Overview of Aeroplan Star Alliance Award Taxes and Fees

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Aeroplan is the frequent flyer program of Air Canada, which is a member of Star Alliance with 26 (for now) airline partners, and is also a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards – which you earn on cards like the Premier Rewards Gold and the Platinum – and Starwood Preferred Guest. It has also offered some very lucrative transfer bonuses and promotional bonuses in the past for things like converting other points to Aeroplan miles, a 75% mileage bonus for flying certain routes, and shopping through its e-store.

Aeroplan's award chart has some great redemptions like from North America to Europe.
Aeroplan’s award chart has some great redemptions like from North America to Europe.

Not only that, but the airline is flexible with their routing rules and you can build in stopovers to awards, it’s got some very well-priced awards including just 90,000 miles from North America to Western Europe in business class and 125,000 miles from North America to Asia in business (which you can route through Europe and thus construct a “round the world” itinerary), and it has a great engine for searching for Star Alliance availability.

On the negative side, though, Aeroplan levies fuel surcharges on a lot of Star Alliance carriers including Air Canada flights, as well as Star Alliance partner Lufthansa, ANA, Adria, Asiana Airlines, Austrian Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, TAP and THAI; and they don’t price one-way awards at half the price of roundtrips.

So with all that in mind, I wanted to take a closer look at Aeroplan and the taxes and fees it charges on various partner awards. I did not research specific itineraries – such as how to get from San Francisco to Paris – but rather I just looked at award availability for specific segments so that I could find how much the taxes and fees would be for domestic versus international or transoceanic flights on Aeroplan’s partners in various classes. For instance, with Air Canada itself, I looked at how much it would cost to redeem a domestic award in economy and business, and then transatlantic flights in economy and business as well as a transpacific flight in economy and business. Note, all mileage requirements will be quoted roundtrip and taxes and fees in US dollars.

The fee structure is similar on many of these awards whether you’re flying from Los Angeles to Chicago or to New York, for example, so this is really just a cross-section from which to extrapolate. By choosing which partner you fly carefully, you can save hundreds of dollars in taxes and fees – note the huge dollar difference between Lufthansa and Brussels Airlines redemptions. Once I find all these redemptions on Aeroplan’s Star Alliance partners, I’ll put together a handy spreadsheet with estimates of taxes and fees to help you plot out your next award.

For this installment, I’ve just done the redemptions and conversions for some of the most popular Star Alliance carriers including: Air Canada, United, Lufthansa, Brussels Air, Singapore Airlines (only economy internationally since they don’t normally release much advance business and first award space to partners), Air New Zealand (only economy), ANA and South African Airways and will do an update with further Star Alliance partners.

If you have real-life data based on your own past or upcoming award redemptions using Aeroplan miles, please share them in the comments below. Also, Aeroplan.com now shows taxes and fees- a nice change from their move to cloak these fees a couple months ago, so feel free to price out your own itineraries if you see any missing.

AIR CANADA

DOMESTIC
Route: Toronto – Vancouver
Class: Economy
Miles Required: 25,000
Taxes and Fees: $157 USD

Air Canada Toronto-Vancouver Economy Award
Air Canada Toronto-Vancouver Economy Award

Route: Toronto – Vancouver
Class: Business
Miles: 50,000
Taxes and Fees: $157 USD (same as economy)

Air Canada Toronto-Vancouver Busines Award
Air Canada Toronto-Vancouver Business Award

TRANSATLANTIC
Route: Montreal – Geneva
Class: Economy
Miles Required: 60,000
Taxes and Fees: $549 USD

YUL-GVA Economy
YUL-GVA Economy Award on Air Canada

Route: Montreal – Geneva
Class: Business
Miles Required: 90,000
Taxes and Fees: $910 USD (!!!)

