Difficulty using miles

Old Jul 31, 09, 10:50 am
  #1  
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Difficulty using miles

I am interested in redeeming miles to fly from YYZ to EZE (Buenos Aires) around December-January 2009.

I understand this is the busiest time of the year, however even in early December the only options available are Priority Rewards, which are 100, 000 miles (double). There seem to be many options if you fly to Rio De Janeiro, so I don't see why Buenos Aires would be so different.

I phoned up Aeroplan but they provided no information as to why this is the case. Are people really booking up all these flights 6 months in advance, I doubt it. The person on the phone did say though that Air Canada will sometimes release more seats.

Based on people's experience or insight, is this often the case? And if so, what is the time frame for seat releases?

(For the record I am Elite since Fall 2007)
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Old Jul 31, 09, 1:51 pm
  #2  
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Yes, awards go quickly to these destinations. You might want to consider flying to Sao Paulo on an award then buying revenue tickets to EZE.
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Old Jul 31, 09, 2:36 pm
  #3  
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thanks for the reply. I am assuming by revenue ticket you are referring to just a plain old ticket bought outside of Aeroplan?
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Old Jul 31, 09, 2:45 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by mrgrieves View Post
thanks for the reply. I am assuming by revenue ticket you are referring to just a plain old ticket bought outside of Aeroplan?
Yes. IIRC TAM is the STAR partner down there now. Just make sure you have enough connection time to cover a delay of your inbound and outbound flights. Not sure what the Brazilian visa requirements are for a transit passenger.

You might also want to check to see if UA has any seats to EZE around the dates you want to travel,
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Old Jul 31, 09, 2:55 pm
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I'm also planning a trip to EZE this January.

Seats to EZE on AC are pretty much gone for Dec-Jan. UA seats via IAD are in greater supply, but not by much.

You may want to look into the MX DFW-EZE deal in the MR forum. You'd have your choice of dates but you'd be looking at a real milk run to get down there.
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Old Jul 31, 09, 5:21 pm
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With *A flying out of North America, your EZE choices are basically UA out of IAD and AC out of YYZ. AC doesn't fly to EZE every day, so you aren't talking about that many flights and they fill up quickly in Dec/January. People flying back to see family over the holidays plus other tourists tend to snap up the award tickets pretty readily. I'd actually expect EZE to be snapped up 10/11 months in advance. If you visit your family/in-laws, etc... every second Christmas, I'd start booking in February of the year before.

Suggestion might be fly to Brazil and then to EZE. More flights to Brazil with *A.
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Old Aug 17, 09, 2:14 pm
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Unhappy

With all the "30% increase for IKK and 2x" talk here I had expected some increase in the number of miles required for some flights in November/December but was surprised that it's 100%, not 30%.
Elite reward redemption for most of the available flights/routing in Economy was 40,000 miles but the Priority Rewards were 80,000.

The catch?
Well, that's why there are Priority Rewards isn't it?
The catch is that the total trip time for the "cheap" flights was 21-27 hours, for less than 7 hours of actual flying time. One stop.
The Priority flights take only 11 hours. Same stop, just not 11 hours long!!
If you want to go, and you don't want to spend a day sitting in an airport waiting for your next flight, even 3-4 months out, you are on hook for the higher points. Soon, we'll have to plan our travel a year in advance to get a seat.

CB
And you don't want to know about Business Class.
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Old Aug 18, 09, 3:23 am
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Another possibility is to go to SCL (Santiago, Chile), but that likely means that you have to pay a Chilean visa fee, although you would have to do so for Brazil also. If you want to go to Mendoza, Argentina, for example, it's actually better to start in Santiago.

I don't think it makes sense that flights to SCL should have availability, while flights to EZE do not, given that the typical routing for flying on Air Canada to EZE would be XXX-YYZ-SCL-EZE, and the SCL-EZE flight is not nearly so full as the YYZ-SCL flight. But it's not like I have tons of experience with this.
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Old Aug 18, 09, 6:11 am
  #9  
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Please stop your belly-aching. There are lots of people who want to go to EZE and that increases the demand for award seats at the prime travel period of their summer months, our winter. Now you know to book a year in advance to get exactly what you want when there are hundreds of other AE members who are after the same flights. It is the same for revenue seats. AE buys inventory from AC and once the cheap seats are gone, it's into the next category and thus you must pay more AE miles. Had you tried booking a few moths ago when AE announced a new block of a quarter million Classic award seats, then you likely could have got yours at the Classic level...and this is likely another reason for them being gone now, many who wanted to go booked at this time. You've been provided with optional routings using TAM (GRU is served by a 777 so has many more seats on each flight, at certain times of the year EZE is served by 763s or 777s but these flights are shared on the routing via SCL, another factor for the lower-priced award seats being gone.)

And as someone who has flown this route several times this year, the flight is not 7-hours long, it is one of AC's longer ones at 5K+ miles and is about 10-11 hours flying to SCL, 1-1/2 hrs on the ground, then another 2 hrs to EZE. Via Sao Paulo is marginally longer in connecting time, but not much more so....and if you are transiting you likely don't need a Brazilian visa. (Another option for you might be to take the award seats to/from SCL and buy seats either on the same AC flight or a LAN flight to/from EZE for maybe another $150 each.)

