Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > Air Canada | Aeroplan
Reload this Page >

FAQ: How to Save Money/YQ on Aeroplan Europe redemptions

FAQ: How to Save Money/YQ on Aeroplan Europe redemptions

Old Mar 25, 15, 3:48 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Toronto, Canada
Programs: SPG Gold
Posts: 4,608
How to Save Money/YQ on Aeroplan Europe/Asia redemptions

I figure we should have a [[B]NA - Europe] Wiki/FAQ/101 to complement the harder-to-book Mini-RTW threads now

[COLOR=&quot]Target Audience[/COLOR]
Non-SE users Since SE can redeem on AC without YQ now
Anyone who wants to go to Europe but don't know where to start, except to NOT pay 60K miles + $1000 in tax/fees for YYZ-LHR
This thread shows you HOW and WHERE to do the research, without paying high fees

Before anyone starts, one should have GENERAL knowledge of the Aeroplan program already. If not, start with this 101 thread
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/air-c...forum-faq.html

Then, read up the Mini-RTW sections/threads if you have time to kill
Mini-RTW
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/air-c...-mini-rtw.html
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/air-c...ineraries.html
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/air-c...cement-17.html
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/air-c...questions.html
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/air-c...seudo-mpm.html
[COLOR=&quot]How Many Miles Do I need?[/COLOR]
Fortunate for us, all the Aeroplan devaluations did NOT kill a good value redemption to Europe YET. Aeroplan Reward Chart
Divide by 2 to get one-way miles (One-way = No stopover, or any layover > 24 hours vs. Round-trip: One can 2 stopovers + Destination)

Europe 1 Round-trip: 60K in Economy, 75K in Premium Economy, 110K in Business, 140K in First
Europe 2 Round-trip: 75K/90K/115K/160K

Europe 1
Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain (incl. Balearic Islands; excl. Canary Islands), Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom.
Europe 2
Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia (Western), Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey, Ukraine.
Not enough Miles?
Well, that's another thread, but in general, sign up for Credit Cards (with Free & great Welcome bonuses) is the easiest/fastest ways
Otherwise, maybe also look into Revenue fares (like using Icelandair with free stopover at KEF)
Also, don't forget about OneWorld redemptions using BA Avios, but avoid BA for its $$$ YQ. Examples are Aer Lingus (not bookable online at BA website) routes like Europe-DUB-YYZ (on 757) or BOS/SFO

Tips on Booking
  • If you don't need 2 stopovers, it's okay to book One-Way first to secure the seats, especially if you have long gaps between Outbound and Inbound
  • Start with the LONG-haul segment, then find the Short-haul connecting segments AFTER
  • Be flexible on dates (+/- 1 day at least) to find desired routings
  • 2nd Tier cities may have more award availability
  • One may want to avoid ex-LHR/CDG to save some money
[COLOR=&quot]General Steps to book[/COLOR]
  1. Start finding the TATL (over Atlantic) segments using the given city combinations/carriers (say JFK-BRU)
  2. Once you find one, then find the connecting segments (say YYZ-JFK)
  3. If not bookable online, call Aeroplan and spoon feed the segments to the agent to book it
[COLOR=&quot]Carriers To/From Europe with No or Low YQ[/COLOR] (feel free to add more). I use http://www.flightconnections.com/ with Carrier filter
  • UA ORD-BRU/AMS/MUC/FRA/CDG/LHR, EWR-MXP/GVA/ZRH/BRU/AMS/CDG/DUB/SNN/LHR, IAD-ZRH/GVA/MUC/BRU/AMS/CDG/LHR
  • SN BRU-JFK/IAD, YYZ (from April 2016)
  • LX ORD/YUL/BOS/EWR/JFK-ZRH, JFK-GVA
  • TK IST-YUL/YYZ/ORD/JFK/IAD/BOS/IAH/SFO/LAX/MIA/ATL
  • LO WAW-JFK/YYZ/ORD (Low YQ)
  • SK CPH-ORD/EWR/IAD, ARN-ORD/EWR, OSL-EWR
  • SQ FRA-JFK, IAH-DME (SQ only releases Y to AP)

Where Should I Search?
You should start by a general A-B search to get ideas on possible routing, then start searching SEGMENT by SEGMENT
Aeroplan.com
Flisea.com
AwardNexus.com
United
AwardFinder/award.flights Chrome app @ http://award.flights
FT thread http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...arch-tool.html

When to book? - general guideline, but there's no guarantee seats are released on the day
AC/OS/SA/BR/LO/TK/CA - 355/356 days out
LH - 349. F class is usually only released 2 weeks out
LX - 338
UA - 330/338
SK - 330
SQ - 350
OZ - 340?
What to do on a Layover (< 24 hours)?
http://hackmytrip.com/2014/05/best-a...ropean-edition


[SIZE=&quot;4&quot;][COLOR=&quot]NEW Asia Section from April 2016[/COLOR][/SIZE]
Carriers with YQ: AC, NH, TG, OZ
No YQ: BR, CA, SQ, UA

