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

Aeroplan's Best Kept Secret: award flights into Iqaluit

Aeroplan's Best Kept Secret: award flights into Iqaluit

Old Jul 30, 18, 4:45 pm
  #76  
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 27
Booked a ticket from Ottawa to Iqaluit with "First Air" in 2019. It includes $100 "Additional charge" shown in the ticket, and I was told it was a surcharge. The returned ticket costs 15,000 miles + $189.00 ($55.10 taxes/fees + $100 additional charge + $33.90 booking fee).

It is fishy because it does not shown as carrier surcharge in the ticket. Instead, it shows as "Additional charge". I wonder if it is a new Aeroplan surcharge.

Last edited by andye; Jul 30, 18 at 4:51 pm
andye is offline  
Old Jul 30, 18, 4:52 pm
  #77  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 3,359
Originally Posted by andye View Post
Booked a ticket from Ottawa to Iqaluit with "First Air" in 2019. It includes $100 additional charge shown in the ticket, and I was told it was a surcharge. The returned ticket costs 15,000 miles + $189.00 ($55.10 taxes/fees + $100 charge + $33.90 booking fee).

It is fishy because it does not shown as carrier surcharge in the ticket. I wonder if it is a new Aeroplan surcharge.
Can't comment on First Air specifically since my trip to Iqaluit last year was booked on Canadian North and here's what the receipt looked like:



I cannot comment on First Air but I would be surprised if they charged any fee given they're both in the same bucket for reward redemptions. Perhaps Aeroplan rejiggered the fees in the past couple of months since I've made that booking given their recent announced "improvements in the program". Regardless of whether AC is successful in acquiring Aeroplan, it seems like Aeroplan's business model is increasingly becoming AC's business model (i.e. we're not happy until you're not happy).

Safe Travels,

James
FlyerTalker70 is offline  
Old Jul 30, 18, 7:08 pm
  #78  
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 27
The Additional Charge is not even shown in the Flight Reward confirmation email, but it appears in the Ticket Itinerary/Receipt email as follows,

Aeroplan Flight Reward Fixed Mileage Flight Reward
Taxes, fees and charges per passenger
Air Travellers Security Charge (CA)
Canada Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST #10009-2287 RT0001) (RC)
Airport Improvement Fee - Canada (SQ)

14.25
17.85
23.00
Additional Charge in Canadian dollars : 100.00
Total in Canadian dollars : 155.10

.......YOW 7F YFB Q50.00R0.00 7F YOW Q50.00R0.00CAD100.00 END
ROE1.00

Last edited by andye; Jul 30, 18 at 9:37 pm
andye is offline  
Old Jul 31, 18, 9:25 am
  #79  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Iqaluit
Programs: Programs? I don't need no stinking programs
Posts: 1,188
Originally Posted by andye View Post
Booked a ticket from Ottawa to Iqaluit with "First Air" in 2019. It includes $100 "Additional charge" shown in the ticket, and I was told it was a surcharge. The returned ticket costs 15,000 miles + $189.00 ($55.10 taxes/fees + $100 additional charge + $33.90 booking fee).

It is fishy because it does not shown as carrier surcharge in the ticket. Instead, it shows as "Additional charge". I wonder if it is a new Aeroplan surcharge.
There has definitely been some recent hanky-panky somewhere with the fees for YFB award flights - I book YFB-YOW or the reverse via Aeroplan pretty regularly. Last week I booked YFB-YOW o/w on 7F for a date in 2019, and sure enough there was a mysterious 50.00 $ "additional fee" that didn't seem to correspond to any amount that I've been charged on any previous 7F or 5T award (and the most recent ticket like that I've booked was just a few months ago). Usually it's in the realm of 30-40 $ for a one-way ticket. Moreover, I was also charged a 30-odd $ "booking fee", which has never happened before, and which doesn't show up on my Aeroplan receipt but was certainly charged to my credit card.

I didn't bother quibbling over the fees, since I'm still saving at least $700 vs. a revenue ticket, but it's probably worth noting that the fees for these awards seem to have been suddenly (as in just in the last couple of months) ratcheted way up.
nolens volans is offline  
Old Jul 31, 18, 9:33 am
  #80  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Iqaluit
Programs: Programs? I don't need no stinking programs
Posts: 1,188
Incidentally I don't get the obsession with seeing the northern lights myself, though maybe that's just because I'm used to them. They're pretty enough I suppose, the trouble with planning a trip to Iqaluit around them is that the best time of year to see them (October/November/December) also happens to be the worst time of year to do just about anything else - it's cold, dark and windy, the sea ice hasn't formed up properly, and there's too much snow to go hiking but not enough to go skiing or snowmobiling or to do any of the other fun outdoor winter things. The best time to be in Iqaluit IMO is April or May - long sunny days, great snow and ice conditions, temperature is usually a nice balmy -10, etc.
nolens volans is offline  
Old Jul 31, 18, 10:29 am
  #81  
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 27
Smile

