Air Canada

Review: Air Canada Premium Rouge 767 Tampa To Toronto

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My flight was departing from Tampa to Toronto at the ungodly hour of 9:45PM, which is way past my bedtime. On the plus side, at least it wasn’t a full-on redeye, as I’d have a comfortable bed to look forward to upon landing.

I arrived at Tampa Airport at around 8:30PM, and the entire process of getting to the gate was a breeze, given that most flights had already departed for the night. Perhaps the most entertaining aspect of the experience was that the lady in front of me used her iPad as a mobile boarding pass, which really makes me wonder whether technology is actually making our lives easier or not.

My flight was departing from gate E72, though the inbound plane arrived behind schedule, at 8:55PM. While boarding was scheduled for 9:05PM, it only ended up starting at 9:25PM.

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Introduction: Flying With Royalty (Or Not)

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In 2016 my goal was to review as many new airlines as possible, and that’s something I want to continue into 2017. So I figured I might as well get my year off to a good start, and plan a heck of a trip for the first week of the year.

The primary motivation of this trip was to review as many new airlines as quickly as possible, though I was also excited about having stopovers that allowed me to briefly visit two countries — Jordan and Brunei — for the first time.

I only planned this trip in late December, about a week before I was due to takeoff. Let’s briefly look at the planning process.

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Air Canada 767 Premium Rouge In 10 Pictures

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Hello from Cairo! I’m in the middle of my first big trip of 2017, and on Monday night flew from Tampa to Toronto on Air Canada. While I’ll have a full trip report eventually, I wanted to share my initial thoughts, as usual.

While I’ve reviewed Air Canada extensively, what made this flight unique is that it was operated by a Rouge 767. For those of you not familiar, Rouge is Air Canada’s low cost carrier, which operates both short and long international flights.

While the Rouge 767s largely fly to Europe, at the moment they’re flying them twice a day between Toronto and Tampa. I suspect this is because in winter there’s limited transatlantic demand, so they’re better off operating these to leisure markets like Tampa, where the flights seem to be full.

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Details Of The New Air Canada & Cathay Pacific Partnership

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One trend we’ve seen among global airlines the past few years is that the major alliances have become less important, while individual partnerships and joint ventures have become much more important. As a result we haven’t seen much growth of the global alliances, while we have seen a lot of new partnerships.

Air Canada seems to be thinking outside the traditional alliances at the moment. A couple of weeks ago I wrote about their new codeshare partnership with Virgin Australia. The intent is that Virgin Australia is codesharing on select Air Canada flights within Canada, while Air Canada is codesharing on select Virgin Australia flights within the Pacific region. The partnership makes a lot of sense, given that right now Air Canada doesn’t really have a partner for passengers looking to connect beyond their Sydney and Brisbane hubs.

Air Canada & Cathay Pacific have just announced a new codeshare agreement, which works in a very similar way to Air Canada’s new partnership with Virgin Australia. This new partnership applies for tickets booked as of January 12, 2017, and for travel as of January 19, 2017.

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Extra Air Canada Award Space For Aeroplan Members (And Less For Everyone Else)

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While there’s rarely a dull moment around here, sometimes the nuances of searching award space or booking flights with miles aren’t that interesting for a broader audience. Especially now that the US Airways Dividend Miles Comedy Hour is a thing of the past.

When we come across something interesting though, we do our best to share it. Sometimes that’s a trick or a great deal, and other times it’s more of a cautionary tale for others who might find themselves in a similar situation.

In this case, after spending several annoyed hours trying to figure out what was “broken,” we realized we had collective amnesia surrounding an obscure Air Canada policy — that they do, theoretically, give extra space to Aeroplan members.

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Air Canada & Virgin Australia Announce New Strategic Partnership

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One major trend we’ve seen among global airlines the past few years is that the major alliances have become less important, while individual partnerships and joint ventures have become much more important.

For example, I suspect Qantas’ joint venture with Emirates is about as significant to them as their membership in oneworld. Arguably the same could be said about Delta’s participation in SkyTeam compared to the individual joint ventures they have, largely with airlines that aren’t even in SkyTeam.

As a result we’re seeing a lot more partnerships that go beyond the global alliances. Well, the latest such partnership has just been announced.

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Quick And Easy Way To Earn 250 Free Aeroplan Miles

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Aeroplan (which is Air Canada’s spun off points program) has offered quite a few opportunities to pick up free miles lately, and now they’re back with their newest promotion.

You can earn 250 free Aeroplan miles if you tell Aeroplan about a recent travel experience. This is most useful for those with existing Aeroplan mileage balances, since miles expire after a year of inactivity, so participating in this should extend the life of your miles.

Taking advantage of this promotion should only take about a minute — you need to enter your name, email address, Aeroplan number, and some very basic details about your trip, like where you traveled to, and why.

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Dear Aeroplan: Your Hold Times Are RIDICULOUS

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Aeroplan is Air Canada’s spun off loyalty program. Back in the day it was probably my single favorite program to transfer points to (they partner with Amex Membership Rewards and SPG), though after many devaluations, it’s more of a niche program that I only use for a few types of redemptions.

The problem is that Aeroplan is a completely separate company from Air Canada, which is just a horrible situation for an airline’s points program to be in. With a spun off program like this, Aeroplan has little incentive to provide a decent experience for members, since they have a pretty captive audience.

For example, Aeroplan’s hold times are consistently horrible. Horrible. Half the time that I call them I get a message saying that they can’t take my call due to “higher than expected call volume.” This isn’t just the past few weeks, but consistently.

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150 Free Aeroplan Miles In Less Than A Minute

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Here’s an easy opportunity to pick up 150 free Aeroplan miles. This is most useful for those with existing Aeroplan mileage balances, since miles expire after a year of inactivity, so participating in this should extend the life of your miles.

The Aeroplan homepage indicates that you can earn 150 bonus miles for “setting your travel goals” by December 16, 2016. The banner leads to this page.

On the next page you’ll be asked to enter your Aeroplan number, last name, and email address.

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Business Class Award Alert: Air Canada’s New Vancouver To Frankfurt Flight

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Securing award flights nonstop from the west coast to Europe can be quite difficult. At least it’s finally getting a bit easier with Star Alliance, for travel on Austrian and LOT. Austrian announced a new route between Los Angeles and Vienna, while LOT announced a new route between Los Angeles and Warsaw.

Well, it looks like there’s now another good option for nonstop business class award availability between the west coast and Europe.

Air Canada has just announced a new seasonal flight between Vancouver and Frankfurt, which will begin on June 1, 2017. The flight will operate with a Boeing 787-8, featuring excellent reverse herringbone business class seats.

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Transfer Hotel Points To Aeroplan And Earn Bonus Miles

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A few times a year Aeroplan offers a bonus when you convert hotel points into miles (most recently they offered one in August). Well, Aeroplan has just announced their latest bonus, and some might find it to be valuable.

You can earn up to a 30% bonus if you convert hotel points into Aeroplan miles between November 7 and December 12, 2016.

While the past several promotions have offered fixed tier bonuses (i.e., transfer 200,000 miles and get 55,000 bonus miles), Aeroplan’s bonus is slightly different this time around. The bonus is still tiered, though offers a percentage bonus rather than a fixed bonus, as follows:

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Earn 5,000 Bonus Aeroplan Miles For Your Next Club Carlson Stay

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A few days ago Club Carlson announced their latest global promotion, offering double points or double elite night credits through the end of the year.

Club Carlson members ordinarily earn 20 points per dollar spent, so through this promotion they can earn 40 points per dollar spent. If you have Gold status you earn a 35% bonus on base points, meaning many of us are earning 47 points per dollar spent, which is quite good.

There’s another promotion being offered by Club Carlson that could make your next stay especially rewarding. Through their “Take Off With More Miles” promotion, Club Carlson is offering 5,000 bonus Aeroplan miles for your next stay at an eligible property in the United States or Canada between November 1 and December 31, 2016.

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1,000 Free Aeroplan Miles In Less Than A Minute

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Aeroplan, the independent loyalty program of Air Canada, has published a quick quiz to test your knowledge of their program. You earn 1,000 Aeroplan miles for participating, and it takes no time to complete.

Fortunately, as Aeroplan and I apparently exist in different realities, it doesn’t seem to matter whether or not you get the answers “correct.”

Some are downright falsehoods:

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Aeroplan Adjusts Award Ticket Fees (For The Worse)

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Air Canada’s (spun-off) Aeroplan program used to be my favorite loyalty program for transferring points. Going back five years, you used to be able to book a Star Alliance round the world first class award ticket with no fuel surcharges, and with two stopovers in addition to your destination, for 120,000 miles.

Unfortunately over time the program has become less lucrative (which is true across the industry, I suppose), both in terms of redemption rates, and also in terms of the addition of fuel surcharges to many of their airline partners.

However, there’s still value to be had through Aeroplan, as they continue to have good redemption rates in many markets, and they don’t have carrier imposed surcharges on some of their partner airlines. For example, I still find them useful for Star Alliance awards between the US and Europe.

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