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Old May 31, 12, 3:55 am   #1
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Aeroplan redemption strategy

I haven't had occasion to fly Air Canada much lately and so am now just an "ordinary" Aeroplan member. I have a fair number of points accumulated, however, and am discovering how challenging it is to try and redeem them for flights that don't require ridiculous itineraries or layovers (never mind the fees).

A couple of travel opportunities are coming up, so I'm wondering if it's worth trying to up my status miles this year with them - would this enable me to be eligible for more reasonable redemption possibilities? Is there some other strategy for finding these? Or do I give up altogether on Air Canada and just use the points to buy the toaster?

Any advice?
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Old May 31, 12, 4:03 am   #2
 
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You'd have to get to SE level to get Priority rewards - which are somewhat better than regular rewards but even in my case only show some convoluted itins. All these extra rewards are on AC only so you'll have ridiculous fees along with them and you'll be limited to where AC flies.

I've personally moved away from accumulating Aeroplan points... and now accumulate SPG points and BA.
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Old May 31, 12, 7:46 am   #3
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
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Elite (35k this year, 50k next) also offers "priority" rewards, although they require twice the points and are for economy only.
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Old May 31, 12, 1:26 pm   #4
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
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I'm guessing you're relying on the AE site to plan your trip. If you are, that's your problem. RTFF and learn about the other planning tools. I use the ANA site. If you avoid partner airlines that don't charge YQ you can get a pretty low cost itinerary. It can be time consuming to find a good itinerary but it you have some flexibility it's doable.
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Old May 31, 12, 2:27 pm   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ds27 View Post
I haven't had occasion to fly Air Canada much lately and so am now just an "ordinary" Aeroplan member.
You are aware that you can fly any of the Star Alliance member airlines to help earn Aeroplan status, right?
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Old May 31, 12, 2:28 pm   #6
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
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Use ANA (or United - only marginally better than AE)

Quote:
Originally Posted by tryinginvain View Post
I'm guessing you're relying on the AE site to plan your trip. If you are, that's your problem. RTFF and learn about the other planning tools. I use the ANA site. If you avoid partner airlines that don't charge YQ you can get a pretty low cost itinerary. It can be time consuming to find a good itinerary but it you have some flexibility it's doable.
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Old May 31, 12, 9:02 pm   #7
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
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Say you refer to ANA's or United's reward booking tool, are the required points 1 to 1 when booking with Aeroplan? And do you have to call in to book it?
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Old Jun 1, 12, 2:05 am   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuto View Post
Say you refer to ANA's or United's reward booking tool, are the required points 1 to 1 when booking with Aeroplan? And do you have to call in to book it?



You don't use the ANA (or United) tool for the points...you use it for finding award flight availability, then you go to AE site and plug them in. if that doesn't work, you cal AE and book over the phone (but you will get charged $90)
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Old Jun 1, 12, 2:24 am   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sp4294 View Post


You don't use the ANA (or United) tool for the points...you use it for finding award flight availability, then you go to AE site and plug them in. if that doesn't work, you cal AE and book over the phone (but you will get charged $90)
It's actually $30/person, not $90. $90 is for making changes or canceling a trip. These are the most recent scamcharges at AP. With all the fees and YQ associated with redemptions, I wonder when AP will start charging us for the electricity to run their data centers and the office space their employees use. Heck, I can't wait for a toilet paper fee that is used to fill the restrooms at AP HQ. It's getting late for me I guess, rant mode detected. Shutting down
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Old Jun 1, 12, 4:22 am   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumblefox View Post
I've personally moved away from accumulating Aeroplan points... and now accumulate SPG points and BA.
Basically what I've done as well.
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Old Jun 1, 12, 4:24 am   #11
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoobtoob View Post
You are aware that you can fly any of the Star Alliance member airlines to help earn Aeroplan status, right?
Yes, probably should have said Star Alliance rather than Air Canada ...
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Old Jun 1, 12, 4:27 am   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tax Dude View Post
Elite (35k this year, 50k next) also offers "priority" rewards, although they require twice the points and are for economy only.
Fair enough, but this is just a different way of hugely discounting the value of the points, isn't it? I can remember a time when it was easy to get itineraries worth 5+ cents a mile. Now it seems a struggle even to get 2 cents.

Why bother collecting the points if they have such little value?

(And yes, there are other non-point benefits to status in terms of upgrades etc.)
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Old Jun 1, 12, 4:31 am   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tryinginvain View Post
I'm guessing you're relying on the AE site to plan your trip. If you are, that's your problem. RTFF and learn about the other planning tools. I use the ANA site. If you avoid partner airlines that don't charge YQ you can get a pretty low cost itinerary. It can be time consuming to find a good itinerary but it you have some flexibility it's doable.
One part of the issue for me is the value of the points - if they have such diminished value, why bother collecting them? In a similar way, if my time is limited I'd rather not spend it using these tools. (At this level, I can actually see a (small) case for paying a modest fee to call Aeroplan to find a workable itinerary if it's faster than what I can do myself).
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Old Jun 1, 12, 7:27 am   #14
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ds27 View Post
One part of the issue for me is the value of the points - if they have such diminished value, why bother collecting them? In a similar way, if my time is limited I'd rather not spend it using these tools. (At this level, I can actually see a (small) case for paying a modest fee to call Aeroplan to find a workable itinerary if it's faster than what I can do myself).
You may nevertheless have to do your research and spoon-feed the agent the itinerary you want. Some may be creative for you, others parhaps not, YMMV. Plan on spending some time on the phone in either case.
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