East Coast Hubs to check
Canada - YYZ, YUL
USA - JFK/ORD/BOS/IAD, IAH

West Coast Hubs to check
Canada - YVR, YYC
USA - SEA, SFO, LAX, SAN

Tips on Booking (specific for TPAC)
  • note that HKG and Japan (e.g. YYZ-NRT/HND), as destinations, are now YQ-free I believe. so make them a Destination if you want to save $$
  • There are too many route possibilities to Asia, depending on the city, use Google Flights (with Star Alliance filter), or FlightConnections.com to get an idea which airlines fly to your cities first
How to Find MPM via source code
https://princeoftravel.com/blog/how-...lan-mpm-online
https://www.reddit.com/r/churningcan...an_mpm_easily/
In case anyone missed this... I recently wrote about an extremely easy way to find the Aeroplan MPM (maximum permitted mileage) for any city pair. Essentially:
1) Plug in your city pair in a multi-city search.
The multi-city search tool on the Aeroplan website allows you to search for journeys that look like this: A → B → C → A. We need to make a dummy search involving the origin and destination you have in mind for your Mini-RTW in order to tease out the MPM for the route.
You should input your desired origin city for "A", and your desired destination city for "B". For the third city "C", you can put any city you want, as long as it's somewhere in between the origin and destination. In particular, you want to make sure it isn't farther away from your origin than your intended destination, since the search engine would then treat the third city as the destination.
To illustrate, let's suppose you're trying to plan a route between Calgary (YYC) and Istanbul (IST). You'd put Calgary as the origin, Istanbul as your destination, and any third city in between – let's call it Paris (CDG) – in the last field.
Now just input an arbitrary set of dates for your flights, and hit "Search". The dates don't matter at all, since we're just trying to get search results for the journey to show up before moving to the next step.
2) Open the JSON source of the search results page.
When the search results appear, you want to make sure that there are valid results for all three segments of your dummy search. If you did your search in Economy Class, this shouldn't be a problem, since there's usually quite a lot of availability in economy class between any given city pair.
If one of the three segments has no availability, you'll be faced with a screen like the below. Simply pick another date and try again – remember, since it's just a dummy search, the dates don't actually matter.
Once you get a page of search results with availability for all three segments, click on this link to open the JSON source of the search results page.
3) Search for "MPM" with your browser and there it is!
You'll have opened up the JSON source, which is a plain-text file with lots of information that can be difficult to read at first. But simply bring up the Find function using Ctrl+F / ⌘+F and search for "MPM". Boom, there's your number.

Last edited by jerryhung; Jan 18, 18 at 10:55 am
jerryhung is offline  
Old Mar 25, 15, 3:51 am
  #2  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: YYZ
Programs: AC E50K (*G) WS Gold | SPG/Fairmont Plat Hilton/Hyatt Diamond Marriott Silver | National Exec Elite
Posts: 19,285
I'm going to get flamed for asking this and I do value your question. However, is travel time a factor in your question? //puts flame suit on.
superangrypenguin is offline  
Old Mar 25, 15, 4:01 am
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Toronto, Canada
Programs: SPG Gold
Posts: 4,608
Originally Posted by superangrypenguin View Post
I'm going to get flamed for asking this and I do value your question. However, is travel time a factor in your question? //puts flame suit on.
Personally, not too much vs. the savings on YQ
But we FT'er are geeks, who will detour via IST for its lounge, or Layover (<24h) in as many cities as we can (oh, let's stop in JFK and BRU for a YYZ-JFK-BRU-CDG routing)

However, I think MOST of the carriers/routes above do NOT add much extra time
e.g. ZRH-YYZ vs. ZRH-YUL-YYZ isn't that bad

Obviously everyone makes difference decisions using various criteria - TIME, MONEY, AVAILABILITY, PREFERENCE, etc...

I am merely helping most people to save the MONEY part
If there are people who wants to pay AC/LH/OS $1000 extra to save a few hours, no comments for me
jerryhung is offline  
Old Mar 25, 15, 4:03 am
  #4  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: YYZ
Programs: AC E50K (*G) WS Gold | SPG/Fairmont Plat Hilton/Hyatt Diamond Marriott Silver | National Exec Elite
Posts: 19,285
Originally Posted by jerryhung View Post
I am merely helping most people to save the MONEY part
Ah gotcha. Ok, going to the sidelines now. Thanks for the clarification.
superangrypenguin is offline  
Old Mar 25, 15, 7:27 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: YYZ
Posts: 182
I noticed that LO(T) doesn't seem to be that cheap when it comes to YQ. I priced out a single one-way Y itinerary MXP-YYZ:

AC (direct): $195.50
LO (via WA): $160.20

Obviously the extra segment makes a difference for the LO itinerary, but even a WAW-YYZ ticket has a carrier surcharge of $78 one way. Perhaps not such a great deal after all...
jcoop is offline  
Old Mar 25, 15, 7:37 am
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Toronto, Canada
Programs: SPG Gold
Posts: 4,608
Originally Posted by jcoop View Post
I noticed that LO(T) doesn't seem to be that cheap when it comes to YQ. I priced out a single one-way Y itinerary MXP-YYZ:

