One Aeroplan Member’s Somewhat Satisfying Update

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?

Join 3,500 Canadian Subscribers!

Sign up today to learn all about the best cash back and travel rewards credit cards, plus how to maximize your rewards and loyalty programs.