In this latest article, you will learn how I booked 100% of my Aeroplan mini-RTW in business class. Not only was this Aeroplan mini-RTW in business class it was also booked for two people. I’ve been wanting to bring my girlfriend with me to try business class but it’s been difficult for her to earn miles. However, I bit the bullet and sent her all my Marriott points which topped up her Aeroplan balance. For 150,000 Aeroplan miles each, we were able to book our upcoming vacation flying on 11 segments in business class.
Before you read this article, just realize that it took me about 3 years to learn how to properly book an Aeroplan mini-RTW. I was just really slow at understanding how to book an Aeroplan mini-RTW in business class let alone in economy. So if you don’t get how the Aeroplan mini-RTW booking works right away, don’t worry. Give yourself time to study and learn its in and outs
Check out this article first and familiarize yourself with the Aeroplan mini-RTW rules and how the booking process works.
Once you have an understanding how the whole Aeroplan mini-RTW works, then you’re ready for the next step which is booking it in business class!
How I booked 100% of my Aeroplan mini-RTW in Business Class
Step 1 – Determine where I want to go
Back in 2018, I managed to save up enough Marriott Points to get a 7-night category 5 certificate (which was sadly downgraded to a category 4 after the Starwood and Marriott program merger). My girlfriend Karen, has been complaining to me that our vacation is always rough. Kind of like our trip to Madagascar last Christmas holiday.
While she overall likes our adventure travel style, this time, she wants to do something more normal and relaxing. That’s when I decided to book our first stopover at Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. From there, we will take a domestic flight to Nha Trang, Vietnam so we can use my 7-night certificate at a beach front property there. There, we can relax and do normal people stuff for a week before going on an adventure.
Last year, we wanted to go to Democratic Republic of Congo to hike the volcano at Virunga National Park. We also wanted to go gorilla tracking in Africa. So, we then decided to make our second stopover be in Kigali, Rwanda which is driving distance to both Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda. This will be the adventure part of our vacation.
Finally, because I’m collecting countries, I wanted to use my third stopover in a country that I’ve never been to yet. We then made Bucharest, Romania as our third stopover. This will tick off Bucharest for me as well as Turkey where we will be doing a long lay over and join a city tour of Istanbul.
Step 2 – Determine how much Aeroplan miles we need to book this Aeroplan mini-RTW in business class
If you look at the Aeroplan rewards chart, flying round trip on business class cost 150,000 Aeroplan miles to Rwanda and 155,000 Aeroplan miles to Vietnam. For reference sake, an Aeroplan mini-RTW booking is considered a round trip flight. The only difference is you are allowed 3 stopovers and you must phone the call centre to make this booking.
When I booked my flight, they only charged me 150,000 Aeroplan miles and not 155,000 despite flying to Asia 2. Why is that? My theory is that my point of return (furthest destination from Vancouver, Canada) is Kigali, Rwanda and not Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. In that case, it seems what determines how much Aeroplan miles you need for this booking is the furthest city (point of return which is Kigali in Rwanda in this example) from your starting point (Vancouver, Canada in this example).
Step 3 – Determining and validating my travel route
When booking my mini-RTW itinerary, the first thing I did was first check what my MPM (Maximum Permitted Mileage) is. If you’re not sure how to do that, again, please read the guide I wrote on how to book an Aeroplan mini-RTW here.
Looks like I have 14,076 as my available MPM (available miles per direction towards the furthest point from Vancouver).
Next, I want to book my flights on carriers that either doesn’t charge carrier fees or charge very low carrier fees.
List of Aeroplan carriers that doesn’t charge carrier fees:
- Air China
- Avianca Airlines
- Brussels Airlines
- Egypt Air
- EVA Airways
- Ethiopian Airlines
- Scandinavian Airlines
- Singapore Airlines
- Swiss Airlines
- Turkish Airlines
- United Airlines
List of Aeroplan carriers that charge very low carrier fees:
- Polish Airlines
- South African Airways
- Thai Airways
- Croatia Airlines
List of Aeroplan carriers that charge high carrier fees:
- Air Canada
- Adria Airways
- All Nippon Airlines
- Asiana Airlines
- Austrian Airlines
- TAP Portugal
Knowing the information above, my goal is to fly out of Vancouver without using Air Canada or any other carriers that has a high carrier fee.
From my experience flying in economy, EVA Air is an awesome airline carrier. I heard amazing things about their business class product so I decided that Karen and myself will want to fly on EVA Air.
I used a website called FlightConnections.com to figure out which routing is valid:
Looks like there’s a direct flight between Vancouver and Taipei with EVA Air. I then used the Aeroplan website to check on specific dates to see if booking on May 22, 2019 is possible for two individuals:
Turns out it was available.
