Aeroplan Stopovers: Book an Extra Stop for 5,000 Points

One of the best features of the Aeroplan loyalty program is the ability to book stopovers for an additional 5,000 Aeroplan points.

In taking advantage of Aeroplan stopovers, you’ll be able to add more destinations to your journey and turn one trip into multiple trips for a modest extra cost.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about Aeroplan’s stopover feature.

Summary of Aeroplan’s Stopover Rules

Since the launch of the new Aeroplan program in November 2020, there have been a few ongoing changes to the stopover policy. The below information represents the current state of affairs for Aeroplan stopovers.

Stopovers cost 5,000 points

You’re allowed to add a stopover at an intermediate point on a one-way bound for an extra 5,000 Aeroplan points per passenger.

On a round-trip booking, which is essentially just two one-way bounds, you’re allowed two stopovers (one in each direction) for a total of 10,000 Aeroplan points per person. 

Stopovers can’t be in Canada or the United States

Stopovers are permitted everywhere other than in Canada or the United States. Booking a stopover within Canada or the United States will result in two one-way bounds, so you’re better off just booking two one-ways to begin with.

Stopovers elsewhere in North America, such as in Mexico, Central America, or the Caribbean, are allowed.

Stopovers can be up to 45 days

Stopovers are limited to 45 days in duration. This means that for any stops between 24 hours and 45 days in length, you’ll only be charged an extra 5,000 points per person.

Any stopovers that exceed 45 days in length will be treated as a separate booking, and will be priced accordingly.

A connection must be over 24 hours in duration to count as a stopover. Connections of under 24 hours in duration are treated as layovers instead, and are not subject to an extra points surcharge.

Stopovers must be booked via the Aeroplan Contact Centre

At the moment, stopovers may only be booked over the phone with the Aeroplan Contact Centre. In the future, it will be possible to book stopovers online on the Aeroplan website.

However, as of October 1, 2021 and until this feature becomes live online, Aeroplan will waive the usual $30 phone booking fee for itineraries with a stopover. 

Through our experience, booking a stopover over the phone may not always be a smooth experience. You may have to try a few times before you reach an agent who can price out the itinerary as expected.

Examples of Booking Aeroplan Stopovers

To better understand how to maximize Aeroplan stopovers, let’s take a look at a few sample routings.

Stopover on a one-way

Let’s consider a routing of Toronto–Istanbul–Singapore. If you didn’t want to stop in Istanbul for more than 24 hours, this would price out at 85,000 Aeroplan points as per the North America–Pacific award chart.

If you wanted to add a stopover of over 24 hours and less than 45 days in Istanbul, the cost would increase by 5,000 points, paying a total of 90,000 Aeroplan points for the entire journey.

If you try to book this itinerary online as a multi-city reward, the engine doesn’t recognize Istanbul as a stopover point. Instead, it prices out the itinerary at a significantly higher cost.

As you can see below, Toronto–Istanbul–Singapore with a stopover prices out at 150,000 points (70,000 points + 80,000 points for separate Toronto–Istanbul and Istanbul–Singapore awards), rather than the 90,000 Aeroplan points that it should actually cost.

Until the online stopover booking feature is rolled out, you’ll need to give the Aeroplan Contact Centre a call to complete this booking.

Two stopovers on a round-trip

Suppose that you’d like to visit Tokyo and Bangkok on a summer holiday next year. You’re flexible with routings, and consider flying via the Middle East on your outbound flight.

For your outbound flight, you hop on Etihad Airways from Toronto to Abu Dhabi, flying for 13 hours in its Dreamliner business class.

After staying in the UAE for a week or so, you then proceed onwards to Bangkok, again onboard Etihad Airways in a Dreamliner.

Booked separately, these flights would cost 145,000 Aeroplan points in business class. When booked as a one-way with a stopover, however, the cost drops down to only 90,000 points: 85,000 for the flights and 5,000 for a stopover.

