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Aeroplan Mini-RTW: Two Weeks to Go!

Aeroplan’s stopover policies will be changing in a fortnight’s time, reducing the current allowance of either two stopovers or one stopover and one open-jaw into a more restrictive policy of either one stopover or one open-jaw. With points collectors across Canada working frantically to finalize their bookings, let’s check-in on the current state of play. 

I’ll begin by sharing with you how I personally plan to bid farewell to the incredible sweet spot of the three-stop Aeroplan Mini-RTW that we’ve come to know and love…

November 2019: Another Epic Round-the-World Journey

I’ve already written about my November 2019 round-the-world trip, which will bring me to Kazakhstan, Perth, and Geneva, with long layovers in Cancún, Shanghai, and Tokyo. 

I’ll get to sample a trio of Boeing 787 Dreamliner business class products that I haven’t flown before, operated by Turkish Airlines (Cancún–Istanbul), ANA (Perth–Tokyo), and EVA Air (Taipei–Bangkok–Vienna). 

I also have a few side-trips planned to Melbourne and London, the former bringing me onboard a Qantas vs. Virgin Australia business class double-header, and the latter allowing me to catch a game at my beloved Arsenal Football Club. It promises to be yet another exciting month of relentless globetrotting, and I’m counting down the days with anticipation. 

There’s one small update to tell you about this trip: I had originally booked TAP Air Portugal’s new A321-LR product from Porto to Newark back across the Atlantic, but a schedule change on that flight meant that I’d end up missing my connection in Newark.

Knowing that schedule changes entitle me to a waiver of the Aeroplan change fee (as well as any difference in fuel surcharges), I called up Aeroplan and changed my return journey to the Geneva–Montreal direct flight on the Air Canada A330. 

I imagine I’ll be pretty exhausted and eager to come home by that point in the journey, so I was content to save my 24-hour layover in Porto for a future trip and take the most sensible route home instead.

Air Canada A330 business class

Air Canada A330 business class

May 2020: One Last Three-Stop Hurrah

As soon as we received word about the rule changes in mid-July, I began thinking about how I’d like to give the Aeroplan Mini-RTW one final send-off sometime in 2020.

After much deliberation, I decided to take advantage of a short window of free time in May 2020 to book a two-week jaunt around the world. As usual, I aimed to check out a few far-flung cities I’ve been meaning to visit, while also trying out a few new airline products. The end result looks like this:

I’ve chosen to have stopovers in Santiago (3 days), Johannesburg (5 days), and Tel Aviv (3 days). Santiago and Tel Aviv have been on my bucket list for a long time, whereas I’ll probably book a side-trip from Johannesburg to Cape Town and also see if I can make time for another side-trip to Lesotho as well. 

Meanwhile, I’ve also got eight hours to see a little bit of San Salvador, 21 hours to explore Bogotá, and 23 hours to absorb São Paulo; on top of that, I’ll get to experience my maiden flights on the Avianca 787, the South African Airways A330, and the United Polaris 777.

United Airlines Polaris business class

United Airlines Polaris business class

The latter two were quite tough to find availability for – I managed to snag the only available seats in the few weeks surrounding those dates!

The itinerary also contains a segment on GOL Airlines, the Brazilian low-cost carrier that partners with Aeroplan. You can’t search for GOL award space online, and the ExpertFlyer readings aren’t reliable either – for example, this is what ExpertFlyer showed for GOL space on my desired date, but Aeroplan wasn’t able to access any of the space: 

Instead, if you want to book on GOL, the Aeroplan agent needs to manually query each flight and see if GOL comes back with a “yes” or a “no”, which can be a bit of a shot in the dark, and is quite a time-consuming process as well. Nevertheless, it’s a very useful option to keep in mind if you’re redeeming Aeroplan miles for travel around South America, where Star Alliance’s coverage isn’t necessarily the strongest.

With only the Air Canada fifth freedom flight between Santiago and Buenos Aires contributing a minimal amount in fuel surcharges, the taxes and fees for this itinerary came to a satisfyingly low $162, and I just got it ticketed this morning. 

