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:
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
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):
|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
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:
- even Ethiopian Airlines or Turkish Airlines operating flights between Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires
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):
|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):
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):
|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):
|Kuala Lumpur (KUL)||184||8K|
|Ho Chi Minh (SGN)||675||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|
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.
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):
|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:
|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|
|Frankfurt (FRA)||6 389||50K||80K||100K|
|Paris (CDG)||6 666||50K||80K||100K|
|Lisbon (LIS)||7 394||60K||100K||130K|
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.
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.