Air Canada Aeroplan Increases Most Award Levels

Apr 19, 2011

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In February I wrote a post about my twenty favorite airline awards and Air Canada Aeroplan showed up on that list four times. I’ve always liked most awards on their Star Alliance Award chart, but unfortunately all of them are going up in price on July 15, 2011.

The four I had highlighted were:
1) 100,000 miles for North America to Australia/New Zealand. As of July 15 that award increases to 135,000 miles, on par with most, 15k less than Delta
2) 80,000 miles for North America to Western Europe. As of July 15, 2011 that award increases to 90k, still 10-15k lower than other airlines
3) 100,000 miles for North America to Asia 1 in Business class. As of July 15, 2011 that award increases to 125k, 5-25k higher than other airlines
4) 120,000 miles for North America to Asia 1 in First Class, but built as a mini round-the-world with a stop in Europe. As of July 15, 2011 that award increases to 175k, 25-50k higher than other airlines. However, they still have industry leading routing flexibility and the mini round-the-world itineraries are safe – for now.

So the bad news is that there are 12.5 – 46% increases across the board. The good news is that we have until July 15, 2011 to book at the current lower levels. The other good news is that some awards are being brought down. These include mostly India, Middle East and Africa awards, which I’ve always thought were grossly overpriced.

You may be thinking to yourself, “Whatever, I don’t fly Air Canada so this doesn’t affect me.” Well, if you have American Express Membership Rewards points or hotel points (like Starwood), Aeroplan is an excellent transfer partner option if you want to book Star Alliance travel. Especially for Amex, since after September 30, 2011 Aeroplan and ANA will be the only Star Alliance transfer partners, so we will need to leverage these partnerships more than before (don’t worry, there will be more dedicated posts to this subject).

United/Continental and Delta have both made adjustments to their award charts recently and in my opinion, we’ve been spared (except for those who like to upgrade with United/Continental and Delta flyers who like Asia awards). I’m hoping this recent spate of changes does not encourage American or US Airways to make unfriendly changes.

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