Similarly, on the way back, you could fly from Bangkok to Tokyo aboard ANA Dreamliner business class, add a stopover for up to 45 days, and then continue back to Toronto via Chicago, again in ANA business class but this time on a Boeing 777.

Booking these as two one-ways would cost 120,000 Aeroplan points, while booking them as a one-way with a stopover drops the cost to 90,000 points. In total, your round-the-world routing would cost 180,000 Aeroplan points.

Further applications of adding stopovers are almost endless. Indeed, stopovers can be a great way to plan a short visit to a new city or country that you’d consider visiting in the future, giving you a taste of a new part of the world en route to your final destination.

Logistics of Booking Aeroplan Stopovers

Once you have an idea of where you’d like to go, you’ll then go through the process of making the booking.

In my experience, booking a stopover requires more work than it should. This annoyance ought to be resolved once Aeroplan activates the stopover feature on its online platform. 

The best way to approach booking stopovers is to do all of the planning in advance, and then go ahead with actually booking the stopover.

Start by looking for award space on flights that you’d like to take. Make sure to calculate the distances using Great Circle Mapper, to ensure that you aren’t crossing into a farther distance band and unnecessarily spending more points.

When you find flights that work, note down the dates and the flight numbers, and begin the process of making the booking.

It’s possible to book one flight online and then call Aeroplan to add the stopover flight, or it’s also possible to book everything over the phone, as the $30 booking fee is currently waived for itineraries with stopovers.

I personally prefer the former approach, as I like to have the assurance of having at least one flight booked, and I’ve found that not all Aeroplan agents are familiar with the policy of waiving the $30 booking fee for stopovers.

After making the booking, call Aeroplan and mention that you’d like to make a change to a booking. Give them the booking reference of the flight you’ve just booked online, and say that you’d like to add another flight and make the original destination now a stopover point for 5,000 points.

Give the agent the flight number and date of your preferred flight, and the agent should be able to proceed with making the amendments to your booking. As mentioned above, sometimes you’ll have to try a few agents before the booking prices out as it should.

Once it’s all booked, you’ll be able to select your seats on all segments of the journey, and then begin looking forward to actually flying on it.

Is the Aeroplan Stopover a Good Deal?

Across airline loyalty programs, it’s fairly rare for stopovers to be permitted on a one-way booking. Other programs, such as British Airways Avios, simply cumulatively add up the distance and charge you accordingly. 

A few other programs, like Alaska Mileage Plan, do allow you to add a stopover on a one-way flight for no additional charge, which is more favourable than Aeroplan’s “stopover fee” of 5,000 points. 

However, it’s worth noting that Aeroplan’s flexible routing policy allows travellers to cover a lot of ground en route to their destination. This is what makes it possible to stop in Europe on the way to Asia, or stop in the Middle East on the way to Australia, all while mix-and-matching Aeroplan’s 45+ partner airlines.

Indeed, Aeroplan’s constantly expanding network of partners adds more clout to an already strong program. As we’ve seen, carriers such as Oman Air, Virgin Australia, Etihad Airways, and Vistara, amongst others, add to the extensive Star Alliance global network accessible through Aeroplan points.

Compare this to other airline programs with stopover features: Alaska Mileage Plan only lets you book one partner airline along with Alaska Airlines themselves, which limits the overall usefulness of the feature even if it’s available at no additional charge.

Conclusion

Aeroplan’s stopover rules permit travellers to squeeze in an extended stay on a one-way trip to most places in the world for only 5,000 extra points.

Personally, I’ve used stopovers on many Aeroplan bookings ever since the feature was first launched. I appreciate how I can visit multiple countries on one trip, without being unduly penalized for it by having to book separate itineraries. 

Having to call into the Aeroplan Contact Centre is a bit cumbersome, especially when the hold times are lengthy, and we continue to wait for a more robust multi-city booking tool to be rolled out on the Aeroplan website to make it easier to book stopovers.

