Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Coming Soon: Use your Aeroplan Miles to pay for taxes and fees on award flights

About a year ago we posted about a targeted offer from Aeroplan whereby select members could use their Aeroplan miles to pay for the taxes and fees on award flights. The good news from Aeroplan today is that this test run obviously provided good results as the option to use miles for taxes and fees on Aeroplan award tickets will become a regular thing coming this April.

Here is the news from Aeroplan:

Aeroplan Members will soon have the option to fly cash-free!

Aeroplan Members will soon have the flexibility to use their Aeroplan Miles to cover the cost of taxes, fees, charges and carrier surcharges when making a flight reward booking via aeroplan.com, the Aeroplan Mobile app or through Aeroplan’s Contact Centre.  

Here is how it works on aeroplan.com:
1.    Find your flight reward via aeroplan.com
2.    Select ‘Pay it all with miles’ when given the choice online about taxes, fees, charges and carrier surcharges
3.    Enjoy your cash-free flight!

This option will be available to members in early April for both of Aeroplan’s Flight Reward products.  In Fixed Mileage Flight Rewards, which offer the best value in the industry with a fixed number of seats exclusively offered to members on Air Canada and Star Alliance and in Market Fare Flight Rewards which provide access to any available seat on Air Canada at competitive mileage levels that vary based on market fares at time of booking.
What we don't know yet is what the redemption rate will be. Back in March of 2015 it was 1,200 miles for every $10 of taxes and fees. I have a phone call with Aeroplan later today so I will see if they will reveal this to me at that time and update this post accordingly!

Alright, just finished an interview with John Boyton of Aeroplan and have a few more details:
- The launch of this feature is just one more of the many changes we have seen from Aeroplan to make the user experience better (ie one way flights at 50% etc.) and was based upon the many tests they ran last year just like the one we had mentioned.
- An exact launch date in April has not been set but they will pass along the date to us to pass along to you as soon as it is set
- and the one item everyone is curious about, what about the redemption rate? Aeroplan wouldn't let me know exactly what the rate will be because it will actually be dependent on the location you are flying to. For example the redemption rate for an award ticket to the U.S. will be different than Europe, Australia and Asia. My guess at this time is that higher priced locations (think International) with large carrier surcharges will see a better ratio than flights within Canada or to the U.S. where charges are lower. This should hopefully alleviate some of the sting of those dreaded surcharges for those who choose to redeem miles for them but to what amount it will alleviate we'll have to wait and see. John did say it will only be a slight variation for all destinations.  

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