When you're planning your Aeroplan Mini-Round-the-World itinerary, one of the key pieces of information is the maximum permitted mileage (MPM) between your origin and destination. The figure is unique to each city pair and tells you the maximum number of miles you can fly when travelling between the two cities.
For example, the MPM between Montreal and Perth is a tremendous 18,164 miles, which makes it possible to do some insane routings – and see quite a lot of the world – on your way down under. I've detailed some more of these examples in Part 2 of my Aeroplan Mini-RTW series if you're interested.
Finding out the MPM for the specific city pair you have in mind, however, has always been a bit of a hassle. That's because it's a proprietary number set by Aeroplan, so you won't find it in any third-party sources.
You could always call Aeroplan to ask for it, but you'd likely be faced with Aeroplan's infamously long call centre wait times. Well, now there's a better way, thanks to Fly1234 on FlyerTalk. You can easily figure out the MPM for your origin and destination just by playing around with the multi-city tool on Aeroplan.com!
Step 1: Set up the multi-city search.
The multi-city search tool on the Aeroplan website allows you to search for journeys that look like this: A → B → C → A. We need to make a dummy search involving the origin and destination you have in mind for your Mini-RTW in order to tease out the MPM for the route.
You should input your desired origin city for "A", and your desired destination city for "B". For the third city "C", you can put any city you want, as long as it's somewhere in between the origin and destination. In particular, you want to make sure it isn't farther away from your origin than your intended destination, since the search engine would then treat the third city as the destination.
To illustrate, let's suppose you're trying to plan a route between Calgary (YYC) and Istanbul (IST). You'd put Calgary as the origin, Istanbul as your destination, and any third city in between – let's call it Paris (CDG) – in the last field.
Now just input an arbitrary set of dates for your flights, and hit "Search". The dates don't matter at all, since we're just trying to get search results for the journey to show up before moving to the next step.
Step 2: Open the JSON source.
When the search results appear, you want to make sure that there are valid results for all three segments of your dummy search. If you did your search in Economy Class, this shouldn't be a problem, since there's usually quite a lot of availability in economy class between any given city pair.
If one of the three segments has no availability, you'll be faced with a screen like the below. Simply pick another date and try again – remember, since it's just a dummy search, the dates don't actually matter.
Once you get a page of search results with availability for all three segments, click on the below link (or copy and paste it in a new tab in your browser) to open the JSON source of the search results page:
Step 3: Find the MPM.
You'll have opened up the JSON source, which is a plain-text file with lots of information that can be difficult to read at first. But simply bring up the Find function using Ctrl+F / ⌘+F and search for "MPM". Boom, there's your number.
It's as simple as that! The MPM for Calgary–Istanbul is 9,442 miles, and you can take any routing on Star Alliance carriers between the two cities as long as the total miles flown falls under that number. The whole process takes about 30 seconds, and it greatly speeds up the process of planning a big Aeroplan Mini-RTW trip.
You can even keep the JSON page open and just refresh whenever you bring up a new set of search results. The JSON page will be updated to reflect the MPM for the new origin–destination pair. It's a great way to nail down a series of MPMs for all your trip planning needs in very little time.
As always, I was curious what was the largest MPM I could find between any two cities, and with such an easy method of verifying MPMs at my fingertips, I couldn't help but experiment a little bit. Can you imagine flying 20,454 miles between Perth (PER) and Bermuda (BDA)? I'm all about maximizing the value of your miles, but that's a lot of flying!
Let me know if you find an even more outrageous MPM for two cities out there. They'd definitely have to close to being on opposite ends of the earth, and Perth and Bermuda are already pretty damn close to being antipodal, so I'd be quite impressed if you manage to do so.
The process of booking an award ticket can be a laborious one, and this brilliant little trick will save you lots of time if you're in the midst of planning a major Aeroplan Mini-RTW redemption. Once you know the MPM for your origin and destination, you'll be able to confidently tell which routings are valid and which aren't. More importantly, you'll be able to easily play around with alternative destinations in case Plan A doesn't work out.