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The Aeroplan Mini-RTW: A Complete Guide [2019] Ricky May 29, 2019

The Aeroplan Mini-RTW: A Complete Guide [2019]

Note: As of September 1, 2019, the rules have changed such that you will only be allowed to have one stopover OR one open-jaw, in addition to the final destination, rather than having either two stopovers or one stopover plus one open-jaw.


The Aeroplan Mini-Round-the-World trip, or Aeroplan Mini-RTW for short, is by far the best way to redeem your Aeroplan miles for some amazing trips around the world.

In this guide, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know in order to take advantage of this incredible sweet spot and book an Aeroplan Mini-RTW trip for yourself. 

In This Post

The Basic Idea

Every frequent flyer program has a certain set of rules on how you’re allowed to put together different flights on the same ticket when you redeem your miles.

For example, some programs might only allow you to book the most direct routing possible from Point A to Point B, while other programs might let you fly to an intermediate Point C first, stay there for a few days, and then continue your journey. 

Aeroplan, one of Canada’s most popular loyalty programs, happens to have quite generous policies in this regard. By leveraging these policies, you can visit two destinations for the price of one, piece together your itinerary using a mix of Star Alliance airlines, and enjoy a good handful of 24-hour layovers in other places along the way. 

The name “Mini-Round-the-World” refers specifically to this type of mileage redemption, which purposefully maximizes Aeroplan’s stopover and routing policies to create epic trips that you’d never dream of taking if you were simply paying cash for your flights the traditional way. 

Definitions and Rules

Let’s set the stage with some key definitions:

  1. Origin: The city from which your itinerary begins

  2. Destination: The city, among those in which you stop for more than 24 hours, that’s farthest away from your origin

  3. Stopover: A stop in a city (other than your destination) for more than 24 hours

  4. Layover: A stop in a city (other than your destination) for less than 24 hours

  5. Open-jaw: A break in your itinerary where you make your own way between two cities

Great Circle Mapper is a magnificent tool to measure distances between cities, which is key to determining which city counts as your “destination” based on the definitions above. 

We’ll draw upon the “classic” type of Aeroplan Mini-RTW, which is a round-the-world trip to two places in Europe and Asia, to illustrate this concept. Let’s imagine that a traveller based in Vancouver (YVR) wanted to fly around the world and spend some meaningful amount of time in Paris (CDG) and Singapore (SIN), both in one trip. 

To find out which city counts as the destination, this traveller would enter the following into GCMap:

YVR-CDG; YVR-SIN

As you can see, Singapore is further away from Vancouver than Paris. Therefore, looking at the key definitions, we’ll note down the following:

  • Origin: Vancouver

  • Destination: Singapore

  • Stopover: Paris

Now, let’s move on to the actual rules that underpin the Aeroplan Mini-RTW:

  1. Look up the Aeroplan Reward Chart to see how many miles you’ll need. You are charged the highest number of miles among any of your three stops of more than 24 hours.

  2. On intercontinental round-trip itineraries, you are allowed either one stopovers or one open-jaw.

  3. In practice, you are allowed unlimited layovers. However, due to the technical limitations, your overall ticket can only have up to 16 flight segments, which limits the amount of layovers you can have.

  4. You can route through the same city twice only if the two visits are on either “side” of the destination (i.e., one before and one after).

  5. Your itinerary must fall under the “maximum permitted mileage” (MPM) between your origin and destination, in both directions.

Each of these rules bears further clarification, so let’s go through them one-by-one.

Rule 1: How Many Miles You Need

You’ll need to consult the Aeroplan Reward Chart to figure out how many Aeroplan miles you’ll be charged for your MIni-RTW redemption. The mileage amount will depend on two factors:

  • Which three places you choose to stop for longer than 24 hours

  • The class of service 

Among your two chosen stops of longer than 24 hours, the place with the highest mileage cost from your origin is the amount that you’ll be charged. In our sample trip from Vancouver to Paris and Singapore, Singapore falls under “Asia 2” on the Aeroplan Reward Chart, which charges higher mileage amounts than Europe 1 (Paris). Thus, our traveller would be charged based on the mileage cost between North America and Asia 2. 

(Note that the city with the highest mileage cost from the origin is most likely the same as the “destination” of the trip, as defined above, but it doesn’t always have to be.) 

The next step is to choose your class of service, which will determine exactly how many miles you’ll be charged. In our example of North America to Asia 2, our traveller would pay 90,000 miles in economy class, 130,000 miles in premium economy, 155,000 miles in business class, or 210,000 miles in First Class.

Note that you are charged the mileage amount for the highest class of service within your overall trip. This means that even if you’re flying economy in one direction and business the other, you’ll still be charged the full business class round-trip cost.

Therefore, if you’re booking an Aeroplan Mini-RTW in a premium cabin, the goal is always to try to secure as many flights as possible in your chosen class of service, since you don’t get anything in return if you end up in a lower class of service on some of your flights.

Rule 2: Stopovers & Open-Jaws

This rule is what makes the Aeroplan Mini-RTW the spectacular mileage redemption method that it is. Since you can have up to one stopover or one open-jaw on your itinerary, this means that you’re allowed to visit up to two cities around the world for a fixed number of miles.

You’re only allowed to have a stopover or an open-jaw on round-trip flights. One-way redemptions of any kind are not eligible for this perk.

You can arrange your stopover either before or after your destination. This gives you a huge amount of flexibility in terms of planning your trip, since you aren’t locked into visiting your chosen places in any particular order.

map.gif

We should also talk about open-jaws, which is a term that refers to a break in your itinerary that allows you to travel between two cities on your own. You are allowed to substitute your stopover for an open-jaw, which must occur between your destination and one other city.

Going back to our example, our traveller could decide that she’d rather visit Hong Kong instead of Paris, and would instead like to make her own way from Singapore to Hong Kong through South East Asia using low-cost flights on budget airlines. Thanks to the open-jaw rules, she’s well within her rights to book her trip this way:

I’ll say it again to drive home the point. The ability to add either a stopover or an open-jaw to your trip is what makes the Aeroplan Mini-RTW an incredible redemption opportunity that stands head-and-shoulders above its peers. 

Want to visit Europe on your way to Australia? You can do it. Want to hop down to Colombia before spending a few weeks backpacking through South East Asia? You can do it.

Very few other frequent flyer programs will allow you to build trips like these. Aeroplan Mini-RTWs can be customized to your heart’s content, depending on which places around the world interest you the most (and subject to a few routing constraints, as we’ll discuss further below). That’s what makes them so powerful.

Rule 3: Long Layovers

The fun doesn’t stop there. Beyond your destination, stopover(s), and possibly an open-jaw, you can also build additional layovers into your trip, which are stops of 24 hours or less in duration. 

24 hours won’t give you too much time to explore a city. However, it’s definitely enough to either get a small taste of a place you’ve never been before and decide whether you’d like to return for a more comprehensive visit, or to return to some place you’ve already visited where you really enjoy spending time.

Long layovers add yet another dimension to your trip, and taking advantage of this opportunity really takes the “globetrotting” factor of the Aeroplan Mini-RTW to the next level.

If you recognize the value in long layovers and would like to maximize them, the next question you’re asking might be: is there any limit to how many long layovers you can have on a single Mini-RTW redemption?

Yes, there is: a single electronic airline ticket can only handle up to 16 flight segments. Therefore, assuming you’re already maximizing your stopovers, you can build into a single Mini-RTW ticket a maximum of 13 long layovers. 

Rule 4: Routing Through the Same City Twice

This rule relates to whether or not you can fly through the same city more than once on the same trip, whether that city is a stopover, long layover, or just a short connection point between two flights.

The rule is pretty simple to understand: you can only route through the same city twice if the two visits are on two different “sides” of the destination of your trip (with “destination” being defined as above). One of the visits must take place on your way from the origin to the destination, while the other must take place on the way back.

Otherwise, you aren’t allowed to route through the same place twice – once you’ve flown in and out of a city, you can’t “touch” it again. 

Rule 5: Maximum Permitted Mileage

The purpose of the maximum permitted mileage (MPM) rule is to limit the total mileage you can fly between origin and destination. It’s to prevent people from booking outrageous routings, such as flying from North America to Europe… with a connection in Australia.

The rule itself is quite simple: there is a certain MPM figure for each Origin–Destination pair, and the routing you choose between the origin and destination (in each direction) is not allowed to exceed this value in distance.

To put it formally, let’s say the MPM between two airports, XXX and YYY, is Z miles. This means that:

  • You can’t fly more than Z miles on your way from XXX to YYY; and

  • You can’t fly more than Z miles on your way from YYY back to XXX

Aeroplan calculates the MPM between two cities using a proprietary formula which isn’t widely published, so you’ll have to do a little bit of handiwork to find the MPM for your desired city pair. 

Why does the MPM rule matter? Well, we know that the Mini-RTW lets you visit three cities for the price of one, but because of the MPM rule, not all combinations of origins, stopovers, and destinations may be possible. This is because the MPM between your origin and the farthest-away of your two desired cities (i.e., your destination) might be too low to allow routing through your stopover city.

Drawing upon the example we’ve been working with:

  • A trip from Vancouver to Paris and Singapore is valid.

    • Singapore is the destination, since it’s the farthest away

    • The MPM between Vancouver and Singapore is 13,206 miles, which is large enough to allow routing through Paris.

  • However, a trip from Vancouver to Paris and Tokyo is not valid.

    • Tokyo is the destination, since it’s the farthest away

    • The MPM between Vancouver and Tokyo is 6,584 miles, which is not large enough to allow routing through Paris. Don’t believe me? Plot it out on GCMap and see for yourself!

That’s the MPM rule in a nutshell. There’s far more to talk about here – for example, one way of maximizing your Aeroplan Mini-RTW to the very extreme is by choosing a destination that’s as far on the other side of the world as possible, thus granting you an extremely high MPM allowance to play with. 

From Vancouver, Johannesburg and Mauritius are popular far-flung destinations that give you a huge MPM to work with. From Toronto or Montreal, Perth is the natural choice. And so on and so forth. 

The Booking Process

Now that we’ve established the specific rules that govern the Aeroplan Mini-RTW, let’s move onto the actual process of booking one for yourself. Booking a trip like this can seem like an insanely complex undertaking from the outset. But then again, nothing worthwhile comes easy in life, does it? 

To be honest, each of these steps can be discussed in separate blog posts of their own, so I’ll be keeping things brief and referring you to other articles that I’ve written over the years. In particular, head over to my article on “How to Book an Aeroplan Mini-RTW” for an in-depth breakdown of the process.

Step 1: Planning Your Route

The first step is to piece together a series of flights on Star Alliance airlines that satisfy Rules 1 through 5 above. Use a tool like FlightConnections to figure out which Star Alliance airlines can be used to get you from one place to another, whether it’s with a direct flight or with a connection or two somewhere.

