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.

Related: Why Aeroplan Collectors Are Fed Up With Their Rewards Program

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:

Hey Robb,

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.

Final thoughts

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.


  1. Wiser on June 6, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    Stay away from branded reward card, like Aeroplan, Sony. They are exist to benefit users. If you really have to get one, get cash-back reward card.

  2. Mary on June 19, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    We dumped our CIBC aero plan cards this spring for a cash back. We are using the points left for flights
    On American Airlines
    And drive over the border tondo that…too bad! …when will Aimia stock fall?