4 Creative New Aeroplan Sweet Spots! Ricky August 19, 2020

4 Creative New Aeroplan Sweet Spots!

So far, our coverage of Air Canada’s new Aeroplan has touched upon a handful of new redemption sweet spots that will be available in the new program:

  • In our initial analysis of the Flight Reward Chart, we identified Western Canada–Japan, Western Canada–Australia, Eastern Canada–North Africa, and travel to Sun destinations among the new sweet spots originating from Canada.
  • In our deep look at the new Aeroplan Mini-RTW, we concluded that the distance band of 7,500–11,000 miles on the North America–Pacific chart was the “sweet spot” in terms of flying the greatest distance on a round-the-world trip for the lowest points outlay.

In this article, I wanted to generalize our discussion of sweet spots even further and highlight four creative ways to optimize the new Aeroplan’s flight rewards once the program launches on November 8.

All four strategies represent brand-new ways of thinking about your Aeroplan points compared to the current program, so the earlier we can all get used to thinking along these newly-drawn lines, the better.

These four ideas were first introduced in our New Aeroplan Study Session that I hosted this past weekend, which you can watch in its 140-minute entirety below (including an informal chat with Mark Nasr and Scott O’Leary, of the team behind the new Aeroplan):

In This Post

1. Avios-Style Short-Haul Flights

As a result of moving to a hybrid zonal and distance-based redemption model, the new Aeroplan offers significantly cheaper price points for short-haul redemptions within the Atlantic, Pacific, and South America zones.

Here’s the “Within Atlantic zone” chart, where the first and second distance bands, corresponding to distances of 0–1,000 miles and 1,000–2,000 miles, are very favourably priced at 7,500 or 12,500 Aeroplan points, respectively, for a one-way flight in economy class.   Here’s the “Within Pacific zone” chart, where the first and second distance bands, corresponding to distances of 0–1,000 miles and 1,000–2,000 miles, are very favourably priced at 8,000 or 12,500 Aeroplan points, respectively, for a one-way flight in economy class.

And here’s the “Within South America zone” chart, which consists of only a single distance band, pricing any travel within the continent at 15,000 Aeroplan points for a one-way flight in economy class.

Don’t forget that you can add a stopover of extended duration on all these one-way redemptions for only 5,000 Aeroplan points each, essentially allowing you to build a trip to two destinations in the Atlantic, Pacific, and South America zones for as little as 12,500, 13,000 and 20,000 points respectively. If you’re planning an extended trip in a certain part of the world, you’re certain to find great value in these possibilities.

Traditionally, British Airways Avios has always been considered the dominant frequent flyer program for booking short-haul flights around the world at a good value, thanks to its distance-based reward chart. Now that Aeroplan has gone distance-based too, it opens up further possibilities for short-haul hops as well. In fact, I’d argue that Aeroplan is even more powerful than Avios for this purpose due to the following factors:

  • The route network of Star Alliance’s 26 global airlines is more comprehensive than Oneworld’s 13.
  • The new Aeroplan has eliminated all fuel surcharges, whereas some short-haul Avios redemptions (on airlines like Qatar Airways or Royal Jordanian) can still carry surcharges of $200+.
  • Aeroplan’s distance-based chart calculates the pricing based on the cumulative flown distance between your origin and destination, while Avios calculates the price for each individual flight and then sums it all up, which tends to be more expensive for non-direct itineraries. 

Let’s run through a few examples, although they are truly pretty endless, and you’ll definitely want to spend some time on Great Circle Mapper playing around with the routing possibilities in whichever part of the world interests you the most.

Here’s an example of a hopper journey through Europe – London–Geneva (stopover)–Vienna – that you can book for 12,500 Aeroplan points in economy or 20,000 Aeroplan points in business…

I myself would’ve gotten excellent value out of an Athens–Cairo (stopover)–Amman booking, for the same price as above, on my month-long trip to the Middle East last year

Those of you who’d like to use Aeroplan points to travel to the far-flung corners of the world would take great interest in this sweet spot. Here’s Abidjan–Accra (stopover)–São Tomé, on Egyptair and TAP Air Portugal’s fifth-freedom routes, for the same price as above…

(For reference, this would cost 40,000 or 80,000 Aeroplan miles in economy or business under the current program, since you’d need to book two separate one-way journeys within the uniformly priced East, West, and South Africa region.)