AC (direct): $195.50
LO (via WA): $160.20

Obviously the extra segment makes a difference for the LO itinerary, but even a WAW-YYZ ticket has a carrier surcharge of $78 one way. Perhaps not such a great deal after all...
I agree, last time I checked LO it was like ~$70 YQ/person, not "No YQ" but usually still cheaper than AC/LH/OS
jerryhung is offline  
Old Mar 25, 15, 8:12 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: YYZ
Posts: 182
Originally Posted by jerryhung View Post
I agree, last time I checked LO it was like ~$70 YQ/person, not "No YQ" but usually still cheaper than AC/LH/OS
Cheaper than an equivalent 2-segment flight, but if you can nab a direct AC/LH/OS flight then the small cost may outweigh the improvement in convenience.
jcoop is offline  
Old Mar 25, 15, 9:28 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: txl
Programs: aeroplan peon
Posts: 1,077
Originally Posted by superangrypenguin View Post
I'm going to get flamed for asking this and I do value your question. However, is travel time a factor in your question? //puts flame suit on.
People here seem to enjoy flying, so while YUL/YYZ - IST - FRA does add quite a few hours to your trip, it is very enjoyable. Not to mention the ridiculous lounge in IST. It might ruin AC J catering for you though Penguin

Last edited by montezume; Mar 25, 15 at 9:42 am Reason: added picture ;)
montezume is offline  
Old Mar 25, 15, 9:29 am
  #9  
formerly yvrgary
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: YOW
Programs: AC 50K, DL Gold, SPG Gold
Posts: 3,028
Originally Posted by jerryhung View Post
I figure we should have a [NA - Europe] Wiki/FAQ/101 to complement the harder-to-book Mini-RTW threads now
Thanks for doing this - and also for striking a good balance between pointing people in the right direction and not just spoon-feeding the final answers.

I admit I read the thread title and thought "oh well, there goes the last of the J avail" but this wiki makes the system less mysterious while still requiring the reader to do some legwork.

Thanks!
YOWgary is offline  
Old Mar 25, 15, 9:57 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: YWG
Programs: Aeroplan, MileagePlus, Marriott Rewards
Posts: 2,128
Great idea for a thread. It's nice to have everything at a glance.

One thing I've done which is obviously hit-or-miss (i.e. I wouldn't bet on it happening but it's nice when it does) is to book long-haul flights as far out as possible on a low/no YQ carrier. Inevitably when there is a schedule change, you can use that as an opportunity to move to AC/LH or whomever else without paying the YQ difference.

I've had UA itineraries via ORD switched to AC itineraries via YYZ/YVR this way (nice, as it cuts out the US-related annoyances). Of course, I would never bet on this happening so I'd never book a flight I wasn't fully prepared to take if the opportunity to do this doesn't arise.
heraclitus is offline  
Old Mar 25, 15, 10:09 am
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Programs: AC SE100K-1MM, NH, DL, AA, Global Entry/Nexus, APEC..
Posts: 16,124
jerryhung
THANK YOU for this!!!!
24left is online now  
Old Mar 25, 15, 10:19 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: YYJ
Posts: 2,117
One bit of information that could be useful in the "when to book" section could be a clarification of when airlines release their premium cabin seats. e.g. LH releases F only around two weeks before but I'm not totally clear as to when they release J inventory and I know nothing about when other star alliance members release their premium cabin seats.
BenSenise is offline  
Old Mar 25, 15, 10:22 am
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Toronto, Canada
Programs: SPG Gold
Posts: 4,608
Originally Posted by BenSenise View Post
One bit of information that could be useful in the "when to book" section could be a clarification of when airlines release their premium cabin seats. e.g. LH releases F only around two weeks before but I'm not totally clear as to when they release J inventory and I know nothing about when other star alliance members release their premium cabin seats.
Ha ha, people reading/using this thread should NOT book LH F for its $$$
Yes, there's appeal to FRA's First Class Terminal and etc...
But I'm trying to not get into AC/LH possibility at all

This thread is [How to fly to Europe for Cheap] vs. [How to fly to Europe]
Still, I added that info into my OP
jerryhung is offline  
Old Mar 25, 15, 10:59 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: YHZ. Previously YYC
Programs: *Gold
Posts: 1,876
Thanks JerryHung!
pilotboy1985YYC is offline  
Old Mar 25, 15, 11:08 am
  #15  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: YYZ
Programs: AC E50K (*G) WS Gold | SPG/Fairmont Plat Hilton/Hyatt Diamond Marriott Silver | National Exec Elite
Posts: 19,285
[QUOTE=montezume;24562856]It might ruin AC J catering for you though Penguin

Since I was mentioned...

Not sure what quite the meant, but I hate AC J catering. It's pure crap. International or domestic. Bleh.
superangrypenguin is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread