As I was combing through my emails earlier this week, I came across a number of Valentine’s Day promotions from Aeroplan and Air Canada. I noticed a limited-time offer for the Romantic Getaway Flight Pass, which is available for purchase until February 14, 2022.
Since we recently published an overview article on Air Canada flight passes, I thought it would be beneficial to do a deeper dive on a single product to go over its value proposition.
In this article, let’s explore this limited-time offer and see whether or not it may be worth considering.
What Is the Air Canada Romantic Getaway Flight Pass?
Several times each year, Air Canada offers seasonal flight passes for purchase. They usually fall around various holidays, likely as encouragement for people to purchase them as gifts.
The Romantic Getaway Flight Pass fits this description perfectly; they are available for purchase from February 1 to February 14, right in time to treat your loved one to a long-awaited trip instead of a measly box of chocolates.
There are four versions of the pass available:
- Florida Plus, which covers many sunny destinations
- Across Canada, which covers all of Canada
- Europe and North Africa, which covers most of Western Europe as well as Morocco, Algeria, and Egypt
- Worldwide, which covers most of the world
Within each pass, you must choose between Economy (Flex) and Business Class for a fare type, as well as from Western or Eastern Canada as your departure point.
What’s unique about the Romantic Getaway passes is that they are sold as four flight credits that can be used for up to two passengers. This could be considered one round-trip for two, two round-trip flights for one, or four one-way flights.
If you’re currently shopping around for a round-trip cash flight, it would be in your best interest to compare the market rate for flights with the cost per segment of a flight pass (which we will do below).
Many other flight passes are sold in minimum denominations of between eight and 10 credits, which may or may not be applicable to more than one passenger. Therefore, the Romantic Getaway Flight Pass is unique in that it has fewer credits that can be combined with another person, so the initial investment isn’t as daunting as other flight passes.
The fare rules are clearly laid out when you select the fare you would like to purchase. For example, the following blurb shows important information for the Florida Plus Romantic Getaway Flight Pass with departure from Western Canada:
Take note of the following:
- You can use eUpgrade credits on the Flex fare to upgrade to business class.
- You’ll earn 100% Aeroplan points for the distance flown.
- Flight credit bookings are subject to the availability of Flex “M” fare option.
The last point is an important one to consider. Recall that within each fare bucket, there are different letter codes. When using eUpgrades, the amount needed depends on a host of factors, and one of them is which fare bucket and which specific fare you’ve booked.
Flex “M” fares require the fewest amount of eUpgrades to upgrade to business class within the Flex fare family.
In fact, if you look at the below chart for eUpgrades on cash fares to North America and Sun destinations closely, you’ll notice that Flex “M” fares require the same number of eUpgrade credits as Comfort “M”, Latitude, and Premium Economy (Flexible) fares.
The caveat here is that unlike Latitude and Premium Economy (Flexible) fares, with which you can instantly confirm an eUpgrade as they are not subject to eUpgrade clearance windows, you’ll have to wait until your Aeroplan Elite Status clearance window with a Flex fare.
Not all Romantic Getaway Flight Passes book into Flex “M”, though. The Europe and North Africa and Worldwide Flight Passes are subject to availability of Flex “V” fare options, while the Florida Plus and Across Canada Flight Passes are associated with the more desirable Flex “M” fare options.
Notably, the Flex “V” fare option would require an add-on fee for international flights for all Aeroplan Elite Status holders except for Super Elites, which erodes some of the value if you’re looking to fly in business class.
This is a long way of saying that it’s important to read all of the terms and conditions before purchasing a flight pass, so that you can deduce the optimal strategy for using it.
Does the Romantic Getaway Flight Pass Make Sense?
Broadly speaking, flight passes tend to give the best value for people who don’t live in major hub cities and those who travel at the last minute or during peak holiday periods.
Because flight passes give you a fixed-value cost per segment, it can be thought of as “I’m buying four one-way flights at a cost of $X per segment — is this better than buying four separate one-way flights?”
For the purposes of this article, let’s suppose that three people from different points in Canada are looking to escape the winter blues and escape to Florida, a popular destination around this time of year.
Let’s follow Vladislav from Vancouver Island, Monique from Montreal, and John from St. John’s as they consider the Air Canada Romantic Getaway Flight Pass for travel over spring break to Orlando with their partners. They also all want to use eUpgrades to fly in a higher class of service.
From Victoria, British Columbia
For our first example, let’s suppose that Vladislav and his partner are looking to fly from Comox to Orlando to soak up some rays after a dreary winter on beautiful Vancouver Island.
A cash fare to Orlando would cost $2,357 and would be booked in Flex “W” class. Upgrading to business class would cost 10 eUpgrades per person per direction, for a total of 40 eUpgrade credits.
A Florida Plus Romantic Getaway Pass would cost $2,237 and would be booked in Flex “M” class. Upgrading to business class would cost only two eUpgrades per person per direction, for a total of eight.
With all else being equal, it would make more sense for Vladislav to buy the flight pass here. Even though the cost is relatively equal, he could save 32 eUpgrade credits for future consideration, such as a Latitude Attitude Aeroplan booking to Australia.
From Montreal, Quebec
Monique from Montreal is looking for a direct flight to Orlando with her significant other. While Montreal is lovely year-round, they decide to escape pothole season for some time in the sun.
They notice a great deal on a cash fare, which would only cost them $753 round-trip. The cash fare is booked in Flex “G” class, which would cost six eUpgrade credits each per direction, for a total of 24.
While they aren’t thrilled about the idea of flying with Air Canada Rouge, they notice that there is ample eUpgrade space to Premium Rouge and decide to use their Super Elite eUpgrade clearance window to their advantage.
With a premium co-branded Aeroplan credit card, such as the American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card, they’ve each rolled over 50 eUpgrades from last year and have plenty to go around.
As savvy Miles & Points enthusiasts, they read through the marketing email and notice the Romantic Getaway Flight Pass.
From Eastern Canada, the Florida Plus pass would cost $1,785. As they’d be booked in Flex “M”, it would only cost 4 eUpgrade credits total for this itinerary, as it is under 1,500 miles.
In Monique’s case, she’d save a significant amount of money for these flights by booking a cash fare, even though it would cost an additional 20 eUpgrade credits. Since she and her partner are swimming in eUpgrades, she holds off on buying the flight pass and pays cash for her trip to Florida.
From St. John’s, Newfoundland
Lastly, John from St. John’s is excited for his first trip outside of Canada since the start of the pandemic. He decides to treat his daughter to a long-awaited trip to Disney World after a blustery winter in spectacular Newfoundland.
He’s always wanted to fly in a pod, and notices that if he connects through Toronto both ways, they can fly on a widebody aircraft with lie-flat seats between Toronto and Orlando.
As a savvy Prince of Travel reader, he also finessed his way to 25K status through credit card spending and received a status bump to 35K earlier this year.
The cash fare for these flights is $1,828 and would be booked in Flex “V” class. Using eUpgrades for a potential business class upgrade would cost 10 per person per direction, for a total of 40.
After glancing through the promotional email, and maybe even after reading this article, he looks into the Air Canada Romantic Getaway Flight Pass.
He notices that it would cost $1,785 for the same flights if he were to buy the pass, as well as a total of eight eUpgrade credits to upgrade to business class.
As we saw with Vladislav, John decides to buy the flight pass as he wants to save on eUpgrade credits. The cash savings are negligible here, but assuming that his upgrade clears, he can save them for another holiday over the summer.
With two of the above hypothetical travellers, the Air Canada Romantic Getaway Flight Pass offered a way to get a higher fare within the same fare bucket for a lower price.
Doing so reduces the number of eUpgrades required per passenger, which is often where the main value proposition lies when considering a flight pass purchase.
Air Canada Flight Passes can offer great value, but due to the sheer variety of different situations people find themselves in, it’s tricky to determine whether or not they represent good value for everyone all the time. If you tend to travel at the last minute or during peak periods, then they’re likely a good idea for you to consider.
The advantage of the Romantic Getaway Flight Passes are that they can be applied to two travellers and are sold as four one-way credits. This is a less substantial investment than a 10-credit flight pass for one traveller, and it can offer savings in ways other than dollar figures.
I’m sure there are some instances in which the Romantic Getaway Flight Pass saves hundreds or even thousands of dollars for the right type of traveller. I recently spoke with a travel agent who shared that many of the business class flight passes have been selling very well during this promotion.
If you’re going to pay cash for a flight, be sure to consider all options available to you, as you could wind up saving money or eUpgrades along the way.