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Aeroplan Flight Rewards
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Air Canada's new Aeroplan Program is a must for all travellers. Check out Aeroplan's new Flight Rewards

Big topic of the new Aeroplan program: Flight Rewards.

Air Canada had three guiding principles to build the core of its program:

  • Value transparency: As part of the program becomes dynamic based on market fare, Air Canada has maintained a fixed chart in many situations
  • Flexibility: All Air Canada seats will be available as flight rewards and carrier surcharges will disappear
  • Accessibility: The booking process is greatly simplified and accessible to all

To be truly rewarding, reward travel should be free, and free of hard constraints.

Air Canada

New Aeroplan Flight Rewards Chart

In revamping the Aeroplan program, Air Canada thus appears to have retained the existing right side (a fixed chart and many partners) while removing the mistakes of the past (carrier surcharge on Air Canada flights and the booking process complexity)

The new Aeroplan program is, therefore, based on two main aspects:

  • A simplified chart
  • A booking experience similar to paid tickets

Here is the part of my video on this topic:

Aeroplan's travel zones and distances

Aeroplan has divided the world into four travel zones:

  1. North America
  2. South America
  3. Atlantic
  4. Pacific

Then, Aeroplan subdivided each travel zone with a distance criterion in miles: the more you fly, the more you pay.

Distance thresholds in miles are different depending on:

  • each travel zone (Atlantic, Pacific, etc.)
  • travel between each zone (Atlantic to Pacific, North America to South America, etc.)

And the cost in points will be different depending on a flight with Air Canada or one of its partners.

Detailed analysis of chart by travel zone

North America

The “North America” travel zone extends from Alaska to Panama (included).

This includes Canada and the United States, but also all of Central America, the Caribbean, or Hawaii.

Here is Aeroplan’s chart for travel within North America Zone:

This new Aeroplan pricing opens the door to many opportunities. For example, flights to the Caribbean or Central America (Guadeloupe, Martinique, Bahamas, Cuba, Costa Rica, etc.) cost between 12,500 and 17,500 Aeroplan points one-way.

For example, see the main areas to/from the Montreal hub (0-500 – 501-1,500 – 1,501-2,750 and 2,751):

Distance North America Yul Cities
500 / 1500 / 2750 - Montreal
Destination Distance (miles) Eco
Toronto (YYZ) 316 6 – 10K
New York (LGA) 325 6 – 10K
Washington (DCA) 489 6 – 10K
Chicago (ORD) 750 10 – 15K
Orlando (MCO) 1 254 10 – 15K
Miami (MIA) 1 414 10 – 15K
Nassau (NAS) 1 434 10 – 15K
Varadero (VRA) 1 618 12.5 – 17.5K
Calgary (YYC) 1 877 12.5 – 17.5K
Pointe a Pitre (PTP) 2 150 12.5 – 17.5K
Las Vegas (LAS) 2 246 12.5 – 17.5K
Vancouver (YVR) 2 300 12.5 – 17.5K
Mexico City (MEX) 2 319 12.5 – 17.5K
Liberia (LIR) 2 522 12.5 – 17.5K
San Francisco (SFO) 2 546 12.5 – 17.5K

Also, note that Air Canada’s longest direct flight in North America between Toronto and Honolulu is available at a cost ranging from 17,500 to 25,000 Aeroplan points only!

For the rest, pricing is generally up from the old program, but nothing prohibitive. Knowing that in return:

  • there is no longer any Carrier surcharges on Air Canada flights
  • all Air Canada seats are available as flight rewards

South America

The “South America” travel zone stretches from Colombia to Ushuaia.

This includes all of the South American countries.

Here is Aeroplan’s chart for travel within South America:

This is the most straightforward zone of Aeroplan with a fixed chart for all flights: between 15,000 and 50,000 points depending on the cabin.

It will be possible to look for routes on partner airlines such as:

  • Azul
  • Avianca
  • even Ethiopian Airlines or Turkish Airlines operating flights between Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires

Atlantic

The “Atlantic” travel zone extends from Greenland to India (included).

This includes Europe, Africa, the Middle East and part of Russia.

Here is Aeroplan’s chart for travel within the Atlantic Zone:

The Atlantic Zone – including Europe, the Middle East and North Africa – is becoming a real “playground” thanks to Aeroplan’s new chart.