(Of course, I had definitely wanted to do one final Mini-RTW with my girlfriend Jessy in tow, but we’ve already booked much of our travels for the remainder of 2019 and through 2020, and she didn’t have much time in her schedule left for another three-stop adventure. It’s the highest order of first-world problems, but unless something significantly changes in the next two weeks, Jessy will likely have to make do with two-stop trips in the future…)

What Trips Are You Planning?

Alright, enough about me. How are you planning to maximize the Aeroplan Mini-RTW before the rules change on September 1?

I’ve received quite a few emails from readers in the past few weeks who are hoping to take advantage of the three-stop allowance, but aren’t really sure where in the world to go, or which routes and destinations would be most conducive to the planning process.

Based on the many hours I’ve spent looking at availability patterns recently, it’s definitely the case that the “classic” Mini-RTW going through both Europe and Asia remains the easiest to build. With a little bit of flexibility in terms of travel dates and routing options, both transatlantic and transpacific award space – including premium carriers like Turkish Airlines, Swiss, and EVA Air – remain very much accessible, especially if you’re travelling in “shoulder season” months like February–May 2020.

Availability trends seem quite favourable in Africa as well, where Ethiopian Airlines will generally be the carrier of choice for getting around. From outside the continent, Turkish Airlines’s flights to West, Central, and East Africa are wide-open in terms of business class space, whereas the award space on their long-haul services down to Cape Town or Johannesburg will be much more competitive.

If you’re headed to Australia or New Zealand, availability may be slightly tougher to find, although Singapore Airlines has still been making a decent amount of space available. New Zealand in particular might require a separate side-trip from a Sydney- or Melbourne-destined Mini-RTW booking, particularly as the MPM limits from Canada to New Zealand are rather restrictive. 

Finally, Central American and South America remain extremely well-served by Copa Airlines and Avianca flights – those two carriers seemed to have some issues with married segments as of last month, but those have been mostly resolved. But for those of you who want to continue onboard South African Airways’s flight from São Paulo to Johannesburg, the award space seems to have dried up a lot since before (the same is true for SAA’s other Southern route between Johannesburg and Perth). 

Making Changes After September 1

I should also take this opportunity to talk about the policy of making changes to existing bookings after September 1. The official policy is that any changes to tickets created prior to September 1 will remain subject to the old rules, allowing you to have either two stopovers or one stopover and one open-jaw.

Below is the email exchange with an Air Canada spokesperson confirming this:

I’ve also outlined in a previous post some strategies for “locking in” Aeroplan Mini-RTWs if you don’t have enough miles yet, or for booking itineraries close to or after August 2020.

Nevertheless, it seems that many agents haven’t been properly educated on this policy, as several Aeroplan members have reported being told that any changes to existing bookings after September 1 would be subject to the new rules. I’d definitely advise escalating to a supervisor in this case, and I imagine that preserving the two-stopover allowance after September might well involve calling back a few times to get the right agent. 

Need Help Planning Your Aeroplan Mini-RTW?

I’ve been working overtime in recent weeks helping clients book their epic round-the-world trips through the Points Consulting service. If you want my assistance in planning a route, searching for availability, and making your dream trip come true, feel free to send me a request.

My turnaround time may be a little slow these days given the volume of requests, but rest assured that I’ll be able to present you with a valid itinerary to call Aeroplan and book before the August 31 deadline. This sweet spot has given me some of the best travel memories of my life, so I’m fully committed to helping as many people as possible experience the same thing. 

Conclusion

With its near-endless possibilities for round-the-world travel, the Aeroplan Mini-RTW was the first redemption sweet spot that truly captured my imagination when I got started with Miles & Points. After many years of reaping the benefits, it’s hard to believe that the rules are finally getting tightened, but that’s the reality we face as we enter the final two weeks of being able to build three-stop trips around the world at such a compelling price point.

After September 1, the thinking among dedicated travellers will shift towards how one can maximize Aeroplan by booking two-stop trips, as well as how to leverage the pseudo-round-the-world award charts of other reward programs out there, like the British Airways multi-carrier chart, the Cathay Pacific multi-carrier chart, and – to be discussed in a separate article shortly – the ANA Mileage Club round-the-world award chart. 

53 Comments
  1. Alex YWG

    Now that the rush to book the last few miniRTW trips using the pre-Sept 1 rules are done I have a a question relating to checked luggage. I believe in 1 of your previous blogs you mentioned short checking your checked luggage so that you can access it at a less than 24h layover.

    Has your luggage ever been delayed? If so how long and how did you handle it?

    If you are travelling through several countries and spending less than 4 days in each, how has the airlines done in re-uniting your luggage?
    Who do you call if your luggage is delayed/lost? The airline you booked with (most likely Aeroplan) or the airline that you just flew with?

    My current game plan for the following itinerary
    YWG-YYZ AC
    YYZ-LIS TP 23h layover
    LIS-OPO TP 19h layover
    OPO-ZRH TP 13h layover during the day
    ZRH-HKG LX 17h layover late afternoon
    HKG-TPE BR 1st stop
    TPE-SGN BR destination 1-open jaw to do Hanoi, Siem Reap
    BKK-CAI MS destination 2-open jaw
    CAI-YYZ MS 20h layover in Cairo
    YYZ-YWG AC

    Is to short check my luggage to ZRH to make sure it makes it to HKG and then to TPE. It would suck to have my luggage missing as I am going from TPE-SGN-HAN-REP-BKK.

    If anyone else has any stories/expieriences on delayed luggage while on a miniRTW with several layovers I would love to hear how you handled them. My upcoming trip is quite the aggressive one where I will be visiting 8 countries.

    Thanks

    1. Ricky

      It’s part of the risk of checking bags on crazy itineraries like this. While it’s never happened to me, I imagine you’d have to stay in touch with the carrier who lost your bags and then somehow arrange for them to be delivered to you at some point along your journey once they’ve been located.

  2. Amir

    Hi Ricky,

    I called Aeroplan today to change my itinerary that I booked before Sept. 1st and they told me that it’s not possible to add two stopovers if the original ticket did not have two stopovers. Is this correct? If not, what should I say over the phone to convince them?

    1. Ricky

      Should definitely be possible, since the rules at the time of booking should govern your ticket. Call again and escalate to a supervisor if needed.

  3. Timbo2

    Amazing trips to see the world. Would never have guessed this five years ago. Started using various blogs until Ricky took the lead for Canadians. Comments sections provide more ideas. Latest trip:
    YVR-YYZ
    YYZ-WAW
    WAW-VCE stop (taking advantage of the old Marriott 60K /nite)
    VCE-ATH
    ATH-LCA destination (taking advantage of the old Marriott 60K /nite)
    LCA-ATH
    ATH-IST
    IST-MEX
    MEX-CUN stop (had to work in a destination wedding….not mine)
    CUN-YYC
    YYC-YVR

    All bus. except the last YYC-YVR flight…go figure

    Not sure how they calculated mpm, maybe didn’t include the MEX-CUN miles as it Turkish continuing on ??? didn’t ask….just booked it.

    Thanks to all for the inspirations. May there be many more.

    1. Ricky

      Lovely work. Yeah, anytime you have a single flight number on two segments, it gets counted as one flight for the purposes of MPM – so it was IST-CUN for you with some extra flying time on the TK 787! 🙂

  4. Mike Bouma

    Just called in and was told I couldn’t adjust my months’ old booking to a new itinerary because my original booking was for one stop and one open jaw. Will try again obviously, but annoying.

  5. Mak YYZ

    This blog is the main reason why i started chruning and planned MRTW’s, thanks to Ricky and few other RFD, Reddit and FT members who constantly encourage and helped to build few trips using the AP miles.
    Some how managed to get a MRTW for 3 pax but due to holiday season (XMAS/NYE) i was not able to get the proper routing and layovers, the worst part is to have unintentional Open Jaw between PER-MNL. still i am happy to go on this trip with the family who never been on J before.
    Once again thanks to the member who helped me pull this at the last minute.
    here are the stats. and appreciate any pointers to reach MNL from AUS/NZ using avios or cash deals.
    165k miles and $585 taxes + $34 agent fees. Total=$1860 for 3pax