YUL-GVA Business
YUL-GVA Business Award on Air Canada

TRANSPACIFIC
Route: Vancouver-Tokyo
Class: Economy
Miles: 75,000
Taxes and Fees: $642 USD

Air Canada Vancouver-Tokyo Economy Award
Air Canada Vancouver-Tokyo Economy Award

Route: Vancouver – Tokyo
Class: Business
Miles: 125,000
Taxes and Fees: $642 USD

Air Canada Vancouver-Tokyo Business Award
Air Canada Vancouver-Tokyo Business Award

UNITED AIRLINES

DOMESTIC
Route: Los Angeles – Newark
Class: Economy
Miles: 25,000
Taxes and Fees: $14.38 USD

United Los Angeles-Newark Economy Award
United Los Angeles-Newark Economy Award

Route: Los Angeles – Newark
Class: Business
Miles: 50,000
Taxes and Fees: $14.38 USD

United Los Angeles-Newark Business Award
United Los Angeles-Newark Business Award

TRANSATLANTIC
Route: Newark- Dublin
Class: Business
Miles: 90,000
Taxes and Fees: $87 USD

Aeroplan EWR DUB 87
United Newark-Dublin Business Award

TRANSPACIFIC
Route: San Francisco – Tokyo
Class: Economy
Miles: 75,000
Taxes and Fees: $88 USD

United San Francisco-Tokyo Economy Award
United San Francisco-Tokyo Economy Award

Route: San Francisco – Tokyo
Class: First
Miles: 175,000
Taxes and Fees: $93 USD

United San Francisco-Tokyo First Award
United San Francisco-Tokyo First Award

LUFTHANSA

INTRA-EUROPEAN
Route: Frankfurt – Munich
CLASS: Economy
Miles: 20,000
Taxes and Fees: $228 USD

Lufthansa Frankfurt-Munich Economy Award
Lufthansa Frankfurt-Munich Economy Award

Route: Frankfurt – Munich
Class: Business
Miles: 30,000
Taxes and Fees: $228 USD

Lufthansa Frankfurt-Munich Business Award
Lufthansa Frankfurt-Munich Business Award

TRANSATLANTIC
Route: New York – Frankfurt
Class: Economy
Miles: 60,000 Miles
Taxes and Fees: $698 USD

Lufthansa New York-Frankfurt Economy Award
Lufthansa New York-Frankfurt Economy Award

Route: New York- Frankfurt
Class: Business
Miles: 90,000 Miles
Taxes and Fees: $868 USD

Lufthansa New York-Frankfurt Business Award
Lufthansa New York-Frankfurt Business Award

SINGAPORE AIRLINES

INTRA-ASIAN
Route: Seoul – Singapore
Class: Economy
Miles: 20,000
Taxes and Fees: $54 USD

Singapore Airlines Seoul-Singapore Economy Award
Singapore Airlines Seoul-Singapore Economy Award

Route: Seoul – Singapore
Class: Business
Miles: 30,000
Taxes and Fees: $54 USD

Singapore Airlines Seoul-Singapore Business Award
Singapore Airlines Seoul-Singapore Business Award

TRANSPACIFIC
Route: Los Angeles – Tokyo
Class: Economy
Miles: 75,000
Taxes and Fees: $88 USD

Singapore Airlines Los Angeles-Tokyo Economy Award
Singapore Airlines Los Angeles-Tokyo Economy Award

Route: Los Angeles – Singapore
Class: Economy
Miles: 75,000
Taxes and Fees: $121 USD

Singapore Airlines Los Angeles-Singapore Economy Award
Singapore Airlines Los Angeles-Singapore Economy Award

BRUSSELS AIRLINES

TRANSATLANTIC
Route: New York – Brussels
Class: Economy
Miles: 60,000
Taxes and Fees: $95.90 USD

JFK-BRU econ
Brussels Airlines JFK-BRU Economy Award

Route: New York – Brussels
Class: Business
Miles: 90,000
Taxes and Fees: $95.90 USD

JFK-BRU Business
Brussels Airlines JFK-BRU Business Award

INTRA-EUROPEAN
Route: Brussels – Geneva
Class: Economy
Miles: 20,000
Taxes and Fees: $59.70 USD