Over on the Pacific chart, the possibilities continue to stack up. Here’s Hong Kong–Taipei (stopover)–Okinawa on EVA Air for 13,000 Aeroplan points in economy or 25,000 Aeroplan points in business…

(Remember, EVA Air often operates its long-haul aircraft on the Hong Kong route too, so this could be a great deal even in business class. In fact, maybe it’s specifically because Asia’s regional business class products are far better than Europe’s that the Pacific chart is slightly more expensive.)

An example courtesy of Milesopedia: international travel between the East Asian nations of China, South Korea, and Japan can get surprisingly expensive – but not if you string them all on the same one-way itinerary of Shanghai–Seoul (stopover)–Fukuoka for the same price as above…

Hey, remember the United Island Hopper? Well, previously there would’ve been no practical way to spend some time on every island along the way, but now it’s possible with two or three sets of one-way bounds within the Pacific zone, each with a stopover in the middle…

Travel within South East Asia can also be a sweet spot, as seen in the below example of Bangkok–Singapore (stopover)–Bali for 17,500 Aeroplan points in economy or 35,000 Aeroplan points in business…

(Note that a more frugal alternative to these redemptions might be to use budget carriers like AirAsia or Lion Air, or indeed Ryanair or EasyJet in Europe. However, mainline carriers usually offer a far more convenient schedule, more central airport access, and a better onboard product; in the past, frugal travellers might’ve scoffed at the price difference between mainline and budget carriers, but the new Aeroplan will allow you to book short-haul mainline flights at budget-airline prices.) 

For those of you who’d like to try out Singapore Airlines First Class and the Singapore Airlines Private Room, take note of the Singapore–Jakarta segment, which consistently releases First Class award space to partners. You’ll be able to try this out for only 25,000 Aeroplan points!

Finally, the fact that all of South America is priced at a uniform level means that the entire continent is basically one big “short-haul” zone.

While Star Alliance’s coverage in South America isn’t the best, you can still get around pretty reliably thanks to the presence of Avianca, Azul, Gol Airlines, and a few fifth-freedom routes by Ethiopian Airlines, Turkish Airlines, and indeed Air Canada. How’s Galápagos Islands–Buenos Aires (stopover)–Rio de Janeiro, all for 20,000 Aeroplan points in economy or 35,000 Aeroplan points in business?

Finally, let’s not gloss over the opportunities closer to home as well.

The “Within North America” reward chart has a more restrictive first distance band of only 0–500 miles, but that still allows you to book some of the intriguing routes in Central America for as little as 6,000 Aeroplan points one-way, or 11,000 Aeroplan points with a stopover included.

Remember, while stopovers are not permitted in Canada and the US, they are allowed in Central America…

2. Strategic Bound Breaking

In some cases, the structure of the distance-based charts causes pricing to vary depending on where you “break the bound”.

(If this language is unfamiliar to you, you’ll want to revisit the novel concept of a “one-way bound” that underpins every redemption in the new Aeroplan.)

Consider the example of a Thunder Bay resident (also known as a “T-Bayer”) who wants to visit Istanbul and Tel Aviv on the same trip, flying in business class. She puts together the following proposed itinerary:

  • Thunder Bay–Toronto–Istanbul (stopover)–Tel Aviv, on Air Canada and Turkish Airlines
  • Tel Aviv–Toronto–Thunder Bay, on Air Canada

(My understanding is that the new Aeroplan’s one-way bound logic would automatically view Tel Aviv as the “point of turnaround” of this trip given its farther distance from the origin, thereby breaking the bounds in Tel Aviv.)