    YYZ-BOS AC 01:05 HRS
    BOS-ZRH LX 7:35 HRS Z
    RH-BRU LX 6N/5D
    BRU-LIS TP 03:40 HRS
    LIS-CMN TP 07:50 HRS
    CMN-IST TK 03:40 HRS STOP-1
    IST-PEK TK 07:50 HRS
    PEK-SIN CA 03.00 HRS
    SIN-PER SQ 8N/7D
    PER-SIN SQ 07:00 HRS OPEN JAW
    SIN-MNL SQ 5N/6D OPEN JAW
    MNL-BKK TG 16:35 HRS
    BKK-HKG TG 06:35 HRS
    HKG-ZRH LX 06:35 HRS Z
    RH-YUL LX 0:45 HRS NO PROPER
    YUL-YYZ AC NEXT DAY CONNECTION

  6. BO KIM

    Contemplating within the final days of Aug to book a Latin America pinball adventure. My MPM that I calculated was 9152 based on EZE being the final.
    Routing proposed is YYZ-HAV-BOG-SCL(SO)-EZE(DEST)
    Return is EZE-GRU-LIM-CUZ(O.JAW CUZ-LIM) LIM-GYE-GPS-UIO-BOG-PTY-YYZ
    Highlights include a few days in SCL, about a week in EZE to do some side trips to visit Iguasu and Uruguay similar to what you did, Machu Picchu , Galapagos layover lol, and Panama Canal, so at least 16flts over 9 countries. The Milage on the insane return leg..9142!!!! (Just 10miles short, just wow)
    I have not confirmed seat availability on all the legs but I think I should just book this anyway and change it later if some legs cant work. But this is truly pushing it to the thinnest of the thread!!
    It is an Incredible incredible AP hack! Thank you for this huge goldmine.. It will be sad once the program changes next month to allow only 1 stopover but for now, I am happy to unload all the AP that I can scrounge up.

    1. BO KIM

      Update I have to trim it down a bit as several seats especially to the UNESCO places were not avail and I was booking this on economy.
      My revised plans will include HAV-PTY-LIM-UIO-BOG-GRU-EZE as the final destination. Return being EZE-GRU-BOG-PTY-HAV-YUL-YYZ with a stopover for 2 days in GRU. I still have room for 1 more stop over where I am hoping to amend my trip plans early next year in hopes of getting it closer to my original itenerary like SCL (So hard to find seats) as I made the booking on the last day. Taxes were a little expensive due to a few AC and CA flights over N.America, I may swap that to UA and see if I can get some refunds as well. Nevertheless a great way to to cover Latin america albeit in a horseshoe type of flying segments.

  7. A S

    I’m hoping to do Australia (destination) with stopovers in Europe (Germany?) and Asia (Japan?).

    I don’t know if I’m going to be able to pull it off. I’ve never done this before.

    1. Ricky

      Nice! Have you planned your route yet?

  8. Stainless

    Today I booked a relatively simple (not a mRTW) trip to Europe next spring so my wife and I could visit some cities we’ve always wanted to go to.
    YYZ-WAW on LOT, open jaw to visit Berlin, Prague, and Budapest by train, BUD-LIS on TAP, LIS-BOS on TAP, BOS-YYZ on AC.
    All J-class. 230,000 Aeroplan pts and $500- in fees, total.
    Thanks for your website Ricky.

    1. Ricky

      Looks like an awesome Euro trip. Best part is that these will still be bookable to some extent after the Sep 1 rule change!

  9. Jathniel Bonaobra

    Hi Ricky, I’ve been a loyal reader for more than a year now and learned so much from your post. I even got a handful of friends following you after they keep asking me how I can fly around so often on very modest earnings.

    I am kind of on high alert now that the deadline for booking the mRTW is only a few days away. I want to try out the Island Hopper UA 154/155 as well as the African Hopper that you mentioned in your Craziest Aeroplan mRTW blog post.
    My goals:
    – East Coast to Cancun for a long Layover
    – Cancun to West Coast Africa (hopping through CKY / ABJ / ACC hopefully)
    – Then making my way to IST (Stopover)
    – IST through Asia to WLG (Destination)
    – WLG to HKG (Stopover)
    – Finally HKG to wherever I started from taking advantage of the Island Hopper UA154/155 through HNL
    – My MPM is roughly 14075
    Could you please confirm the following for me?
    – If I book a NA/SA trip before Sep 1, I can make changes to the entire itinerary with the same rules prior to Sep 1 changes but I will incur the $100 fee for each direction thus $200 + $30 calling fee

    And if you have any tips/suggestions for my crazy goals please let me know. I am all ears.

