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Question: Aeroplan Australia Y Booking Strategy

Question: Aeroplan Australia Y Booking Strategy

Old Oct 26, 17, 3:27 pm
  #1  
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Aeroplan Australia Y Booking Strategy

I am looking to book 4 Y seats for YWG-SYD in August 2018. The options right now are limited to say the least... in true AE style, it involves long stopovers to get to SFO/LAX where I can get on UA to cross the Pacific. Dates are not great either, but I might be able to make it work.

My question is to anyone with experience booking AE rewards to Australia. Is it better to book one of the mediocre itineraries now while I still can, or do more seats get added along the way? As a non-status flyer I'm interested in UA.

I always assume that premium cabin seats get snapped up right away and that's it because there are so few of them, but I'm not sure with Y... do they ever add more seats on these routes?

I find that travelling with young kids, it's the timing of your flights that can make it or break it. If I can avoid the 8 hour stopover in YYC, YVR, etc. it would certainly make our lives easier. Thanks for any wisdom that anyone can offer.
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Old Oct 26, 17, 3:37 pm
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SYD is not the only international airport in Australia, so consider BNE or MEL as well.
4 awards on the same flight makes it harder. Cash for 1 or more may open up more opportunities.

A thread on a similar topic, but to NZ instead on Australia flying Air New Zealand out of YVR using miles

Airlines that fly USA/Canada to/from Australia (not from all airports to all airports)
- American Airlines AA (LAX - SYD) [OneWorld Alliance] (AS partner)
- Air Canada AC (YYR – SYD, BNE, MEL 1 Dec 2017 to 1 Feb 2018 ) [Star Alliance]
- Air New Zealand NZ (LAX SFO IAH YVR via AKL) [Star Alliance]
- Air Tahiti Nui TN (LAX via Tahiti. Last segments on codeshares) (AA & DL partner)
- Delta DL (LAX – SYD) (VA & AS partner) [Skyteam Alliance]
- Fiji Airways FJ (LAX SFO HNL – BNE SYD MEL ADL via Fiji) (QF, AA & AS partner)
- Hawaiian HA (HNL – BNE SYD) (AA & VA partner)
- Jetstar JQ JQ (HNL – SYD BNE)
- Qantas QF (LAX SFO JFK DFW HNL YVR*– BNE SYD MEL) [OneWorld Alliance] (AS partner) {* seasonal}
- United UA (LAX SFO IAD*– SYD MEL) [Star Alliance] (*IAD-SYD from 18 Jan 2018)
- Virgin Australia VA (LAX – BNE SYD MEL) (codeshares with AC*) (Delta & AC** partner) [*= some routes in 2017, ** ffp late 2017]
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Old Oct 26, 17, 6:18 pm
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Not sure I’d bother in Y. There have been fares as low as $900 from YEG to Australia in a few occasions. That’s incl tax. If AP includes any AC your “taxes” will be substantial.
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Old Oct 27, 17, 7:39 am
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I m not sure I would bother with Y on this route as well, especially flying AC. Your points will cover at most $300ish of the base fare.

If you are willing to go via SFO/LAX, as you can see the connectors will be a problem, and unlikely to open up.

Also, even though it doesnt show up on Aeroplan, you can still go via SIN on SQ, but you have to piece things together.
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Old Oct 27, 17, 7:59 am
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Originally Posted by rankourabu View Post
I m not sure I would bother with Y on this route as well, especially flying AC. Your points will cover at most $300ish of the base fare.

If you are willing to go via SFO/LAX, as you can see the connectors will be a problem, and unlikely to open up.

Also, even though it doesnt show up on Aeroplan, you can still go via SIN on SQ, but you have to piece things together.
YWGSYD is like $1500 base fare on AC. I don't think AE charges a % of base fare? Only YQ et al.
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Old Oct 27, 17, 8:02 am
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Given that some award seats become available up to 350 in advance, can you book the departure and return as separate one ways, then combine them and add 2 stopovers ?
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Old Oct 27, 17, 8:59 am
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Originally Posted by SparseFlyer View Post
YWGSYD is like $1500 base fare on AC. I don't think AE charges a % of base fare? Only YQ et al.
Thats interesting. Looks like AC revenue flights dont have YQ to SYD anymore
Does that mean that they dont have YQ on Aeroplan AC flights?

Perhaps they got slapped by the Australian government?
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Old Oct 27, 17, 9:36 am
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Originally Posted by MasterGeek View Post
Given that some award seats become available up to 350 in advance, can you book the departure and return as separate one ways, then combine them and add 2 stopovers ?
As I have been told by AE agents --
If you book two one ways they cannot later be combined. If you book outbound one way -- then call in to add inbound and stopovers you must pay the change fees as well as recalculation of other fees. YMMV
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Old Oct 27, 17, 9:59 am
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Originally Posted by rankourabu View Post
Thats interesting. Looks like AC revenue flights dont have YQ to SYD anymore
Does that mean that they dont have YQ on Aeroplan AC flights?

Perhaps they got slapped by the Australian government?
Maybe. Certainly better for redemptions and vouchers. For refunds not so sure.