As for the 30% premium, this is the maximum case for SEs, 50% if you're an E. That's the benefit of being a regular AC customer over someone who earns AE miles using other means. Though at times, you can find anytime awards at 25%-30% more than the sold out Classics. But you're still talking about AE buying what was once available for $600, paying $1200 when those cheaper seat categories are sold out. That's why you have to pay more AE miles.

Last edited by Shareholder; Aug 18, 09 at 6:16 am
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Old Aug 18, 09, 7:34 am
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50%? Elite Priority rewards are 100% of the original price. E.g. YYZ-EZE in Y is 50,000. Elite Priority is 100,000.

Originally Posted by Shareholder View Post
Please stop your belly-aching. There are lots of people who want to go to EZE and that increases the demand for award seats at the prime travel period of their summer months, our winter. Now you know to book a year in advance to get exactly what you want when there are hundreds of other AE members who are after the same flights. It is the same for revenue seats. AE buys inventory from AC and once the cheap seats are gone, it's into the next category and thus you must pay more AE miles. Had you tried booking a few moths ago when AE announced a new block of a quarter million Classic award seats, then you likely could have got yours at the Classic level...and this is likely another reason for them being gone now, many who wanted to go booked at this time. You've been provided with optional routings using TAM (GRU is served by a 777 so has many more seats on each flight, at certain times of the year EZE is served by 763s or 777s but these flights are shared on the routing via SCL, another factor for the lower-priced award seats being gone.)

And as someone who has flown this route several times this year, the flight is not 7-hours long, it is one of AC's longer ones at 5K+ miles and is about 10-11 hours flying to SCL, 1-1/2 hrs on the ground, then another 2 hrs to EZE. Via Sao Paulo is marginally longer in connecting time, but not much more so....and if you are transiting you likely don't need a Brazilian visa. (Another option for you might be to take the award seats to/from SCL and buy seats either on the same AC flight or a LAN flight to/from EZE for maybe another $150 each.)

As for the 30% premium, this is the maximum case for SEs, 50% if you're an E. That's the benefit of being a regular AC customer over someone who earns AE miles using other means. Though at times, you can find anytime awards at 25%-30% more than the sold out Classics. But you're still talking about AE buying what was once available for $600, paying $1200 when those cheaper seat categories are sold out. That's why you have to pay more AE miles.
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Old Aug 18, 09, 8:02 am
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by Shareholder View Post
Please stop your belly-aching. There are lots of people who want to go to EZE and that increases the demand for award seats at the prime travel period of their summer months, our winter. Now you know to book a year in advance to get exactly what you want when there are hundreds of other AE members who are after the same flights. It is the same for revenue seats. AE buys inventory from AC and once the cheap seats are gone, it's into the next category and thus you must pay more AE miles. Had you tried booking a few moths ago when AE announced a new block of a quarter million Classic award seats, then you likely could have got yours at the Classic level...and this is likely another reason for them being gone now, many who wanted to go booked at this time. You've been provided with optional routings using TAM (GRU is served by a 777 so has many more seats on each flight, at certain times of the year EZE is served by 763s or 777s but these flights are shared on the routing via SCL, another factor for the lower-priced award seats being gone.)

And as someone who has flown this route several times this year, the flight is not 7-hours long, it is one of AC's longer ones at 5K+ miles and is about 10-11 hours flying to SCL, 1-1/2 hrs on the ground, then another 2 hrs to EZE. Via Sao Paulo is marginally longer in connecting time, but not much more so....and if you are transiting you likely don't need a Brazilian visa. (Another option for you might be to take the award seats to/from SCL and buy seats either on the same AC flight or a LAN flight to/from EZE for maybe another $150 each.)

As for the 30% premium, this is the maximum case for SEs, 50% if you're an E. That's the benefit of being a regular AC customer over someone who earns AE miles using other means. Though at times, you can find anytime awards at 25%-30% more than the sold out Classics. But you're still talking about AE buying what was once available for $600, paying $1200 when those cheaper seat categories are sold out. That's why you have to pay more AE miles.
Belly-aching? No, the OP was just asking for clarification. This board is full of complainers far worse than this guy, and the chatter he's generating here may well be usefull to other people in the same boat for EZE seats. Just because you've made 25 thousand posts doesn't give you the right to be a jerk to the guy who's making his 5th post
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Old Aug 19, 09, 4:16 am
  #12  
 
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I would be cautious about buying onward tickets that are timed to match an arrival at a South American airport, based on my recent experience where Air Canada made several dramatic changes to my YVR-EZE itinerary over the course of the 9 months between booking and flying.
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Old Aug 20, 09, 2:01 am
  #13  
 
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OP, Remember, while TAM hasn't been fully integrated to the Star Alliance yet, redemptions with AC/Tam can be made with your AP points, albeit only via the AP call center (and yes the 30$ booking fee would apply).

So you might be able to make a booking for the dates you want using a combination of AC and TAM, for the minimal amount of points required (I believe the redemption chart is the same as AC, 50,000 for Y, 75,000 for J).
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Old Aug 25, 09, 2:02 pm
  #14  
 
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I have also been experiencing this "priorty rewards" problem for a number of destinations, or a simple trip from YYC to either YVR, YYZ, YUL, YEG, YWG. It appears that each time I checked, the options I have must be "priority rewards"...I am almost convinced this might have been the result of the intelligent design as a result of Aeroplan's boss bragging how he knows to manage the program by playing the mouse-cat game. It struck me with so many daily flights from YYC to YVR, almost every option offered to me was "Priority Rewards".
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