    Thanking you in advance,

    Jay B.

    1. Ricky

      Yes, in theory you should be able to make that change. You might run into obstinate agents who don’t know the rules, though, so you may have to call back a few times.

      Also, for your trip, I’m not sure if the MPM will allow Cancun + West Africa + Istanbul + Asia. Even my trip to Perth (MPM of ~18000) was pushing the limits with Cancun. It’ll be a very tight squeeze that’s for sure.

  10. John Bucher

    Brad and Matt , I am very impressed. We are all trying to get a good deal before the first of September. My recent booked trip :
    YYZ – YUL
    YUL – ZRH
    ZRH – NCE Destination
    Open Jaw to LHR stopover
    LHR – LIS stopover
    LIS – YYZ home

    All in business. $380 for two. Not round the world but a nice trip none the less.
    Thanks to Ricky for giving us the info to book these trips.

    1. Ricky

      Glad you were able to booking something John. You’re right, it’s not around-the-world but certainly still using the current rules to maximum effect while you still can.

  11. CT

    Our second mini RTW booked yesterday. Thanks to Ricky for his inspiration and pushing me into this last two weeks of Aeroplan.
    Here is our itinerary for ’round Europe trip next June-July

    YOW-YYZ-ATL-IST TK in J ( destination)
    IST-FCO TK in J ( stop)
    FCO – LIS TAP in J ( stop)
    LIS-BOS- TAP in J
    BOS – YOW AC in Y

    Total cost: 322.92/person + booking fee $33.90

    In between the trip to Rome, I will use my Avios and do a nested trip to LHR for 2-3 days. We are looking forward to trying out the new biz class on TK flight #32 from Atlanta and TAP flight #217 from LIS to BOS.

    1. Ricky

      Awesome, nice work getting one last three-stop Europe trip in before the deadline. I can’t wait to try the TK 787 myself.

  12. Brad

    Booked for next spring:

    YVR-HND NH 22h layover
    HND-FUK-ICN OZ 19h layover
    ICN-TPE TG 14h layover
    TPE-MNL BR 20h layover
    MNL-SIN SQ 22h layover
    SIN-PER SQ stopover (side trip to Adelaide)
    PER-JNB SA destination
    JNB-NBO SA 16h layover
    NBO-CAI MS 22h layover
    CAI-FRA MS 23h layover
    FRA-LHR LH stopover
    LHR-YYZ-YYC AC 13h layover
    YYC-YVR AC

    Business class the whole way (except for the HND-FUK leg). 300K plus $800 fees/taxes for my wife and I. Really concentrated on getting long layovers each step of the way.

    Thanks Ricky for all the info. It is because of you that I came to realize the power of the Mini-RTW. Stoked beyond belief. Cheers!

    1. Ricky

      Wow, I hope you’re staying properly caffeinated during those long layovers! Looks like a blast.

  13. Matt

    My first mRTW booked:

    YVR-TPE EVA
    TPE-BKK EVA
    BKK-DPS TH (stop)
    DPS-SIN SQ
    SIN-JNB SQ (dest)
    JNB-ZRH LX
    ZRH-OPO TP
    OPO-LIS TP (stop)
    LIS-RAK TP
    RAK-GVA LX
    GVA-CPH SK
    CPH-EWR SK
    EWR-YVR AC

    Long layovers in TPE, SIN, ZRH, OPO, and RAK.
    $313 taxes plus booking fee. Side trips planned for Cape Town and Livingstone (Vic Falls).

    Thanks Ricky!

