I’ve noticed quite a few weird things while booking Aeroplan mini-RTW. And the more I book these type of Aeroplan redemption, the more and more strange things I am noticing. In this latest blog post, you’ll get some interesting tidbits when it comes to booking your Aeroplan mini-RTW bookings.
Weird things I’ve noticed while booking Aeroplan mini-RTW redemptions
Multiple airports in the same city
On my most recent Aeroplan mini-RTW booking, I needed to fly out of JFK to reach Zurich in Europe. There’s just one problem. JFK doesn’t have any domestic connections within North America.
So, what are you suppose to do? How can you fly out of JFK if you can’t even connect to it? Turns out that in New York, there are three airports that are considered as sister airports (according to the Aeroplan agent I spoke to on the phone):
- John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK)
- Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
- LaGuardia Airport (LGA)
Basically, you can connect domestically through EWR or LGA and then transfer over to JFK for the next segment of your flight.
Obviously, you need to call the Aeroplan call centre to book your Aeroplan mini-RTW. You’ll need to double check with the operator if this is okay. Once the operator gives you the green light, you can fly into New York through EWR or LGA then transfer to JFK to continue your onward flight.
This strategy applies to any cities where this sort of booking is possible. Here are some other cities that I’ve heard people flying into one airport and flying out from another airport in the same city (confirm with the Aeroplan operator to ensure flying into one of these airports and flying out of another is valid):
- Tokyo – HND or NRT
- Toronto – YYZ or YTZ
- London – LHR or LGW
- Moscow – DME or SVO or VKO
One of the dumbest things I’ve seen is the idea of married segments. Last year when I travelled to Madagascar, we needed to fly into Addis Ababa in Ethiopia to connecting to Bangkok to reach our final destination of Manila, Philippines.
When I tried searching TNR to ADD, no availability shows up. However, when I searched TNR to BKK, then an availability to fly into Addis Ababa then to Bangkok showed up. This confused me just like it confused the Aeroplan operator who was helping me piece my itinerary together.
This happened to me again recently when I tried booking a flight from Dublin to Montreal. I searched DUB to YUL and no direct flight showed up. Then I searched DUB to YVR and a connecting flight to YUL showed up. When I called the call centre, I forgot to tell the operator about this. She then proceeded to tell me that such a connection doesn’t exist. Luckily, I remembered what happened and told her how to make it show up. Upon checking, it definitely appeared and we were able to book those segments.
Flying Air Canada over the Atlantic or Pacific ocean
In this article I wrote several years ago on the Starter’s Guide to Canadian Travel Hacking, I talked about the exception to the rule of booking your flights with Air Canada.
As you know, if you have Air Canada in your flight itinerary, you will end up paying significantly more on taxes and fees. However, the exception to the rule is if the plane that flies over the Pacific or Atlantic ocean is not an Air Canada airplane, then you won’t get charged a huge amount of fee. That’s why it’s always a good idea to book with partner carriers when flying over the ocean…right?
Nope, sometimes, this doesn’t make sense at all. In my recent Aeroplan mini-RTW booking, I couldn’t find any carrier that is not Air Canada to fly me back home from Europe. I decided to bite the bullet and just book a freaking Air Canada flight from Dublin to Montreal. After completing the booking, my fee ended up being $286.26 for a 15 segment Aeroplan mini-RTW booking. What the f…???
I still got a great price for my Aeroplan mini-RTW booking DESPITE the fact that an Air Canada carrier FLEW over the Atlantic ocean. And I think the main reason is because when I did my booking, the airline that’s crossing the Atlantic ocean on my way to my destination point is Swiss Airlines. It seems that if your first airline is not Air Canada or any other carrier like Austrian or Lufthansa doesn’t cross the Atlantic, then on the way back, you might be able to get away with booking with Air Canada and not get penalized with heavy taxes and fees.
Different taxes and fees quote at the end of your booking
In my most recent Aeroplan mini-RTW booking, I’ve had the agent quote me four different prices for the same booking.
After putting together my latest Aeroplan mini-RTW redemption, I was quoted over $850 in fees and taxes. I was shocked and in disbelief how expensive the final quote was. I then told the operator I’m going to start looking for other segments and see if we can reduce the fees. While I was looking at other segments, the operator told me she made a mistake and the fee was actually $266.26.
So I said, perfect! Yes, let’s complete the booking. However, upon being transferred to another agent to complete the payment, I was again quoted in the $900 range. I protested and told the agent I was quoted $266.26. The agent went back to double check and said the actual final price is really $286.26, not over $900 and not $266.26.
At this point, I’m wondering if they’re making these numbers up. Anyways, I proceeded to complete the booking at $286.26 and all is well once again.
Conclusion to the weird things I’ve noticed while booking Aeroplan mini-RTW redemptions
Booking an Aeroplan mini-RTW is the single best way to maximize the value of your Aeroplan miles. This is especially great for people who wants to travel around the world or those who likes collecting countries (like myself).
Some people asks questions like how much money did you save when you booked your Aeroplan mini-RTW in business class. For me, the question I like to ask is how many countries did I tick off in this Aeroplan mini-RTW booking?
Regardless of how you value the Aeroplan mini-RTW redemption, at the end of the day, those of us utilizing it are winners. And the better we understand the program, the better our future redemptions will be (assuming it doesn’t get nerfed heavily come June 2020).