All this, coupled with:

  • major hubs such as Frankfurt, Istanbul, Zurich, Vienna, Abu Dhabi
  • carrier surcharge removal
  • Fixed chart for airline partners
  • the ability to add a stopover on a one-way flight (at a 5,000 points cost)

A short-haul flight will cost as little as 7,500 points and will reach almost all European capitals from a hub like Frankfurt with Lufthansa.

Under the old chart, the same flight cost between 12,500 and 15,000 Aeroplan miles!

For example, see the main thresholds to/from the Frankfurt hub (0-1,000 – 1,001-2,000 – 2,001-4,000):

Distance Atlantic Fra Cities
1,000 / 2,000 / 4,000 - Frankfurt
Destination Distance (miles) Eco
Paris (CDG) 280 7.5K
London (LHR) 408 7.5K
Rome (FCO) 595 7.5K
Oslo (OSL) 710 7.5K
Madrid (MAD) 883 7.5K
Tunis (TUN) 914 7.5K
Algiers (ALG) 959 7.5K
St Petersburg (LED) 1 088 12.5K
Istanbul (STI) 1 144 12.5K
Lisbon (LIS) 1 166 12.5K
Moscow (DME) 1 276 12.5K
Casablanca (CMN) 1 415 12.5K
Reykjavik (KEF) 1 496 12.5K
Cairo (CAI) 1 816 12.5K
Tel Aviv (TLV) 1 836 12.5K
Amman (AMM) 1 893 12.5K
Dubai (DXB) 3 012 25K
Abu Dhabi (AUH) 3 024 25K

And the main thresholds to/from the Hub of Istanbul (Turkish Airlines) (0-1,000 – 1,001-2,000 – 2,001-4,000):

Distance Atlantic Ist Cities
1,000 / 2,000 / 4,000 - Istanbul

Pacific

The “Pacific” travel zone extends from eastern Russia to New Zealand (included).

This includes Asia, Australia and the Pacific countries.

Here is Aeroplan’s chart for travel within the Pacific zone:

The Pacific zone is also a large area of the new Aeroplan program. It is also an area where there is a lot of competition between airlines, with many low-cost airlines like Air Asia.

Thus, Aeroplan divided this area into five according to the distance travelled. A short-haul flight will cost as little as 8,000 points. There are many sweet spots in this area, especially in Japan.

Note that under the old chart, a one-way short-haul flight cost 20,000 Aeroplan miles!

For example, see the main thresholds to/from the hub of Tokyo (0-1,000 – 1,001-2,000 – 2,001-5,000):

Destination Distance (miles) Eco
Fukuoka (FUK) 585 8K
Seoul (ICN) 783 8K
Shanghai (PVG) 1 118 12.5K
Beijing (PEK) 1 329 12.5K
Taipei (TPE) 1 356 12.5K
Hong Kong (HKG) 1 842 12.5K
Manila (MNL) 1 893 12.5K
Hanoi (HAN) 2 313 25K
Ho Chi Minh (SGN) 2 722 25K
Bangkok (BKK) 2 889 25K
Singapore (SIN) 3 324 25K
Kuala Lumpur (KUL) 3 357 25K

And the main thresholds to/from the Singapore hub (0-1,000 – 1,001-2,000 – 2,001-5,000):

Destination Distance (miles) Eco
Kuala Lumpur (KUL) 184 8K
Ho Chi Minh (SGN) 675 8K
Bangkok (BKK) 875 8K
Denpasar (DPS) 1 037 12.5K
Hanoi (HAN) 1 371 12.5K
Manila (MNL) 1 474 12.5K
Hong Kong (HKG) 1 587 12.5K
Taipei (TPE) 1 996 12.5K
Darwin (DRW) 2 075 25K
Shanghai (PVG) 2 357 25K
Perth (PER) 2 421 25K
Beijing (PEK) 2 780 25K
Fukuoka (FUK) 2 802 25K
Seoul (ICN) 2 867 25K
Tokyo (NRT) 3 324 25K
Melbourne (MEL) 3 744 25K
Sydney (SYD) 3 908 25K
Auckland (AKL) 5 225 37.5K
Sweet Spots

Don’t forget you can add a stopover on a one-way flight for 5,000 points. This opens the door to many possibilities, whether for flights in Economy, but also in Business or First Class.