    1. Ricky

      Tremendous! Was this business or economy? If business, I’m very impressed you snagged SIN-JNB and JNB-ZRH 🙂

      1. Matt

        Alas, it was economy. Aeroplan forced my hand. Wasn’t planning to do this trip until 2021 but felt I had to get it done before Sept 1st! Timing was such that I had just booked another trip with Aeroplan recently so was short on miles to do business. 🙁

        So…now I have two month long trips in a three month span all of a sudden. First world problems 😉

  14. Alex YWG

    Since everyone is sharing their success here is my trip. Originally I was going to go over the pacific but ended up going through Europe to get to South East Asia. At that point might as well extend the layovers and stretch my miles. All in business class

    YWG-YYZ AC
    YYZ-LIS TP 23h layover
    LIS-OPO TP 19h layover
    OPO-ZRH TP 13h layover during the day
    ZRH-HKG LX 17h layover late afternoon
    HKG-TPE BR 1st stop
    TPE-SGN BR destination 1-open jaw to do Hanoi, Siem Reap
    BKK-CAI MS destination 2-open jaw
    CAI-YYZ MS 20h layover in Cairo
    YYZ-YWG AC

    155k aeroplan points and $230 in taxes, fees and booking cost.

    Within about 50 miles of my maximum MPM, tried to go to HAN instead of SGN and incorporate BCN and EWR (wanted to visit the polaris lounge) but could not make the MPM work unless I flew to PVG over HKG but that meant possible $100-150 more in taxes

    1. Ricky

      Within 50 miles of MPM – nicely done. My record is 10 😉

  15. Alex

    Hi Ricky,

    Since the number of layovers / stopovers reduces – is it going to be better to book two one-way trips, rather than a round trip?

    1. Ricky

      You’ll still get to have one stopover or one open-jaw on a round-trip, so booking round-trip will still be advantageous.

  16. Colin C

    After seeing your mini-RTW post back in May or early June, I put together and booked the following, for travel in February 2020:

    YEG-YYC Y AC
    YYC-YYZ J AC
    YYZ-LIS J TP (22 hour layover)
    LIS-ZRH J TP (22 hour layover)
    ZRH-NBO J LX (Destination)
    NBO-ADD J ET (5 days stopover)
    ADD-DXB J ET (18 hour layover)
    DXB-BKK J TG
    BKK-HKG J TG (22 hour layover)
    HKG-NRT J NH (5 days stopover)
    HND-YVR J NH
    YVR-YEG J AC

    Now I’m planning another mini-RTW for travel in late 2020 or early 2021, using an open jaw between Buenos Aires and Sao Paolo as my one stopover and a side trip for South Africa to Namibia to make the most out of it.

    1. Ricky

      Very nicely done! ANA business class is a sweet way to end the trip.

      Not sure you’re allowed to do an open-jaw between EZE & GRU if your destination is in Africa – it’s supposed to be adjacent to the destination. Maybe a side-trip if it doesn’t work out?

      1. Alex YWG

        If I understand your comment correctly open-jaws can only be between adjacent places, or to use another phrase on the same continent?

        Do you think that will continue to apply after Sept 1? I was contemplating a mini-RTW fall of 2020 and doing an open jaw from Europe/Middle East to Asia and using Alaska points to book the in between trip but from what you stated I will not be able to open-jaw on aeroplan points between 2 continents?

        1. Ricky

          Yeah the open-jaw has to be between the destination and some other point, not between a stopover and some other point, as Colin said.

          It doesn’t have to be in the same continent, just in the same "IATA Zone", which are 1) the Americas, 2) Europe, Middle East, and Africa, and 3) Asia and Australia. So YYZ-LHR / JNB-YYZ is a valid open-jaw, as is YYZ-PEK / SYD-YYZ.

          So you won’t be able to do an open-jaw between Europe and Asia, no.

          1. Alex YWG

            Not ideal but not as bad as I thought, thank you for the clarification.

      2. Colin C

        Ah ok, I just reread your guide and now I understand. I had thought that if JNB was my destination, then if I had an open jaw between EZE and GRU, and then flew GRU-JNB as part mini rtw, then that would qualify as adjacent to the destination. I believe what you’re saying is that the open jaw would have to be between JNB and somewhere else, but not two other places.
        So it would have to be a side trip from Brazil to Argentina. Thanks for the help Ricky!

        And yes, I am very much looking forward to that ANA HND-YVR flight :D. The YYZ-LIS flight will be my first ever in long-haul business class too.