For example, from Vancouver to Paris, you could take:

  • a direct flight with Air Canada, YVR–CDG

  • a one-stop routing with United Airlines via Newark or Chicago

  • a two-stop routing in which you fly Air Canada to Montreal, then Swiss to Zurich, and finally another flight on Swiss to Paris

There are numerous possibilities for every journey you make from Point A to Point B, and the best way to get better at building Star Alliance itineraries is to try it yourself and spend time gaining familiarity with the process.

One important factor to consider when crafting your routing is the fuel surcharges that many airlines levy on Aeroplan awards.

In general, you’ll want to avoid Air Canada, Lufthansa, and Austrian Airlines on long-haul flights, since they can often come with $500+ in fuel surcharges:

A few other airlines, like Air China or LOT Polish Airlines, carry more reasonable surcharges of about $100–150, which you might wish to avoid as well:

The vast majority of Star Alliance airlines levy no fuel surcharges, so if you stick to those airlines, you’ll only need to pay the government-imposed taxes and aviation fees associated with your booking at the end of the process:

Screen Shot 2019-05-29 at 12.png

As a result of fuel surcharges, it often makes sense to avoid direct flights with high surcharges (like the Vancouver–Paris flight on Air Canada) and instead take a connection with no surcharges (like the one-stop routings with United). And there’s your opportunity to build a long layover in your connection point if you wish!

Several countries around the world have also imposed regulations on fuel surcharges, which can lower your out-of-pocket expense when travelling to or from these countries. 

Once you’ve planned out an overall routing that includes any desired stopovers, layovers, and open-jaws, it’s time to move on to the next step: verifying that these flights actually are available for mileage redemptions.

Step 2: Finding Award Availability

As you’re probably aware, just because a flight is available for purchase doesn’t mean it’ll be available for redeeming miles. You’ll need to search for award availability on every flight of your Mini-RTW to make sure it’s actually possible to book the whole thing.

To do this, take each segment that you’ve planned out in Step 1 and run it through the Aeroplan search engine. If the exact flight shows up as an available direct flight, this means it has available seats and can therefore be included on your Aeroplan Mini-RTW. 

(You can also use alternative search engines like United.com or ExpertFlyer, which may be more convenient. However, you should always double-check on the Aeroplan website as well, since the availability between these websites will match most of the time, but not always.)

In general, the further in advance you plan your trip, the more likely you’ll find award availability. Airlines do tend to release award space on a last-minute basis as well (about 1–2 weeks in advance), but not everyone has the flexibility to plan a trip on short notice like that.

Economy class will also be much easier to find than business class or First Class, especially if travelling as a group of more than two people. 

If one of the flights you’ve planned out doesn’t have any availability, then you can either wait and hope that the airline releases more space (at the risk of the space on other flights disappearing), or go back to Step 1 and plan out an alternative route. You might have to look into connecting in a different airport, taking a later flight in the day, or settling for a two-stop instead of one-stop routing from place to place – all while ensuring you still meet Rules 1 to 5 that we’ve laid out above.

The entire process of planning out a route and then searching for availability might seem intimidating at first. If you’d rather not put in the work and would prefer to pay an expert to build your trip for you, there are many services out there (such as my own Points Consulting service) that can get the job done as well.

Step 3: Call Aeroplan to book

After you’ve put in the hard work of piecing together a valid itinerary and checking it for availability, the last step is the easiest: you can’t book this type of trip on the Aeroplan website, so you have to ring up the call centre and book with an agent.

Simply start the call by saying something along the lines of “I’d like to book a complex trip around the world with multiple stops. I’ve already found the flights I want, can I give them to you?”

(Don’t call it a “Mini-RTW”, since it’s a term made up by the community, and the agents often don’t know what it means.)

This should be followed by a back-and-forth in which you feed the flights to the agent one-by-one, after which the agent will attempt to validate the itinerary in the system. 

If you’ve done everything right, the agent will confirm the itinerary and proceed to the booking phase, where you must pay $30 plus taxes per passenger for the privilege of booking over the phone. It’s an annoying fee to pay, but compared to the value you’re getting from the Aeroplan Mini-RTW, it’s surely worth it.

(If your itinerary falls afoul of one of the rules above, the agent will also let you know what’s causing the issue, and you’ll have to go back to the drawing board to jig things around before calling to book again.)

Aeroplan’s phone agents tend to be a mixed bag. Some are very helpful along the process, while others can’t be bothered and might even tell you that this kind of trip isn’t allowed. You can usually judge the agent’s attitude during the first few minutes of the call, so don’t be afraid to hang up and call again if you encounter a bad apple. 

If all goes well, you should end the call with a fully booked and confirmed itinerary landing in your inbox!

A Sample Trip: All Six Continents

Let’s take a look at an example of stretching the Aeroplan Mini-RTW to its most extreme limits. I’ll also add more examples here later.

(As of September 1, 2019, the rules changed from allowing two stopovers to only allowing one stopover. I had taken many two-stopover Aeroplan Mini-RTW trips in the past, which I had previously showcased here, but the reality is that only one stopover is allowed going forward.)

  • Origin: Vancouver

  • Destination: Johannesburg

  • Stopovers / Layovers / Connections: Toronto, Lisbon, São Paulo, Perth, Tokyo (pick one as your stopover!)

  • Cost: 90,000 Aeroplan miles in economy class / 160,000 Aeroplan miles in business class

In this example, we see that you can use an Aeroplan Mini-RTW to visit all six continents on the same ticket.

The MPM between Vancouver and Johannesburg is a considerable 16,372 miles, which opens the door to routing in one direction via Lisbon and São Paulo (on TAP Air Portugal), and the other direction via Perth and Tokyo (on South African Airways and ANA). Choose one of those places (or nearby) to stop for longer than 24 hours, and enjoy a shorter layover on the other continents as you channel your inner Magellan.

The cost for all this? 90,000 miles in economy or 160,000 miles in business, plus taxes and fees. Isn’t it a bizarre world we live in where this is possible?

A similar journey across six continents can also be made with Toronto or Montreal as the starting point. Go on, why not brush up on your skills and have a go at crafting such an itinerary? 

Conclusion

The Aeroplan Mini-RTW is arguably the highest-value mileage redemption opportunity in all the land, and is especially powerful for business class or First Class redemptions to far-flung destinations around the world. Booking a Mini-RTW for yourself is no easy feat, with a huge volume of information on stopovers, open-jaws, layovers, MPMs, and award availability for you to absorb; however, there are few better feelings in the pursuit of Miles & Points than enjoying the fruits of your labour on a truly epic and memorable Aeroplan Mini-RTW trip.

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221 Comments
  1. Avatar
    Chris

    Hi Ricky, great write up, thanks! Is there already an update how that will look with the new Aeroplan? I am planning on Flying YVR-FRA in May next year and would love to actually book this YVR-FRA-HND/NRT-YVR, or potentially the other way around. I am confused on the amount of miles I would need to do this under the new chart and if this would be even possible given that HND is closer to YVR than FRA?

    Thanks
    Chris

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      Yes, here’s our first-look at the new Aeroplan Mini-RTW: https://princeoftravel.com/blog/new-aeroplan-minirtw/

      YVR-FRA-TYO-YVR would be three separate “one-way bounds” under the new system, I’m pretty sure. You’d have to pay for each individual leg separately.

  2. Avatar
    Dean Mcmillan

    Hi Ricky,

    I am a bit confused about the open jaw concept. If I understand it correctly from your example. The person booked a flight from Vancouver to Hong Kong. Made here own way to Singapore then booked a flight from Singapore to Vancouver. If that is correct. Was this trip booked on the website or through an agent? If I try to book a trip similar to this the app rejects it. I tried once to book the following multi city trip on the website. YYC to LHR, LHR to FRA, took a train to Munich, MUC to YYC. It was not allowed. What would I be doing wrong?

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Hi Dean, Yes, your understanding is correct. Open-jaws can be booked online, but only if the trip is of the format A-B / C-A.

      Your example is of the format A-B-C / D-A, which can’t be booked online. Prior to September 1, 2019, this could be booked over the phone as it was one stopover and one open-jaw; however, the current rules only allow either one stopover or one open-jaw, so this won’t be bookable at the moment. Air Canada has indicated that they are bringing back the "old rules" in some format in the new program.

  3. Avatar
    Himanshu Shringi

    Actually I just re-read the article and it seems I was doing one part wrong – I need to calculate the MPM from the Aeroplan search results rather than GCM.

    Do I check YVR-CUN and CUN-MDE through the Aeroplan search results javascript as well or just YVR-MDE (which as it turns out is 6500+ if I followed your article correctly)

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Just between the origin and destination, so YVR-MDE.

  4. Avatar
    Himanshu Shringi

    How strict are the rules around MPM?

    So in other words, adding CUN to the itinerary adds 1 extra mile over the MPM – would this itinerary still be rejected by Aeroplan?

  5. Avatar
    Zoran Vojvodic

    Hi Ricky, I’m in the process of finalizing the details of a mini-RTW and would like to know if Aeroplan would allow the origin city to be BUF (this lowers fees by over $100), with destination DPS and return back to YYZ (rather than BUF)? Thanks!

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Yes, as that would be an open-jaw between BUF and YYZ. You just wouldn’t be able to have any other stopovers or open-jaws.

  6. Avatar
    Goldy

    How does one go about piecing together an Aeroplan m-RTW YYZ-IST-CPT ? Thru Aeroplan I am unable to get Turkish Airlines only as a search result. Seems to me it’s easier to earn than redeem. Any help is welcome. I would prefer to learn how it’s done as oppose to getting the answer.

  7. Avatar
    Ludo

    Stopovers are only allowed on crosscontinental flights. Does Japan-Australia or Canada-Mexico count as crosscontinental? Or is it just transpacfic / transatlantic?

    1. Avatar
      Ludo

      So I called Aeroplan – stopovers are only allowed on flights departing from US/Canada. You can’t have a stopover on a flight departing from Europe going to Australia.

      By the way stopovers are allowed on intra-continental flights in NA/Central America.

      1. Avatar
        Ricky

        The Aeroplan rep sounds mistaken to me, you can definitely build a stopover between Europe and Australia and in fact you’d be able to search it up on the search engine.

        It’s when travel is wholly within a continent other than North America that stopovers aren’t allowed.

  8. Avatar
    Ludo

    Amazing content, as usual.

    In your open-jaw example above, I do not understand why the traveler would book an open-jaw instead of a stopover. If she wants to do Vancouver-Singapore-HK-Vancouver, why does not she book Hong Kong with stopover in Singapore?

    If she takes open-jaw then she has to pay for the flight between Singapore-HK whereas with the stopover she doesn’t.

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Hey Ludo,

      Perhaps the traveller prefers to make her own way between Hong Kong and Singapore and visit many countries in South East Asia along the way. Just one of many possibilities.