Originally Posted by nolens volans View Post
Incidentally I don't get the obsession with seeing the northern lights myself, though maybe that's just because I'm used to them. They're pretty enough I suppose, the trouble with planning a trip to Iqaluit around them is that the best time of year to see them (October/November/December) also happens to be the worst time of year to do just about anything else - it's cold, dark and windy, the sea ice hasn't formed up properly, and there's too much snow to go hiking but not enough to go skiing or snowmobiling or to do any of the other fun outdoor winter things. The best time to be in Iqaluit IMO is April or May - long sunny days, great snow and ice conditions, temperature is usually a nice balmy -10, etc.
Nice to hear your sharing. Looking forward to visiting Iqaluit ... :-)
andye is offline  
Old Aug 7, 18, 3:20 pm
  #82  
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: YVR
Programs: UA Premier Platinum
Posts: 3,703
Originally Posted by nolens volans View Post
Incidentally I don't get the obsession with seeing the northern lights myself, though maybe that's just because I'm used to them. They're pretty enough I suppose, the trouble with planning a trip to Iqaluit around them is that the best time of year to see them (October/November/December) also happens to be the worst time of year to do just about anything else - it's cold, dark and windy, the sea ice hasn't formed up properly, and there's too much snow to go hiking but not enough to go skiing or snowmobiling or to do any of the other fun outdoor winter things. The best time to be in Iqaluit IMO is April or May - long sunny days, great snow and ice conditions, temperature is usually a nice balmy -10, etc.
If auroras are one of the primary motivations for the trip one would be better off visiting Yellowknife as it's cheaper, serviced by AC and WestJet, and has higher aurora activity as well as much clearer skies to actually observe it.
eigenvector is offline  
Old Aug 7, 18, 6:10 pm
  #83  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 3,359
Originally Posted by eigenvector View Post
If auroras are one of the primary motivations for the trip one would be better off visiting Yellowknife as it's cheaper, serviced by AC and WestJet, and has higher aurora activity as well as much clearer skies to actually observe it.
Unsure on the cheaper side of things, especially coming from Eastern Canada (i.e. ON and QC) where you've also got to factor in a transcontinental flight. From my experience Iqaluit is steep if you don't do your research ahead of time (i.e. booking a hotel instead of booking an AirBnb). Sure food is pricey but I suspect it's not cheap either over in Yellowknife or Whitehorse.

In terms of Auroral activity you're absolutely right. Iqaluit is too far North to see those things. OTOH Iqaluit has other things to offer like winter hiking, igloo building, etc. that make up for this. Yellowknife and Whitehorse are on my bucket list, believe me. The only question now is when I'll find the time to go up there.

Safe Travels,

James
FlyerTalker70 is offline  
Old Aug 7, 18, 6:25 pm
  #84  
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: YVR
Programs: UA Premier Platinum
Posts: 3,703
Originally Posted by j2simpso View Post
Unsure on the cheaper side of things, especially coming from Eastern Canada (i.e. ON and QC) where you've also got to factor in a transcontinental flight. From my experience Iqaluit is steep if you don't do your research ahead of time (i.e. booking a hotel instead of booking an AirBnb). Sure food is pricey but I suspect it's not cheap either over in Yellowknife or Whitehorse.

In terms of Auroral activity you're absolutely right. Iqaluit is too far North to see those things. OTOH Iqaluit has other things to offer like winter hiking, igloo building, etc. that make up for this. Yellowknife and Whitehorse are on my bucket list, believe me. The only question now is when I'll find the time to go up there.

Safe Travels,

James
Can't say I've ever priced out it from YYZ or YUL but I flew YQQ-YZF r/t on AC for around $500 in peak aurora watching season (February) a couple years ago. My friend joined from YYZ on an award flight on fairly short notice. In summer, when there's a lot more business travel going on, prices can easily spike up to $1000 r/t from major hubs.
eigenvector is offline  
Old Aug 7, 18, 6:28 pm
  #85  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Austin, Texas
Programs: Airline nobody. Sad!
Posts: 26,062
Originally Posted by eigenvector View Post
Can't say I've ever priced out it from YYZ or YUL but I flew YQQ-YZF r/t on AC for around $500 in peak aurora watching season (February) a couple years ago. My friend joined from YYZ on an award flight on fairly short notice. In summer, when there's a lot more business travel going on, prices can easily spike up to $1000 r/t from major hubs.
There were some dates earlier this year when Texas-YZF was under US$400 r/t. Might have even snuck down to near or below US$300 r/t.
TheBOSman is offline  
Old Aug 14, 18, 8:21 pm
  #86  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: YYZ
Programs: TK*G, Marriott Gold, Hilton Diamond, IHG Plat
Posts: 663
I've managed to visit all Canadian territories over the years in the winter on flight passes and AP awards.

Personally, my favourite is Whitehouse for a bit of everything: forests, lakes, mountains and various organized winter activities including aurora viewing. you can also cross the border to Alaska.

For northern lights, Yellowknife is the best option - I've been there 4 different weekends and saw the aurora 3 out of 4. They have purposely built Aurora Village (better) and Aurora World - mainly cater to bus loads of Japanese tourists but everyone can go. I'd recommend Explorer hotel (nicer) and Yellowknife Inn (conveniently connected a mall and probably the only night club in town - crowded with workers from nearby mines looking for some fun for the weekend...)

