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This week, Air Canada’s Aeroplan program announced that its members can now redeem their miles for ClassicFlight and Market Fare awards in the airline’s Premium Economy cabin, which includes larger seats with more recline and legroom, as well as meal service, enhanced amenities, and priority airport services.
Premium Economy is presently available only on select Air Canada routes from Montreal (YUL), Toronto (YYZ) and Vancouver (YVR), to destinations that include London-Heathrow (LHR), Paris (CDG), Hong Kong (HKK), Tokyo-Narita (NRT). One route in particular, Toronto-Copenhagen (YYZ-CPH) made our list of the best new airline routes for 2015. Be sure to check out the full route list, including the schedule for routes soon beginning or ending:
ClassicFlight awards are the fixed mileage amounts shown on the Aeroplan flight reward chart. One-way ClassicFlight Rewards now cost only 50% of the miles required for a round-trip—rather than their former 67%—one of Aeroplan’s rare reward increases amidst its major devaluation last year.
Market Fare awards, on the other hand, are reduced, variable mileage amounts offered to Aeroplan’s three tiers of elite Distinction members—up to the following discounts: 20% for Silver, 25% for Black, and 35% for Diamond.
One of Aeroplan’s rare reward increases amidst its major devaluation last year, one-way ClassicFlight Rewards now cost only 50% of the miles required for a round-trip—rather than their former 67%. However, redeeming at these lower mileage amounts may not always be easy on Premium Economy routes.
AClassicFlight award for a Premium Economy round-trip to London-Heathrow (LHR)—a route that’s year-round from YVR and seasonal from YUL and YYZ—requires a redemption of 75,000 miles (plus taxes and fees). However, taking a look at award availability on YVR-LHR round-trips through June 2015, ClassicFlight award space in Premium Economy is largely non-existent, while Market Fare awards are available for all itineraries—with redemption amounts hovering around a whopping 300,000 miles.
Looking at May 3-10, as just one example, there’s no ClassicFlight availability in Premium Economy:
Meanwhile, round-trip Market Fare awards for the same YVR-LHR itinerary start at 281,300 miles:
ClassicFlight availability in Premium Economy on various other routes between April and June—including YYZ-CPH and YVR-HKK—is similarly spotty, with high Market Fare awards far more common.
If you’re looking to quickly bank Aeroplan miles and get closer to Distinction status (and a shot at Market Fare awards in Premium Economy), be aware that American citizens and residents can now sign up for Air Canada’s co-branded Aeroplan TD Visa Signature card to earn a sign-up bonus of 25,000 miles. Also note that Aeroplan miles won’t expire as long as members stay active via at least one accumulation or redemption of miles every 12 months.
Know before you go.
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