We often talk about the mini-tours of the world that are possible with Aeroplan, but we can also use the program’s advantages for shorter but just as exotic itineraries. Example with my next trip.
The rules on mini world tours
Behind the expression “mini-tour of the world” is in fact an itinerary that maximizes the rules of the Aeroplan program and that can be summarized in one sentence: a round trip to one or more continents with 2 stops and one destination.
In detail, it is an award ticket that includes the following conditions:
- It’s a round trip (you can’t make a stop on an award ticket that contains only a one-way trip)
- You can make up to two stops or one stop and one open route
- The itinerary must be at least between two continents (intercontinental flight), for example North America to Europe or North America to Asia via Europe
Other rules apply on flights in Canada and to the USA (one stop or open route) or flights from Canada or the USA to Hawaii, Central America and Puerto Rico: 2 stops/ 1 stop and one stopover if the route contains only Air Canada flights or 1 stop/ 1 open route if one of the flights is operated by a Star Alliance)
Sample itinerary between Montreal and Beirut
The cost in miles from Montreal to Beirut (Middle East and North Africa region according to Aeroplan’s fare structure) is 165,000 miles roundtrip in Business Class.
We stopped over in Istanbul several times but never for more than 24 hours, so we just had a glimpse of this city full of history. We wanted to take the opportunity to visit another city in the region and we chose Beirut. The latter being smaller, it allowed us to visit two cities without overloading ourselves.
Montreal – Istanbul via Boston: stop 1 and stop 2
There is a direct flight from Montreal but availability was not there. Thanks to FlightConnections, I can see that there are flights to many cities in the USA from Turkey.
And bingo, Boston has two seats in business class with very minimal taxes ($14).
The flight from Montreal to Boston is not difficult to find, it will even be our first stop, we take the opportunity to see a Red Sox game in the famous Fenway Stadium. This is an economy flight because the aircraft serving this route does not contain a business cabin.
Istanbul – Beirut: from Stop 2 to Destination
The trip from Istanbul (the second stop) to Beirut (the destination) is also provided by Turkish Airlines, availability is not a problem and taxes are low there too ($40).
Beirut – Montreal via Dubovnik and Paris: from destination to departure city with 2 long stopovers
The return journey will be more sportive, no flight is found by the search engine of the online site. I have to search by segment and most routes go through Germany so with Lufthansa charging big surcharges. If I have to pay taxes I prefer to go through Paris to see the family on the way. I find this itinerary to be jumpy:
It can be scary but for an aviation geek like me, I am curious to know two new companies: Aegean Airlines and Croatia Airlines and with a 7 hours connection in Dubrovnik I hope to have a glimpse of this famous city.
The last segment is a flight between Paris and Montreal respecting the rule of one stop of less than 24 hours (connection instead of a stopover) because I already used up my two stops in addition to my destination (Boston = Stop 1 / Istanbul = Stop 2 / Beirut = Destination).
This flight is done the next day, I will be able to spend the evening at my brother’s in Paris. The taxes are high ($400) but we get a lot of value from our itinerary so I don’t mind in this case.
The complete route on a map
Here is the route on gcmap:
Montreal – Boston (first stop) – Istanbul (second stop) – Beirut (destination) – Athens – Dubrovnik – Paris – Montreal
Credit and debit cards for this type of trip
Three cards here to highlight:
We often talk in the facebook group “Travel for free (or almost…!) with your points & miles – milesopedia” about the technique to collect many points & miles via American Express cards.
The American Express Platinum Card is the “cornerstone” of this technique, in addition to offering numerous advantages for your travels (access to airport lounges, hotel status…).
Finally, to access cash, there is a free prepaid debit card, the CIBC Air Canada AC Prepaid Visa Conversion Card, which we have detailed in this article. For this trip, it would allow for example to load Turkish Lira (TRY). It is possible to load this card with a credit card… which allows to easily unlock a welcome bonus!Come to discuss that topic in our Facebook Group!