  9. Avatar
    Yotin Yeung

    When I am trying to book segments, does it matter if the flight qualifies as a fixed reward verses market fare? If the rewards chart says 75000 points needed, should I have to find one-way flights that are also listed as market flights or does it matter if I choose one-way flights that are almost 70000 points? Thanks in advance!!

  10. Avatar
    Dennis Lo

    Hope you can update this guide to accommodate the new rules.

    Thank you!

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      These are very much the current rules (one stopover or one open-jaw).

      The second stopover will be returning at some point in 2020 with the new program. At that time, the rules may be changing too, and we’ll update accordingly.

  11. Avatar
    Hersh Mauskar

    Which miles program can you use. I have Delta Skymiles. Can they be redeemed for booking tickets on Aeroplan.

  12. Avatar
    Andy

    Wow, what an incredibly helpful article!

    After reading, I have two (hopefully) quick questions for Ricky, or anyone else who knows. Apologies if these are answered elsewhere already!

    1. Can I fly to my destination city twice (once as a layover), or does this violate rule 4?

    E.g., YVR – … – JNB – CPT – JNB – … – YVR, where JNB is the destination

    1. When Aeroplan adds up the length of all my segments to compare against the MPM, are they assuming a great circle route between each city pair, or the expected distance that will be flown (which will tend to be slightly longer due to waypoints, airspace restrictions, etc). Asked another way, can I rely completely on the Great Circle Mapper to keep me below my MPM?

    Thanks!

  13. Avatar
    Jay Wong

    Hey Ricky (and other readers) — re: mini RTW to South America – for you…when you went to Foz do Iguaçu, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo – were these specifically, GOL flights?

    I read in one of the recent articles that you have to call in for the agent to manually check availability, as Aeroplan shows literally ZERO availability with these flights.

    Right track here for booking South America?? 🙂
    Thanks ahead of time!

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Hey Jay! So I had booked with Avianca Brazil at the time, which has unfortunately run into financial troubles and left Star Alliance. Nowadays the only way to do Iguazu Falls is with GOL – and yeah it’s an entirely manual process with no guarantee of an end result.

      One alternative may be to make São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro your stopover and then book a side-trip to Iguazu using Avios on LATAM.

      1. Avatar
        Jay Wong

        Thanks! Good suggestion. I am planning on booking over the next 2 days, so will report back in terms how we decide to move on this 🙂

        1. Avatar
          Alex

          When I did Brazil on my last mini-RTW in Feb/Mar 2019 I flew United from ORD to GRU in their new polaris lounge and then Avianca from GRU to Foz do Iguaçu on the Brazil side.

  14. Avatar
    Elizabeth Doyle

    Hi Ricky — Thanks for the helpful posts. Any chance on getting info on points redemptions on maxi-RTW via Star Alliance flights? Or is it better to book individually on airlines and avoid the RTW altogether?

  15. Avatar
    Jack

    Hi Ricky,

    Love your post, it is very informative! I am doing a little trip planning right now, I am looking for flights from YYZ to VCE, and I am finding that the Aeroplan serach returns all flights that includes airlines that are offenders of fuel surcharges, i.e. Air Canada, Lufthansa, and Austrian Airlines. Is there a way to omit them from your search, or would I have to change my dates until I see a flight offered not by those airlines. Or is this something I have to resolve by calling the agent?

    Thanks!

  16. Avatar
    Arvindh

    I have a question regarding YQ. Does the itinerary have to be ex-AUS for killing YQ on all the flights? Or can it be a return journey from Canada?

    I am planning to do with minimal YQ:

    YYC-YUL-ZRH-BOM-MAA-SIN-PER outbound in J WITH AC, LX, AI and SQ
    PER-SIN-IST-LIS-YYZ-YYC return in J with SQ, TK, TP and AC

    I would prefer to do PER-SIN-TPE-NRT-YVR-YYC with SQ, BR, ANA and AC if the YQ will be killed in the return direction.

    Also is the Aircanada stopover hotel program available for Reward J bookings?

    Thanks for your informative posts.

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Since you’re departing from Australia, the YQ should be killed or at least limited on the return direction. I don’t think the stopover hotel program is applicable to reward bookings.

      1. Avatar
        Arvindh

        Thats wonderful!!! Finally AC metal opens up for use :))

  17. Avatar
    David

    Hey Ricky and everyone!

    I am currently working on a trip across Europe and couldn’t figure out which of the two will be considered my destination…

    YOW – EDI (open jaw)
    VIE – BCN (stopover)
    BCN – YOW

    Would it be EDI or VIE that would count as my destination for MPM purpose?

    Cheers,
    David

    1. Avatar
      Alice

      The destination is the further point from origin. Go to GC Mapper and enter YOW-EDI; YOW-VIE; YOW-BCN, whichever has the highest number under distance is your destination.

  18. Avatar
    May

    Hello,
    Thank You very much for blog.
    I am planning the trip YOW-SFO-DEL-ICN-YOW

    Distances
    4 segment path:
    YOW SFO 2,446 mi
    SFO DEL 7,706 mi
    DEL ICN 2,896 mi
    ICN YOW 6,569 mi

    YOW-DEL (destination) is 7,066 mi

    Does it mean it is not possible ? , since SFO -DEL > YOW-DEL ?

    Thank You very much

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      No, you need to find the maximum permitted mileage (MPM) figure for YOW-DEL and compare the YOW-SFO-DEL (or DEL-ICN-YOW) distance to that. You should take into account any connections along the way as well.

      1. Avatar
        May

        Thank You very much
        If I change the destination to KUL , aeroplan MPM YOW-KUL is 15021
        The GRM distance route of YOW-YYZ-SFO-PEK-SIN-KUL is 11,363 mi
        6 segment path:
        KUL SIN 184 mi
        SIN BKK 875 mi
        BKK IST 4,672 mi
        IST LIS 2,001 mi
        LIS YUL 3,261 mi
        YUL YOW 94 mi
        11,088 mi
        So it is OK , correct ?

        On the way back could I book a route or stop over in Europe as long as it is within the MPM 15021 or do I need to book the route through the Pacific ocean ?
        Again Thank You very much .

        1. Avatar
          Alex

          If I understood things correctly MPM YOW-KUL is 15,021
          GCM distance YOW-YYZ-SFO-PEK-SIN-KUL is 11,363
          GCM distance KUL-SIN-BKK-IST-LIS-YUL-YOW is 11,088

          if you want to be adventurous I know that EgyptAir has a direct flight from BKK to CAI and you might be able to squeeze in an layover there, if you want to push the miles you can travel.

          1. Avatar
            Alex

            Whoops forgot to mention that, yes your itinerary for the way back looks good and within the rules

            1. Avatar
              May

              wow !! great !! Thank You very much Alex

  19. Avatar
    Trevor

    Hi Ricky,
    This is awesome info and I am trying to book a one before they squash the mini-rtw in Business Class.
    Question: one of my legs is on EVA in economy (from TPE-SIN)… if business availability opens up on that leg, can I just call Aeroplan and they will re-ticket in business for free? Or will they charge me $150 to do so?
    Thanks for your help!

    1. Avatar
      Alice

      Free! They will not charge you any change fee. So choose your economy seats wisely, ie. which of the Eva TPE-SIN segment has better potential to open up in J. Would suck if the other flight opens up and not yours.

  20. Avatar
    Derek

    This is a well-written article with detail precision on how to redeem mini-RTW using Aeroplan miles. Which many have been enjoying doing this for many years, including myself, once I enjoyed 10 segments on F/J class many years ago.

    But the problem is, most newbies fail to understand how much planning is actually required. Some would assume that’s their rights, start calling Aeroplan and asking for it without doing their homework. (hint: adding workload & frustration to CS staff is never a good thing)

    I don’t know if that’s the reason causing the change on Sept 1… All I can say is enjoy while you can.

  21. Avatar
    Ren Sharpe

    Been following your site for awhile. Really great and simple explanations so thank you for putting it together. In light of the recent news, I plan to finally pull the trigger on a mini-RTW trip in J/F. Going all out and likely doing YYZ-CPT(stop)-PER(dest)-NRT/HND(stop)-YYZ which gives me plenty of flexibility for routing. Planning to do all this between June-Aug 2020. Hoping you can give me a few recommendations with the following: Which airlines are best to fly in J/F? Saw you mentioned EVA Air J from TPE-YYZ was amazing. How would it compare to ANA? Additionally given the scarcity of F award fares, is it worth spending the additional 60k points over J when over half the flights will likely be in J anyway?

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      I’d say EVA and ANA are comfortably the best business class products in Star Alliance, but if I had to pick one, I’d pick EVA, since the soft product is on par with some First Class products out there.

      My personal opinion is that it’s not worth it to splurge on an F Mini-RTW if half of the flights are in J. I find that the best way to book F is on individual one-way segments.

      1. Avatar
        RR

        Thanks will def aim to get on EVA! Do you have any preferences or recos for transatlantic flights?

  22. Avatar
    John

    With Regards to step 2, I found flights IAD-LIS-ZRH and IAD-LIS-CPH with TAP, but the Aeroplan site wont display IAD-LIS by itself. If I call in, should an agent be able to book just the IAD-LIS segment?

    Another question I was wondering about. Does anyone know if I can go into the airport and book the segments in the proper classes with a ticketing agent there, and call into Aeroplan to have them ticket it with my points?

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      You’ll need to ask Aeroplan to find IAD-LIS-ZRH and then "break" the married segment to only use IAD-LIS. A competent agent should be able to do it.

      I’ve never heard about anyone booking something like this at the airport.

  23. Avatar
    Henry

    Just received an email from Aeroplan with new changes (Effective Sep 1, 2019). Only 1 stop over and 1 open-jaw allowed now 🙁 Further, the more expensive Around the World redemption has been discontinued. Sad times! Ricky, any thoughts on this?

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Many thoughts! All of them here: princeoftravel.com/blog/big-changes-to-aeroplan-awards-book-your-mini-rtws-now

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      You’re allowed up to 5 stopovers on a "true" RTW ticket, which costs way more miles (I believe it’s 200k / 300k / 400k in economy / business / First).

      Meanwhile, the "Mini-RTW" is a term made up by the community to refer to maximizing Aeroplan’s stopover policies (which allow you to have up to 2 stopovers) to plan creative trips for the price of a simple round-trip ticket.

  24. Avatar
    S M

    Will this work?

    YYZ – FCO
    FCO – LHR
    LHR – CDG
    CDG – YYZ

    1. Avatar
      Andrew

      Yes. The MPM limit for YYZ – FCO is 7,516 miles. YYZ – FCO is only 3,751 miles and then FCO – LHR – CDG – YYZ is 4,866 miles so you should be good.

