our destination). It probably took me 6 hours to finally get the flight booked. I even called the Contact Centre and they were useless. In fact, the woman said to me “the website is probably more help than I can be”.
I took the advice of the guy who responded to your article recommending a flight through the U.S. We are booked on United. Anything involving Air Canada into Europe was well over $1100.00 in fees.
I also checked into the merchandise you can “buy” with your points. Now that is where I will use my points from now on. I picked up a Bow Flex exercise machine that my son, who is starting the Paramedic program in September and will put it to good use.
A 42″ plasma TV for me is next. Now we will enjoy those.
Thanks again for sticking up for the little guy.
It was nice to be able to help a reader save money and figure out a good way to spend his Aeroplan miles.
I know that Mr. Muir will look for a new rewards program after this Aeroplan fiasco, but at least he found a decent solution to his $2,200 flight reward shock and can feel some satisfaction in saving 75% on the fees that were originally quoted.