Best Use for Aeroplan Points
Air Canada Aeroplan is one of our favorite programs here at ToP. Reasons include a great variety in partner airlines, ease of use, numerous bank transfer partners, and generous routing rules. With this in mind, I figured it would be fun to share what many of us find to be the best use for Aeroplan points. Let's take a look at some of the amazing stuff you can book with this program.
Using Aeroplan Points
Aeroplan is a member of Star Alliance, the largest airline alliance by members. But Aeroplan also has one-off partnerships with many airlines that are not a part of Star Alliance. These include Emirates, Oman Air, Air Mauritius, and Azul, among many others.
Aeroplan's award chart is a hybrid of being zone-based and distance-based. Aeroplan divides the world into four zones: North America, South America, Atlantic, and Pacific. The cost of each award flight is based on which zone(s) you're traveling to/from and the distance flown. This opens up some great opportunities to maximize your points. You can access Aeroplan's award charts on this page.
Without further ado, let's look at some of the best uses for Aeroplan points.
1. Stopovers for just 5,000 points
This first use can apply to almost any trip you book with your Aeroplan points. Stopovers are a a fantastic way to get more out of your points and miles.
A stopover is where you extend a layover by several days so you can explore the city you're connecting in. For example, let's say you're flying from the US to South Africa, connecting in Paris. For just an additional 5,000 points, Aeroplan allows you to stretch your stay in Paris so you can spend up to 45 days on the ground.
Getting to squeeze in an extra vacation into an existing trip for just 5,000 points extra is awesome. To learn how to take advantage of this Aeroplan perk, check out this post with step-by-step instructions.
For an example of how you can really maximize stopovers with Aeroplan, check out this post about Derrick's epic trip.
2. Business class from the Northeast to Europe for 60,000 points
Under Aeroplan's award chart, flights under 4,000 miles between North America and the Atlantic zone (which includes Europe) cost only 60,000 points in business. This lets you book flights from Northeast airports like New York, Boston, Toronto, Montreal, and Washington-Dulles to much of western Europe. You can even score some flights out of Chicago at this price to Dublin or London.
By comparison, United would charge you either 80,000 miles or 88,000 miles for these exact same flights, depending on the airline.
Yes, there are cheaper ways to get to Europe in business class. But Star Alliance has the most airlines flying between the US and Europe compared to all other alliances and programs. So your chances of finding award availability through Aeroplan (or another Star Alliance program) are much higher.
3. Singapore Airlines business class
Singapore Airlines doesn't release a lot of award space to its partners, but it does release a decent amount to Aeroplan. This makes Aeroplan the only viable option for booking awards on Singapore airlines without using Singapore Krisflyer miles.
For a lot of itineraries, Aeroplan charges way fewer points than Singapore does for its own flights. For example, with Singapore's Krisflyer program, a saver award flight from San Francisco (SFO) to Singapore (SIN) in business class costs 107,000. With Aeroplan, this comes to 87,500 points.
The same goes for Singapore's famous fifth freedom route between Los Angeles (LAX) and Tokyo Narita (NRT). Singapore charges 103,500 for a saver award in business class, while Aeroplan charges only 75,000 points for that same itinerary.
4. Fly to, from, and throughout the Middle East with Aeroplan's unique set of partners
Aeroplan has partnered with most of the major airlines in the Middle East, including Emirates, Etihad, Oman Air, and Gulf Air. These partnerships let you redeem Aeroplan points for travel into, out of, and throughout the Middle East on some of the most aspirational products in the world, all without incurring fuel surcharges.
By booking with Aeroplan, you can also fly different partners under the same itinerary. For example, you can fly on Turkish Airlines to Europe on one leg and connect onwards with Oman Air on the next leg, all in the same itinerary. (And of course you can include a stopover for 5,000 points as discussed above!)
Do keep in mind that Aeroplan has a separate award chart for travel on Emirates. Although the prices for first class awards with Emirates are very high, business class awards are much more reasonable and can be cheaper than booking with Emirates directly.
5. Business class to South America starting at 40,000 points
Business class flights to South America with Aeroplan start at just 40,000. Aeroplan has access to awards on Star Alliance members Avianca and United, as well as non-member Azul.
Flights out of United's hub in Houston (IAH) will vary in price depending on your destination:
- Bogotá (BOG): 40,000 points in business, 20,000 points in economy
- Santiago (SCL): 50,000 points in business, 20,000 points in economy
- Buenos Aires (EZE), São Paulo (GRU), Rio de Janeiro (GIG): 60,000 points in business, 40,000 points in economy
Flights out of or into Chicago (ORD) or Newark (EWR) will cost 60,000 points in business, 40,000 points in economy.
With Azul, you can fly from Fort Lauderdale (FLL) or Orlando (MCO) to multiple cities in Brazil for just 50,000 points in business class.
6. Lufthansa first class starting at 90,000 points
Lufthansa's first class product is one of the best ways to fly (and a big favorite of many of us in the ToP team). With Air Canada Aeroplan, you can book Lufthansa first class starting at just 90,000 points one-way for flights under 4,000 miles between North America and Frankfurt (FRA) or Munich (MUC). For slightly longer flights, the cost increases to 100,000 points.
If you are connecting in or departing out of Frankfurt, you have access to the exclusive Lufthansa first class terminal. This separate terminal is reserved only for first class passengers, with your own streamlined security screening and passport control. You also get to enjoy a ride through the tarmac right to your plane in a Porsche.
7. Business class to sub-Saharan Africa for 110,000 points
Aeroplan has no shortage of partners with flights to countries in sub-Saharan Africa like South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, and exotic island destinations like the Seychelles and Mauritius. These partners include South African Airways, Air Mauritius, Swiss, Lufthansa, Turkish, etc.
Flights to any of these destinations originating from the US with a connection in Europe will exceed 8,000 miles in distance, meaning they will cost 110,000 points in business class (70,000 in economy) with Aeroplan. As if we haven't mentioned it enough, you can also take advantage of a stopover on your way in or out to explore another destination for just 5,000 points.
Best Use for Aeroplan Points: ToP Thoughts
There is no shortage of fun trips you can book with Aeroplan. I hope this list gives you some ideas and inspires you to explore the Aeroplan program. What are your favorite uses for Aeroplan points? Come share your thoughts in our Facebook Group!