25 Comments
  1. Jonathan

    I was trying to book SIN-MNL-ICN (stop)-NRT-JFK where the NRT-JFK segment was on ANA first class. For some reason they couldn’t get the business class flight from SIN-MNL on Singapore Airlines to price. I tried 4 or 5 different agents and none had any luck with it. I would have expected this to be 135k points. Any ideas what could be the issue here? Thanks!

  2. Rick R

    Hello elites,

    I have an upcoming YOW-BOM trip with a 2 day stopover at RAK and a 12 hour layover at CAI.
    107,996 AP (points-only multi-city booking) done online all on Y booked in April 2022.
    Distance is a shade over 8,700 miles and I feel I’m overpaying.

    Should I be booking YOW-BOM online (irrespective of routing which shows at 64,000-points only) then call Aeroplan to add RAK as stopover for the 5K app? Or book YOW-RAK (Aug 11th, 55k app) then ask RAK be considered stopover, final destination being BOM – and all of that should not exceed 70k + the 5k if I understand right.

    I’ve been reading and re-reading Ricky’s article lol and I feel the answer is the later ie. to book YOW-RAK first then phone in. However, not sure if flight availability on specific dates/class of travel is an issue, not sure how that works. RAK-BOM Aug 14th only shows J.

    Thanks so much, and great articles as always.

  3. Annie

    Based on my understanding of the rules, I should be able to book a one-way for the current posted YVR-LIS (97k pts) with and added stopover in LHR or BER (5K pts).

    But the agent quoted me almost double (227k pts) and said something about the market value of the flights impacting point cost, and that the old stop-over rules were suspended due to Covid? Is anyone able to confirm this, or should I try again if it’s an agent education issue per some of the previous posters.

    1. Shame

      Originally had two separate segments booked: NRT-TPE, TPE-KUL then realized I had overpaid. Called AP, granted this was my first time playing the stopover game, and it was SUPER smooth. Agent knew what I was referring to and ended up paying for NRT-KUL + 5K for the TPE stop, with the exact same flights. Sounds like you had a case of hang up, call again. Good luck.

    2. Rachel YYZ

      Hi Annie,
      Did you confirm with the phone rep that you were looking at the same flights? It’s best to find all the segments you want and “feed” them to the agent, so to speak.

  4. Mak YYZ

    I spent almost 2 hours with agent but no dice of getting a stop over in india. She says lot of people call with this request but system does not allow them to do it. what a BS.
    I wanted to take a stop over in india from toronto
    YYZ-DEL-HYD(4 weeks)-BKK (destination) to reduce the points and alos to connect one way cash fare ($250) booking BKK-NRT-YYZ.
    i dont know how else i should convince them to give me that routing.
    appreciate any help in this regard

  5. Susan

    Was trying to book JFK-BEG-VIE with BEG as stopover. Called Aeroplan to book but the agent told me to do it online myself and used the multi-cities function. I told him I was not aware that we can now book the 5000 mile stopover online. The website priced me at 85k instead of 75k, which it priced out the two segments as separate one-way tickets. The agent basically kept telling the 85k is correct and refused to try to price it out for me via their system. He even told me Belgrade is in another zone… Last time I checked it was in Atlantic zone. LOL frustrating. I ended up just doing the JFK-BEG route for 70k and booked the BEG-VIE segment on United. Any idea when we can book stopover on the website ourselves vs calling?

    Love your content by the way! You’re my go-to when it comes to Aeroplan.

  6. SJ

    Is there a written communication from Aeroplan on this? I am being repeatedly told by phone agents that no such waiver exists.

    1. AK

      I just booked an one way with a stopover and they charged $30 fee. Looks like booking fee is not waived.

  7. Brett

    So now the question is, has anyone able to ACTUALLY book something the way the program is designed?

    The search engine is awful. The agents are a complete crap shoot, it’s impossible to know whether I’M WRONG or they’re wrong. In the old program I knew they were wrong. Search YVR-BOG get a set of results. Search YVR-MDE (which 99% of the time connects in BOG) get a completely different set of results. Search YVR-MVD, no flights. AUA-MVD, no flights. Despite knowing that PTY-MVD is available. So really the system just needs to get you from YVR-PTY. Easy.