BRU-GVA
Brussels Airlines BRU-GVA Economy Award

Route: Brussels – Geneva
Class: Business
Miles: 30,000
Taxes and Fees: $59.70 USD

Brussels Airlines BRU-GVA Business.
Brussels Airlines BRU-GVA Business Award

Route: Brussels – Nice
Class: Economy
Miles: 20,000
Taxes and Fees: $66.50 USD

Brussels Airlines BRU-NCE Economy.
Brussels Airlines BRU-GVA Economy Award

Route: Brussels – Nice
Class: Business
Miles: 30,000
Taxes and Fees: $102.60 USD

Brussels Airlines BRU-GVA Business.
Brussels Airlines BRU-GVA Business Award

ANA

TRANS-PACIFIC
Route: Los Angeles – Tokyo
Class: Economy (one leg ANA, the other Asiana)
Miles: 75,000
Taxes and Fees: $57.00 USD

LAX-NRT
ANA LAX-NRT Economy Award

Route: Chicago – Tokyo
Class: Economy
Miles: 75,000
Taxes and Fees: $684.40 USD

ANA ORD-NRT Economy Award
ANA ORD-NRT Economy Award

Route: Chicago – Tokyo
Class: Business/First
Miles: 175,000
Taxes and Fees: $691.40 USD

ANA ORD-NRT Business Award
ANA ORD-NRT Business Award

INTRA-ASIAN
Route: Tokyo-Beijing
Class: Economy
Miles: 20,000
Taxes and Fees: $200.00 USD

ANA NRT-PEK Economy Award
ANA NRT-PEK Economy Award

Route: Tokyo-Beijing
Class: Business
Miles: 30,000
Taxes and Fees: $200.00 USD

ANA NRT-PEK Business Award
ANA NRT-PEK Business Award

AIR NEW ZEALAND

TRANS-PACIFIC
Route: San Francisco – Auckland
Class: Economy
Miles: 80,000
Taxes and Fees: $95.60 USD

SFO-AKL econ
Air New Zealand SFO-AKL Economy Award

Route: Los Angeles – Auckland
Class: Economy
Miles: 80,000
Taxes and Fees: 208.10 USD

Air New Zealand LAX-AKL Economy
Air New Zealand LAX-AKL Economy Award

Route: Honolulu – Auckland
Class: Business
Miles: 90,000
Taxes and Fees: $95.60 USD

HNL-AKL in Business Class on Air New Zealand is only 90,000 miles and $95.60
HNL-AKL in Business Class on Air New Zealand is only 90,000 miles and $95.60

TRANS-TASMAN
Route: Auckland – Sydney
Class: Economy
Miles: 25,000
Taxes and Fees: 212.50 USD

Air New Zealand AKL-SYD Economy
Air New Zealand AKL-SYD Economy Award

Auckland – Melbourne
Class: Economy
Miles: 25,000
Taxes and Fees: $129.10 USD

Air New Zealand AKL-MEL Economy
Air New Zealand AKL-MEL Economy Award

South African Airways 

TRANS-ATLANTIC
Route: Washington (Dulles) – Johannesburg
Class: Economy
Miles: 100,000
Taxes and Fees: $120.10 USD

South African Airways IAD-JNB Economy Award
South African Airways IAD-JNB Economy Award

Route: Washington (Dulles) – Johannesburg
Class: Business
Miles: 150,000
Taxes and Fees: $120.10 USD

South African Airways IAD-JNB Business Award
South African Airways IAD-JNB Business Award

DOMESTIC
Route: Johannesburg – Capetown
Class: Economy
Miles: 40,000
Taxes and Fees: $34.40 USD

South African Airways JNB-CPT Economy Award
South African Airways JNB-CPT Economy Award

Route: Johannesburg – Capetown
Class: Business
Miles: 60,000
Taxes and Fees: $34.40 USD

South African Airways JNB-CPT Business Award
South African Airways JNB-CPT Business Award

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