Continuing my round-the-clock coverage of everything beautiful about Aeroplan, let’s move on to one of the eastern partners, Air Creebec. As their name (sort of) suggests, they are Aeroplan’s resident Quebecois carrier (at least if you want to go anywhere north of Sept-Iles). Fun fact: they are entirely owned by the Cree, one of the largest native First Nations groups in Canada… that’s got to be a little cool, at least.
Air Creebec Aeroplan Redemption Routes
Air Creebec operates to 16 destinations within Quebec and Ontario, mostly smaller communities along the Hudson Bay corridor.
There are four main “routes” operated by Air Creebec:
- Timmins – Moosonee – Fort Albany – Kashechewan – Attawapiskat – Peawanuck
- Montreal – Val-d’Or – Waskaganish – Chisasibi – Whapmagoostui
- Montreal – Val-d’Or – Waskaganish – Eastmain – Wemindji – Chisasibi – Whapmagoostui
- Montreal – Chibougamau – Nemaska – Eastmain – Wemindji – Chisasibi
As a reminder again, each flight operates under a single flight number.
Aircraft and Service
Sadly nothing fancy here in terms of aircraft, Air Creebec uses the same Dash 8 aircraft that you see doing the runs between Cleveland and Newark each day. Air Creebec also flies the Hawker-Siddeley HS-748 (along with Calm Air) but that’s for cargo only, so unless you fancy stuffing yourself in a FedEx box, sadly it’s just out of reach (worth it for true avgeeks though, right… surely? 😉 )
Palmjet has written a great trip report on Air Creebec’s service from Montreal to Chisasibi to Montreal which is surely worth a read. The service as reported wasn’t perfect (but as always – and doubly so on such smaller airlines – YMMV) but for the most part (other than accessing these smaller cities) the second-best thing about short outback milk runs is the scenery on offer – from the trees, to the rivers, lakes and snow-capped peaks… it is, as they would say in Germany, erstaunlich.
Booking Air Creebec Award Travel
While revenue prices on Air Creebec might not be as high as their Nunavumiut counterparts, prices often go in excess of $1000 one way, which again makes it prime target for Aeroplan redemptions.
Aeroplan’s 7,500-mile one-way short haul awards are particularly useful here, which apply if you are traveling out of:
- Ontario to/from within Ontario, Manitoba, Quebec, Nunavut, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington DC and Wisconsin
- Quebec to/from within Quebec, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, PEI, Nunavut, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington DC, Wisconsin.
So let’s take a look at what a sample award routing looks like:
Meanwhile, the corresponding paid fare for a one way is $1,191:
At over 15 cents per mile, definitely a great value redemption to be had.
To construct an itinerary, you will first need to position yourself to one of the Air Creebec gateways – Montreal for Chibougamau, Nemaska, Waskaganish, Eastmain, Chisasibi, Wemindji and Whapmagoostui or Timmins for Moosonee, Fort Albany, Kashechewan, Attawapiskat and Peawanuck. Air Creebec awards are combinable with Air Canada, so you have a range of routes available into Montreal – though options are more limited into Timmins, where you would need to catch an Air Canada Express flight from Toronto first.
Being such a small localised airline, there is no way to search Air Creebec award space online – you must first call the Aeroplan Service Centre who will manually request the seat from Air Creebec. Old-school, but definitely worth it.
Acquiring Aeroplan Miles
Aeroplan miles are transferrable at a 1:1 ratio from American Express Membership Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest. Credit card offers useful for Air Creebec award redemptions include:
- American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card – 25,000 Membership Rewards points after $500 spend within the first three months
- American Express AeroPlus Gold Card – 30,000 Aeroplan miles after after $500 spend within the first three months (offer ends July 14, 2014)
Both of these cards offer a waived annual fee for the first year and the AeroPlus Gold Card, for example offers a sign-up bonus sufficient for two round-trip short-haul redemptions on Air Creebec – valued at almost $5,000.
Alternative cards include the American Express Platinum Card (Canada) which comes with a 60,000 point signup bonus, as well as the Starwood Preferred Guest Card (Canada) which comes with a 10,000 point signup bonus.