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Aeroplan Stopover

Aeroplan Stopover: Ultimate Guide On Flight Rewards

To the point Here's an article that breaks down the rules for an Aeroplan Stopover and sweetspots to help you maximize the use of your precious points.

The restructuring of the program brought several changes, including new rules for connections and the Aeroplan 5,000-point stopover. In the last 18 months, we have seen several very positive changes in this area.

In fact, the program allows you to build very flexible itineraries and optimize the places you can visit within the same trip with layovers and stopovers.

The rules of a layover and an Aeroplan stopover

Here is a list of what is possible or impossible to do and the rules for layovers (less than 24 hours) and stopovers (more than 24 hours) at Aeroplan.

What is possible with an Aeroplan stopover:

  • The pricing of award flights is based on the concept of one-way travel between 4 different zones (North America, South America, Atlantic and Pacific)
  • It is possible to make several layovers (less than 24 hours). If you build your itinerary well, you can add several small escapades on the way(and make a Mini Round-The-World)!
  • It is possible to make a stopover (more than 24 hours) on a one-way trip. So, if you book a one-way ticket with your Aeroplan points, you can make a stopover of more than 24 hours en route and visit an additional destination for less.
  • The prize for any Aeroplan stopover is 5,000 points.
  • It is possible to build routes up to 100% above the direct distance. For example, the Vancouver – Sydney – Bangkok route (69% over the direct distance between Vancouver and Bangkok).
  • There is no limit to the number of airlines on the same ticket.
jm kuala lumpur

What is impossible with an Aeroplan stopover:

  • It is not possible to make a stopover on a North American flight reward and layovers are limited to 24 hours
  • Layovers on a ticket where the departure and destination are within North America are limited to 4 hours unless otherwise authorized (i.e. Canada to U.S. or vice versa)
  • There is a maximum of 6 segments allocated on a one-way trip.
  • It is impossible to have an open segment on a connection or an Aeroplan stopover with a one-way ticket (for example, the Montreal-London and then Paris-Istanbul itinerary cannot be priced with the Aeroplan stopover, it will be two independent one-way segments).
  • For an itinerary where the origin and destination are in the same zone, the Aeroplan stopover must also be in that zone (e.g., you cannot book a North American fare with a stopover in Paris on Montreal-Paris-New York, because Montreal and New York are in the same zone).
  • It is not possible to go back on your itinerary.
  • Stopovers may not last more than 45 days.

The fact that pricing is done on one-way segments, the number of opportunities explodes! Indeed, you now have the possibility to choose how you are going to get to your destination and thus, where you want to make your Aeroplan stopover.

For example, here are the results of a search for a flight to Lisbon from Montreal.

Choix d-itinéraires

How to optimize the pricing of a route with an Aeroplan stopover?

First, if your itinerary includes a segment with Air Canada, you will be subject to partially dynamic pricing. On the partner side, there are no surprises.

However, finding availability on all flights can be problematic on partner flights, especially if you are planning to travel in business class. It will be necessary to take it in advance and at the right time.

To book an Aeroplan itinerary with a stopover, you can do so online as of September 1, 2022. Read the process here.

Aeroplan Stopover Home En

If you prefer to call Aeroplan, please note that it costs $30 + tax to make the reservation by phone.

Not all agents are comfortable with this type of booking; some will fare under two one-way segments instead of adding the Aeroplan stopover at 5,000 points. If so, ask to speak to a supervisor or try again with another person on another call.

Initial planning

To begin, you need to determine the two locations you are targeting with the help of the Aeroplan stopover option. In addition, you can add several stopovers of less than 24 hours on this itinerary.

The Flight Connections website allows you to view connections from any airport and you can filter the results to show only Star Alliance flights.

Flight connections

To calculate the amount of an award ticket, the best tool to help you is GCmap which we have presented here.

  • GCmap will estimate the distance travelled for you.
  • The tool will help you determine if you are following the rule where you do not exceed twice the distance.