      Just be mindful that you’ll need to take connecting flights between your European cities and then will need to connect if you want to avoid Air Canada fuel surcharges to / from Europe.

  25. Avatar
    Mike

    Just finished my first mini-RTW and wanted to give you a huge thanks for your blog / guide! Incredibly helpful and piecing the itinerary together and booking was a lot of fun.

    Question re: the changes in 2020; does this mean we only know for certain we can book mini-RTW’s that actually are flown by that date? Or we can continue booking with the current rules until the program changes are announced?

    ie) Could we book a mini-RTW using current rules in May 2020 for later in 2020 or 2021 even?

    Cheers,
    – Mike

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Yes, as long as the rules haven’t changed yet, you can book trips roughly one year out. This means that if the rules change in June 2020 (as we expect them to), you’d be able to book Mini-RTWs into mid-2021.

  26. Avatar
    Jack

    Hi,Ricky:
    I’m planning RTW TRIP, Can you check my trip
    Is valid or not?
    YVR to OPO or WAW. (Stop over)
    OPO or WAW to IST.(destination)
    IST to TPE.(stopover).
    TPE to YVR.
    THANKS.

    1. Avatar
      Andrew

      There’s one main issue I can see. The MPM for YVR – IST is 9,920 (using Aeroplan’s site) but IST-TPE-YVR is 11,198 miles (using GC Map). Therefore the trip isn’t a valid routing/

      IST is just a few miles further than TPE) which makes it your destination, but you’ll pay for Asia 1 (no difference for economy, but it’s more expensive for premium classes). For that reason, I’d consider changing your destination to something in Asia 1 which could get you more miles.

      1. Avatar
        Jack

        Hi,Andrew:
        Thanks for you prompt reply.
        Can I change my trip to
        Yvr to Ist.
        Ist to Dps or Bkk (Destination)
        Dps or Bkk to Tpe
        Tpe to Yvr.
        Good Luck.

        1. Avatar
          Andrew

          It’s the same process to check, the MPM for YVR – DPS is 13,338 (YVR – BKK is 12,160). YVR-IST-DPS is 12,404 miles and DPS-TPE-YVR is only 8,332 miles.

          Just be mindful that YVR-IST doesn’t exist as a nonstop, so you’ll need to connect somewhere which will probably add some miles to the routing.

  27. Avatar
    patti

    This is super helpful.

    Can a layover be into HND and out of NRT? Is it same city or same airport? Thank you!

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Yes! They’re considered the same city and merely co-terminals, so you can have a layover into one and out of another.

  28. Avatar
    Dan Ryan

    Why is the points required for the South American Adventure one 150,000 instead of 110,000 Aeroplan points? According to the reward chart Canada and Continental US to Southern South American is 110,000 in business class no? I’m looking at doing something similar, so I am curious about this.

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      You’re right Dan, it should be 110,000 Aeroplan miles. My mistake here, I’ve corrected the article to reflect this.

  29. Avatar
    Alex

    Hi Ricky,

    I have a miniRTW questions with respect to MPM. The MPM from YWG-SIN is 14,407. For the following trip with YWG being the origin, SIN being the destination, SGN being a stopover and SIN-PNH being the open jaw I get the following from gcmap

    YWG-YVR-NRT-PVG-SGN (stopover)-SIN 9331 mi
    open jaw SIN to PNH
    PNH-BKK-IST-YYZ-YWG 11013 mi

    My question is for the open jaw between SIN and PNH are the miles calculated based on the PNH-BKK-IST-YYZ-YWG route to make sure I dont exceed the MPM or on the SIN-PNH-BKK-IST-YYZ-YWG which is 11716 mi, even though I am finding my own was from SIN to PNH.

    In this case no matter which option I will be way under the MPM but I am just curious what aeroplan uses as the starting off point of the open jaw when calculating the miles. Is it the destination or is it form whichever airport you begin the open jaw from.

    Hope that made sense, thanks

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      I get what you’re asking. I’ve never verified this 100% but I’d say with a high degree of certainty that the SIN-PNH distance is counted towards the SIN-YWG MPM as though you were flying it, even though it’s an open-jaw.

      1. Avatar
        Alex

        K thanks for that

  30. Avatar
    Patrick

    Hi Ricky,

    I’m looking to book a RTW trip w my wife. Here’s what I’m looking at so far:

    • YYZ > SYD > SIN > DPS > TPE > IST > YYZ
      Destination: DPS
      Stopover: SYD; TPE

    I’m looking to do this on business class.

    I believe the MPM works out okay and I’ve confirmed there are flights available.

    However, when I go onto aeroplan to look at potential flights for YYZ > SYD; the only availability I’m seeing is through Air Canada through Korea (in Economy). This is even though United shows availability on the same day.

    What gives? And is there a workaround? Or is it a waiting game / look for alternative routes?

    Thanks!

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      If you’ve found the United flight you want, you can simply call Aeroplan to book it manually with an agent even if it doesn’t show up as a routing on the Aeroplan search engine.

      1. Avatar
        Patrick Xu

        Oh perfect. Thank you!

        It’s my first time planning a trip like this – would you mind validating that the MPM is sufficient for this trip? I believe the MPM between YYZ and DPS is 16,293 and the flights I’ve chosen fit within the range.

        1. Avatar
          Ricky

          Looks good to me!

  31. Avatar
    Sam

    How does Aeroplan treat a single flight number that has stops? E.g. SA209 stops in Accra on its way from JNB to IAD. Does Aeroplan break this down and treat is at two separate segments or as one?

    1. Avatar
      Andrew

      I believe Aeroplan treats it as one segment. I did a search for SA209 and found availability on April 12th. It’s coming up as one flight that includes one stop (rather than two flights with a connection). That leads me to believe that it’s only one segment.

    2. Avatar
      Ricky

      It’s treated as a single flight segment.

  32. Avatar
    Joey

    Thanks for all the info!
    One question: are two open jaws allowed (as opposed to two stopovers)?
    Example: Vancouver-Sydney, open jaw to Adelaide(destination), Adelaide-Christchurch, open jaw to Auckland, Auckland-Vancouver

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Unfortunately, no. In your situation, you might consider booking two one-ways (Vancouver-Sydney and Auckland-Vancouver), then simply booking another intra-Oceania one-way in between (Adelaide-Christchurch).

  33. Avatar
    Joanna

    Hey Ricky!
    I’m trying to book an award flight that shows up on the United site as well as Google Flights (it’s a very regular Turkish airlines flight that departs multiple times a day, TAS-IST), but nothing shows up on Aeroplan (the award calendar is just blank). You mentioned above that the availability will mostly match but not always. What would you recommend I do in this situation?

    1. Avatar
      Andrew

      Hi Joanna,

      To start, Google Flights won’t match Aeroplan since there’s lots of revenue flights each day that aren’t available as a rewards flights. Other than that, I’d search on Aeroplan for the specific flight you want since I’m seeing premium award space in July 2019 that matches up with United’s Award Space right now.

  34. Avatar
    Sha

    Im wondering what if your baggage got lost/delayed on your miles redemption flight. Is it gonna be insured by the credit card you used to pay the taxes? Lets say Amex plat

  35. Avatar
    Greg

    This is the best use of Aeroplan miles! Thanks Ricky! Ihave read two different definitions of the open-jaw and was wondering if you could clarify if this would be valid? The question is basically if both ends of the open-jaw count (in this example, PER & SYD).

    YYZ-SIN (stop)
    SIN-PER (destination)
    open-jaw to SYD
    SYD-IST (stop)
    IST-YYZ

    Thanks for all of your help!

    1. Avatar
      Andrew

      Great question Greg.

      You’re only allowed 1 destination and either a) 2 stopovers or b) 1 stopover and 1 open jaw. Right now you have the destination is Perth, an open jaw to Sydney AND 2 stopovers, one in Singapore and one in Istanbul. I don’t think this is a valid routing, the open jaw is intended to replace one stopover since Aeroplan is letting you visit another city as part of your open-jaw.

      Hopefully this makes sense and clears things up.

  36. Avatar
    Bally

    Hi guys,

    Just a newbie question in regards to the stopover – how does the checked luggage system work on this? Do we get to retrieve our checked luggage at stopovers if we are going to spend a week at our stopovers? I know for layovers it doesn’t and it goes straight to final destination. Thanks

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Yes, you retrieve your bags at your stopovers. You can even collect your bags on long layovers as well, particularly if you have an overnight layover and ask the gate agent to "short-check" them to the layover point.

      1. Avatar
        Bally

        Thanks Ricky!

  37. Avatar
    Debbie

    My First MINI RTW!
    Thank you for your newest version of Mini RTW with Aeroplan. I am booked for business class from Vancouver to South East Asia, then Nepal, then to Eastern Europe and home.
    I used 150,000 and paid $295 taxes and fuel charges.
    I couldn’t have booked this without your articles so THANK YOU!!!
    Debbie

    1. Avatar
      Andrew

      Very nice routing, sounds like a blast!

  38. Avatar
    Al

    Great update! If you don’t mind Ricky, how would you be able to book a one way ticket from Vancouver to Beijing (actual destination) with a throwaway in Istanbul? I recall in one of the articles u mentioning that. Thanks!

    1. Avatar
      Andrew

      Hi Al,

      With Ricky’s MPM advice, we can determine the MPM for YVR – IST is just shy of 10,000 miles. Using GC Map, we can determine that YVR – PEK – IST is 9,680 miles – http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=yvr-pek-ist

      Therefore booking a one way from YVR – IST with a layover in PEK is a legal routing, just be aware of the conditions that come along when booking a throwaway leg.

  39. Avatar
    Rocky

    Hey Ricky,

    Do you think there’s a chance from now til June 2020 that AC will remove the two-stopover benefit? I feel as if June 1, 2019 would be a good date to start unveiling the new program so that frequent flyers can get up to speed and start their status runs for 2020 once they’re aware of what benefits they might be getting.

    1. Avatar
      Andrew

      Hi Rocky,

      There’s always a chance airlines can change their rewards program, that’s part of the risk in holding too many points (gotta churn and burn).

      In my opinion, It’s unlikely Aeroplan will change their award chart between now and 2020 since it would be a fair amount of work to adjust their computer systems. Furthermore the offer Aeroplan agreed to is mostly fixed, with a small adjustment factor for remaining points liability. It’s hard to say if Aeroplan would get greater value by reducing the amount of points on the books or by increasing it, but they probably don’t really care.

  40. Avatar
    Alex

    I am trying to plan a mini-RTW trip to south-east asia and I think I managed to find flights for almost my whole trip. What I am wondering is how it works for cities that have 2 airports like Tokoy, Japan (NRT and HND).

    Is the following allowed and not considered a stopover but a layover <24 hours.
    YVR-HND arrive at 1800
    NRT-SIN leave NRT next day at 1500

    I remember when I was flying through New York, the aeroplan search automatically did a airport change for me, but in this case where I am piecing the various segments together I am doing it manually.