  17. RichardG YVR

    Hey Ricky, Thanks for your blog and all the great info. Started last March and finally booked my first miniRTW for 2 person all in J.
    YVR-TPE (20h)-DPS (stop)
    DPS-SIN (14h)-ADD-JNB (dest)
    JNB-IST (10h)-CDG (stop)
    CDG-WAW(9h)-ORD-YYZ-YVR
    150K AP each

    All 9+hrs layover are during the day 🙂
    I was worried that my outbound is more than MPM but apparently it was valid.
    Based from GCM, my outbound is 16401 more than what you’ll get doing the trick on your site.

    1. Ricky

      Excellent! I’m impressed you found space on JNB-IST, that’s been a tough one to find.

      The MPM thing – it’s my understanding that while every city pair has a certain MPM, there’s also a slightly higher MPM by routing through a specific stopover along the way between those two cities. Usually the MPM increases by 10 or 20 miles in that case. It’s not an exact science but it’s good to know there’s a slight chance of having some wiggle room.

  18. John Bucher

    Wow! Your readers are doing so well with your help, Ricky. I am starting to feel like I have not been paying attention. That’s it! I am going to figure out an amazing booking. In all seriousness, this blog has made me think that I should work a little harder to get a great trip. I have a little under two weeks to do this. Lighting a little fire under oneself is a good thing.

    1. Ricky

      Let me know if you need any help 😉

  19. Florian

    I just booked this one a couple of weeks ago:

    YOW-YUL, AC in Y
    YUL-ZRH, LX in J (10h 35min layover)
    ZRH-CDG, LX in J (stopover)
    CDG-VIE, OS in J (23h 15min layover)
    VIE-IST, TK in J
    IST-BKK, TK in J (destination)
    BKK-TPE, TG in J (20h 20min layover)
    TPE-FUK, BR in J (Hello Kitty flight)
    FUK-ICN, OZ in J (22h 40min layover)
    ICN-PEK, OZ in J (8h 1min layover)
    PEK-IST, TK in J (stopover)
    IST-ZRH, TK in J
    ZRH-YUL, LX in J
    YUL-YOW, AC in Y

    155k AP + $548

    1. Ricky

      Looks awesome, Florian. Nice work sneaking those long layovers and the BR Hello Kitty flight in there.

  20. Sash - YOW ✈ YOW

    After spending nearly 20 hours searching and piecing together the flights, this is my plan next May, all in J

    https://imgur.com/vdwP2Lg

    15 flight segments and ~$300 in taxes

    YUL-ZRH – LX
    ZRH-CDG – LX – 23 hours
    CDG-IST – TK – 10 hours
    IST-AMM – TK – STOP

    AMM-CAI – MS – 14 hours
    CAI-DXB – MS (787) – 18 hours
    DXB-BKK – TG (359)
    BKK-HAN – TG – 22 hours
    HAN-SIN – SQ – STOP
    SIN – DPS – SQ (787) – POT

    DPS-BKK – TG
    BKK-MXP – TG (359)
    MXP-LIS – TP
    LIS-BOS (339) -TG
    BOS-YUL – AC

    This is also probably the first time I called in and everything validated without a glitch! All the layovers are also during the day giving me time to explore the city with morning arrivals and late night departures.

    I think I did pretty good! 🙂

    1. Ricky

      Impressive work! Are you planning to do a half-day tour of the Pyramids in Cairo?

  21. AleksYVR

    Great post Ricky, love this blog, we just came back from a 3 week honeymoon trip, 13 segments all but 1 flight in J. Thanks a lot for your posts, they helped a lot in planning and booking this trip. The fuel surchagres/fees were a little high but we also booked it with only 45 days before departure, so availability was low!

    YVR-LAX – AC – J
    LAX-NRT – UA – J – STOP
    NRT-CAN – NH – J
    CAN-ADD – ET – J
    ADD-SEZ – ET – Y – Turnaround
    SEZ-ADD – ET – J
    ADD-NBO – ET – J – STOP
    NBO-CAI – MS – J
    CAI-IST – MS – J
    IST-PRG – TK – J – 18 hour layover
    PRG-ZRH – LX – J – 22 hour layover
    ZRH-FRA – LH – J
    FRA-YVR – LH – J (upstairs in the 747-400)

    1. Ricky

      Awesome creative routing!