For example, you can score a one-way business class flight from Singapore to Sydney on Singapore Airlines for only 45,000 points. Whereas with the old chart, it cost 67,500 miles!

In economy class, this same flight will cost 25,000 points (compared to 35,000 miles previously).

North America - Atlantic

Here is Aeroplan’s chart for travel between North America and Atlantic Zones:

From Montreal, Western Europe is reachable with a direct flight, with the first threshold. However, as soon as you add a connection, there is a good chance of exceeding the distance of 4,000 miles.

You can score direct one-way economy flights between Montreal and Paris, London, Frankfurt, Lisbon and Casablanca from 35,000 points. And you can score direct one-way economy flights between Montreal and Istanbul or Tel Aviv from 40,000 points.

More choices

Air Canada flights all start at the level of points required for airline partners.

The great novelty is that you’ll be able to travel without paying carrier surcharges on Air Canada flights and other partner airlines such as Lufthansa, Austrian, Swiss, TAP Air Portugal, Turkish Airlines.

North America - Pacific

Here is Aeroplan’s chart for travel between North America and Pacific Zones:

From Montreal or Toronto, no country is reachable within the first threshold (unlike Vancouver).

You can score one-way economy direct flights between Montreal and Tokyo, Beijing and Shanghai from 50,000 points. For other destinations such as Singapore, Sydney, or Auckland, you can get a one-way economy flight from 60,000 points.

North America - South America

Here is Aeroplan’s chart for travel between North America and South America Zones:

From Montreal or Toronto, many destinations will be accessible within the first threshold. It will cost from 30,000 points one-way.

Atlantic - Pacific

Here is Aeroplan’s chart for travel between Atlantic and Pacific Zones:

Below, the possibilities offered to/from the Frankfurt hub (Lufthansa):

Destination Distance (miles) Eco Business First
Hong Kong (YYZ) 5 697 50K 80K 100K
Tokyo (NRT) 5 834 50K 80K 100K
Singapore (SIN) 6 389 50K 80K 100K
Sydney (SYD) 10 248 60K 100K 130K
Auckland (AKL) 11 303 60K 100K 130K

Here are, for example, the possibilities offered to/from the Singapore Airlines hub:

Destination Distance (miles) Eco Business First
Malé (MLE) 2 113 40K 60K 80K
Delhi (LED) 2 579 40K 60K 80K
Dubai (DXB) 3 633 40K 60K 80K
Johannesburg (JNB) 5 382 50K 80K 100K
Istanbul (STI) 5393 50K 80K 100K
Frankfurt (FRA) 6 389 50K 80K 100K
Paris (CDG) 6 666 50K 80K 100K
Lisbon (LIS) 7 394 60K 100K 130K
Star Alliance and Partners

Between these two zones, the pricing is fixed. Aeroplan members will be able to book not only with Star Alliance airlines (Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, Swiss, Turkish Airlines, etc.) but also partner airlines such as Etihad Airways.

A one-way first-class flight on Etihad Airways between Singapore and Abu Dhabi will only cost 80,000 points for example.

Atlantic - South America

Here is Aeroplan’s chart for travel between Atlantic and South America Zones:

Some Star Alliance airlines connect the Atlantic Zone and the South America Zone, such as Lufthansa or TAP Air Portugal.

Here are, for example, destinations to/from Frankfurt: Bogota, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, accessible within the first threshold.

Only Buenos Aires will require more points.

Pacific - South America

Here is Aeroplan’s chart for travel between Pacific and South America Zones:

However, to our knowledge, no airline is currently flying between these two zones.

Conclusion

Air Canada has made a great work on the new Aeroplan chart and on the desire to make the online booking experience simpler.

However, in the past, the chart was on a single page. Today, it has become considerably denser because of the addition of the distance travelled concept. This makes the comparison with the old chart harder.

Another major element: the carrier surcharge removal on Air Canada and partner airline flights. We might have thought at first that this would be offset by a significant increase in the number of Aeroplan points required: this is not necessarily the case, or at least it remains under control.

Of course, we have to wait until we can play with the booking engine to better understand the differences compared to what we know today. Still, some sweet spots came out of our research!

We have seen some of them in this post, particularly in the Atlantic and Pacific zones. But you’ll have to pay attention to one thing: the more connections you add, the more likely you are to move to a higher threshold.

Now check out our article on Aeroplan non-air rewards.

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