With Covid restrictions easing I’ve decided to proceed with my first international Aeroplan booking in over two years. Over this gap, much has changed with the Aeroplan program. With that in mind, I thought I would share the details of this upcoming trip and how I booked it.
From adding a stopover to dealing with call-centre agents and using eUpgrade credits, it’s covered in this extensive Aeroplan booking. I hope it helps you with your future bookings!
My 2022 Aeroplan Booking Route
This 2022 Aeroplan booking has me visiting eight cities on three continents. On top of that, it also includes a few firsts for me including new countries, new Aeroplan partner airlines, and my very first 1st class booking.
Since there are so many stops and class differences in this route I had to break up this trip into four separate Aeroplan bookings. Here is a rundown of each ticket.
Ticket #1 – Vancouver to Tbilisi with Cancun Stopover
- Route – YVR-CUN-PTY-IST-TBS
- Airlines – Air Canada, Copa, Trurkish
- Class – Business
- Stopover – CUN
- Layovers – PTY, IST
- Number of Aeroplan Points – 105K
The first leg of this trip is from Vancouver to Tbilisi Georgia with a stopover in Cancun Mexico. Panama City is a long layover and somewhere I was going to travel to in 2020. This layover gets me enough for me to check out the Panama canal and make up for lost time. In Istanbul, I have another long layover but intend to use it to hopefully get adjusted to the time difference, eat a donair, and check out the amazing IST lounge. I haven’t been since 2014 and have looked for excuses to fly through Istanbul ever since just to enjoy this lounge.Compare prices on Business Class flights with Skyscanner
Under Aeroplan’s new rules, stopovers are 5,000 points extra and can be added once per ticket. I used this for Cancun as I have a friend getting married there so it aligned well. Looking at the redemption options, adding it as a stopover at 5,000 points saved me ~58,000 points had I booked it separately. The flight is also waitlisted for business class so the eUpgrade route was not an attractive option.
Ticket #2 – Antalya to Muscat with Layover in Bahrain
- Route – AYL-IST-AUH-BAH-MCT
- Airlines – Etihad, Gulf, Oman
- Class – Business
- Layovers – BHR
- Number of Aeroplan Points – 45K
Muscat is another destination that was taken away from me in 2020 so I decided to add it to this 2022 Aeroplan booking. Now, I’m actually going to be in Azerbaijan before Antalya and would have included in this Aeroplan booking however there are very limited flight options in and out of Baku. The only tickets I found were married to other destinations and couldn’t be separated to get me back to Turkey. Adding these as separate flights were cheap and direct from TBS-BAK and BAK-AYT.
I could have flown directly from Istanbul to Muscat on Turkish Air however I wanted to try Etihad Airlines, a relatively new Aeroplan partner. I also wanted to check out somewhere new along the way and landed on Bahrain for a long layover.
Ticket #3 – Muscat to London in 1st Class
- Route – MCT-LHR
- Class – 1st
- Number of Aeroplan Points – 52,000
The other reason I wanted to visit Muscat on this trip was to book my very first 1st-class ticket. This landed me on Oman Air’s 787–9 direct to London. Now, I could have booked straight through to Vancouver on the same ticket however since one leg is in first class, the entire route would have been calculated as such. Separating the booking also allowed me to leverage point savings through eUpgrades on the last leg.
On this ticket, I also opted to use fewer points and pay more fees. This is another new feature with Aeroplan and something I wouldn’t normally do. Since I was booking so many tickets I thought I would save a few points where I could. As such, I brought this 65K booking down to 52K by paying an extra $247. This essentially means I paid $247 for 13K Aeroplan points. This is actually a really good deal as if you buy Aeroplan points directly, 13K would cost you $455.
Note: At the time of posting this, Aeroplan is running a bonus points sale, something they do often. 13K points for $455 would actually net you a 50% bonus totalling 19.5K points!
At the end of the day, 52K points and a total of $324.50 in fees is pretty amazing for a 1st class flight!
Ticket #4 – London to Vancouver with eUpgrade to Business Class
- Route – LHR-YYC-YVR
- Airlines – Air Canada
- Class – Business
- Layovers – YYC
- Number of Aeroplan Points – 52,000
After a night in London, my last Aeroplan booking on this trip takes me home via Calgary. I opted to use eUpgrades for this booking as a business class ticket was 66K points at the lowest and a whopping 169K for the flight I wanted to take.
I could’ve flown London to Vancouver direct however this flight was early in the morning. My Muscat flight gets in the night before so I opted to book an airport hotel and get the most out of it by flying out a little later. It also allows me some time to check out the lounges at London Heathrow, something I have yet to do. The flight to Calgary is in a 787 vs 777 which has a nicer business class product. Lastly, I have yet to fly an Air Canada 737-Max so I’m looking forward to (?) checking it out between Calgary and Vancouver.
So, with all that, I booked LHR-YYC-YVR in economy class. I selected Lattatuide for 52K points and was able to instantly use eUpgrade credits and saved 117K points in the process!
Going this route, I also saved $176 in taxes and fees as the business class ticket was a staggering $419 and economy/eUpgrade was only $243. It’s also important to note that on top of spending less eUpgrade credits and the ability to upgrade your seats instantly, booking Lattitude also saves you additional fees. If you notice above, regular economy would have cost another $750 to eUpgrade.
Booking These Aeroplane Tickets
Will the exception of the 1st class ticket and the return eUpgrade ticket, booking a trip like this, unfortunately, requires a phone call into Aeroplan’s call centre. I say unfortunately as the agents are hit and miss on knowing what the Aeroplan rules are.
It took me three attempts and several hours on the phone before I found somebody that was able to piece together and book the routes I had found. The first two said it was not possible. One even went as far as saying that after some changes to the program in November you aren’t able to segment flights together anymore. When I told this to the third agent she was very confused and said there is no truth to this. Unfortunately, until Aeroplan trains their staff better, it may take a few tries to get somebody that can actually help you.
On the positive, Aeroplan acknowledges that because you cannot properly add a stopover through their website on multicity bookings, there is no fee to book these when you call an agent. The website will actually just add the segments together rather than add 5K points. There is no mention of this anywhere so people are definitely being ripped off by this. It is something I have complained about in the past so I’m happy to see this change.
Wrapping Up This Aeroplan Booking 2022
From adding stopovers under the new rules to flying new partner airlines and booking a 1st-class flight, this Aeroplan booking covers a lot of firsts for me. Hopefully, my experience has helped you with your own complex Aeroplan bookings. If you still have some questions, I’m still here to help! Let me know your questions in the comments below or reach out to me by email. I am still helping others piece together their complex routings and saving them both time, money, and points in the process!
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Wow, what an accomplishment, Shaun!
I am just starting to plan a trip but was so dismayed to see how all the TD aeroplan points I’ve been accumulating since 2020 don’t yet amount to a couple of return business-class seats, YVR – FCO, next August!! Any tips to make it happen very welcome. . .