I realize I’m way late on this, mostly because I’ve been in “start up” mode with my new luxury travel consulting service. But hey, better late than never, I figure.
Last Friday Gary wrote about what appeared to be a glitch with the way Aeroplan was pricing award tickets, whereby first class awards were pricing at the business class cost, while business class awards were pricing at the coach cost. I didn’t write about it at the time because I figured it would be fixed within hours of it being posted, though as it turns out it wasn’t a glitch, but rather an unadvertised award sale.
It’s truly baffling to me that they would offer an unadvertised award sale. I’m not sure what they have to gain by doing that (you’d think they’d at least advertise it if they did, to create some goodwill after all the “taking” they’ve been doing lately), but then again I’ve been wondering if anyone is really awake at Aeroplan lately.
So while we don’t know how long the deal will last, there are some truly spectacular values to be had.
To start, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. First of all, Aeroplan is transfer partners with American Express Membership Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest. Points transfer instantly from Membership Rewards, while they can take about a week when transferring from Starwood Preferred Guest. Therefore I wouldn’t transfer from Statwood if you’re planning on taking advantage of this promotion, since I suspect it won’t be around by the time the points are in your account.
Second, it’s worth keeping in mind that Aeroplan is offering bonus points when transferring points from any of their partners, with the following bonuses:
The thing to understand is that the bonus points only post upon the completion of the promotion. That means you’ll need to transfer the full number of points required now, and then you’ll have extra points in your Aeroplan account in a few weeks that you can use for a future redemption.
Next, keep in mind that Aeroplan has recently added fuel surcharges on just about all of their partner airlines, with the exception of Continental, United, and US Airways. That being said, fuel surcharges on Aegean, TAM, TAP, and South African only kick in on December 14. So in the meantime that translates to some killer deals.
So while your strategy when redeeming miles should typically be to aim for a foreign carrier because they have better service, this is a case where it can be advantageous to fly a US carrier.
For example, for a Chicago to Tokyo award on United in business class, Aeroplan is presently charging only 75,000 miles:
Want to visit South Africa? If so, it’s only 100,000 miles on South African Airways in business class, and if you book by December 14, there are no fuel surcharges:
Want to go to Europe? Right now it’s only 60,000 miles roundtrip in business class:
Even better is that India only costs 100,000 miles in business class, while Australia only costs 80,000 miles in business class… if you can find the availability!
So if you’re in the position to book an award, you should definitely go for it. Just remember to stick to an airline on which Aeroplan doesn’t impose fuel surcharges, or your savings will be negated pretty quickly.
And keep in mind that the above bonuses don’t factor in the bonus points you can earn if transferring points from Membership Rewards.