Aeroplan/Star Alliance Award success

Discussion in 'Air Canada | Aeroplan' started by spaced2, Sep 8, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. spaced2
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    spaced2 Silver Member

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    Hi everyone -

    I'm considering moving my parents over from Continental to Aeroplan given they redeem primarily via Amex MR Points. I am clueless with respect to general AC award availability in the front cabin and even more clueless with Aeroplan member's ability to see and easily book Star Alliance (specifically CO) award availability.

    Would love some input here if anyone cares to share!
     
  2. c_9
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    c_9 Silver Member

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    What is their reward booking pattern? Last-minute? A year in advance? Just 1-2 tickets at a time? I can't speak to CO vs AE but this additional detail could help others.
     
  3. gpaya
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    gpaya Gold Member

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    Just a reminder that AC recently increased its Star Alliance partner award rates and only awards status miles on AC operated flights.
     
  4. igloocoder
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    igloocoder Silver Member

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    Not so my friend. AC awards status miles on any Star Alliance airline assuming that the ticket's booking class is mile granting. You do have to qualify a minimum number of miles/segments on AC iron if you want to attain E/SE status.
     
  5. spaced2
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    spaced2 Silver Member

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    They generally book a couple months ahead for 1-2 tickets. Never last minute. They like to use miles to upgrade too - haven't had any experience with star alliance upgrades either, but i imagine that's just a question of booking into the right fare class when there's availability.
     
  6. gpaya
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    gpaya Gold Member

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    Sorry - that is actually what I intended to type, but thanks for writing it more eloquently :)
     
  7. yyzgigi
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    yyzgigi Active Member

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    Doesn't sound like they are chasing status, so a few comments.

    As as Aeroplan member they have the same access to *A flights as any other *A airline so availability should be the same for standard awards. With a few small caveats:
    • Their online booking engine doesn't always see available flights not operated for Air Canada, so you may have to spend $30/ticket to book with a live agent.
    • Change fees are $90/ticket to change flights or cancel an itinerary
    • If you fly on an AC operated flight you have to pay the fuel surcharges which are very high for long haul
    • You will not get access to higher redemption seats on CO, but will get high point options from AC operated flights, premium can be reasonable for economy (as low as 50%) but is outrageous for business (often 200%+)
    • Depending on their travel patterns the points required could differ from CO (some for less than CO). Check out the Star Alliance mileage chart on aeroplan.com and compare. There have been some recent increases, but the Y fares are still pretty competitive to many destinations.
    • International reward routing and stopover rules are generous. You can fly to NA-Asia via Europe with a stopover in both directions, if you go Atlantic in one direction and Pacific in the other, you can create an effective RTW trip for a fraction of a full RTW. For NA awards on AC/US you can do 1 stop over.
    Bottom line is that if they are flexible on their routing and depending on their travel patterns they could end up ahead.
     
    unclepants likes this.

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