Aeroplan (AP) periodically offers lower award rates (Market Fare Flight Awards) on select Air Canada routes. I stumbled upon a dedicated page on AP website which lists ‘Great Deals’ from select Canadian cities. The page lists origin and destination cities with a range of available dates with lower award rates. These are Aeroplan’s version of ‘Saver Awards’ – On face value, some of the rates are great until you account for the taxes involved.

Aeroplan Great Deals

The current ‘Great Deals’ page lists several international routes from Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa and Calgary. While most award rates translate to a savings of  5%-7%,  some routes are pricing 35%-45% below standard award rates!! In addition, Aeroplan members with a status can enjoy further savings of up to 500 miles.

Some routes with great savings;

  • Montreal (YUL) – Paris (CDG) return in economy for 20,800:
Aeroplan Great Deals

Aeroplan Great Deals: YUL – CDG for 20,800 + $600.15 CAD

Obvious pitfall – the whopping $600 CAD in taxes, yikes!

  • Ottawa (YOW) – London (LHR) Return, in economy for 29,200:
Aeroplan Great Deals

Aeroplan Great Deals: YOW-LHR for 29,200 + $592.70 CAD

And again, savings on miles but a beat-down on taxes at $592 CAD!

Is this a good deal?

There are multiple ways to navigate your decision making with these deals. The ‘Great Deals’ are offered only on Air Canada flights, which pass down every cent of the taxes on the award ticket. Canada to western Europe would normally cost 60K miles + Taxes. So purely on saving miles, its a great deal!

However, we know that a better use of Aeroplan miles is to redeem them on airlines that do not pass any/very little fuel surcharges (United, Air China, Brussels Airlines, EgyptAir, Ethiopian, EVA Air, Scandinavian, Singapore, Swiss, Turkish ). For example, The YOW-LHR ($592 in taxes) Ac flight booked with United miles will cost 60K miles + $242 CAD, a $350 saving.

Aeroplan Great Deals

United Award: YOW-LHR for 60K+$242.70 CAD

Take Away

Simply put, with ‘Aeroplan Great Deals’, your options are to either save miles or save cash. And the decision for each person would be different. Some, flush with miles, would refrain from paying high taxes and book non-AC flights with lower taxes. While others, who only collect and redeem Aeroplan, may find the savings in miles worthwhile. I personally prefer to redeem AP on non-AC flights, to save money. While the savings on miles are great, the taxes are exorbitant and restrictive.

How do you redeem your Aeroplan miles? Share your thoughts with a comment below.