Happy New Year! As well as fireworks and elite status counters resetting, the Aeroplan changes (which I wrote a series of posts about here) now take effect today. This means there are some good changes and some not so good changes, the important ones I will be mentioning in this post.
Aeroplan Changes: One-Way Awards
One-Way awards will only require 50% of the roundtrip cost, instead of 66% with the previous chart. This is one of the most positive changes, so this means the one-way award chart will actually be reasonable. Aeroplan now lists the changes to the award chart here:
Some of the best values that have not been touched by the devaluation is Europe 1 which means a one-way award is only 30k in economy and 45k in business. Combine this with a fuel surcharge free airline, and this is one of the cheapest ways for a TATL business class award.
Aeroplan Changes: New Award Chart
One of the things that I didn’t like with the Aeroplan changes were further raises to the awards to Asia/Oceania/Africa/Indian Subcontinent, which meant that the value of the mini-RTW would go up even more. A business class mini-RTW to Asia now starts as 150,000 miles versus 125,000 miles that it cost yesterday and the 100,000 cost a few years ago. A first class redemption to the Middle East is now 230,000 miles which is borderline outrageous, especially if you have fuel surcharge on top of that. The new award levels are as follows (from North America) for a roundtrip:
The other thing worth mentioning is the new market fares, which I’m surprised to say are actually really reasonable for the regular traveller. The market fares are basically setting the award cost of a ticket roughly equivalent to the cash cost. Distinction members get a further discount on these awards, which are not capacity controlled. Now these awards used to be called ClassicPlus and used to be outrageously pricy – think upwards of 40,000 miles on a economy domestic ticket. Now they’re actually fairly reasonable. I’ll be doing an analysis later, but the premium you’re paying to get non-capacity controlled awards is actually not to bad. Just to cherry-pick an example, YVR-LAX during spring break for some schools have no Y seats available at the saver level, but seats ARE available for a lot of flights for just a 4,000 mile premium:
As a comparison ITA Matrix is showing the lowest paid fare at $287. So your Aeroplan actually getting a 1.5cpm redemption here, which is not bad at all.
As a Distinction Black member I get up to a 25% discount on Market Fare Awards. I definitely won’t be redeeming for domestic coach anytime soon, but for the more typical Aeroplan user I would actually think this is not a bad deal, especially if you want direct flights on peak dates.
Aeroplan Changes: New TD Credit Cards
TD now has their official page online here with a list of their new Aeroplan credit cards for Canadians. The rumours which I talked a bit about here are true and most of the information about the cards and benefits are the same as what had been leaked a few days earlier. In my opinion, the offers aren’t really good especially as a new product, since TD really needs to capture more market share.
I assume they’ll run a first year free promo IF new signups and numbers are as good as they predicted. But these offers are hardly good for churning at all especially given that Aeroplan miles are in my opinion worth less than they were yesterday.
But here’s to hoping for a new year filled with lots of award space, first class mistake fare from certain Asian destinations, and great promotions!