  22. Andrew

    Discovered this blog 3 months ago, and just booked my first mRTW last week! YYZ-PER in J class with stops in Argentina and Switzerland. Redeemed my AP miles at 21 cpp.

    Itinerary: https://imgur.com/2JamivC

    Thanks Ricky!

    1. Mak YYZ

      excellent, this is the trip that i am eying but not able to make with 3 J spaces. may i know the months of your travel..i am searching either in DEC-JAN or JULY-AUG but no luck in GRU-JNB route.

      Btw..i see there is another city LGA between YYZ and EWR..not sure why but i assume you might have not got the direct connection to EWR from YYZ ?

      Ricky, need help with similar itinerary sent an email

      1. Andrew

        My trip is from January 20th to February 7th. GRU-JNB and JNB-PER were both tricky to find availability for, so I got pretty lucky. It took me hours to build the itinerary though.

        Alex is correct about the co-terminals. I was struggling to find availability between YYZ and EWR, and then I had an "aha!" moment and remembered that NYC has co-terminal airports.

        Also, for the record, my EWR-EZE flight is economy class as of right now, but everything else is in J. I’m hoping to find a business seat available sometime before my trip.

        1. Mak YYZ

          thanks for the response andrew. have you verified the inventory of J in EWR-EZE via expertflyier or simply assuming you will get them?
          the problem is we are 3 pax and cannot take chances if they dont release or already taken. Thats why i keep searching in the hope of the avaiability confirmed before hand rather than waiting till the last minute for long haul flights.
          Well good luck mate and happy to see that you pulled the 6 continent itinerary during the winter months.
          Will give another shot this weekend to find any availability before take YYZ-ZRH-JNB-PER-DPS-TPE-YYZ which is currently available for my dates.

          1. Andrew

            I’ve never used expertflyer, I’m just assuming based on the United search engine because J seats for EWR-EZE seem to be plentiful within 2 weeks of departure.

            You can try searching for something like this if you still want to hit every continent in one trip:

            YYZ-BOG-MAD-CAI-BKK-PER

            That hits every continent in just one direction and stays within the MPM

            1. Mak YYZ

              Ended up booking last night with unintentional open jaw due to one seat shortage between PER-SIN.
              Its XMAS/NYE holidays season and getting for 3 pax on most of the flights J was nightmare. Despite having huge taxes and cash fare to connect the open jaw from AUS-MNL, happy to make use of the 3 stops before its gone

              Well, i have till 10pm tonight to change or cancel the itinerary if i find a better one with less layovers and close the Open Jaw. (PER-SIN has only 2 Y seats and ended up taking OJ just because of 1 seat shortage).
              Have to burn lot of AVIOS for intra AUS/NZ flights + cash fare to reach MNL if i keep this OJ.

              165k miles and $585 taxes + $34 agent fees. Total=$1860 for 3pax

              YYZ-BOS AC 01:05 HRS
              BOS-ZRH LX 7:35 HRS Z
              RH-BRU LX 6N/5D
              BRU-LIS TP 03:40 HRS
              LIS-CMN TP 07:50 HRS
              CMN-IST TK 03:40 HRS STOP-1
              IST-PEK TK 07:50 HRS
              PEK-SIN CA 03.00 HRS
              SIN-PER SQ 8N/7D
              PER-SIN SQ 07:00 HRS OPEN JAW
              SIN-MNL SQ 5N/6D OPEN JAW
              MNL-BKK TG 16:35 HRS
              BKK-HKG TG 06:35 HRS
              HKG-ZRH LX 06:35 HRS Z
              RH-YUL LX 0:45 HRS NO PROPER
              YUL-YYZ AC NEXT DAY CONNECTION

      2. Alex YWG

        If memory serves me right, LGA is La Guardia in New York and EWR is Newark in New Jersey. Together with JFK they are considered co-terminals. That means you can fly into one of them, take another form of transportation to the other airport and fly out of that one and this is not considered as using 1 of your stopovers.

        POT blog on co-terminals
        https://princeoftravel.com/blog/co-terminal-airports-on-award-tickets

    2. Ricky

      Simply amazing! This is what I love to hear. Enjoy that trip to the fullest, and then come back for the next unbelievable sweet spot 😉

Ricky Zhang

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