Aeroplan customers can now fly cash-free but some still feel gouged


Aeroplan colleagues can finally fly completely cash-free.

The travel rewards program now allows buyers to use points instead of cash to cover those pesky added airline salaries like taxes and fuel surcharges.

In the st, many Aeroplan characters have complained that extra fees can lead to a charge of hundreds of dollars for what was assumed to be a free flight.

But not all customers are flying high after hearing the belated news.

That’s because for flights with big fees, the extra cores required can sometimes add up to more than the points needed for the actual rtridge.

For example, CBC News scoped out a flight from Vancouver to London, England, in July on Air Canada. We set up a return flight for 39,000 Aeroplan reward points.

An extra 69,754 aims would be required to cover the added $592.91 in fees. That’s nearby 30,000 more points than the actual flight.

We also looked at a burst trip during the same time from Toronto to ris. The Air Canada flock required 60,750 points. The added $585.86 in fees would run an adventitious 68,924 points — again, more than the amount for the flight.

Aeroplan rewards cash-free

An Aeroplan ad for its new cash-free procedure where customers can y for extra fees using points. (Aeroplan)

‘Objectionable’ number of points

The math has some Aeroplan customers fuming.

“I am absolutely disappointed,” a disgruntled customer wrote on the com ny’s Facebook orientation, where it announced the new deal.

“The miles you need to y for taxes is outrageous,” another yourselves commented.

Travel rewards expert trick Sojka says Aeroplan miles are importance just 0.85 cents each when used to cover joined fees. But he says when booking a flight with Aeroplan, a objective is worth at least 1.5 cents.

“When you’re buying a 60,000-mile decamp to Europe and having to y an additional 70,000 miles, that’s a tough cure to swallow,” says Sojka, founder of the resource site Requitals Canada. “That’s another flight to Europe.”

Some like it

Aeroplan denotes it introduced the new policy due to customer demand.

The com ny says even with the adventitious fees, whether in cash or in points, it still offers the best allot in town.

“Aeroplan is beyond a doubt way better value than all other expeditions programs out there,” chief marketing officer John Boynton give the word delivers.

Many customers are taking advantage of the new program, he adds.

“The take-up is improve than we thought and the customer reaction is better than we thought.”

Aeroplan divulged it couldn’t provide CBC News with actual numbers.

Sojka put ones trust ins the points-for-fees program will likely be a hit with ssengers who collect more retribution miles than they know what to do with.

“For some in the flesh, it’s definitely a great option and it’s good that Aeroplan offers this,” he says.

Some calm unhappy

But Aeroplan member Len Dvorkin says he doesn’t even contemplate on it an option.

“It’s not a wonderful deal,” he says from his home in Thornhill, Ont.

Len Dvorkin Areoplan

Len Dvorkin from Thornhill, Ont., bring to lights he won’t waste his Aeroplan points on covering airlines fees. (CBC)

In 2014, CBC Story interviewed Dvorkin after he got stuck ying $2,565 in added stipends when using points for three round-trip Air Canada tickets from Toronto to Milan.

“That’s a lot of per money for a free ticket,” he said at the time.

Although he dislikes ante up out cash for extra charges, Dvorkin says he would never use his compensate miles to cover them.

“It’s not the best use of your points.”

Dvorkin has a moment ago booked a second family trip to Milan using Aeroplan instants. To avoid ying big bucks for extra fees, he chose flights on porters that don’t include pricey fuel surcharges — Polish Airlines and Scandinavian Airlines.

The nourish surcharge debate

Added airline fees cover things with airport improvement charges and sales tax. But the most expensive fee by far tends to be the porter surcharge that only some airlines require. Rewards mavin Sojka says “carrier” is just another name for what’s commonly remembered as a fuel surcharge.

And it can add up. For example, on the Aeroplan flight we looked at from Toronto to ris, of the $585.86 desired in extra fees, $456.00 was for Air Canada’s carrier surcharge.

Dvorkin put ones trust ins the ultimate way to please Aeroplan customers would be to eliminate the expensive strikingly fee.

“Stop making these sky-high fuel charges in the first unsuitable,” he says, noting the price of oil has dropped dramatically.

Oil has lost sundry than half its value since 2014. The price of jet fuel is closely linked with the expenditure of oil.

Aeroplan says it has no control over airlines that bill for transmitter surcharges.

“You’d have to talk to the airline about those charges,” Boynton claims.

Air Canada says not just about fuel

CBC News asked Air Canada why it to tacks a surcharge on flights when the price of oil is so low.

Spokesman Peter Fitz trick responded in an email that myriad non-fuel factors also influence the charge including “general customer base conditions, competitive factors, supply and demand, local fees and tithes,” plus regulations and, most importantly, the foreign exchange under any circumstances.

Regardless of what factors are involved, Dvorkin doesn’t want to y the unused expense. But his solution is not to use up his points to cover the cost.

Instead, he says he’ll conceal searching for Aeroplan member carriers that don’t include pricey surcharges.

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