Aeroplan is currently running an interesting campaign to address the misunderstandings Canadians have about this rewards program: so, myth or truth?
12 myths about Aeroplan
Let’s review the 12 myths raised by Aeroplan and explain them. But above all, we must agree with them: many popular beliefs about Aeroplan are actually myths and not reality!
Myth 1 – Availability of airfares
In fact, the award tickets offered for sale on Aeroplan in the “Fixed Miles” category are those that each Star Alliance member airline is willing to provide.
On some long weekends, it will be difficult to find an award ticket, for example. This can be offered at the last minute.
But as a general rule, it is possible to find a good number of availabilities, you just have to be a little flexible!
Myth 2 – Blackout periods
Aeroplan does not impose blackout periods… but this goes back to myth #1: the tickets posted on Aeroplan are offered by the airlines. It is therefore normal that a company decides to try to sell its airline tickets for very busy periods such as the end of year holidays, before offering them as award tickets on Aeroplan.
On the other hand, for Air Canada, you still have the possibility to buy the ticket you want… thanks to the “Market Fare”. However, the number of miles you will have to pay will be higher as it reflects the demand for that particular flight.
Myth 3 – Hidden bonus tickets
Here, it’s more about the way the Aeroplan site search engine is designed.
Let’s take the example of a flight from Montreal to Paris. Aeroplan will probably offer you plenty of direct or indirect flights from Air Canada or Lufthansa… but not necessarily a flight with United via Washington.
If you search by one-way ticket (Montreal-Washington / Washington-Paris) you will see the availability… but you will have to call to make the reservation!
Yes, the availability is the same online and on the phone… you just have to know how to use the tool!
Myth 4 – Book as early as possible
Again, Aeroplan is dependent on the tickets provided by the airlines.
As a general rule, however, it is true that most of the best tickets are found several months in advance. This is the case for example for my round trip to Europe with availability in business class on Swiss Air and Turkish Airlines. These tickets were booked in November 2015 for use in July 2016.
However, I also proved you wrong by booking a last minute ticket on Swiss Air in business class, 2 days before departure!
If you have visibility on your calendar, it’s best to book in advance! Here is an estimate of when Aeroplan availability will open (in days before scheduled departure):
Myth 5 – Changing and cancelling an Aeroplan Reward
We did an article on the subject: Aeroplan is one of the most open programs when it comes to changing or cancelling awards. Sure, there are fees, but at least you can change or cancel your flight plans!
Myth 6 – Earning Aeroplan Miles
If you follow milesopedia regularly, you know that for us, the best way to earn Aeroplan Miles is through Aeroplan-affiliated credit cards (or cards that allow you to transfer points to Aeroplan Miles).
But also through your everyday purchases like in Esso gas stations!
Myth 7 – The Aeroplan Miles Credit
You can request mileage credit online on this page for most Aeroplan partners such as a hotel stay or non-credited United airfare for example!
However, some expenses are not accepted as Esso transactions, even if you have the receipt!
Myth 8 – Aeroplan customer service wait times
This was one of the big problems with Aeroplan’s customer service. So much so that some credit cards have offered “priority access to an Aeroplan advisor” as a benefit!
But indeed, the situation is much less complicated than before, and I have always had an advisor in less than 15 minutes of waiting, even in delicate situations abroad.
Myth 9 – Expiring Aeroplan Miles
Aeroplan Miles do not expire… provided you make at least one transaction in the account every 12 months! A friend of mine recently had the misfortune of seeing all her miles disappear due to inactivity… fortunately, we were able to recover it with a stay at an Aeroplan partner Fairmont hotel that was not credited in the last 12 months!
Myth 10 – The benefits of Aeroplan status
We recently told you about the importance of Aeroplan status, if only for access to cheaper tickets at market rates!
Myth 11 – Booking an Aeroplan ticket for someone else
Little known: indeed, you can book an award ticket with your miles for another person (friend, family). What we would like to see, however, would be the possibility of having a “Family” account like other loyalty programs (British Airways Executive Club for example).
This would allow miles to be combined in one account if, for example, miles were missing from a joint account!
Myth 12 – The relationship between the loyalty card and the Aeroplan credit card
Double the fun with Aeroplan partners! You can earn miles by using your Aeroplan-affiliated credit card AND by presenting your Aeroplan Loyalty Card.
But you can also pay with any credit card… and present your Aeroplan loyalty card to earn miles!
Conclusion and wishes for improvement of the program
As you can see, Aeroplan is right on many of the points raised. However, we would have some wishes so that the program becomes optimal from a user point of view with various possibilities like:
- Change your award ticket online
- Build a complex itinerary beyond the 3 routes proposed by the “multi-city” option
- Book on currently absent Star Alliance airlines like Air China
- Filter proposed itineraries by airline
- Book 2 airline tickets with miles from 2 different accounts in the same family
- Or allow for the free transfer of miles between family members (British Airways Executive Club allows for a “family” account that combines the miles of all members into one account)
- Creating an alert for an unavailable flight