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

Question: Frustrated--rarely find good flights any more--any tips?

Question: Frustrated--rarely find good flights any more--any tips?

Old Oct 31, 16, 11:12 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Toronto ON and Dunedin FL
Programs: Aeroplan
Posts: 54
Frustrated--rarely find good flights any more--any tips?

I'm fairly disgusted with Aeroplan. I rarely find good award flights any more. Even when they're just released. This goes for Europe and N.A., although I'm looking at N.A. right now.

At the moment I'm looking for a flight YYZ-LAX, a long way out, October 2017. No Economy flights at all for my dates, and Business flights all have a stop, either Montreal or Vancouver, and not on my exact dates. Often looking for flights like this it's even worse, one or two stops, or just no flights at all.

It's enough to make me stop collecting, really. I have affinity points with AA as well, and Delta, but Aeroplan used to be my go-to "home" plan. It just seems like they are making it impossible to get decent flights!

Am I missing something? Am I timing it wrong? Do more flights become available later? Is there a way of getting alerted, or do you just have to keep watching. Why do they make it so hard? Are they just scamming us?
WWannabe is offline  
Old Oct 31, 16, 11:21 am
  #2  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Programs: Anything with sweet spots
Posts: 1,790
Not all award seats are released when the schedule opens, many are released also at different times before departure time, depending on airline and its revenue management strategy . And I like it like that, because not everyone can plan trips 330 days in advance.

You can get alerted for award seats using Expert Flyer for a given airline/flight/date combination. I wish there was a way to setup an alert with just city-pair and date range
MasterGeek is offline  
Old Oct 31, 16, 11:22 am
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Toronto ON and Dunedin FL
Programs: Aeroplan
Posts: 54
Originally Posted by MasterGeek View Post
Not all award seats are released when the schedule opens, many are released also at different times before departure time, depending on airline and its revenue management strategy . And I like it like that, because not everyone can plan trips 330 days in advance
Thanks, yes I guessed that. But how do you know when they're going to release them? Are there specific times prior, or is it all a matter of luck?
WWannabe is offline  
Old Oct 31, 16, 11:23 am
  #4  
Moderator, Air Canada; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: YYC
Programs: AC SE100K, WS Gold, BA Silver, Marriott Titanium, Accor/Hilton/Radisson/NH Gold
Posts: 10,155
Not all seats are loaded when the flight first opens, more seats can be added at any time. Really no way to predict for certain.

For alerts, ExpertFlyer can help.

Being flexible with plans, especially dates, can be a big help.

Do you have any status with Air Canada and/or Aeroplan? With AC status, priority rewards could be an option. With AE status, Market Fare redemptions could make sense if you're not finding any good options on fixed price rewards.
Adam Smith is offline  
Old Oct 31, 16, 11:27 am
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Toronto ON and Dunedin FL
Programs: Aeroplan
Posts: 54
I was Silver for a couple of years, but I see I'm not any more, so I guess I won't be next year since I don't intend to fly again this year.
WWannabe is offline  
Old Oct 31, 16, 11:36 am
  #6  
Moderator, Air Canada; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: YYC
Programs: AC SE100K, WS Gold, BA Silver, Marriott Titanium, Accor/Hilton/Radisson/NH Gold
Posts: 10,155
If you don't fly a lot and don't accumulate a lot of points such that you get Aeroplan status, you may want to consider switching to something like an Avion card. My friends who had no status with AC or AE have mostly switched to that and are happier with it, even though theoretically they have to spend more to accumulate the same rewards, since there aren't really restrictions on redeeming the points for travel.

The best advice for you though is probably just to keep an eye on Aeroplan availability for a few different dates and destinations and book when you see something you like.
Adam Smith is offline  
Old Oct 31, 16, 11:50 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 575
As usual, YMMV. I'm finding great availability for next summer in business to Europe and Asia, including on Swiss!

Put together YUL-ZRH-CDG (stop) CDG-TPE-SIN (STOP) SIN-IST-YUL

All of it in business with minimal taxes ($255 each).

Now if only I had enough miles right now to pull the trigger.
Canibus is offline  
Old Oct 31, 16, 12:11 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: YOW
Programs: AC-SE100K, AC-3MM, Marriott- LT Titanium, SPG RIP
Posts: 2,753
Flexibility is key- ie being flexible within a couple of or a few days.

I see some direct flights in Y Oct 14 returning Oct 20 for example. But I ahve no idea of your dates.

Remember too that United starts releasing seats 18 days after Air Canada, so you may want to wait a couple of weeks and see if any United flights (with connections) start to show up.

You can always pay market fare (maybe ~55K points) and get access to most direct flights.

Good luck!
Plumber is offline  
Old Oct 31, 16, 12:45 pm
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Toronto ON and Dunedin FL
Programs: Aeroplan
Posts: 54
I'm looking for Business flights. Don't really want to fly to LAX in Coach if I can avoid it.

I'm not a business traveller, so not frequent. I fly for pleasure, 2-3 times a year, but usually big flights (Europe, SA, Asia). I have almost 200K Aeroplan points to burn right now. Plus a whole bunch of AMEX reward points to transfer, when the moment is right. Latest flight was Rome on AC, Business, paid. Next flight is Ecuador to TPA on AA in February.

I guess Avion would make sense, but I still have the problem of points consolidation. As I said, I've got points on Delta, mostly from AF, and points on AA, including BA flights.