    Thanks
    -Alex

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Yes, NRT and HND are considered co-terminals so you can have a long layover like you’ve described.

  41. Avatar
    Mike

    Ricky,

    Silly question but can you clarify MPM for me:

    Does an entire mini-RTW itinerary (A > B > C > D > A) have to fall under the MPM?

    Or simply each direction to and from the destination?
    ie) A > B > C and then C > D > A must each / respectively must fall under the MPM?

    Thanks!

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Simply each direction. So if your destination is C, then yes, A > B > C and C > D > A must both fall under the MPM.

  42. Avatar
    Alex Kogan

    Hi Ricky,

    In this flight: YYZ – AMM (staying for 2 weeks) – OPO (staying for two days) – open jaw – LIS-YYZ – is my destination going to AMM or OPO?
    I’d like it to be OPO – since that way it is less miles to spend..

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      I agree with Alex. AMM will be your destination since it’s farther away from YYZ, and the OPO-LIS open jaw also may or may not be allowed.

    2. Avatar
      Alex

      From gcmap.com

      YYZ-AMM – 5846 miles
      YYZ-OPO – 3515 miles
      YYZ-LIS – 3576 miles

      I would say that AMM would be the destination with OPO and LIS being the stopovers. From what I understand destination is always the furthest point from your origin.

      Since AMM is the destination I am not sure if you can do an open jaw at LIS. I am also not sure if you can do an open jaw from Europe to the Middle East (or vice versa), someone can hopefully answer that question for you.

  43. Avatar
    Kevin Williams

    Hey Ricky, Can a layover ever be considered your destination? I’m hoping this can work for me as it allows me to check out Jakarta for 23 hours otherwise I have to skip out SIN to CGK and back and go straight to DPS from SIN instead as DPS is a stopover.

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Nope, it has to be over 24 hours (i.e., not a layover) for it to be considered the destination.

  44. Avatar
    Alex

    I was reading the comments below if I understood the questions and answers correctly the 2 stopovers can be prior to the destination. As an example using GCMap, keeping it very simple and not filling in connections in between,

    YWG-TPE 6757mi
    YWG-CEB 7599mi
    YWG-BKK 7919mi – furthest point thereby designated as the destination

    I thought for a miniRTW I would have to book something like YWG-CEB (stopover1) – BKK (destination) – TPE (stopover 2) – YWG.

    But from reading comments below it sounds to me like the stopovers do not have to be on either side of the destination and you could do something like YWG-TPE (stopover 1) – CEB (stopover 2) – BKK (destination) – YWG, is that correct?
    YWG-CEB 7599mi
    YWG-BKK 7919mi

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Yes, exactly. You can have two stopovers on the same side of your destination.

      1. Avatar
        Yani

        so do we count the MPM only one way? like YWG-BKK MPM? or do we add up the MPM with the return? like YWG-BKK + BKK-YWG?

        1. Avatar
          Ricky

          Yep, it’s one-way only. Your outbound distance must fall below the YWG-BKK MPM, and your return distance must fall below it as well.

      2. Avatar
        Alex

        Thanks
        That makes planning my next miniRTW to south east asia so much simpler.

  45. Avatar
    EJ

    Great post! I am so motivated to collect travel points now. Quick question in regards to aeroplan point redemptions, do you have any tips for booking during popular times of the year? I am hoping to save up enough points to redeem a business class trip to Asia from YYZ December 2019 but it looks like Aeroplan either blackout popular dates or don’t offer any reward flights. Any tips around that?

    1. Avatar
      Claire McCarthy

      Hi EJ,

      I also do most of my travel in high seasons. December/early Jan flights on aeroplan are there- you just need to be able to book around 11 months out, especially if you are looking for business class seats. For example, I am flying to YYZ -BKK on December 20th, 2019 and I was checking aeroplan every day starting December 20 2018. The sweet spot for me seemed to be around the 11 mark or 330 day time. I am still checking daily for pure fun, and I have yet to see another option appear.

      Unfortunately when you are traveling at peak seasons- you will not have as much flexibility (esp. in business class). I did not have the ability to choose amongst carriers with lower fuel surcharges- because the name of the game is just grab the first holiday seat that gives you what you want WHEN you want it.

      Even with paying ACs annoying surcharge- when you compare that to the face value of the business class ticket-you’re still doing quite well for yourself!

  46. Avatar
    Leon He

    Hey Ricky, thanks for the post!

  47. Avatar
    Leon He

    sdf

  48. Avatar
    Joe

    Hey Ricky,

    Thanks for all the posts, you’re awesome.

    Can someone here tell me if this is possible or if I would have to make alterations? I’m not sure if I can do more stopovers. I’d love to turn the layover into a stopover.

    YYZ–>HNL (stopover)
    HNL–>TPE (Layover)
    TPE–>HKG (Destination)
    HKG–>ATH (Stopover)
    ATH–>YYZ (Return Flight)

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Looks like it’d be doable, although you won’t be allowed an extra stopover than what you have planned.

  49. Avatar
    Mike

    Hi Ricky

    I just booked the CX Error Fare from Hanoi to NA r/t…. Outbound is January and Return is October.

    Can I use the Aeroplan Mini RTW to position to Hanoi in January and then Return from Asia in October? How long can you stay at your "destination"?

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Me too! And yes a Mini RTW works great for that purpose – you can stopover for up to 364 days!

  50. Avatar
    Jeremy

    Hi there, was looking at a trip for April 2019 with my left over 75000 miles in my account. Can anyone tell me whether this one is possible?

    YYZ –> ZRH –> HKG –> Osaka –> YYZ

    Using Hong Kong as my furthest destinations but having both Zurich and Osaka as Stopovers.

    I tried removing Osaka in the mix and it works as a 75000 flight, so was wondering if I called in they would let me include Osaka on the way back.

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Yep, looks absolutely doable to me!

  51. Avatar
    Mak

    Hi Ricky, I started reading this redemption series on Mini-RTW again as i successfully accumulated desired points (160k) through your links as well as other recommended links.
    No matter how many times i reread the MPM post, i am still getting confused may be becoz of the destination (VTZ).
    Basically my actual destination is VTZ (India) and origin is YYZ (Toronto) and Dates are Dec 7th to Jan 14th (Not sure if its too late to find the J class but taking my chances for this time period).
    My first dilemma is to find an itinerary via west coast route (NRT due AC no YQ fees) or east coast (Brussels, Turkey due to no YQ).
    I am flexible with dates and open for any stop over /Lay overs to maximize the value of the trip as long as i can stay at my VTZ destination from Dec 15th to Jan 14th).
    I am not able to come up with decent itinerary without breaking the MPM and not sure why i am not able to understand.
    Really appreciate if you can through some sample itineraries from where i can start searching for award space.
    Thanks in advance

  52. Avatar
    Trung

    Ricky,

    Thank you for such great post here.

    I currently have this routing but thinking I might change it so that I won’t have to endure a 12 hours layover. Let me know if this change is possible, if not what other routing would I have access to so that I won’t have to do long layovers.

    YYZ-ORD in J via AC
    ORD-HND in F via NH
    HND-BKK in F via TG
    BKK-DPS in J via TG – Destination
    DPS-SIN in J via SQ – Stop
    SIN-SGN in J via SQ – Stop
    SGN-BKK in J via TG
    BKK-HND in F via TG
    HND-ORD in F via NH
    ORD-YYZ in J via AC

    Change to:

    YYZ-ORD in J via AC
    ORD-HND in F via NH
    HND-BKK in F via TG
    BKK-DPS in J via TG – Destination
    DPS-SIN in J via SQ – Stop
    SIN-SGN in J via SQ – Stop
    SGN-SIN in J via SQ
    SIN-BKK in J via TG
    BKK-HND in F via TG
    HND-ORD in F via NH
    ORD-YYZ in J via AC

    Thanks

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      You won’t be able to make this change since you’re hitting SIN twice on the same side of your destination (DPS).

      There aren’t many other options if you want to keep your BKK-HND in F. Maybe you could fly SGN–TPE–BKK on EVA Air if the timetables line up. Or fly DPS–TPE–SGN and have your stopover in SGN first, then fly to SIN for your stopover there, then onto Bangkok.

  53. Avatar
    Caroline Korytko

    Hi Ricky,
    Thank you so much for this amazing information. I was planning a trip to Australia, and then travelling to Southeast Asia (maybe stopping in Europe on my way home if the points permit) and I was wondering how I could make this trip work with the mini around the world points? I live in Moncton, New Brunswick. Thanks so much!

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Hi Caroline,

      Thanks for your comment! You should be able to make such a journey work. You’d have a city in Australia as your destination with a South East Asian city and a European city as your stopovers. You would have to figure out which Star Alliance airlines are able to get you from point to point, then look for award availability on each flight, then book it with Aeroplan – all while ensuring your total routing falls below the maximum permitted mileage (MPM) between Moncton and your Australian city of choice.

      Feel free to get in touch with me if you need any help!

      Cheers
      Ricky

      1. Avatar
        caroline

        Hi Ricky,

        Thank you so much! I really appreciate all the help. I will get in touch if I have more questions.
        Thanks again,
        Caroline

        1. Avatar
          Caroline

          Hi Ricky,
          I am a little confused about the MPM. I have a rough itinerary planned but am unsure if I exceed the MPM. My itinerary is
          YQM-MEL
          MEL-KUL
          KUL-FRA
          FRA-YQM
          how would I calculate it?
          Thanks again,
          Caroline

          1. Avatar
            Caroline

            I was wondering if my trip home counted towards my MPM, or if it was just between the two stopovers? Thank you so much.

            1. Avatar
              Ricky

              The total one-way distance you fly between YQM and MEL must be lower than the MPM in both directions. At first glance, your trip looks like it’ll work, but you’ll want to use the JSON trick to verify:

              https://princeoftravel.com/blog/how-to-find-aeroplan-mpm-online

              Also, keep in mind that you’ll need to have connections between YQM and MEL and between FRA and YQM, so you need to factor in those distances as well.

              1. Avatar
                Caroline

                So if I understand my mileage between YQM and MEL needs to be lower than MEL to KUL and KUL to FRA and FRA to YQM?

                1. Avatar
                  Ricky

                  Nope, it’s the other way around – MEL-KUL-FRA-YQM distance must fall below the MPM value for YQM-MEL.

                  I went ahead and checked the YQM-MEL MPM for you – it’s 17356. MEL-KUL-FRA-YQM certainly falls under that, so you should have no problems routing like that.

  54. Avatar
    sam

    RICKY YOU AMAZE ME!!!! Also, I’m from Vancouver so I just love that most of your hypothetical scenarios take off from there. You offer SUCH valuable information to your readers; and it’s truly life-changing.