Let’s assume that our traveller is looking for Air Canada “saver” space at the lower end of the dynamic pricing range. Looking at the North America–Atlantic chart, our traveller would calculate the pricing for this redemption as follows:

  • Outbound journey of 6,382 miles: This falls into the distance band of 6,001–8,000 miles, and would therefore cost 85,000 Aeroplan points in business class
  • Return journey of 6,356 miles: This falls into the distance band of 6,001–8,000 miles, and would therefore cost 85,000 Aeroplan points in business class
  • Adding a stopover in Istanbul costs an additional 5,000 Aeroplan points
  • Total of 175,000 Aeroplan points

However, imagine that we were to break the bound in Istanbul instead. The proposed itinerary would look as follows:

  • Thunder Bay–Toronto–Istanbul, on Air Canada and Turkish Airlines
  • Istanbul–Tel Aviv (stopover)–Toronto–Thunder Bay, on Turkish Airlines and Air Canada

Looking at the North America–Atlantic chart, our traveller would calculate the pricing for this redemption as follows:

  • Outbound journey of 5,658 miles: This falls into the distance band of 4,001–6,000 miles, and would therefore cost 70,000 Aeroplan points in business class
  • Return journey of 7,079 miles: This falls into the distance band of 6,001–8,000 miles, and would therefore cost 85,000 Aeroplan points in business class
  • Adding a stopover in Tel Aviv costs an additional 5,000 Aeroplan points
  • Total of 160,000 Aeroplan points

As you can see, the two trips are virtually identical, but our traveller can potentially save 15,000 Aeroplan points by being strategic about where to “break the bound”!

At the moment, it’s unclear whether the new Aeroplan’s search engine will be smart enough to recognize this fact and proactively show the user the cheapest possible pricing depending on where the bound is broken.

I’ll be seeking additional clarity from Air Canada on this question; if the answer is “no”, and the bound logic will always uphold the “point of turnaround” on a round-trip flight, then our traveller would need to think strategically by themselves and perhaps book this as two one-ways between Thunder Bay and Istanbul (with a stopover in Tel Aviv on the way back), instead of a round-trip between Thunder Bay and Tel Aviv.

Similar logic can be applied towards basically any round-trip that includes one stopover (not two, as the bound would then always break at the second stop of extended duration), where the flown distance in either direction comes very close to one of the distance thresholds on the chart.

The other angle where “strategic bound breaking” comes into play is when we think about whether it might be advantageous to book a single award as two separate awards instead.

Consider something like Dublin–Frankfurt (stopover)–Beijing in business class.

Booked as a single award, this would fall under the distance band of 5,001–7,000 miles on the “Between Atlantic and Pacific zones” chart, costing 85,000 Aeroplan points including the stopover.

If we booked this as two separate awards, however, Dublin–Frankfurt would only cost 15,000 Aeroplan points on the “Within Atlantic zone” chart, while Frankfurt–Beijing would fall under the distance band of 0–5,000 miles on the Atlantic–Pacific chart, costing 60,000 Aeroplan points. That’s a total of 75,000 Aeroplan points, a savings of 10,000 points compared to booking on a single award.

Alas, Aeroplan has done a pretty good job of eliminating this kind of weakness on the award charts departing from North America, so the only situation this would come into play is on a mixed-cabin reward – as I had initially outlined in the “Key Things to Know” section of our deep analysis of the new charts.

3. Atlantic/Pacific Arbitrage

As we’ve covered before, there’s a noticeable difference in the relative generosities of the North America–Atlantic and North America–Pacific charts.

And since trips to the Pacific zone are allowed to route through the Atlantic zone, this opens up the possibility of leveraging these differences to your advantage – I call this “Atlantic/Pacific arbitrage”.

Any trip to the Atlantic zone that’s more than 8,000 flown miles will cost 70,000 or 100,000 Aeroplan points in economy or business, respectively. Trips to the Indian Subcontinent and Central Asia, such as the below sample trip from Toronto to the Maldives, will most likely fall into this very expensive price range.

So, how can we soften this blow?

Well, by adding an additional flight into the Pacific zone, you can transform your North America–Atlantic redemption into a North America–Pacific one, and you’ll often end up saving points as a result!

In the above scenario, consider what would happen if we added an extraneous flight from the Maldives to Singapore…

Since this is now a reward between Toronto and Singapore, it is now governed by the North America–Pacific chart. And since the total distance clocks in under 11,000 miles, you’ll only pay 60,000 or 85,000 Aeroplan points in economy or business for this whole thing!