    Call in and try and feed segments 1 by 1 to the agent, the stock answer now is they CANNOT do that anymore. Not that they don’t want to, but that they can’t. Had an agent tell me that the 5,000 miles is strictly an ADD-ON charge plus the cost of 2 regular fare one-way tickets stitched together, which is not what the program says. This is absolutely maddening and my worry is the miles will be worthless by the time they actually figure this stuff out. It’s been a year now and they still can’t get it right.

    1. Susan

      OMG did we get the same agent. I also tried to do the same but told me the same thing. I give up. They really need to get it together.

  8. Darren Grosvenor

    Anyone tried to make the booking of the nice routing the system gives (great connections) on a one-way and then have the call center agent change the connection into a stop over? The system sometimes gives odd routing that an agent would never allow as it seems odd but if the system likes it due to hubs, carrier and tickets it, then the agent should be able to revise to change the connection to a stop for 5k more.

  9. Dan S

    Can someone please clarify the policy. If I make a booking before Sep 30 deadline with a 30 days; would that mean I won’t have the ability to cancel with full refund this itinerary in future, or would initial booking is considered the guiding principal for cancellation policy?

  10. Henry Chan

    As a long-term member since 1987, I hope aeroplan will again establish the similiar booking system to allow the stopover for any booking in the booking system. It was great booking system in the past.

  11. DenB® YTO

    How our Ricky manages to stay so positive is a complete mystery. If ever there was a justification for an impatient snarky post, it was this news, that AC took nearly a year to end a cynical, insulting practice, instead of ending it the week after the problem was first identified. I guess I will never understand how to make it in blogging. It wouldn’t have occurred to me to “applaud their initiative” after gouging their most loyal for untold months.

    1. Ricky YVR

      To help you out a bit here, impatience and snark is a terrible way to effect the change we’d like to see in loyalty providers. Given our size, it’s a miracle that our community’s concerns are being listened to in the first place, and I’d like to see that continue.

  12. Adam

    Definitely the right move to remove the phone booking fee until the website can perform that same function. Never understood why you should have to pay 5000AP points AND a 30$ phone booking fee for some complex trips. Shows some good will on the part of the Aeroplan team.

  13. Pablo

    I’m going attempt a similar booking as the example in this post. YYZ-IST-BKK, on business. Fingers are crossed!

    1. Pablo

      Update: the YYZ-IST-BKK itinerary worked and I’m thrilled! Booked last day of Sept in case sh*t hits the fan with Covid.
      YYZ-IST: Turkish business class on Boeing-777
      IST-BKK: Etihad business class on Boeing-787 w/ stop in Abu Dhabi.

      Anyone know if I can get access to the Turkish airlines lounge when I’m departing Istanbul for Bangkok?

      Hope that’s helpful for some readers. Thanks Ricky for the great content!

      1. Brett

        How many points did you pay though? That’s the really important question.

        1. Pablo

          I paid 90k points (85+5) and about $150 in taxes

          1. Brett

            Did you pick specific flights or just call in and say the destinations? I’m really curious because the experiences I’ve had with the website is maddening. When I called, she basically just told me what comes up on the search and wasn’t able to take my flights hand picked. So ex: just because YVR-IST is available and IST-SIN is available (hypothetically) doesn’t mean that doing a multi city search would yield those results and by extension means that the call centre agent can’t/won’t get them either.

            1. Pablo

              I came in with rough idea of flights. I had hoped to fly Turkish all the way and I searched on the website this itinerary as a multicity just to see if it was in the stock. The IST-BKK flight wasn’t available on Turkish (my choice) on business. But I called anyways. So iono it’s kinda hard to say because Etihad business didn’t really show up on my searches on AC website either…

      2. Ricky YVR

        Nice one! Yes, you’ll be able to access the lounge on account of your business class ticket.

        1. Pablo

          Thank you! Keep up the good work 🙂

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