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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Redemption Stories: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly. Call for stories on Aeroplan

In light of today's piece on CBC with Canadian's frustrations with the Aeroplan program we figured what better time to run the Aeroplan Redemption Stories again! Our first Aeroplan Redemption stories summary ran in March of 2012 and can be read in full here.

So here we go:
Rewards Canada's Redemption Stories: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly is where we reach out to our subscriber and viewer base to tell us their stories of reward program redemption. We want to hear good stories, bad stories and of course plain old ugly ones! We will compile the stories together and post them right here on our blog as a summary in the near future. For our latest edition of this feature we are once again asking for stories about Aeroplan

If you want to share your Aeroplan Redemption story or lack of being able to redeem story with the rest of Canada whether it is good, bad or ugly,  leave a comment below or email us at info@rewardscanada.ca. You can send us a couple of sentences, a whole story or feel free to submit a video! Then watch for our summary edition of Redemption Stories to be posted within the next few weeks.

For guidance and/or examples here are links to the past Redemption Stories
Air Miles
Capital One Aspire

We look forward to hearing your stories!!


  1. Aeroplan has mostly lived up to expectations and allowed us to take many discounted trips with the kids when they were pre-schoolers. However since they've been in school it has been near impossible to find flights during school breaks. Often we have have had to leave early and return late, which has the bonus of a longer vacation but everything you save on flights you end up spending on additional nights of hotels; not to mention frustrating some teachers and principals who don't appreciate when the kids miss school. The last straw for us with Aeroplan was when they started occasionally charging a 54$ Carrier Surcharge on Air Canada flights and sometimes ridiculously high taxes, ie 670$ pp for flights to Venice! I cancelled our Amex Aeroplan Platinum 3 years ago and we are now straight 2% Cash Backers with MBNA World Elite MC.

  2. The good AND the bad. I'm a football fanatic,I've attended 7 World Cups now and often use points to make the dream a reality. Last year heading to Brasil (from Victoria BC) and wanting to be in business class I successfully booked a full 12 months in advance (approx June 2013) A wonderful trip,except for the 11 hour layover in Toronto! Really Aeroplan? 135 in points and a 11 hour layover??

  3. Well two years running I have tried to use Aeroplan to either Cancun or Dominican Republic from Ottawa during a shoulder season of October or November. Bad news! This 4 hour flight was available for 40,000 points per person for a 14 hour one way flight with 1 or 2 stop overs. The return was even better (haha) at 15 hours. This year 15 hours and 16 hours are available to either location. Thought I might use my distinction benefits and for 47,500 one way and 49,000 return I can also get there in 16 hours and 18 hours. What kind of joke is that? Last year, we were fortunate to have enough airmiles for my wife and I to fly round trip with a direct flight there (4 hours) and a one stop in Toronto for a 6 hours total trip return for 4400 points each plus $438.00 taxes and fees. Great!. This year air miles has the Aeroplan times and the air miles is not 4400 but 5800 miles. Takes a decade to earn that many points for two with air miles. Same applies to Nassau.

    Not only is that disgusting, this month we tried to book a flight from Montreal to St. John's Newfoundland and we cannot get there with a classic fare unless we wait 10 hours in Halifax. Our return would be 8 hours for a 3 hour flight. For this "free" flight we woul dhave to pay $396.00 for two for taxes and fees! I looked up the taxes and fees and all are acceptable except the carrier fuel charge of $54 per person. did Air Canada forget that oil has dropped by more than half price and the surcharge is another money grab and was only warranted with the per barrel cost of $110 or so. At less than half of that, this charge should be dropped. Time for consumer protection to kick in. And I am an Air Canada shareholder but that is a rip off!

  4. Good for you Paul. We cancelled our TD Visa Aeroplan card this month.

  5. Lia C Fernandez ArriaranApril 6, 2015 at 12:35 PM

    I just came back from a 9-day trip to Naples & the Campania Region. I booked my flight during March Break last Sept. Rebooked in October via Istambul (instead of Vienna & Rome), paid 750 dol in 'taxes'; a month later AC had the direct flight to Naples for a total $900 (and the taxes were listed as $150)! My return was via Munich and London: something like 20 hrs and 3 security screenings. The BW Naples hotel was in a dump area. I cancelled my TD card. Will stay with CIBC card for a while even if adding points will be very slow; the hotels I booked with this card were excellent and cost a lot less points than with Aeroplan card. Besides, the Star Alliance does not have good companies so I'll rather buy my ticket with a different sort of network (like AF/KLM/Delta for example). This recent trip was my 1st time booking hotels.

  6. The day after receiving an email notifying me I was a million mile Aeroplan member and could never go below Elite 50K status again I was refused entry into the Maple Leaf Lounge at Pearson because I did not have the new card . I showed the email to two ladies at the desk and they both refused me entry saying I could not come in without the card which obviously was in the mail -- One of these women also made the comment when I explained the number of points I had accumulated on Aeroplan flying on Air Canada that "those are only points they don't mean anything for Air Canada you can get them on credit cards "-- I was clearly disgusted with this type of attitude and service and sent a message to Aeroplan but of course I never received a response.
    On March 23 2015 I missed a flight to Hong Kong at Pearson and tried to get priority assistance to re-book a flight to Shanghai and on to HK --I was told by the Air Canada Checkin Official at the Elite counter that I had to go to the regular ticketing counter and their was no priority booking system available -- I found this unbelievable -- I waited for over 35 minutes in the lineup (only two Air Canada personnel were servicing at least 30 passengers in line. I finally gave up and used my cell phone to book a flight myself online - after which I proceeded back to the priority check in counter and checked in . This kind of treatment of business passengers who have supported AC for over 45 years and accumulated over a millon miles on AC flights is intolerable and AC staff should be properly educated in how to treat their most loyal supporters.

  7. Those flights to Cancun/Dominican certainly suck. Regarding the fuel surcharges, it's not quite so simple. The problem is that even though oil prices have dropped, so has the Canadian dollar. Jet fuel is predominantly purchased from the US in USD, and is paid for months in advanced. So really, any savings they are getting are largely a wash with the weak Canadian dollar and the long term time-scales of purchasing jet fuel. West jet is feeling the same pinch as well. On the flip side, US airlines should be raking it as long as their dollar is strong and oil is cheap. Strangely, I've noticed that you can save a little money if you book AC codeshare flights on the United website, even if they're all on AC metal.

    Happy travels!

  8. My husband and I have been to New Zealand four times in Business Class using Aeroplan Points. I have been saving up points to go again in 2016, but I have been looking at the flight possibilities online recently. Whereas Aeroplan used to give me many options for getting to New Zealand, now the only thing they offer is flying Air Canada to Sydney and Air New Zealand to Auckland. Even if I try going from LA, the flight goes to Sydney and then Auckland. The only availability seems to be in Economy and even then, the taxes and fees for two people are as much as a flight for one of us on Air New Zealand Vancouver to Auckland. I got an Amex Gold Rewards card, but if I transfer points to Aeroplan, they aren't Distinction miles. If I use Amex Rewards points, I need over a million points to get my Business Class tickets with Air New Zealand. That is why Aeroplan should in theory be the program of choice, but there are no tickets available. We are going to give up our TD Visas before I have to pay my yearly renewal fee, as there seems little point in collecting Aeroplan points. I can use my BMO Mastercard for no fee whenever my Amex card is not taken. I do collect Airmiles, but you can't get Business class with it. And that program has changed too, requiring different amounts of miles with different airlines. Plus ca change, as they say.

  9. I have too much Aeroplan miles now to give up on it, but it did get harder and harder to use since 2010 with all the devaluation (Mini-RTW in J from 100K to 125K and now 150K) and generous CC signups

    IF used correctly and one's flexible enough, Aeroplan is still very valuable for 2+ CPM return, and bonus for ME is the weird routing I can do and stopovers/layovers (impossible on cash fare)

    The game is getting tougher to play, one has to adapt and play it well to come out ahead, and occasionally get in on the rare Aeroplan mistakes (I booked YYZ-IST in TK J for 50K miles only vs. 105K during the 4-hour Halloween glitch) to top it off

  10. I was just looking at using points to go from YYZ to Hawaii and it is 45k ap return in Y this summer + Taxes. Then I looked up how much a return ticket from yyz to ogg/hnl is and it is only 600$cad! Why would I use points and pay high taxes that are about the same as a fare ticket?