Travel News

Update: Fixed Now | Aeroplan is Charging Very Different Prices on Partner Awards Now

Written by Charlie

This could be a new Aeroplan devaluation and a stealth one at that. Partner flights are no longer displaying at fixed rates and often higher than they should be.

Last November, the new Aeroplan program was launched with Air Canada. Among other things, it featured a hybrid chart of sorts with distance as well as zones. While flight on Air Canada could fluctuate in miles, partner airline awards were supposed to be fixed prices. As of today, it appears that is not the case anymore.

Update: As reported to View from the Wing by Aeroplan in regards to this issue, it was a pricing bug and has since been fixed, though some were able to take advantage of lower pricing in the interim.

Aeroplan is Charging Varied Award Prices on Partners

This is very bad news if Air Canada has made a stealth devaluation. They made a big deal about their new program and the various rates and even had award sales on the purchase of miles. Now, if this is not a bug but an actual change, people can no longer plan on booking travel through Air Canada with miles on partners at fixed rates. These will fluctuate.

What’s Going On?

Ok, let’s take a look at my most commonly used award before. It was to/from the US and Europe 2 which rang in at 57,500 miles plus carrier surcharges with some airlines (like Lufthansa and Austrian).

With the new program that went to a fixed price of 70,000 miles but eliminated the fuel surcharges (but did add a small $39CAD fee for partner flights). I was really not thrilled with that because I rarely would choose Lufthansa or Austrian over SWISS or Turkish anyways so the elimination of fuel surcharges did not matter to me, personally.

Plus, this was a whole 12,500 miles more which now put it just 18,000 miles under what ANA would charge for roundtrip on thee flights (plus fees on some airlines). Definitely not an attractive move for me with some of my go-to bookings!

But, as it happened, I had to check some award rates and noticed today that things are much different from before. I am not sure what is going on. Air Canada still says that the award rate is based on the distance between the origination and the destination which means that the cost in miles should not change if the intermediary airports make for a further distance on the longer flights.

It does seem a little like they are underpricing routes where business class is available on less than 100% of the flights but they are actually charging way more as well, even on flights with less than 100% of business class. But, they also have some simple itineraries that are pricing under the price even with 100% in business class

This award should price at 70,000 miles

This award should be pricing at 90,000 miles for the partner flights

This award should be pricing at 60,000 miles for partner flights – but it is less and with all business

This award should also price at 60,000 miles for partner flights but is more

Bottom Line

Aeroplan is now charging fluctuating rates for partner flight awards. This is in direct contradiction to their new award chart and, apparently, without notice.

Could this simply be a bug with their system? Could be – the old Aeroplan website was a horrible experience to endure quite often, even with their almost weekly (or even daily) “system maintenance” outages.  But, it could also be a devaluation aimed at partner flights – at a time when flights are more limited than in 2019 and many Aeroplan customers likely have a good chunk of miles waiting to be spent.

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About the author

Charlie

Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.

13 Comments

  • I think the award rate is based on total segment length. While NYC-FRA is under 4000 miles and should be 60k for a partner award, your routing NYC-MUC-FRA is 4228 miles and will thus price at 70k. The 64.8k you are charged above is therefore still a discount.
    I believe in order to get the 60k to Europe you have to fly nonstop from YUL, BOS or EWR to an imaginary vertical CPH-FRA-ZRH border and can not add an intra Euro connection as that would push you over 4000 miles.

    • No, only for flight itineraries that include Air Canada flights. The distance they calculate for the zone is based on origination and destination (according to their own program rules!). Plus, these flights were pricing right last week. I just noticed the change today.

      • Did I miss something? My biggest gripe about the program is that if I want to fly LAX-IST-FRA, or LAX-ZRH-FRA, or even LAX-SFO-FRA I am looking at 85K miles for J while LAX-FRA is 70K because it is under the 6,000 mile threshold. O&D matter in terms of what zone is charged, but actual routing determines pricing.

      • Ah, now that would be a different thing altogether! You are right, that should be 55K unless there was a 3rd segment thrown in or a layover longer than 24 hours. If it is 70k with just one connection and that connection being under 24 hours, then something is wrong there, too.

  • Tried searching several different flights but coming back with an error :

    We can’t seem to find flights that match your search criteria. Here are a few options:

    Try different travel dates.
    Select another nearby airport if possible ( e.g. for New York, try LaGuardia and Newark airports).
    Consult our detailed flight schedulesOpens in a new window.
    Note that flights may be unavailable due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. Also, some destinations may not be offered at aircanada.com, but one of our Star Alliance partners may fly there. Contact Air Canada ReservationsOpens in a new window to find out.

  • Seems to be working for europe only, unable to retrieve any searches for any other regions. All searches originating from YYZ to Europe are withing 55K range one way in business class

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