And of course, since you actually wanted to go to the Maldives in the first place, we can add a stopover in the Maldives for 5,000 Aeroplan points, arriving at a total of 65,000 or 90,000 Aeroplan points – still a savings of 5,000 or 10,000 points compared to if we didn’t add the extra flight to Singapore!

(Note that you also have the option of arranging a long layover on the Maldives and saving yourself those extra 5,000 Aeroplan points. However, that opens up a whole assortment of risks associated with hidden-city ticketing, so it’s not something I can really recommend unless you absolutely know what you’re doing.)

The same logic can be applied to any one-way redemption to most cities in the Indian Subcontinent or Central Asia.

This redemption to Nur-Sultan, the capital of Kazakhstan, would cost a hefty 100,000 points…

…but making Nur-Sultan your stopover, and tacking on an extraneous Air China flight to Beijing, brings the cost down to 90,000 points.

From the West Coast, you’ll have less room to play with in terms of the routing distance, but the Atlantic/Pacific arbitrage still works. Here’s Vancouver to New Delhi for an unappealing 100,000 points…

…but making it a stopover and adding an extraneous flight to Bangkok solves the problem (and only just sneaking in under the 11,000-mile threshold).

Atlantic/Pacific arbitrage can help lower the price of one-way trips to destinations in the Atlantic zone as far west as Muscat, Oman (from select origin cities), going a long way towards softening the blow of the expensively-priced North America–Atlantic chart in the new program.

4. Maximizing Priority Rewards

Finally, let’s talk about an extremely exciting way to optimize your Aeroplan flight rewards – at least in theory.

Until November 8, we won’t know exactly how the new Priority Rewards are going to work in practice, but we can put together everything we know so far to tease out some very intriguing possibilities.

Given that Priority Reward vouchers give the user a 50% discount on an eligible flight reward, and that we may combine up to six one-way bounds on the same ticket, one begins to wonder whether it’s possible to use a Priority Reward to save 50% on effectively three round-trips, rather than one.

Since the lowest-tier Aeroplan 25K members may redeem Priority Rewards only on economy class flights within Canada and the US, let’s focus on an example in this realm.

(Before we start, there’s one more rule you need to be familiar with: while up to six one-way bounds may be combined on the same ticket, returning to your origin will prohibit further bounds from being added to the same ticket; it’s not possible to book something like YYZ–SFO–YYZ–LAX–YYZ on a single ticket.)

Suppose you’re based in Toronto and wanted to make three separate trips to the West Coast over the upcoming year. How might you set up your proposed itinerary for redeeming a Priority Reward voucher?

Here’s one possibility:

  • First trip:
    • Outbound: Toronto–San Francisco
    • Return: San Francisco–Chicago–Buffalo
  • Second trip:
    • Outbound: Buffalo–Chicago–Los Angeles
    • Return: Los Angeles–Chicago–Buffalo
  • Third trip:
    • Outbound: Buffalo–Chicago–Seattle
    • Return: Seattle–Toronto

Remember, backtracking through the same city or flying a circuitous routing will cause your one-way bound to break, but in this case, it doesn’t matter – because we want to combine multiple bounds on the same ticket!

Each of the six one-way bounds will cost 12,500 Aeroplan points in economy class based on the Flight Reward Chart, for a total of 75,000 Aeroplan points. But if we apply a single Priority Reward voucher to the whole thing, boom – that magically drops to 37,500 Aeroplan points, effectively saving you 50% of the points on three round-trips!

You’ll notice that the above example still requires you to make four separate highway journeys between Toronto and Buffalo, as we couldn’t return to Toronto without permanently ending our ticket.

But what if there were a better way to do it?

  • First trip:
    • Outbound: Ottawa–Toronto–San Francisco
    • Return: San Francisco–Toronto
  • Second trip:
    • Outbound: Toronto–Los Angeles
    • Return: Los Angeles–Toronto
  • Third trip:
    • Outbound: Toronto–Seattle
    • Return: Seattle–Toronto

In this scenario, you only need to take the train to Ottaw to “begin” your journey. After that, at no point does the itinerary return to your origin, so you should be perfectly fine to fly in and out of Toronto on the next couple of trips, all on the same ticket.