For example, to get to the Maldives you could take the following route with partners (for a fixed price):

Route Airline
Montreal-Vienna Austrian Airlines
Vienna-Abu Dhabi Etihad
Abu Dhabi-Male Etihad
vers MLE

The total distance traveled will be 8,540 miles and the fare schedule used will be as follows (North America to Atlantic):

aeroplan – grille – amerique nord – atlantique

Therefore, the cost will be 70,000 Aeroplan points in economy class or 100,000 Aeroplan points in business class. Then you have the opportunity to make an Aeroplan stopover for an additional 5,000 points in Vienna or Abu Dhabi.

In addition, you can arrange your flights, according to the available schedules, to benefit from a layover of up to 24 hours in the other city for free.

The importance of the different zones

If we take the previous example for a trip where the destination is the Maldives, your fare will be calculated according to the North America – Atlantic chart.

Since the distance travelled is more than 8,000 miles, you are in the most expensive point bracket, i.e. 70,000 points in economy class and 100,000 points in business class.

However, if you add a segment between Male and Singapore, the latter becomes your destination.

Route Airline
Montreal-Vienna Austrian Airlines
Vienna-Abu Dhabi Etihad
Abu Dhabi-Male Etihad
Malé-Singapore Singapore Airlines
vers SIN

Sure, you’re extending the distance travelled to 10,653 miles, but the destination of your new route falls in the Pacific zone. Therefore, to book this route, you will need fewer points!

aeroplan – grille – amerique nord – pacifique

Using an Aeroplan stopover in Male for your vacation, you will pay 65,000 points (60,000 + 5,000) in economy class and 90,000 points (85,000 + 5,000) in business class.

Obviously, if the purpose of the Aeroplan stopover was to go to Europe and the Maldives, changing your destination to Singapore will not help. So, it’s up to you to see if the 10,000-point difference is significant or not.

The importance of distance

Calculating the distance travelled is crucial to optimizing the pricing of award tickets.

For a budget vacation to India, for example, choosing Mumbai as your gateway to the country compared to New Delhi can save you 15,000 points.

vers DEL
vers BOM

Indeed, when building your trip, going through one city versus another can quickly change your cost. So, if your itinerary exceeds a price bracket by a minimal amount, try substituting the location of your Aeroplan stopover or destination!

Sweetspots from an Aeroplan stopover

The following examples are shown without flights on partner airlines to simplify pricing. Depending on fluctuations, it is also possible to find cheaper award tickets with Air Canada!

A trip to Morocco and Portugal

These two countries bordering the Atlantic Ocean are located in the lower bracket of the North American-Atlantic chart.

Moreover, Morocco and Portugal complement each other well to have a bit of diversity on a two weeks trip! These are also two places with a low cost of living, so they are perfect for a budget trip.

Route Cost Stop
Segment # 1 Montreal-Lisbon-Casablanca 35,000 points Lisbon (+5,000 points)
Segment # 2 Marrakesh-Lisbon-Montreal 35,000 points
Total cost of the route 75,000 points

Since we can build routes using one-way tickets, we can make open tours!

A trip around the world

This kind of itinerary can bring back feelings of nostalgia for the program’s veterans. Indeed, there was a time when community members could see the Mini Round-The-World they had unearthed!

It is still possible with the new rules! With an Aeroplan stopover on each outbound and return segments, and 24-hour layovers here and there… you’ve built a round-the-world itinerary!

Route Cost Stop
Segment # 1 Montreal-New York-Los Angeles-Sydney-Singapore-Male 70,000 points Sydney (+5,000 points)
Segment # 2 Malé-Istanbul-Vienna-Zurich-Montreal 70,000 points Istanbul (+5,000 points)
Total cost of the route 150,000 points
tour du monde

24-hour connections can be made in Singapore, Vienna and Zurich on this itinerary.

A trip to Japan and South Korea

In Japan, a train pass costs about $300 to travel on the archipelago’s rail network for 7 days. Is it realistic to explore Tokyo, Fukuoka and Osaka and then return to Tokyo in 7 days? Yes, but these will be short visits.

