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One of my favourite frequent flyer programmes is Air Canada’s spun off Aeroplan. The programme is fantastic because it allows for two stopovers or one stopover and an open jaw on round trip award tickets.. you can essentially create a mini-RTW with Aeroplan. The other benefits of Aeroplan include instant transfers from American Express Membership Rewards points and also the fact that Aeroplan doesn’t impose fuel surcharges on a number of airlines.
However, the list of positive things about Aeroplan stops there. Ever since the announcement of Air Canada breaking up with Aeroplan, the programme has been trying to reach out to passengers and let them know that it isn’t over.. even though it technically will be once Air Canada creates their own frequent flyer programme. Aeroplan is a sinking ship – the best agents (the most competent ones) have found new jobs and have left Aeroplan – I know this for a fact since I call them daily for award bookings for clients.
Anyway, Aeroplan has been having issues with booking some Star Alliance airlines throughout this year. Flights on Air China, Copa Airlines, and SWISS International Air Lines were unavailable for a few weeks earlier this year… until Aeroplan finally fixed the glitch. However, the most disappointing aspect is that Aeroplan hasn’t been able to book awards on Avianca for months now.. which is totally unacceptable. Well, I’m happy to report that part of Avianca is once again bookable with Aeroplan – specifically Avianca Brazil. Avianca flights that contain the flight number prefix of “O6” are bookable with Aeroplan now.
“AV” flights are still not bookable, which is a major disappointment since Avianca is a huge airline in Central and South America and has excellent award availability. Copa Airlines is bookable with Aeroplan, but Copa doesn’t fly to as many places as Avianca and doesn’t have great award availability.
Just yesterday, Aeroplan was having issues booking United Airlines flights and I’m told this issue is resolved as of now. One of the main reasons that Air Canada is breaking up with Aeroplan is because Aeroplan is making Air Canada look bad.. in terms of domestic flight availability and fuel surcharges. It also doesn’t help that most of the Aeroplan agents are new and unhelpful. I’m glad Air Canada is taking back control and creating a brand new programme.
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