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Thank you, you’re too kind 🙂

  55. Avatar
    Vivian

    Hi Ricky,

    My husband and I are planning to use the Around the World Reward Business Class starting September 1st for the next 3-4 months. We want to go to Asia (Hong Kong, Thaliand, South East Asia, Taiwan, Japan, Korea) , Australia, Europe (Germany, Poland) and Africa (Ghana).

    How do you recommend us to use the around the world rewards using the 5 stops and one open jaw?

    Vivian

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Hi Vivian,

      5 stops is challenging, since one Mini-RTW ticket only allows you to have three stops. I’d recommend making Australia your destination and choosing someplace in Asia as a stopover (and doing side-trips to other Asian cities). Then, your other stopover could be somewhere in Europe, although this may be challenging in terms of the MPM, since the distance between Vancouver (origin) and Australia (destination) isn’t too great.

    2. Avatar
      Vivian

      I forgot to mention that we are flying from Vancouver, BC

  56. Avatar
    James Ng

    Hi Ricky,

    I’m considering a euro trip with stops in London and Paris. Would you know the MPM of YYZ-BRU?

  57. Avatar
    Joe

    Hi Ricky,

    I’m trying to do the following trip as I only have 75K to work with:

    YYZ-bcn-ath-HKG,
    hkg-hnl-yyz

    My question is can I alter the trip to go to a Asia 2 destination (Vietnam) with the points I have while still choosing Hong Kong as the destination?

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      My apologies for the late reply. If you were to stop in Vietnam for longer than 24 hours, you’d be charged the miles for Asia 2.

      1. Avatar
        Joe Ho

        Thanks Ricky. Appreciate it.

  58. Avatar
    Mike

    Hi Ricky,

    I have tried to follow your instructions when coming up with this itinerary, but if you had any input that would be awesome.

    Flight 1 YYZ YUL
    Flight 2 YUL GVA
    Flight 3 GVA LIS
    Flight 4 LIS CMN (Lay Over)
    Flight 5 CMN IST
    Flight 6 IST JNB
    Flight 7 JNB PER (Destination)
    Flight 8 PER SIN
    Flight 9 SIN ICN (Lay Over)
    Flight 10 ICN PEK
    Flight 11 PEK HND
    Flight 12 HND YYZ

    Mike

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Looks great to me, routing wise! Just be aware that it seems like you have one or more long-haul AC flights in there, so you may pay quite a bit in fuel surcharges.

  59. Avatar
    Sam

    Hi Ricky,

    I’m relatively new to this and was wondering if the following route would work for a mini RTW:

    Toronto YYZ – Seoul ICN
    (open jaw) Hong Kong HKG – London LHR
    London LHR – Toronto YYZ

    In this case do I have to remove a stopover or the openjaw? If that is the case then is flying into HKG a better idea since it’s a larger "hub" than ICN? I’ve been playing around with different routings on aeroplan and can’t seem to get this to work. Thanks so much! – Sam

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Hey Sam,

      That should just work fine, assuming LHR is your stopover. You have one open-jaw and one stopover, which is allowed as per the rules.

      You can’t book these trips on the online search engine – anything more complex than a trip involving one stopover needs to be booked over the phone. You’ll have to locate the availability for each segment and then call Aeroplan to book.

  60. Avatar
    Rebecca

    Hi Ricky,

    Your site is great and super comprehensive. I have been looking on Flyertalk and signed up for help there, but I think using the site is almost as confusing as booking a mini RTW. My goal is to visit AKL (into AKL and out of CHC or vice versa) and BKK or HKT (either into BKK and out of HKT or vice versa, or just HKT) departing from Winnipeg in February. Don’t really care which gets visited first. The clincher is that I want business class and reasonably low fees. Apparently Air New Zealand doesn’t release Business class until a month or 2 out.

    I’m also up for Vietnam instead of Thailand, but AKL and business class is my non negotiable. Though I’m fine in economy for the first short flights (YWG-YVR/ YWG-DEN, etc). I have up to 215,000 aeroplane miles to use.

    Any advice or routing suggesting would be much appreciated! 🙂

    Thanks in advance!
    Rebecca

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Hey Rebecca,

      Business class to AKL is tricky, and you’re absolutely right that Air New Zealand are very stingy with their availability. Look into the Asian airlines – EVA Air, Air China, Singapore Airlines, Thai, etc. The latter two in particular should get you between AKL and BKK/HKT relatively easily, and since AKL would be your point of turnaround, you can use the same airline / transit the same hub to get back and forth. Remember to search segment-by-segment and piece the whole trip together before calling Aeroplan to book.

      Let me know how it works out!

      Cheers
      Ricky

  61. Avatar
    Chaim

    Hello Ricky,

    I am trying to book a mini RTW from YUL-CTU (stop over) then CTU-CAN (open jaw) then DPS-YUL.
    The other option is YUL-CTU then CAN-DPS then DPS-YUL.
    Would either of these options be possible? What is the best way to do it?

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Technically, your open-jaw needs to be adjacent to your destination (DPS). So the first example would be allowed, while the second wouldn’t. However, you might find an agent who’s able to book the second itinerary (the rule is rather loosely enforced).

      To make your life easiest, though, go with the first option.

  62. Avatar
    Jacqueline

    Hi Ricky,
    I am also new to mini RTWs. I was thinking about the following route – YOW-HNL (stopover), HNL-HND (stopover), HND-HKG (destination), HKG-YVR, YVR-YOW. Would this work?
    Thanks

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Sounds like it should just about work!

  63. Avatar
    Mary

    Hi Ricky,
    I am new to mini RTW and how to calculate MPM. Essentially, we want to go from YOW to TPE (stopover), then TPE to ATH (stopover), then ATH to FAO (stopover), then return from FAO to YOW. Is this doable under Aeroplan?
    Possible routing:
    YOW-YVR-TPE
    TPE-ATH
    ATH-LIS-FAO
    FAO-LIS-YYZ-YOW

    Mary

  64. Avatar
    Tim

    Hi Ricky,

    Can you check if the following routing would be accepted?

    YEG – ORD
    ORD – AMS
    AMS – BCN
    BCN – IST
    IST – JNB
    JNB – PER
    PER – SIN
    SIN – BKK
    BKK – TPE
    TPE – NRT
    NRT – YEG

    Thank you!

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Hi Tim,

      JNB is your destination, since it’s the farthest away from YEG. The YEG–JNB MPM is 15,563 miles, which is exceeded by your return journey. So unfortunately the routing wouldn’t work. You’d have to shorten your way back from JNB. I’m not sure if flying via PER would be doable.

      Also keep in mind that there are no Star Alliance flights for AMS–BCN and NRT–YEG, so you’d have to add connections (and increase your total mileage) there as well.

  65. Avatar
    Mike

    Hey Ricky,

    Loved this series of posts. Quick (simple) question that I didn’t see covered though was about which carriers charge surcharges vs which do not?

    ie) I know AC and LH are notorious for having expensive taxes / surcharges added.

    Which airlines are best / worst for this?

    Do even domestic AC flights (ie YVR – YYZ) come with big charges as well?

    Cheers,
    – Mike

    1. Avatar
      Kyle

      Hey Mike,

      I just had to go through this myself so here is what I found

      Worst:
      Air Canada
      Austrian
      Lufthansa
      Asiana

      Best:
      Air China
      Avianca
      Brussels Airlines
      EgyptAir
      Ethiopian Airlines
      Scandinavian Airlines
      Singapore Airlines
      South African Airways
      Swiss
      Turkish
      United

      Low fee:
      Air New Zealand
      LOT
      TAP

  66. Avatar
    mark jones

    Hi Ricky. Great article. I have approximately 175K points but have never redeemed any before!

    I was just on the phone with aeroplan and am now even more confused than when I stareted! can you give me any insight as to how many miles I would need to redeem to do a mini RTW with Thailand as my destination as well as how far from this destination I would be able to stop over on my way to-from there. I dont have any set places I need to go but would love to know what my options would be! any insight would be appreciated.

    Cheers.

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Hey Mark,

      For Thailand, you’d need 90,000 miles in economy class and 155,000 miles in business class. Depending on where you’re originating from (West Coast / East Coast) you should be able to visit anywhere in Asia, plus places in Europe or even Africa on your way to/from Thailand. Now it’s time to start thinking about where exactly you wanna go! 🙂

      Cheers,
      Ricky

  67. Avatar
    Ron

    Hi Ricky the Prince,

    would you think the following works?

    1. YYZ-YUL-ZRH(8 hrs)-VIE(less than 24 hrs)-TPE(9 hrs)-HKG
    2. HKG-NGO-FUK
    3. FUK-KIX-HND
    4. HND-YYZ

    anyhow the MPM search method doesn’t work on my PC, and I found on other sites MPM for Toronto and Hong Kong is 10977.

    I also got the following result:

    Beginning with 0 MQM, 0 redeemable miles, and peon status.
    YYZ–YUL: 304 miles on DL in T. As a peon, earned 500 MQM and 0 redeemable miles.
    YUL–ZRH: 3800 miles on DL in T. As a peon, earned 3800 MQM and 0 redeemable miles.
    ZRH–VIE: 381 miles on DL in T. As a peon, earned 500 MQM and 0 redeemable miles.
    VIE–TPE: 5563 miles on DL in T. As a peon, earned 5563 MQM and 0 redeemable miles.
    TPE–HKG: 490 miles on DL in T. As a peon, earned 500 MQM and 0 redeemable miles.
    Hint: Enter the fare paid to estimate redeemable miles. See the previous page for details.

    Miles flown: 10538 this trip, 10538 so far
    MQM earned: 10863 this trip, 10863 total so far

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Hi Ron,

      Looks like you input your routing into some kind of Delta mileage calculator? And it shows that your routing falls within the YYZ–HKG MPM? Then you’re good! 🙂

      Cheers,
      Ricky

      1. Avatar
        Ron

        Thanks Ricky, try to change my route when back from HKG to YYZ:
        HKG-KIX
        KIX-KOJ(layover)-OKA(layover)-HND (all in Japan)
        HND-YYZ
        MPM has no problem, not sure would aeroplan allow backtracking flights between 2 stopovers? and layover in the same country?

        ta,
        Ron

  68. Avatar
    Mark

    Mr. Ricky — Thank you so much for your insight and this website.

    Do you see any problem with the following routing:
    IAH-TPA-DPS (DPS is destination with MPM between IAH and DPS = 16,497 miles)
    DPS-SIN-JNB (JNB is a stopover)
    JNB-SAO-LIM-IAH (LIM is also a stopover)

    The segments from the origin to the destination (i.e., IAH-TPE-DPS) sum to 10,300 miles, which is less than the MPM for IAH-DPS.
    The segments from the destination back to the origin (i.e., DPS-SIN-JNB-SAO-LIM-IAH) sum to 16,343 miles, which is also less than the MPM for IAH-DPS.

