Aeroplan Award Search Tool Improvement – I’m the Last to Know

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I don’t spend the majority of my days online searching for award tickets.  Instead I spend them doing exotic things like laundry, attending PTA meetings, and scrubbing the floor.  However, today my mom and aunt announced they were going to go to Europe together to celebrate both of their retirements from teaching.  I am so very excited for them, and now am fully vested in helping them do it largely using miles and points.

I’ll save the rest of the back story and planning for that trip for another post, but as a result of their newly announced trip I ended up doing some searches on Air Canada’s Aeroplan site since Membership Rewards (transferred to Aeroplan) will likely be the best currency they have to get to Europe.  I hadn’t visited Aeroplan in a while, but one of my previous gripes about it was that the taxes/fees were not displayed if you didn’t have enough miles in your account to book the trip.

Since they do charge fuel surcharges on many flights (though not on partners United and US Airways), this left you having to do some extra work and/or guessing to come up with what you would owe for the award ticket.  However, I noticed today that the taxes and fees displayed even though I currently have exactly 0 Aeroplan miles in my account.  This improvement is “new”, but not brand new, and I am probably the last to know.  As you can see in the mock itinerary I built  below, flying a mix of US Airways and United business class from Houston to Frankfurt and returning to Houston from Dublin, the taxes and fess came out to around $100.  Not bad at all, and very helpful to have the actual number displayed  For those curious, that prices out to $100 + 90,000 miles, which is actually fewer miles required than you would spend with United or US Airways if you booked directly with them.

In case you want to use the Aeroplan tool to look for Star Alliance award availability, it is pretty good.  If you are like me and searching before transferring miles in from somewhere like Membership Rewards it is now even better than it used to be since you can see the full price.

Even though I am probably the last to know about this improvement, I wanted to share the news in case I am actually the second to last person to know.  🙂

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  1. Yay for them! My wife just got hired at a public school here so I’ll have 4 weeks every summer to plan trips 🙂

  2. Awesome. I just went to Geneva on United and it cost me 60k in the back. I might have to look at Aeroplan next time.

    I assume this is your most recommended way to go with MR to Europe? Any other options you considered? ANA, KrisFlyer, BA? Frankly, booking options are one of the most confusing part of the process, especially with the myriad options for both MR and Starpoints.

    • Scott, ANA can actually be even better of an option using MR to Europe depending on where you are coming from/going. Their chart is distance based, but I believe they recently stopped charging fuel surcharges on at least UA and US, so they are a great option at just 68,000 RT for biz on flights 7K – 9K miles and 85,000 RT for biz flights 9K – 11K miles. Once I know exactly where they want to go, I plan to play with ANA as a comparison as well.

  3. The UA site is still faster and more flexible for most *A booking searches. I’d start there to figure out what’s available before going to the Aeroplan site to reproduce the search and get the taxes numbers.

    • Seth, yeah I use United 99% of the time (which is why I didn’t know about this change), but their site was better than I remembered for sure! Thanks for weighing in – don’t you have a *A search tool, too?

  4. Thanks for the info, this blog is the first where I read this good news.

    And it seems they don’t charge fuel surcharges for LH and LX intra-Europe flights. Interesting…

  5. I plan to do a more detailed most about using MR on Star Alliance soon and will include all the nitty gritty there. I think these options get overlooked a lot! 😉

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