Air Canada has today launched a much-awaited function for Aeroplan award searches online.
Aeroplan members can book award trips with stopovers online without calling Aeroplan reservations. However, there are some limitations on online versus phone during this public beta phase.
You can access Air Canada here.
Information from Air Canada:
- To shop for a stopover, select the “Multi-city / Stopover” button and enable “Book with points”
- Members may book one stopover per direction of travel, including on one-way, round-trip, and open-jaw itineraries, e.g. for round-trip travel between Montreal and Istanbul, a stopover could be added in London on the outbound, and another in Paris on the return
- A stopover city is input as a connecting point between an origin and destination, e.g. travelling one-way from Toronto to Paris departing on October 1st, with a 3 day stopover in Munich
- The minimum stopover duration is 1 day (at least 24 hours between flights), with the ability to extend to a maximum duration of 45 days
- At present, aircanada.com supports up to four flights per direction of travel, which also applies to a direction of travel including a stopover, e.g. traveling one-way between Vancouver and Cape Town with a stopover in Istanbul could not be booked as YVR – YYZ – EWR – IST (stopover) – JNB – CPT via aircanada.com
- For more complex itineraries, members may continue to book stopovers through the Aeroplan Contact Centre subject to a non-refundable CAD30 Contact Centre service fee per passenger
There can be some hiccups:
The decision to “soft-launch” online stopovers was based on brand-new underlying shopping technology powered by our IT partner, Amadeus. Our teams have completed rigorous product testing but there may be unexpected hiccups encountered in the real-world. We greatly appreciate your patience during this beta period.
There is a fee of 5,000 Aeroplan points for a stopover, and stopovers in the United States and Canada are not allowed.
I am a huge proponent of programs that allow you to do everything online, and considering how congested Aeroplan call centers are + they are NOT open 247. They should ensure that all transactions can be completed without human interaction.
Aeroplan has so many partners outside Star Alliance that it has become a valuable program for complicated mixed awards. I have contemplated buying some miles during their sales or converting some credit card points.