And remember, we’ve only highlighted an example that Aeroplan 25K and 35K members can use. Higher-tier Elite Status members may redeem their Priority Rewards for travel further afield and in higher classes of service, so feel free to let your imagination run wild!

Like I said, all of this remains theoretical until the program’s launch as of November 8, but I don’t see any reason why this wouldn’t work. And hey, let’s be real: most Aeroplan members out there, even if they read this, are still going to burn their Priority Rewards voucher on a simple Toronto–Vancouver round-trip flight.

But for those of us who want to truly maximize, the possibility of saving 50% on six one-way bounds will be one of the sweetest opportunities in the new program, and might even incentivize us to chase those Status Qualifying Dollar (SQD) requirements more eagerly than we would otherwise.

Conclusion

The new Aeroplan program introduces several all-new ways of thinking when it comes to redeeming our points for maximum value, and I’m certain that we’ve only scratched the surface in our discussion here.

Out of the four creative sweet spots we’ve covered here, I’m perhaps most excited to book Avios-style short-haul flights across the Star Alliance route network to hop from place to place along my travels.

On top of that, I’ll be keeping the strategic bound-breaking and Atlantic/Pacific arbitrage up my sleeve for whenever they come in handy, and I’ll also be looking to maximize my Priority Rewards the proper way, by using them on tickets with six one-way bounds instead of simple one-ways or round-trips.

(featured image by OneMoreWeekToGo)

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37 Comments
  1. Avatar
    Wasiq Waqar

    just realized istanbul-cairo redemption goes down from 85k return to 30k points in business. I think I am going to use it this year

  2. Avatar
    Dean McMillan

    Thank you very much Ricky.I thought I had it this time. lol But the silver lining In your logic is that it would cost me less then the current Aeroplan model. But of course this is dependant on getting the lowest band on the AC flights. Which I am hoping will not be an issue if I book early enough. And the savings of 800.00 in surcharges is also a huge incentive.

  3. Avatar
    Daniel

    Ricky wasnt there Toronto-Morocco or Montreal-Morocco sweet spot somewhere in the new AP? From Morocco cross to Spain by boat or Ryanair and you are in Europe? Or just take Toronto-Dublin with Avios Aer Lingus and Ryanair then across Europe?

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      YUL-CMN or YUL-LIS-CMN is the sweet spot as Eric said. If you find YUL-CMN at the lower end of the AC pricing range, that’ll be an excellent deal.

    2. Avatar
      Eric

      I think you can do YYZ-LIS-CMN on TAP Portugal. There is a YUL-CMN route on AC but would stay away from it due to dynamic pricing

  4. Avatar
    Snoopy

    Why not just book two one ways instead of roundtrips all the times ? This would eliminate the ambiguity for where the bounds break and will provide more flexibily (open jaws) for the same pricing.

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      Three advantages to booking stuff on one PNR instead of separate PNRs:

      1. Only pay one $39 partner fee.
      2. Only pay one cancellation fee per ticket.
      3. Apply a single Priority Rewards voucher for 50% off per ticket.

    2. Avatar
      Eric

      I think this case is when we’re using Priority Rewards since we can’t end up in the same airport. If we were to book two separate bookings with round trips you would have to use 2 priority rewards.

  5. Avatar
    Dean Mcmillan

    Ricky.

    I think I have finally figured out how the new Aeroplan is going to work. Can you have a look at the practice trip and let me know if I calculated it correctly.

    YYC to FRA 4692 miles
    FRA to IST 1145 miles stop in IST
    IST to TLV 696 miles
    Total 6533 miles

    TLV to VIE 1468 miles
    VIE to FRA 388 miles
    FRA to YYC 4692 miles
    Total 6548 miles

    I calculate it as 170,000 miles plus 5000 for the stopover in Istanbul total 175,000

    But if I stop the bound at Istanbul and booked the IST to TLV as a second bound
    and then the TLV to YYC as a third bound I would be able to get around the stopover charge and use only 170,00 miles.

    Am I correct in my reasoning and calculations?

