Alright, this is totally a ‘first world problem’.
I’m a pretty staunch Air Canada fanboy these days. I still maintain after flying numerous airlines in North America, that Air Canada is one of the best airlines in North America.
I am a loyal Aeroplan fan as well. After flying Air Canada for so long, Aeroplan is a natural fit. Fly Air Canada – get Aeroplan miles. Use a CIBC Aerogold card, get Aeroplan points. The miles add up quickly.
Get this scenario – a friend of mine in Sudbury – less of an Air Canada fanboy but does like them, has a similar situation to me – travels more than I do – He’s away from home at least half the year but within Ontario.
He wants to fly to San Francisco in July with the routing of YSB > YYZ > SFO from July 25 to July 31st, 2012. I plan on going at the same time along with additional friends.
It use to be that at the cheapest point value, a short haul flight within North America was 15,000 points and a longer haul flight was 25,000. Over time the number of points go up with demand. Understandable and it was pretty much no matter where you flew. So it use to be that my friend could fly from Sudbury to San Francisco for 25,000 points.
With Aeroplan being spun off from Air Canada, not only are us Aeroplan fanboys having to fly sub-standard airlines than we expect, we’re having to pay more miles for it.
Based on routings provided by Aeroplan, my friend now has to pay 96,000 points for the routing. WHAT?!
Right – so if you tell Aeroplan’s reservation service that you want to start from YSB and fly to SFO, it comes up with itineraries that cost 96,000 points.
If you break it up into segments – so the first segment being YSB to YYZ and then YYZ to SFO and you manage your own itinerary, you can reduce that down to 56,000 points. 31,000 for YSB to YYZ and then 25,000 YYZ to SFO.
Why 31,000 for YSB to YYZ? Well, Aeroplan has two classes of fares –
- ClassicFlight & Star Alliance flight rewards
- ClassicPlus Flight Rewards
It used to be that I could regularly fly up to Sudbury for 15,000 – and it was worth it. If you want to fly that Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, you can for 31,000 points. One way for 15,500; return for 15,500 – all because the owner of Aeroplan, Aimia, considered Air Canada a premium airline? I cannot believe that there is demand already set out for that week in July, and I’m surprised a Friday/Monday trip costs fewer points. I would expect those flights to be in more demand.
Still, 96,000 points to go to San Francisco; or 31,000 points to go to Toronto is ludicrous.