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SKFamily
04-22-2004, 11:44 AM
Just found this - Air Canada is eliminating blackout periods and adding seats.

http://www.canada.com/travel/story.html?id=F95BF7DD-5001-4704-B979-AF02C5C24ACF

MikeyNS
04-22-2004, 11:52 AM
Sounds good!

Now if they can get me to WDW quicker instead of Halifax->Ottawa->Montreal->Toronto->Orlando when I use my Aeroplan I'll be happy.
;)

MikeyNS
04-22-2004, 11:56 AM
Ahhh.. the small print. Just tried to check a booking.
"Aeroplan Avenue Rewards offer you 50% more reward seats at a premium of 33% to 50% more Aeroplan Miles. Please note that Aeroplan Avenue Rewards are not available for reward travel with the Star Alliance airlines. "

Funny how I can get a seat in ""economy"" for 37,500pts and not 25,000. Now it's Halif->Mont->TO->Orlando.

Remind me why I collect Aeroplan again?

SKFamily
04-22-2004, 02:54 PM
So you have to use more Aeroplan points to get the extra seats, is that what it means? Or do you get a discount using the points?

I don't collect them - this is the first flight I've been on in 12 years other than one medi-vac flight and a quick flight from Lethbridge - Edmonton for work a few years ago.

pumpkinboy
04-22-2004, 03:58 PM
Originally posted by SKFamily
...this is the first flight I've been on in 12 years other than one medi-vac flight and a quick flight from Lethbridge - Edmonton for work a few years ago. Now there's a flight you don't want to be taking very often, unless you are the medi-vac pilot.

bunnyfoo
04-22-2004, 05:27 PM
Originally posted by SKFamily
So you have to use more Aeroplan points to get the extra seats, is that what it means? Or do you get a discount using the points?

I don't collect them - this is the first flight I've been on in 12 years other than one medi-vac flight and a quick flight from Lethbridge - Edmonton for work a few years ago.

Yup. I checked out the Aeroplan site today for flights from Toronto to Orlando. Regular flights are 25,000 points but under the new program the same seats are 37,500 points.

robsawatsky
04-23-2004, 06:36 PM
Originally posted by bunnyfoo
Yup. I checked out the Aeroplan site today for flights from Toronto to Orlando. Regular flights are 25,000 points but under the new program the same seats are 37,500 points.

Well they aren't really the same seats. There are a certain % of seats allocated under Aeroplan classic (25,000 points) when those are gone, the next batch under Aeroplan Avenue are made available at a premium depending upon the start/destination locations (domestic, transborder, international; basically).

CanadaPT
04-25-2004, 07:09 PM
My trip to Florida with my sisters was booked through Aeroplan. I booked it in October and the earliest period we could book 3 seats was in June!! Hopefully this new program will allow more flexibility. We were about to throw out our Aerogold Visa because of this but we'll see how the new program works out.

bcv2005
04-26-2004, 10:05 PM
Hi everyone,

I booked 6 "regular" Aeroplan seats (the ones for 25,000 pts), Montreal to Orlando, for beginning of Feb 2005. I booked them at the end of Feb this year.

How I did this? I checked the web site and the maximum # of days to book in advance is 360 (from your return date). I did a lot of "testing" of the site and various flight plans through Jan and Feb and was ready to book as soon as my dates came into the 360-day window. Since I needed to book 3 on one Aeroplan account and 3 on another, I opened two Internet browser windows, one for me and one for my husband's account and basically walked them through the steps together, and SUCCESS!

By doing my homework up front and knowing about the 360-day maximum I was able to get my choice of flights and get 6 seats together (almost unheard of in my Aeroplan booking experience). This saved so much on airfare on our Disney trip that we were able to spend extra on spacious accomms at Beach Club Villas for us and our 4 kids.

Just thought others might be interested in this approach.

It's interesting that in my testing I discovered that even a couple of weeks after a set of dates becomes available, the Aeroplan seats can be gone (well, at least the chance of getting 6...!). So you need to do the math and book your seats as early as possible if you want to get them. The only drawback is if you have to change for any reason - they now charge a fee for each change you make. :mad:

Hope this helps someone, anyway!

jaysue
04-27-2004, 10:40 PM
Originally posted by bcv2005
Hi everyone,

I booked 6 "regular" Aeroplan seats (the ones for 25,000 pts), Montreal to Orlando, for beginning of Feb 2005. I booked them at the end of Feb this year.

How I did this? I checked the web site and the maximum # of days to book in advance is 360 (from your return date). I did a lot of "testing" of the site and various flight plans through Jan and Feb and was ready to book as soon as my dates came into the 360-day window. Since I needed to book 3 on one Aeroplan account and 3 on another, I opened two Internet browser windows, one for me and one for my husband's account and basically walked them through the steps together, and SUCCESS!

By doing my homework up front and knowing about the 360-day maximum I was able to get my choice of flights and get 6 seats together (almost unheard of in my Aeroplan booking experience). This saved so much on airfare on our Disney trip that we were able to spend extra on spacious accomms at Beach Club Villas for us and our 4 kids.

Just thought others might be interested in this approach.

It's interesting that in my testing I discovered that even a couple of weeks after a set of dates becomes available, the Aeroplan seats can be gone (well, at least the chance of getting 6...!). So you need to do the math and book your seats as early as possible if you want to get them. The only drawback is if you have to change for any reason - they now charge a fee for each change you make. :mad:

Hope this helps someone, anyway!

You are bang on correct - you need to be able to plan very early to get aeroplan classic seats on the demand routes that have smaller aircraft such as TOR>ORL or MTL>ORL

We used the same approach to get our seats for a March 05 flight

thanks
jaysue

maggie1
05-01-2004, 01:43 AM
spoke with aeroplan the other day...10% of seats are released for aeroplan. once those seats have been taken, any further seats will require using the extra miles. Also fyi the new program/extra seats for extra miles does not apply to business class, only economy.

I have also found booking early the best way to go...I was told the window is 355 days out for Air Canada aeroplan bookings, and 333 days out for partners. This was specifically in regards to booking for Florida. Overseas may be different.

I am trying to decide on whether or not to book with AC or with United for my Disneyworld trip...I'd prefer to fly a canadian airline, but nervous about future of AC given I will be booking 355 days out!

jaysue
05-01-2004, 05:25 AM
Here is an editorial from the Toronto Star April 29, 2004:



Editorial: Aeroplan's 'rewards'

Frequent fliers have long been squeezed when it comes to their pocketbooks and their legroom. Now their points programs are feeling the pinch.

Aeroplan's 6 million members earn mileage points by travelling on Air Canada or its partner airlines, or with hotel stays and car rentals. They can also accumulate points by making purchases with certain credit cards or by patronizing certain retailers.

But as loyalty programs giveth, so do they taketh away.

Last week, Aeroplan freed up more seats for points redemption and eliminated blackout periods during which reward travel wasn't allowed.

At first glance, it seemed to be good news for members.

Trouble is, Aeroplan also created a new category Avenue Rewards that requires travellers to pay more points for "free" flights.

For example, a member wanting to fly between Toronto and Vancouver in a month such as July used to have access to about 17,000 seats. Under the new rules, about 25,000 seats will be available for that same period.

Here's the hitch: Before, it cost 25,000 Aeroplan points for the flight. Now, only 13,000 seats will be available for that point total. Once they're snapped up, the remaining 12,000 seats will cost 37,500 points, a 50 per cent premium.

In other words, there are more reward seats but they'll eat up more of your carefully hoarded points. Fewer seats are offered at the old, lower redemption levels.

Once again, let the flier beware.

robsawatsky
05-05-2004, 07:03 PM
Originally posted by maggie1
spoke with aeroplan the other day...10% of seats are released for aeroplan. once those seats have been taken, any further seats will require using the extra miles.

Unfortunately, the person you spoke to provided incorrect information. Below is the official statement from Aeroplan. Note that the seat allocation applies to the "route" not necessarily any particular flight on that route.

"As of today, Aeroplan guarantees that a minimum of 8% of seats on Air Canada routes each month will be made available for Classic Rewards.

In addition, a minimum of 7% of Air Canada's seats will be available for Avenue Rewards."

Since the original commitment was 10% for Aeroplan seats prior to this change, the classic awards availability is actually decreased by 20% from what it was before. That being said, the actual utilization of Aeroplan awards was 7.4% of AC capacity last year, which only means that many possible award seats went wanting because they were on unpopular routes.

The real advantage of the new plan is more availability but at greater points cost on average, and eliminating black-out dates.

Also note that Avenue awards are not available on Star Alliance carriers.