    Also the 39.00 charge for partner airline booking is that for the entire trip or for each leg that
    Is booked with partner airlines? In my example there is 2 legs with Turkish and 2 legs with Austrian Airlines. So would it be 39.00 or 156.00?

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      Almost, but not quite. If you booked it as three bounds, then you’d also have to pay 15,000 points for the IST-TLV bound as a “Within Atlantic zone” award.

      The best way to book this would be to break the bound in IST, as outlined in the article above. That way, YYC-FRA-IST would come in just under 6,000 miles, so it would cost you 70,000 points. The return journey would still cost you 85,000 points, plus a stopover in TLV for 5,000 points, so in total you’d pay 160,000 points.

      The $39 partner fee is per ticket, not per leg.

      1. Avatar
        Albert

        Hi Ricky,
        Very clever routing – thanks for the idea!
        If I’d book two separate (one way) ticket now, under the old aeroplan rules for a flight from YYZ to TLV with a hidden city in Europe1 in business – It will be only 110k miles for a bus class + very little taxes and fees if booked with TK or TAP. Then I could book another trip inside Europe with Economy.
        I think it will be a much better deal.
        Your thoughts?

        1. Ricky
          Ricky

          Well, with hidden city, the outbound would be 55k, but the return wouldn’t be 55k unless you also originated in Europe 1. Nevertheless, it’ll be cheaper than post-Nov 8 either way.

          1. Avatar
            Albert

            Thanks Ricky for the input.
            If I’d like to book a roundtrip YYZ-TLV with one stopover in OPO – should I do a bus fare YYZ-IST-OPO-YYZ as my roundtrip (OPO is a stopover and IST is my destination), and then wait for NOV 8 to book a roundtrip of IST-TLV IST in economy (I don’t have enough points for doing YYZ-TLV-OPO-YYZ all in bus)?
            Or are there better options?
            Thanks.

  6. Avatar
    Sonu Chatha

    What would you suggest the best q
    Routing be if I’m flying DEL-SMF under new program? I’m lost I can’t seem to understand the new logic

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      Something like SMF-SFO-YVR-DEL-BKK would allow you to take advantage of the Atlantic/Pacific arbitrage.

  7. Avatar
    trend

    looks like new program is not all bad but add some opportunities as well, need to study and dig out some maximum value out of it while enjoying on the path…

  8. Avatar
    Michele Pollesel

    You don’t mention using COPA airlines for trips to Uruguay and other South American destinations from Canada.
    Any advice or suggestions?
    Thanks

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      Travelling to the southern parts of South America doesn’t provide much room for clever strategies, I’m afraid. A trip from Canada to Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, or Brazil will definitely be at least 40,000/60,000 points in economy/business, since it’s going to exceed the 4,500-mile threshold for the South America chart. A stopover in Panama City for 5,000 points sounds like it could be fun, though.

      I think the sweet spot for South America travel is primarily in using the “Within South America” chart to hop around the continent, as outlined here.

  9. Avatar
    Shaun

    Are we really, *really* sure that “No Surcharges” applies to ALL flights with the new Aeroplan and not just Air Canada flights? Because I keep seeing language like “No cash surcharges.
    We’re eliminating additional airline surcharges on flight rewards with Air Canada®, so you’ll pay less cash when you redeem, with no surprises at check‑out.” in today’s Aeroplan member email and it sure looks like they’re just eliminating it on AC flights, not others like LH.

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      Yes, we are *really* sure.

      Remember, just because they only mention Air Canada, doesn’t mean they aren’t eliminating it on partners as well. The messaging focuses on Air Canada because 1) that’s what most Aeroplan members care about, and 2) that’s what Air Canada wants most Aeroplan members to care about.

  10. Avatar
    yyc

    Ricky, do you know if CX would be bookable on the new online platform? This would add more possible routes intra-SE Asia!

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      Yes, Cathay Pacific flights in South East Asia will be bookable online and combinable with Air Canada and other partners on the same ticket.

      In fact, this is probably worth a post of its own at some point, since it’s something I’ve never covered before.

  11. Avatar
    Louis

    Damn you’re a good writer! You make things so clear! Sometimes I’ll read a paragraph and a question pops in my head, then bang! you address it in the next paragraph! Thanks for that.

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      Thanks, Louis! That’s always the goal.

  12. Avatar
    Mitch

    Can someone explain why I would want to do #4? If there are no stopovers allowed in Canada/US, that means the maximum amount of time you can spend there is 24 hrs and when you reach home, you can only spend 24 hrs there as well before having to head out again. I suppose people with higher status who can use the priority rewards outside of Can/US will benefit from this as they can add stopovers.

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      JoeH is correct – while you can’t have stopovers on a one-way bound within Canada/US, the example in #4 doesn’t have any stopovers at all, it’s simply six one-ways put together on the same ticket (which is allowed). That lets you book three separate trips across the continent at different times over the course of a year, and apply the same 50% off voucher towards all three.

    2. Avatar
      JoeH

      You’re allowed to link 6 one way trips into one ticket. So you can space the time between each arrival for months if you want. Fly to SFO and back to Toronto in November, then pick up to LA in March, and finish with a Seattle trip in June for example.

    3. Avatar
      John

      I figure it’s for those with a lot more stamina than I have for frequent flights and day trips outside of airports. Plus an intrinsic love of lounges + any amenities onboard status or credit cards would bring.

      Personally for me the trip would be pure hell. But, if you actively like flights and airports, the the trip gets you:

      * A 24 hour trip in three cities
      * A bunch of free food in lounges and onboard, and the ability to try many lounges
      * A bunch of different flights

      Looking at the second itinerary specifically. I could see how this is enticing. I do like takeoff/landing, and day trips are great. I just….don’t think I could do it for ~5 days straight.

  13. Avatar
    Timbo2

    For Case #2.. (and if I am interpreting correctly) to force the bound to break at IST, I believe that T-Bayer could book two one ways. On the outbound, add a stopover somewhere in Europe for the same points, as long as the YQT-YYZ-Europe (stop)-IST destination is less than 6,000 miles. London, Paris, Rome etc. all would be options. The return one way would then be IST-TLV-YYZ-YQT.(destination)

    Looking forward to unwrapping the new sweet spot possibilities with all.

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      Correct. The question is whether the search engine would be smart enough to price things accordingly if the user had simply entered IST and TLV as their proposed stops.

  14. Avatar
    Harry

    Can you explain the yvr-del part? What’s the benefit of adding bkk?

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      Ending in DEL costs 100,000 points. Making DEL a stopover, while adding an extra flight to BKK, costs 90,000 points.

  15. Avatar
    John Bucher

    Now I am getting excited.
    The sweet spots are going to come out of the woodwork now.
    This is what I have been waiting for.
    Go to it Ricky, I will follow.
    I am particularly interested in the Island Hopper.

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      The Island Hopper just got a whole lot more appealing for anyone who wishes to spend more than 24 hours on each island!

      Miles & Pints in Pohnpei, anyone?

  16. Avatar
    Dean Mcmillan

    Ricky,

    Not sure if I am calculating this one correctly. Will not be booking this until after Covid is done.
    Calgary to Taipie 6199 miles
    Taipei to Jakarta 2363 miles
    Jakarta to Tokyo 2988 miles
    Tokyo to Calgary 4968 miles
    Total 16518 miles

    So would it be 100,00 points in Business plus 15000 for three stopovers for a total of 115,000 points?

    I feel I am all wet on this calculation.

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      JMA below is correct. In your calculation, you added up all the distances together and looked up that distance against the chart. But in fact it’ll need to be two separate calculations, since you’re booking a round-trip which is two “one-way bounds” – one for the outbound and one for the return.

    2. Avatar
      JMA

      Hi Dean,

      Not sure where you will be stopping but if you do it at TPE and TYO as your stop, this will cost you 180,000 AP miles in J

      YYC-TPE(stop)-CGK 85000 + 5000
      CGK-TYO(stop)-YYC 85000 + 5000

      AFAIK there is no direct flight from YYC-TPE, so you will need to transit to another city to catch a BR flight, that might increase the miles for AC flights.

      As NRT-YYC is one of the sweetspot, it might be worth it to book that as a separate oneway if you can find at a saver level, and use avios from CGK-TYO.

Ricky

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