Never really monitored the Australian market so no idea what it was like before, or when it could've changed.
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Old Oct 27, 17, 10:22 am
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Thanks everyone for the help. I'm a little late to the game with my replies, but here they are.

Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post
SYD is not the only international airport in Australia, so consider BNE or MEL as well.
4 awards on the same flight makes it harder. Cash for 1 or more may open up more opportunities.
We definitely considered other airports, but the problem with BNE is that there is no UA service and we're trying to avoid AC if we can, although I suppose if the alternative means buying JQ tickets to get back to SYD then maybe BNE on one of the legs makes a little more sense. I'll probe this a little further.

Even though it has UA service, MEL is less appealing given that at the time of the year we're visiting (August), the preference would be to head north to warmer climes.

Originally Posted by Altaflyer View Post
Not sure I’d bother in Y. There have been fares as low as $900 from YEG to Australia in a few occasions. That’s incl tax. If AP includes any AC your “taxes” will be substantial.
Using Google Flights, the lowest Y fares I can see YWG-SYD are in the $1,200 range, and most of those involve multiple stops on US carriers. If I book UA flights on AE, I can limit fees to under $900 for the 4 of us so it's a pretty considerable difference, e.g. $4,800 vs. $850 for 4 pax.

Originally Posted by rankourabu View Post
Thats interesting. Looks like AC revenue flights dont have YQ to SYD anymore
Does that mean that they dont have YQ on Aeroplan AC flights?

Perhaps they got slapped by the Australian government?
What's interesting is that as far as I can tell, YQ is gone from AE rewards on AC metal to several Asian destinations including HKG. Yet even though revenue flights to SYD don't have YQ, AE rewards on AC metal most certainly do - to the tune of $3,412 for a family of 4.

I noticed a while ago there was a market fare deal where you could get Y rewards on AC from that category for a trivial markdown in AE points - something like 89,000 points vs. 90,000, but the YQ was down to something like $100 a person. But it was for spring travel, way before I was able to go. I was hoping something like that might pop up again, but it hasn't.
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Old Oct 27, 17, 10:29 am
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Originally Posted by heraclitus View Post

What's interesting is that as far as I can tell, YQ is gone from AE rewards on AC metal to several Asian destinations including HKG. Yet even though revenue flights to SYD don't have YQ, AE rewards on AC metal most certainly do - to the tune of $3,412 for a family of 4..
hmmm... thats interesting - and certainly constitutes fraud somewhere considering AE does not keep any of the money.
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Old Oct 27, 17, 10:53 am
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Originally Posted by rankourabu View Post
hmmm... thats interesting - and certainly constitutes fraud somewhere considering AE does not keep any of the money.
I realize the chances of anything useful coming out of it are minimal, but I wonder if I should call and ask for an explanation? If there is anything resembling a reasonable rationale it would make it a bit easier to swallow. (Or it might just be good for a laugh, I don't know)

Is that the actual case though, that AE YQ is supposed to be a reflection of what AC charges revenue pax? Because if so then something is fishy given that AC "taxes fees and charges" are $172 on a $1392 revenue Y seat for YWG-SYD, while AE hits you with a $710 "carrier surcharge" on a Y redemption for AC metal ... that's excluding any kinds of governmental taxes and levies.
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Old Oct 27, 17, 10:58 am
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Originally Posted by heraclitus View Post
Is that the actual case though, that AE YQ is supposed to be a reflection of what AC charges revenue pax? Because if so then something is fishy given that AC "taxes fees and charges" are $172 on a $1392 revenue Y seat for YWG-SYD, while AE hits you with a $710 "carrier surcharge" on a Y redemption apart... that's excluding any kinds of governmental taxes and levies.
Yes, those two should be identical, especially for Air Canada flights.
Air Canada tickets all Aeroplan flights, and as the ticketing carrier - takes all the money.

As for if anything will come out of it - unlikely - AC has been charging fake taxes on transborder AE itineraries for years, and pocketing it, and nothing has happened.
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Old Oct 27, 17, 11:42 am
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I too was under the impression AE YQ and AC YQ were the same.

Then again, when I think about it, AC YQ is on fares. Not on reward tickets. So if you book YYZFRA om AC or LH booked through AC.com, the YQ is (I think) the same.

But is it the same for reward tickets? I believe it's different per carrier, whic implies that carriers may impose specific surcharges for reward flights?

But this is news to me. And I'm far from being pro at AE bookings.

Edit: Checked a random date YYZFRA. Surcharge is the same on LH and AC (though it was AC codeshare not LH pure, but it may be the same).

OP, can you post a picture of your AE quote, and a picture of the AC.com quote?
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Old Oct 27, 17, 11:47 am
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I will post a pic of the quotes when I have a moment. I spoke with Aeroplan and not surprisingly they plead innocent, claiming that it's the fee that Air Canada imposes on them. When you remove the "carrier surcharge" from the equation, the total taxes and fee for a reward are much more comparable to what someone pays on AC using a revenue ticket.
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