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      The only issue I see is the SAO-LIM segment. The only Star Alliance airline who operates between the two cities is Avianca, and as far as I’m aware, Avianca space is still being blocked by Aeroplan due to ticketing issues.

      You could try flying with Copa via Panama City, but that might put you over the MPM.

      So you may have to play around with things a little, including possibly rethinking the Lima stopover.

      1. Avatar
        MArk

        Thank you so much!

  69. Avatar
    Mark

    Hi I’m planning my Honeymoon leaving from YYZ and going to MLE. I was wondering if we could one stop over in DXB and on the way back stop over in CDG?

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Hey Mark, that sounds absolutely doable!

  70. Avatar
    Lora

    Thanks for this!! So helpful. Trying to figure out how to do my first trip.
    I’m based in Vancouver, but I’m thinking I can do origin from Nashville/New Orleans/Austin, stopover in YVR, then YVR -> DPS for Bali. What is the MPM for this? (ie. I guess what I’m asking is, what is the MPM for BNA -> DPS)?

  71. Avatar
    Alexandre Dubé Corneau

    Hi,
    I’m actually having a really hard time finding flights to Europe with Swiss,United or Turkish airline from Montreal. While I was searching, I’ve found something quite frustrating. For example on june 13th I’m able to do YUL-EWR-ZRH-MUC. The first part with United or AC and the translantic part with Swiss, this is great. BUT if I look for a flight EWR-ZRH only, I cannot find any flight with Swiss… So I can use Swiss to reach Munich via Zurich, but I can’t use it to only reach ZRH? If I call Aeroplan, will I be able to go to Zurich without going to Munich with Swiss Airline?

    As far as I’m looking, the only cities I’m able to reach on a translantic flight between June 13 and 18(that won’t cost me 1000$ in fuel surcharge) are Zurich and Istanbul. I’ve been looking from YUL,EWR,YYZ,IAD and even ORD… Since I don’t want to visit Istanbul in June during the Ramadan, I would rather avoid going so far for only a stopover(it’s hard on the MPM and the lost of time) before going back to Italy or France!

    So my questions are :
    – If I call Aeroplan, will I be able to book the flight from EWR to ZRH with LX even if I cannot find it unless I’m going to MUC?
    – Do you have any ideas of routing that I could use to reach Europe from YQB,YUL,YOW,YYZ,EWR,IAD or BOS?
    – Can I stop in Zurich on my way to Europe AND on my way back to America?

    Thank you 🙂

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      You’ve run into a phenomenon known as “married segments”. Basically, Swiss thinks they can sell enough revenue tickets for EWR-ZRH that they don’t need to make award space available. However they don’t think they’re selling many revenue tickets for EWR-ZRH-MUC, so they make award space available on that whole routing, without letting you book EWR-ZRH on its own.

      You can try calling in to Aeroplan to see if they can book it, but my guess would be no. However you can always add flights after MUC to get to where you want to go in Europe.

      For availability, make sure you’ve searched all the possible routes segment by segment, and also don’t forget about MIA – Swiss and SAS both fly there, and it’s usually OK to route via MIA from a MPM perspective.

      You can route through ZRH both ways as long as it’s on either “side” of your destination. If ZRH is your destination, you wouldn’t be able to.

      1. Avatar
        Alexandre Dubé Corneau

        Thank you very much, I’ll also take a look at Miami.
        I’ve been able to find a few flight through the Atlantic (IAD-LHR, IAD-GVA)… I’ll try to make my mind with those flights! I also have to figure out if I prefer to stick to Europe 1 or if I’m spending ore miles for Europe 2 (We are 3, so 180k or 225k)!

    2. Avatar
      Alexandre Dubé Corneau

      And If Zurich is one of my stopover (destination or not), can I pass again by Zurich on my way back to Canada? If I can’t this is a huge problem to come back!

      1. Avatar
        Ricky

        As long as Zurich is one of your stopovers, and not your final destination (i.e., it’s not the furthest city in which you’re stopping for over 24 hours) then yes you can.

        1. Avatar
          Alexandre Dubé Corneau

          Thank you Ricky.
          I’ve finally made an itinerary but I’m not sure if my MPM will be ok, what do you think?
          YBG-YUL-EWR-LHR (London as a stopover)
          LHR-LIS (Lisbon as destination)
          LIS-OPO (Porto as a stopover)
          OPO-EWR-YUL-YBG
          The MPM from YBG-LIS-YBG is 6176, the total of my itinerary is 9083. In my opinion I think this sould be fine because most of my flights make sense and I’m not going too far East or West for my layover!

          1. Avatar
            Ricky

            MPM wise it looks fine! An easy way to check is to map out your two one-way routings (outbound and return) between your origin and destination on GCMap. If both total routings fall below MPM, you’re good!

            By the way how’s life in Saguenay? Always intrigued by small Canadian cities. Worth a visit? 🙂

  72. Avatar
    Mike

    Hey Ricky – quick question.

    I want to do a mini-RTW from YYC to PER and JNB (and a third stop, flexible what that is). JNB is technically the destination. However, I can’t route through PER to get there and still fit within the YYC-JNB MPM. But if I were going to Perth as a destination, JNB would be a fair routing as a stopover, as flying PER-JNB-JFK-YYZ-YYC is under YYC-PER MPM. Would they allow that kind of routing? Any ideas for how to make it work?

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Hey Mike,

      Unfortunately you can’t “pick and choose” your destination. It’s automatically designated as the farthest away of your 3 stops.

      Maybe you can try originating your trip from YVR? I believe the YVR-JNB MPM allows for routing through PER no problem. Then you can tag on a short haul Aeroplan reward for YYC-YVR.

      1. Avatar
        Mike

        Actually, I called Aeroplan and the routing is fine, I was interpreting the rules wrong. I don’t need to consider all the flights on the way to PER. So the mileage to JNB is calculated (in GCMap terms) as YYC-PER-JNB rather than YYC-YVR-TPE-SIN-PER-JNB. I assume this is because

        This is what FlyerTalk says: "Any connections that you do not explicitly schedule do not count against your miles. So if one of your legs is New York to Oslo, but there is no direct flight and there is a connection in Paris, you only count the miles between New York and Oslo. The fact that you have to take a detour to Paris does not count in the total miles used."

        1. Avatar
          Ricky

          Really eh? That’s a potential game changer! What if I wanted to do specific 24-hour layovers or specific flights in between these explicitly chosen stopovers? I presume that WOULD count against MPM?

          I’ll have to look more into this. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

          1. Avatar
            Martin L

            Has anyone figured out how this works?

            When I’m looking at segments in AP one by one, I know that flights with layovers sometimes show up that I wouldn’t see if I just searched for a direct flight to that layover city. It doesn’t seem like AP service reps would know the difference, though, between not "explicitly scheduled" layovers and ones I plan myself, when I’m reading out flight numbers while booking over the phone.

  73. Avatar
    Syed Karim

    And one final question:
    If my itinerary looks like this:
    YYZ-IST (stop 1)
    IST-JED (stop 2)
    JED-DPS (via multiple layovers I assume since there is no direct flight) (destination)
    DPS-YYZ (via multiple layovers I assume)

    Question: If the JED-DPS flight has a connection in IST (eg. JED-IST-SIN-DPS), is this acceptable? Note that IST is already my stop #1 on my way to DPS (destination). I’m just not sure that I can have another flight land in IST even though it is just a connection. I am having trouble finding an alternate route from JED-DPS that doesn’t have a connection in IST. Please help!

    Much appreciated!!!

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      No you can’t backtrack through IST on the way to DPS. You can only go through a city twice if it’s on either "side" of the destination.

      If you can’t find another JED-DPS routing, can you try finding another YYZ-JED routing? And then doing the stopover in IST after your stopover in JED?

      1. Avatar
        Syed Karim

        Dealing with 2 big problems here since I can’t find another JED-DPS routing:
        1. IST is my first stop so I can’t really get rid of it. Spending 7 days in IST
        2. More importantly, only route available from JED-DPS includes a 18.5hr layover in Mumbai and I cannot leave the airport since I won’t be able to get the visa (India won’t give a visa to people from my country)
        So… I have to take JED out of my plans and re-architect my entire trip. IST and DPS are confirmed; just need to finalize on where to go between IST and DPS…

        1. Avatar
          Syed Karim

          And I wanted to do IST first… even if I explore your suggestion to do YYZ-JED first, that is a problem since all routes from YYZ-JED go through IST on the dates I’ve checked 🙁

          1. Avatar
            Ricky

            Have you explored all the options? The YYZ-DPS MPM is quite high (~16,000) and gives you lots of room to route around. Can you try Egyptair JED-CAI-PEK/BKK-DPS? Or Ethiopian JED-ADD-PEK/PVG/HKG/BKK/SIN-DPS? Remember that you can search segments individually and piece together the whole trip.

            1. Avatar
              Syed Karim

              Ricky, just wanted to thank you for your prompt responses and the blog that helped me get started. I finally booked my trip after 20+ iterations – all in business class for $200 in taxes 🙂
              YYZ->IST (stop)->CMN (stop)->CAI->DXB->SIN (destination)->DPS
              DPS->BKK->CAI->YYZ
              Now I just need to make sure that I won’t have to collect my bag at each airport and pay for baggage fees (if there are any) each time I switch an airline.

              1. Avatar
                Ricky

                No problem at all Syed! Looks like an epic trip!

  74. Avatar
    Syed Karim

    Hi Ricky,
    I am just finalizing my trip so I can book tomorrow morning. Just needed to clarify something. If I do a <24layover in Cairo for example on my way to Bali, will I have to pick up my checked in luggage in Cairo or will I pick it up directly in Bali? For what it’s worth, I will be adding the Cairo layover as a separate flight. Here are the details:
    YYZ-IST (stop 1)
    IST-JED (stop 2)
    JED-CAI (<24 hr layover)
    CAI-DPS (via multiple layovers I assume since there is no direct flight) (destination)
    DPS-YYZ (via multiple layovers I assume)

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Hey Syed, there’s a chance you’ll have to pick it up in Cairo, since it depends on whether the two airlines operating your flights to/from Cairo have an interlining agreement. If you’re flying Egyptair into and out of Cairo, chances are you’ll be able to pick it up directly later on.

      When flying a ticket with multiple airlines like this, it’s best to always double-check during check-in where you’ll be picking up your bags.

      1. Avatar
        Syed Karim

        Thanks, Ricky. I was seconds away from booking my trip last night when the agent advised that I should double check since I might not be able to clear customs without my luggage. Haven’t had any luck getting through to Egypt Air (horrible airline) but I was wondering if you had any experience dealing with this. For what it’s worth, these are the connections and airlines on my way home:
        DPS-SIN on SQ (2hr layover) (DPS is destination)
        SIN-BOM on SQ (6hr layover)
        BOM-CAI on Egypt Air (20hr layover and I’d like to clear customs here)
        CAI-YYZ on Egypt Air (YYZ is home)

        On the one hand, I’d hate to lug around a suitcase in Cairo. On the other, I want to make sure I can clear customs without my luggage. Please advise. Thanks!!

