Air Canada’s Aeroplan is a bit of a hidden gem. They’re not often talked about in points and miles circles and we think that’s a mistake. Redemption value wise, they behave much like a US domestic carrier and have similar levels of availability. Furthermore, one has the opportunity to snag fantastic award values. After completing this months calculations, we’re assigning an ACRV of $0.0182 to each Aeroplan mile.
|US/Canada Non-zero Average||0.0292|
|International Non-zero Average||0.0244|
|Overall Non-zero Average||$0.0268|
One frustrating aspect of Aeroplan’s booking portal is it’s tendency to show mixed class awards. We’ve never been a fan of these. It’s annoyingly similar to the way Alaska frequently presents awards. We view them as a sneaky way for an airline to claim award availability for a given class, when there really isn’t any. As a general rule, we use the “longest leg” test to determine whether an award exists or not. Taking a look at the example below, we see Aeroplan is advertising a business class award, when in fact only the 2 hour hop from FRA-LHR is up front. The long-haul fro SFO-FRA is in economy. So, despite Aeroplan claiming an award exists, we would exclude this result. Had it been the other way around, and one was in business on the SFO-FRA segment, we would include it.
The table above and the chart below paint a nice picture. A full 26 awards were in our good/great/exceptional categories, this represented 32% of our sample. A great result indeed. Furthermore, we had relatively few terrible options, though they did exist and should be avoided. Our best redemption for the month came from a first class seat from Los Angeles to Sydney offered for only 110,000 miles + $413.90 in cash. The lowest priced cash equivalent was being sold for $12,035 on this route, providing a $0.1065/mile value. Furthermore, that particular award was on Asiana’s fantastic A380. We think it’s awards like this that make the points game worth it!
Ultimately, we consider Aeroplan a great program. Sadly though, only US based travelers holding Amex Membership Reward points are likely to have access.