YFB is ok but i found the town a bit boring. Frobisher Inn is the best option in Iqaluit - also connected to the only movie theatre and pub in town. Nearby town Apex has a cemetery with whale bone statue - good for some shots at sunset or at night with aurora. If you want to get out of the town to the floe edge, you need to rent a snowmobile; i'd definitely get a guide for safety...

As someone mentioned, you can fly from Winnipeg to Churchill in Oct/Nov to see the polar bears before the bay freezes. you can still redeem calm air flights using AP.
ericw is offline  
Old Aug 23, 18, 3:38 pm
  #87  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Iqaluit
Programs: Programs? I don't need no stinking programs
Posts: 1,188
Originally Posted by nolens volans View Post
Moreover, I was also charged a 30-odd $ "booking fee", which has never happened before, and which doesn't show up on my Aeroplan receipt but was certainly charged to my credit card.
Booked another award flight on 5T the other day, and was again charged the $30 Aeroplan booking fee, so it now seems like a consistent policy to charge this fee for 7F/5T bookings. As far as I could gather, the policy used to be that the Aeroplan booking fee was only charged if you used the call centre to book something you could have booked online (which is not the case for award flights on any of the northern airlines - you have no choice but to book through the call centre).

I flat out asked the call centre agent when Aeroplan had started charging the booking fee for 7F/5T awards, and unsurprisingly he claimed that they have always charged it. This is of course a lie, since I've booked dozens of these rewards over the last five years or so and have never been charged the booking fee except on the last two occasions. But there's no point in getting into an argument with call centre agents about this kind of thing.
nolens volans is offline  
Old Aug 24, 18, 3:41 am
  #88  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: SFO
Programs: AC SE MM, UA Gold, Bonvoy Tit LT Sil, Hyatt Glob, HH Diamond, Accor Silver
Posts: 41,115
Originally Posted by nolens volans View Post
As far as I could gather, the policy used to be that the Aeroplan booking fee was only charged if you used the call centre to book something you could have booked online
This is simply not the case, unless you're talking more than 5 years ago. Just look in the mini rtw thread. Everyone who wants 2 stops and a destination pays a fee, and that's certainly not possible online.

In fact, the only time I've had the fee waived is when I couldn't book something like SFO-YYZ online (it errored out), and that required going through web support. Something that SHOULD be bookable online, but due to technical issues, could not be.
canadiancow is offline  
Old Aug 24, 18, 4:02 am
  #89  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: YYT/YYC/TPE
Programs: AC SE, UA, National Exec Elite, Nexus, GE
Posts: 1,791
Originally Posted by canadiancow View Post
This is simply not the case, unless you're talking more than 5 years ago. Just look in the mini rtw thread. Everyone who wants 2 stops and a destination pays a fee, and that's certainly not possible online.

In fact, the only time I've had the fee waived is when I couldn't book something like SFO-YYZ online (it errored out), and that required going through web support. Something that SHOULD be bookable online, but due to technical issues, could not be.
What he was talking about isn't the same as the mini-RTW. 5T/7F/MO are three airlines you can redeem your AE points on, but you can never find them using AE's search engine because the process is different. I gather that you've never redeemed on these airlines so let me describe it to you:

You call up Aeroplan, you tell the agent you want to book reward seat(s) on 5T/7F/MO on certain date range between certain city pairs. They note them down and call the airline on your behalf and request seats. The agent then calls you back advising you of options and availability. If you don't like the availability offered, repeat with a different date range.

It's been a while since I redeemed on these airlines, so perhaps the request process is now more electronic between AE and 5T/7F, and MO is no longer an AE partner. However, when I booked with them, there was no booking fee.
YYT82 is offline  
Old Aug 24, 18, 4:16 am
  #90  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: SFO
Programs: AC SE MM, UA Gold, Bonvoy Tit LT Sil, Hyatt Glob, HH Diamond, Accor Silver
Posts: 41,115
Originally Posted by YYT82 View Post


What he was talking about isn't the same as the mini-RTW. 5T/7F/MO are three airlines you can redeem your AE points on, but you can never find them using AE's search engine because the process is different. I gather that you've never redeemed on these airlines so let me describe it to you:

You call up Aeroplan, you tell the agent you want to book reward seat(s) on 5T/7F/MO on certain date range between certain city pairs. They note them down and call the airline on your behalf and request seats. The agent then calls you back advising you of options and availability. If you don't like the availability offered, repeat with a different date range.

It's been a while since I redeemed on these airlines, so perhaps the request process is now more electronic between AE and 5T/7F, and MO is no longer an AE partner. However, when I booked with them, there was no booking fee.

I know the process, and I was responding to a very specific comment ("the policy used to be that the Aeroplan booking fee was only charged if you used the call centre to book something you could have booked online") which is factually wrong.

Had the comment just been "the policy used to be that the Aeroplan booking fee was not charged for 5T", I would not have said anything.
canadiancow is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread