As posted earlier this week by The Points Guy there is quite a bit of availability this fall for award flights on United Airlines between San Francisco and Papeete. Since United is a Star Alliance
member you can use your Aeroplan points to redeem for these flights.
There is amazing availability in economy class between September and November and there is also some decent business class availability as well. For the SFO-PPT flights Aeroplan charges only 35,000 each way in economy class and 55,000 points each ways in business class. Since it is a partner flight it will be subject to the $39 partner award
The San Francisco to Tahiti flight
This flight operates several times per week with a United Boeing 787-9 which features United’s Polaris Business Class cabin. With San Francisco being a partner award flight that falls into Aeroplan’s 0-5,000 mileage requirement, it is only 55,000 Aeroplan points each way + taxes and fees for business class.
Here’s a look at a one way award to Tahiti on September 13 and one way award back on September 23 (you could book this as a round trip as shown in the third example and only incur one $39 booking fee instead of two)
Connecting flights from Canada
Without going into too many examples, we checked on flights from Vancouver to Papeete on that same September 13 date. We were finding Vancouver to Papeete prices at 75,000 Aeroplan points each way plus taxes and fees. It also routes via San Francisco onto the same United flight as above:
They price this a business class award however they didn’t bring up an business class availability between Vancouver and San Francisco – just business on the most important portion of the trip! However if you split the bookings and look at Vancouver to San Francisco as a separate booking you can get economy or business class awards and you’ll end up saving some points as the total of the YVR-SFO flight redemption and SFO-PPT redemption are less than the 75,000 points for booking YVR-PPT directly:
As you can see if you book a separate YVR-SFO award in business class or build this award as a multi-city trip it is only 19,200 miles or 8,300 in economy class. It is the latter that is part of the mixed YVR-PPT award listed above for 75,000 points but by booking separately you are looking at redeeming 63,300 points. For all business class it works out to 74,200 points. A savings either way!
Here is an example of the multi city option from YVR:
You should be able to build similar connecting itineraries from cities across Canada for these awards as well.
Earning enough points for flights like these
If you don’t have enough Aeroplan points to redeem for a flight like
those above there are a lot of credit card options to consider but the
ideal one to obtain a lot of Aeroplan points quickly and more than
enough to cover at least a one way business class flight to Papeete is to
Platinum Card® from American Express. Right now if you
apply for it by September 20 you can get 90,000 Membership Rewards
Points (which equals 90,000 Aeroplan Points) by spending $6,000 on the
card in the first three months. It is also offer 10 points per dollar on
eats and drinks for the first three months up to 20,000 points in
total. Or you can you go for the Business Platinum Card® from American Express
which provides 110,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $7,000
on the card in the first three months. That would cover the SFO-PPT return in business class! If you can spend $6,000 or $7,000
quicker than three months than that the points will post sooner than
that – Amex is usually quite good at posting the welcome bonus within a
couple of days of hitting the spend requirement.
Images via United Airlines & Air Canada