Next up on this Aeroplan hacking series is how to maximize Aeroplan points. If you have read the first post in the series you will be on your way to accumulating Aeroplan points fast. Now it’s time to learn how to use them.
So Just how far can you Maximize Aeroplan Points? In the past I have flown to Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh City, Tokyo, and Hawaii on ONE REWARD TICKET for only 75 K points. Not a fan of Asia? How about New Orleans, Buenos Aires, and Rio de Janeiro on ONE REWARD TICKET for 60 K points? Both these examples are the same amount of points it would’ve cost you to go to one destination in Asia or one in South America respectively. So how exactly do you Maximize Aeroplan Points to pull off trips like these? Stopovers, open jars, and layovers.
Stop Overs & Open Jaws
Aeroplan typically allows for two stopovers and one point of return when booking a reward ticket. You can also mix in an open jaw route which means you flying A-B and C-A on points with B-C on your own expense. This isn’t clear nor is it particularly user-friendly to search and does come with some restrictions.
A layover is a connection that is typically up to 24 hours. I have seen a lot in various cities with lengthy layovers.
Once you wrap your head around these you can start building your dream trip. Take this route I booked for example:
- Vancouver – Hong Kong (layover)
- Hong Kong – Ho Chi Mihn City (Point of Return)
- HCMC – Tokyo (Stopover #1)
- Tokyo – Oahu (Stopover #2)
- Vancouver – New Orleans (Stopover #1)
- New Orleans – Buenos Aires (point of return)
- Buenos Aires – Iguazu Falls – Rio (Open Jaw)
- Rio – Vancouver
Putting it Together
As mentioned, it is not easy to maximize Aeroplan points this way thanks to the powers at be. Even though you’re able to book multi-stop itineraries through Aeroplan’s online booking tool, routings like these examples almost always fail. This means you have to call the booking centre and get an agent to do it for you. Although it costs $30 per ticket and can mean long wait times, the value is there.
Be sure to have your routes and flights written down before you call in. It will make the process that much smoother. It also depends on the agent you get on the other end. I have had ones that have been super friendly and super helpful. I’ve also had ones that were difficult and have flat-out said what I was trying to do was not possible only to be proven wrong.
No time? No problem!
To maximize Aeroplan points this way can be time-consuming and frustrating. That’s where I can help. Creating dream trips and to maximize Aeroplan points this way has become a passion of mine and something I have added as a service. If you have a minimum of 25 K points (easily obtainable!) and want to go on an amazing trip, give me a shout.
And don’t just take my word for it! Here is some testimonial from a few happy clients!
How did you do thatttttttttt?! Seriously. So happy right now!
- Hillary Connelly (Vancouver to Bali, open jaw to Sydney and stopover in Bangkok on way home – $230 in taxes/fees)
Shaun’s turnaround from the time I first contacted him until the time he provided several alternative itineraries was only a couple of days and the fee he charged was very reasonable. The taxes and fees were less than half of what I saw on my original Aeroplan search.
- Alan Chapman (Calgary to Croatia with a stopover in Copenhagen, all business class flights – $273 in taxes/fees)
Keep doing what you do Shaun. Accumulating those points is way easier than effectively booking the travel. You provide a great service.
- Greg Workun (Edmonton to HCMC, stopovers in Taipei and Singapore – $365 in taxes/fees