This was a moment I have been waiting for for a while now and it is here – you can now use Air Canada miles (from the Aeroplan program) to book awards on Emirates, even in first class! This is great news for several reasons. Let’s break it down.
Use Air Canada Miles to Book Emirates Awards
A couple of months ago, Emirates and Air Canada announced a partnership that would offer codeshare flights as well as reciprocal benefits. This included the earning and redeeming of miles on each other’s airline. Air Canada, while being a member of the Star Alliance, has several of these arrangements, including with fellow UAE competitor, Etihad. This latest addition of Emirates makes the Canadian program even more alluring for award redemptions.
Now, for the time being, the Emirates flights will adopt the current partner chart that Air Canada has. This means that flights like the Emirates fifth-freedom flight between Athens and Newark will price in at 70,000 points (since it is from Eastern Europe to the Eastern US). But, they will have a separate chart coming soon that will price Emirates award redemptions like this:
So, looking at the chart of what Air Canada will price these awards at for Emirates, you can see that it really may not be as good as what many would have hoped for. Fortunately, this chart will not go into effect until early 2023 so, for now, it is pricing like all other Air Canada partners. But, first class will not be available until the new chart either so that may not be as exciting for first class redemptions, unless you are otherwise booking with Emirates (and paying huge fuel surcharges). The one area where you may want to keep paying for first class redemptions through Emirates is on their Milan-JFK and Athens-Newark since there are no fuel surcharges on those routes.
Why Using Air Canada Miles for Emirates is Good News
As I mentioned, the best time to book these awards will be now, before the new chart comes into effect! I am not sure yet how the range will work out for some of their routes, but there still could be some sweet spots.
- With Air Canada, you can mix and match partners on an award flight. So, for example, if you book from the US to Santorini, Greece, you can use United Airlines to connect to Emirates in Newark and then connect to Aegean in Athens – all on one Air Canada award (even though it is three separate partners). This increases the flexibility for sure!
- Another thing is that you can add a stopover on a one-way award for just 5,000 miles. This is great if you want to book something on your way out from North America in another country – and stay for up to 45 days.
- Yet another thing is that Air Canada got rid of fuel surcharges so you just pay the taxes!
- Another positive is that Air Canada lets you mix cash and points at a somewhat reasonable rate. So, if you can’t get all the points together for the award, you can supplement it with fixed tiers of cash/points.
- And, if you are booking a lap infant, it is a fixed fee for that child and not a percentage of the cash fare or miles used. That fee is just $25!
- Lastly, it is very easy to get Air Canada miles, thanks to a wide range of transfer partners!
So, it is great to have Emirates in the Aeroplan family of redemption partners! However, I do believe the best time to book these tickets will be now before the prices go to the new redemption chart!
However, even though it is being reported that saver awards on Emirates will be visible on Air Canada, not all such awards are showing as available. This is likely due to Air Canada’s side and not the Emirates side. Air Canada often has problems showing availability on some awards when all other partners do display the correct award seats.