I basically followed the exact steps above to check to see if the route is valid and if booking a business class flight is available for every segment of this trip.
Finally, I completed my entire itinerary which looks like this:
YVR-TPE-SGN-BKK-ADD-KGL-IST-OTP-CPH-ZRH-ORD-YVR (it was originally YVR-TPE-SGN-BKK-ADD-KGL-IST-KIV-WAW-OTP-CPH-ZRH-ORD-YVR but when it came time to booking, the IST-KIV-WAW-OTP availability disappeared!)
Lastly, I checked GCmaps to make sure I am within the MPM:
The total miles from my starting point (YVR) to the furthest point (point of return is KGL) is 12,951. This is below my available 14,076 MPM and technically, I still have 1125 miles left (14,076 – 12,951 = 1125).
On the way back home starting from the point of return (KGL) to YVR (end point), I’ve used up 11,004 miles which is with my available MPM of 14,076. This leaves me with 3,072 miles left (14,076 – 11,004 = 3,072 miles) if I actually wanted to connect more layovers.
And I totally would have added more layovers but Karen and myself have to fly back home and go back to work.
Step 4 – Booking my itinerary through the Aeroplan call centre
Finally, it was time to book me and Karen’s itinerary.
I called the call centre and told them I’d like to use my Aeroplan miles on business class and if I can book my flights piece by piece. I also mentioned to the lady that my girlfriend will also be booking the same itinerary using her miles. The lady on the other line said sure and I started giving her the information on each segment.
For every segment, I had to provide her the following information
- First, I had to tell her the city where my point of return is located which is Kigali, Rwanda
- Next, I started giving her the information for each segment. Some of the key information required is the flight number, airline, flight time and day
- I also mentioned when a specific city was a stopover
Originally, my flight was suppose to be this route: YVR-TPE-SGN-BKK-ADD-KGL-IST-KIV-WAW-OTP-CPH-ZRH-ORD-YVR. However, while me and the Aeroplan agent was booking the IST-KIV-WAW-OTP portion of the Aeroplan mini-RTW in business class, the availability disappeared!
With no choice, I had to settle with YVR-TPE-SGN-BKK-ADD-KGL-IST-OTP-CPH-ZRH-ORD-YVR instead.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to book your flights right away as soon as you have all the segments figured out.
The lucky part about our booking was that every segment had an availability in business class!
I think this was because we are travelling in shoulder season. The biggest lesson learned here is to always redeem your Aeroplan miles during shoulder or off-peak season. I did my first Aeroplan mini-RTW booking during the Christmas holiday and it was a nightmare when it came time to look for availability!
Step 5 – Paying the fees and getting my booking itinerary
After successfully piecing together this itinerary, the Aeroplan agent quoted me $355.81 CAD to complete the booking. This fee includes the taxes and the Aeroplan booking fee.
While paying, the Aeroplan agent complimented me on my knowledge on booking this itinerary and told me I should work for Aeroplan. (The Aeroplan office is only a 12 minute drive from my apartment).
I laughed and thank the agent for the kind words. She started saying that if more people knew how to book their Aeroplan miles properly, then people would realize that Aeroplan is truly is the best frequent flyer program in the world. And you know what, I totally agree with her. Aeroplan is hands down the #1 frequent flyer program in the world if you know what you’re doing.
After the transaction was complete, my itinerary was emailed to me about 30 minutes later which looks like this:
Conclusion to booking my Aeroplan mini-RTW in Business Class
Booking my latest Aeroplan mini-RTW in business class has been a fun process. I’ve always thought people who rave about booking on business class are pretentious but I can totally see the value now. I personally like collecting countries and bouncing from one country to the next is very exhausting. Being able to booking your Aeroplan mini-RTW in business class will help you stay rested as you sample different countries in between your longer layovers.
As a result of redeeming 150,000 Aeroplan miles to book an Aeroplan mini-RTW in business class, here are the number of times I’ll be able to try each business class products:
- EVA Air – 2 times (1 long haul, 1 short haul)
- Thai Airways – 1 time (1 short haul)
- Ethiopian Airlines – 2 times (1 long haul, 1 short haul)
- Turkish Airlines – 2 times (1 long haul, 1 short haul)
- Scandinavian Airlines – 2 times (2 short haul)
- Swiss Airlines – 1 time (1 long haul)
- Air Canada – 1 time (1 short haul)
I can’t tell you how excited I am to go on this trip. I’m so excited that my girlfriend gets to try business class. And of course, I’m excited to explore all the destinations in this upcoming trip from gorilla tracking in Uganda to hiking a volcano in Congo!