A LoyaltyLobby reader and friend of mine recently redeemed and flew very popular Aeroplan award, often referred as mini-RTW, from North America to Australia in business class for 160,000 miles and 513 CAD in taxes/fees.
Partnership with Air Canada and Aeroplan will come to an end in 2020 and readers should use all the their existing miles by this divorce date as Aeroplan will lose access to Star Alliance awards.
You can access Aeroplan’s flight award charts here.
Here’s the Aeroplan award success:
One of the sweet spots on the Aeroplan award chart is for flights from North America to Australia as you can route via Asia or Europe.
This type of award is often called a mini round the world (Mini-RTW) Aeroplan redemption as you can fly all the way to Australia via Asia and then return via Europe essentially going all the way around the world.
Award Flight Details
- YYZ-LAX Air Canada 787-9 (AC791)
- LAX-TPE Eva 777-300 (BR11)
- TPE-BKK Thai 787-9 (TG633)
- BKK-SIN Singapore 787-10 (New Aircraft) (SQ983) — STOP —-
- SIN-SYD Singapore 777-300 (SQ288) — DESTINATION —–
- SYD-SIN Singapore 777-300 (SQ288) (1hr stop in CBR)
- SIN-ICN Singapore A330-300 (SQ600) — STOP —-
- ICN-NRT Ethiopian 787-8 (ET672) — 20 hour transit —
- NRT-SFO ANA 777-300 (NH8)
- SFO-YYZ Air Canada 787-9 (AC754)
All 10 segments in business class for 160,000 Aeroplan Miles and $480 (CDN) in taxes/fees and $33 (CDN) for the phone booking fee. (These awards are typically only bookable over the phone.)
Aeroplan allows for one stopover in each direction OR one open jaw. In this case I routed via Asia in both directions however it would be possible to route via Europe in one or both of the directions instead. Also any number of transits of less than 24 hours are allowed. For example the 20 hour transit in Tokyo here.
To build this type of an award you can use the Aeroplan.com and United.com search engines to search segment by segment to check for award availability. You can also try searching multiple segments at the same time however it may not return all possibilities (eg: search on united.com for YYZ-BKK or YYZ-SYD award availability). The ANA website and ExpertFlyer can also be used to check availablity.
Once you decide on your destination which is the furthest stop from your departure city you will want to find out what the MPM or maximum permitted mileage is. There are some resources available online for this (Flyertalk) or you can call into Aeroplan and ask an agent for the MPM. In this example the MPM for YYZ-SYD is 15540 miles.
With the MPM and a list of all the segments in both directions you can check to make sure you haven’t exceeded the MPM of 15,540 miles in this case using gcmap.com
Outbound: YYZ-LAX-TPE-BKK-SIN-SYD (15,304 miles)
Return: SYD-SIN-ICN-NRT-SFO-YYZ (14,941 miles)
It is also possible to add in segments on Asiana however for some reason at the time of booking those flights weren’t showing up as available for Aeroplan phone agents even though they were showing up with availability on the ANA search engine.
In general when booking these trips you try to avoid Air Canada operated flights due to the high taxes involved. There are a few exceptions to this however such when routing via Hong Kong.
Another thing to watch out for is what type of business class seat is on the aircraft flying your segments. For example currently Singapore airlines operates both lie flat and angle flat seats from Singapore to Australia. The RouteHappy.com website can be an easy way to verify this but your best bet is to double check with the airline website.
These mini-RTWs are certainly a sweet spot left in Aeroplan’s award chart and taxes are quite minimal if you avoid Air Canada flights (which is crazy because it is their frequent flier program after all and you have to avoid AC flights!).
You can essentially have three stopovers and number of transits as long as these are less than 24 hours each. You have to be flexible with plans and align them with award availability that can be tricky to find at times.