Mainly I'm just kvetching about the fact that the flight selection on Aeroplan is so damned poor. I guess I'll look into Avion to see how many points a typical flight costs.
WWannabe is offline  
Old Oct 31, 16, 12:59 pm
  #10  
Moderator, Air Canada; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: YYC
Programs: AC SE100K, WS Gold, BA Silver, Marriott Titanium, Accor/Hilton/Radisson/NH Gold
Posts: 10,155
Originally Posted by WWannabe View Post
I'm looking for Business flights. Don't really want to fly to LAX in Coach if I can avoid it.
That will make things more difficult then. Patience and flexibility.

I guess Avion would make sense, but I still have the problem of points consolidation. As I said, I've got points on Delta, mostly from AF, and points on AA, including BA flights.
Not sure what to tell you. This is why some people will pay a premium to fly with a certain airline (or alliance) or stay at a certain hotel chain. By concentrating your spending, you can accumulate more points in one place, plus possibly some status that will make redeeming those points easier and/or cheaper.

Mainly I'm just kvetching about the fact that the flight selection on Aeroplan is so damned poor. I guess I'll look into Avion to see how many points a typical flight costs.
The flight selection on Aeroplan can be poor, yes, but if you're willing to work at finding fixed-price seats, you can get pretty good value. Contrast that with, say, DL, where I find there availability is much better, but the value sucks - it's a lot more like Aeroplan's Market Fare concept.

As for Avion, won't do you much good if you want to fly J.
Adam Smith is offline  
Old Oct 31, 16, 1:52 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Ontario, CAN
Posts: 5,813
Originally Posted by WWannabe View Post
I'm fairly disgusted with Aeroplan. I rarely find good award flights any more. Even when they're just released. This goes for Europe and N.A., although I'm looking at N.A. right now.

At the moment I'm looking for a flight YYZ-LAX, a long way out, October 2017. No Economy flights at all for my dates, and Business flights all have a stop, either Montreal or Vancouver, and not on my exact dates. Often looking for flights like this it's even worse, one or two stops, or just no flights at all.

It's enough to make me stop collecting, really. I have affinity points with AA as well
AA flies YYZLAX, What's the 25K/50K point availability on their nonstop offering?
CloudsBelow is offline  
Old Oct 31, 16, 2:25 pm
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Toronto ON and Dunedin FL
Programs: Aeroplan
Posts: 54
Originally Posted by CloudsBelow View Post
AA flies YYZLAX, What's the 25K/50K point availability on their nonstop offering?
Thanks for the tip. October dates not up yet, but looks like it's moot. Business appears to be 50K and I don't have enough points. Husband probably does, but not for both of us. Sigh. Will have to use these up another time--might be able to use them to fly my son down to Florida this winter, although no direct flights, at least one hop, mostly two.

(Yeah, husband has enough points, but not for two of us. We're just under 100K combined, but that doesn't help much.)

Last edited by WWannabe; Oct 31, 16 at 2:35 pm
WWannabe is offline  
Old Oct 31, 16, 2:44 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: YOW
Programs: AC-SE100K, AC-3MM, Marriott- LT Titanium, SPG RIP
Posts: 2,753
Originally Posted by WWannabe View Post
I'm looking for Business flights. Don't really want to fly to LAX in Coach if I can avoid it.
This was not clear from your initial post, as you said no Economy flights were available on your dates, so it sounded like you were searching Y flights to no avail.

Again, some level of flexibility may be required. If you have no flexibility, then yes, you are probably out of luck.

I just searched a couple of dates- Oct 10 returning Oct 20...Business available both directions on a direct flight- no red-eye. Taxes are $139.

Have you been using the Availability Calendar on the Aeroplan website to look for dates?
Plumber is offline  
Old Oct 31, 16, 2:54 pm
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Toronto ON and Dunedin FL
Programs: Aeroplan
Posts: 54
Originally Posted by Plumber View Post
This was not clear from your initial post, as you said no Economy flights were available on your dates, so it sounded like you were searching Y flights to no avail.

Again, some level of flexibility may be required. If you have no flexibility, then yes, you are probably out of luck.

I just searched a couple of dates- Oct 10 returning Oct 20...Business available both directions on a direct flight- no red-eye. Taxes are $139.

Have you been using the Availability Calendar on the Aeroplan website to look for dates?
Sorry, what I should have said was that there weren't even any Economy reward seats, let alone Business ones.

My dates would be more like October 2nd to October 19, with some flexibility but not a lot. Yes, I always use the calendar.

At the moment they have seats on Oct 3, but not Oct 2, and neither flight is non-stop. We could do it on those dates, but would rather not (ongoing flight to Papeete late that night makes it a very long day.)
WWannabe is offline  
Old Oct 31, 16, 3:11 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: YOW
Programs: AC-SE100K, AC-3MM, Marriott- LT Titanium, SPG RIP
Posts: 2,753
Originally Posted by WWannabe View Post
Sorry, what I should have said was that there weren't even any Economy reward seats, let alone Business ones.

My dates would be more like October 2nd to October 19, with some flexibility but not a lot. Yes, I always use the calendar.

At the moment they have seats on Oct 3, but not Oct 2, and neither flight is non-stop. We could do it on those dates, but would rather not (ongoing flight to Papeete late that night makes it a very long day.)
I am just trying to help...

And the 'We' instead of 'I' (ie more than one seat), often makes thing much more difficult.

Oct 3 to Oct 20 seems to work with one stop there and direct returning (with the YYZ-YUL in Y on Oct 3). The YUL-LAX is available in Business.

And one correction to what I said above- If you not an Altitude member, there maybe a ~$60 fuel surcharge- so taxes and fess will likely be closer to $200 per ticket.

You might have some luck when United availability comes up, but again with a stop along the way. Hope you find something!
Plumber is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: