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Perhaps my favourite frequent flyer programme besides from Miles & More has to be Air Canada’s Aeroplan. While I love Miles & More with all of my heart, the programme has quite high redemption rates for premium cabin travel in addition to imposing fuel surcharges on nearly every single airline.
Air Canada’s Aeroplan frequent flyer programme is my second favourite in that the programme has a number of valuable benefits to it. The most valuable transferrable points currency (in my opinion) is American Express’ Membership Rewards points, which transfer to Aeroplan instantly at a 1:1 ratio. While most people would argue that Starwood Preferred Guest points are the most valuable, they don’t instantly transfer to any programme meaning that if you’re booking last minute, it can be nearly impossible to use SPG points.
Another reason why I love Aeroplan is that they have an incredible website – which is really easy to use and works 99% of the time. In comparison, United Airlines’ website is downright terrible and errors out virtually every single time I try to look up a complex routing involving three or more flights. You can use Aeroplan’s website to book travel on all Star Alliance flights (except temporarily on Avianca) as well as other partner airlines, and if for some reason the website doesn’t work or your desired routing isn’t available online – Aeroplan’s phone agents are the most competent in the industry. They are based in North America and are all well trained and smart – not like with United Airlines or American Airlines. You won’t have to hang up and call again if what you want to book is available and legal.
Aeroplan is also awesome because they don’t charge as many miles as other programmes do for frequent flyer awards in the premium cabins. For example, North America to Europe is just 55k miles one-way in Business Class. First Class is just 70k miles one-way to Europe – compare that to United Airlines which charges 70k for Business Class and 110k for First Class (when not flying United.. but why would you want to fly United Airlines anyway).
Aeroplan doesn’t charge fuel surcharges on a number of partner airlines including Turkish Airlines and SWISS, therefore it is possible to redeem your miles to virtually all Star Alliance destinations and not have to pay ridiculous fuel surcharges – which in my opinion need to be eliminated on award tickets.
Air Canada recently announced that it will part ways with Aeroplan in 2020.. which is really sad in my opinion because Aeroplan is an incredible programme with many benefits. Air Canada has decided to build their own programme and promises flyers it will be “industry leading”… however we know that airline promises are not worthy at all anymore and their new frequent flyer programme will likely be worse than Aeroplan.
With less than three years to go before Aeroplan is unable to issue tickets on Star Alliance airlines, I plan to maximise my AMEX Membership Rewards points and redeem as many Star Alliance tickets as possible.
What’s your favourite frequent flyer programme?
Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.