With Aeroplan stops, a trip encompassing these three regional cities plus South Korea is possible, and at your own pace!

Route Cost Stop
Segment # 1 Tokyo-Fukuoka-Seoul 8,000 points Fukuoka (+5,000 points)
Segment # 2 Seoul -Osaka-Tokyo 8,000 points Osaka (+5,000 points)
Total cost of the route 26,000 points

Indeed, you could make an Aeroplan stopover in Fukuoka and Osaka; discovering southern Japan and the Kansai region deserves much more than a few days in my opinion.

Moreover, since your destination is the beautiful South Korea, there is no time limit to visiting this country!

These same flights would have cut $600 off your budget compared to 26,000 Aeroplan points. A simple credit card like the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card could give you enough points for two tickets!

This is a great way to save on expensive transportation in Japan.

japon et corée

A trip on two continents in the same area

The zoning of the new program allows us to make Aeroplan stopovers in a large number of locations, including several continents!

A good strategy to save money can be to use travel points to travel to Europe since deals are common when paying in cash.

Then, we buy a separate ticket with Aeroplan stopover pricing for our regional flights.

Route Cost Stop
Segment # 1 Zurich-Rome-Cairo 12,500 points Rome (+5,000 points)
Segment # 2 Cairo-Athens-Barcelona 12,500 points Athens (+5,000 points)
Total cost of the route 35,000 points

So for 35,000 Aeroplan points, you can visit 5 different destinations on two continents! In fact, since Aeroplan stopovers can be spread over 45 days, you could make a very big trip:

  • Arriving in Zurich and visiting Switzerland
  • Make an Aeroplan stopover in Rome and visit Italy
  • Getting to Cairo and visiting Egypt
  • Make an Aeroplan stopover in Athens and visit the Greek islands
  • Going to Barcelona and visiting Spain

To replicate an equivalent flight ticket, the four segments total a cost of $920. Although flights are not very expensive in Europe, there are no low-cost flights on all routes.

stopover europe

However, the same route can be achieved with 35,000 points. These are valued at approximately $700 (2¢ per point).

Tip

The number of Membership Rewards points required to bring your credit card balance to zero after a $900 purchase is 90,000 Membership Rewards points if you have a card like the American Express Cobalt® Card for example.

However, you can transfer only 35,000 of these points to Aeroplan and complete the same route by taking advantage of the Aeroplan stopover rules. This will leave you with 55,000 Membership Rewards points to cover other costs… like absorbing $550 for a flight to Barcelona!

A trip to South America at a fixed price

Finally, one of the best uses of Aeroplan is for flights within South America, as all flights are priced at a flat rate of 15,000 points in economy class. So the price remains the same, regardless of the distance travelled.

The most important airports to build your itinerary are those served by Avianca and its subsidiaries.

Route Cost Stop
Segment Baltra -Guayaquil-Bogota-Rio de Janeiro 15,000 points Bogota (+5,000 points)
Total cost of the route 20,000 points
amerique sud

So you can travel from one end of the continent to the other for as little as 20,000 points; for example, visit the Galapagos Islands, colonial Colombia and then end up in Rio de Janeiro to see one of the 7 wonders of the world and explore Brazil.

The cost of a similar flight can be quite high.

amerique sud argent

How to earn Aeroplan points quickly?

The easiest way to earn Aeroplan points is to apply for a credit card with a generous welcome bonus. The list of the best offers is updated regularly here.

Then, to earn a large number of Aeroplan points on a daily basis, the American Express Cobalt® Card is unquestionably unmatched in this regard.

The latter allows you to earn 5 Membership-Rewards points per dollar for all grocery and restaurant purchases. When you add the gift card strategy into the equation, the earning rate skyrockets.

Conclusion

The opportunity to make an Aeroplan stopover for only 5,000 points allows you to optimize itineraries to visit multiple locations for a small premium.

The possibilities are enormous when you add layovers and maximize the number of segments allowed.

What are the stopover routes you have managed to build? Come and share them with us in the Facebook community!

Come to discuss that topic in our Facebook Group!

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