        1. Avatar
          Ricky

          I haven’t faced this exact situation, but it would seem to me to be pretty clear-cut. Egyptair’s doing you a courtesy by through-checking your bags, and in return they’d expect you to… remain in the airport for 20 hours? I can’t imagine that.

          In any case, you can verify at the check-in desk with the Egyptair staff, and if they inform you that you’ll have trouble clearing customs without your bags, just get them to check your bags to Cairo and then use the left luggage services at the airport so that you don’t have to lug your bags around.

  75. Avatar
    Sam Hancock

    Will Aeroplan ever let you exceed the MPM by a few %?
    Or exceed the 24 hour layover limit by a few minutes?

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Not under usual circumstances. I’ve heard isolated instances of both of those being allowed, but only when an airline schedule change meant that there were no alternatives available.

  76. Avatar
    Mike

    Excellent post – just stumbled upon this.

    To confirm / clarify the MPM rules…

    MPM value between Origin + Destination.
    Each ways routing (ie. departure route TO the destination, and RETURN from) must fall under the MPM?

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      That’s correct!

  77. Avatar
    Mathieu Lavigne

    Hey Ricky, been collecting Aeroplan and while at first I was aiming at a 3 stop trip in Europe, I’m thinking more and more about an intercontinental journey through multiple countries.

    I calculated my things and I think this works (I got a MPM value of 15 948 for YUL-SYD), but I wanted to make sure I understood properly how the whole thing works. Am I right in saying the total distance flown between your starting point and the destination can’t exceed your MPM?

    So far, I have this which would be doable with limited taxes/fees (no YQ and sadly, just the stop in Australia boosts the total value a ton).

    YUL – (IAD) – CDG – United (STOPOVER)
    CDG – (CAI) – DXB – EgyptianAir (LAYOVER in DXB)
    DXB – SIN – Singapore (STOPOVER)
    SIN-SYD – Singapore (DESTINATION)
    SYD-PEK – AirChina (LAYOVER)
    PEK-YUL – AirChina (Back home)

    I counted 430$ in taxes/fees per person for this itinerary which sounds pretty low IMO. Is my MPM calculation right? Would this itinerary work?

  78. Avatar
    Jess

    Hi Ricky, thanks for this very helpful guide! Wanted to ask about the validity of this route:

    • YYZ-TPE-ICN (layover, <24h)
    • ICN-TPE (destination)
    • TPE-PVG (layover, <24h)
    • PVG-KIX (stop #1)
    • KIX-HND (stop #2)
    • HND-YYZ

    For the KIX-HND route, tickets aren’t released until T-2 months it seems; any way I can make that an open jaw (and then book it in later)? If not, should I book in the route with PVG-NRT/HND instead and just try to switch later?

    Thanks again!

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Oh another thing: you may want to look into using a JR Pass to explore Japan by train or Shinkansen instead. I haven’t done it before but I’ve heard great things!

    2. Avatar
      Ricky

      Jess, you can’t transit TPE on your way to TPE as the destination. So you could make your stop in Taipei first, then head to Seoul for your long layover, then head to Shanghai (providing the whole Taipei-Toronto return portion falls within MPM).

      As for the KIX-HND problem, yes you should be able to make it an open-jaw (some agents might not allow an open-jaw that’s not adjacent to the destination, while others might), but keep in mind that either way you’ll incur a change fee if you try to add the flight. So it might be less trouble to just book PVG-NRT and add KIX later, than try to convince an agent to let you put an open-jaw there.

      Hope this helps, and happy holidays!

      Ricky

      1. Avatar
        Jess

        Thanks for the prompt response Ricky!

        For the YYZ-TPE-ICN-TPE problem, I was thinking I could either change HKG to the destination or maybe book a separate Aeroplan trip for TPE-ICN. Would the second option be valid?

        Thanks again and happy holidays!

        Jess

  79. Avatar
    michael

    To your knowledge can I put together two different awards to make a "round trip" example: Australia-Europe and North American-Europe on the same PNR booked at the same time, will this create a "round trip"

  80. Avatar
    travdg

    Can you have a stopover or layover at same city but different airport?

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Unfortunately not. The backtracking rule applies to cities, not airports.

  81. Avatar
    Xtina W

    Hey Ricky – Looking to fly biz class from YYZ to EZE using our points (and without the $1k per person taxes from AC).
    Is it possible to get YYZ – EWR – EZE and return on one booking with points? Both of us have about 130k points available.

  82. Avatar
    carol

    Hi Ricky,

    I only have 75000 pts to spare which will get me to Asia from Vancouver. I was thinking Vancouver – Osaka (open jaw) – Taipei – Glasgow – Vancouver. Does that work?

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      I’m not sure if the Vancouver–Taipei MPM is large enough to allow you to route through Europe. Use my article "How to Find the Aeroplan MPM Online" to make sure. If it’s not enough, consider making your destination somewhere further than Taipei, to make the MPM larger.

  83. Avatar
    Earle McCurdy

    Hi Ricky,

    I’d like to do a mini rtw from St. John’s NL (YYT) that includes stops in Cairo, Bangkok and somewhere in Australia. (The Bangkok stop is optional.) Is this do-able?

    Earle

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Sounds pretty doable to me! Canada to Australia is generally quite conducive to any and all stopovers in between, since they’re basically on opposite ends of the globe.

  84. Avatar
    Lisa

    Hi Ricky,

    Lisa again. A second mini RTW would be from YOW to CMB (Sri Lanka) and ULN (Mongolia). Which would be my destination, and what is the MPM ?

    thank you, Lisa

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      YOW – CMB: 14090
      YOW – ULN: 8441

      Colombo would definitely be your destination. Also keep in mind that ULN is only served by Air China (from Beijing) and Turkish Airlines (from Istanbul via Bishkek) among Star Alliance airlines. So it would be quite challenging to get there – a routing like YOW-YUL-IST-FRU-ULN-PEK-BKK-CMB could work, if you can find the availability.

      And thanks for your support of the site! Much appreciated 🙂

    2. Avatar
      Lisa

      BTW, I have signed up for an AMEX card using one of your affiliate links.

  85. Avatar
    Lisa

    Hi Ricky,
    thanks for this amazing site – I had no idea…!

    Can you please tell me the MPM for YUL – CCU, and YUL – CMB? I’m starting to plan a mini RTW and think my furthest destination will be South Asia.

    But a related question: If the MPM for South Asian destinations is too small for itinerary, does it make sense to throw in a further destination, even if I’m not really planning to spend too much time there??

    thanks, Lisa

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      YUL – CCU: 12580
      YUL – CMB: 14001

      Colombo is slightly farther than Kolkata so that will be your destination. It might make sense to throw in a further destination, but keep in mind that it would count towards one of your three permitted stopovers of over 24 hours. So that’s the trade-off for potentially getting more MPM to play with.

  86. Avatar
    Alyssa Bougie

    Hi Ricky,

    Thanks for putting this together! It’s super helpful.

    I’m looking to do a mini RTW from YVR – Denpasar/Bali (DPS) – Germany(Frankfurt preferably) – YVR. I’m wondering if that’s possible – I’ve seen Asia via Europe redemptions but not as many Europe via Asia.

    If so, I would love to know the MPM between YVR and DPS.

    Also if you had any thoughts on other destinations to include in there my itinerary is super flexible.

    Thank you!

  87. Avatar
    Muhammad

    Hi – thanks for posting this incredible series. I have a lot of miles and am looking to plan one of these trips for next year. I had a question on layovers – would there be any issues if the layover city is in a different zone to the destination? For example, if my first of three destinations in Barcelona, can I fly Turkish from YYZ to IST and then onwards from IST to BCN?

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Hey Muhammad! Layovers don’t affect the total mileage that you are charged, so you can definitely do YYZ-IST-BCN with a layover in IST (providing it’s within MPM!)

  88. Avatar
    Gabriel

    Hi Ricky, would you by any chance know the MPM for YYC-CPH? Thanks

    Awesome series btw, great details – incredibly helpful for those of us new to mRTW

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Gabriel – apologies for the delay on this one – it’s 7,958 miles.

  89. Avatar
    Stany V

    Ricky, would you know what the MPMs for YUL – HND and for YOW – KIX are?

    Thank you

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      As of today:

      Montreal (YUL) – Tokyo (TYO): 9071 miles

      Ottawa (YOW) – Osaka (OSA): 9256

      Hope this helps!

  90. Avatar
    Marlene

    Soooo! I have most of my miles in Aeroplan so that’s good. Lol! What are my options for booking a mini rtw though. I’m a newbie travel hacker. Lol! Its my understanding that I can fly with any star alliance partner. True? So I can look at other partner airline charts or just aeroplan chart for this type of booking? It gets so confusing! I’m reading so much information I am now totally confused!

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Hey Marlene, you’ll have to look at the Aeroplan chart since you’re redeeming Aeroplan miles. Here’s my two cents on where to start: write down a list of places you’d like to go, pick three from that list, and figure out the "bones" of the trip: which city will be your destination and which will be your stopovers?

      Feel free to shoot me an email if you want some help!

  91. Avatar
    John Bucher

    Just for fun , I checked BDA to Perth in aeroplan using a non specific date and lo and behold,
    the trip turned up for 180000 miles in business via yyz. I have wanted to go to Australia via miles for a while but never tought of going to Perth instead of Mel or Syd or starting in BDA or even Barbados. OK, I am old, but what agreat way of getting to Aus and there seems to be lots of space.
    Thanks for the ideas and the tips. I m becoming a regular reader.

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      The beauty of PER–BDA is the incredible MPM it allows you to fly – over 20,000 miles! So you could really do some outrageous routings. If you wanted to fly a ton of business or first class, you could do it. If you wanted to visit a crazy number of cities on a singular one-way journey, you could do it.

  92. Avatar
    Jerry

    Very good intro to mRTW (there are many online)

    mRTW is the only way I fly back to Asia yearly now (i.e. free visit to Europe)
    YYZ-Europe-Asia-YYZ

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Thanks Jerry. Yep, "Asia via Europe" is definitely one of the sweetest and most common redemptions. I’ll be doing one next month!

  93. Avatar
    John Bucher

    This promises to be a very enlightening series. I am looking forward to the next part.
    Many of the blogs are getting too complicated or assume we all have 2 million miles and all the time in the world to travel. Your’s is a great blg for the newby who has some knowledge, but is not a "pro".

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Thanks for the kind words John. It’s comments like these that make me happy to have started writing the blog. I hope my posts can help transform you into a "pro"! 🙂

Ricky

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