Not a Glitch! Aeroplan Premium Cabin Awards on Sale

Last Friday I reported that Aeroplan, Air Canada's mileage program, was pricing out business class awards at economy class prices and first class awards at business class prices. I speculated that some sort of IT glitch was behind the "sale" and encouraged you to book now and ask questions later. Four days later the "sale" is still on and it appears I was mistaken: the "glitch" is actually a deliberate yet unpublished fare sale.

This morning I received the following comment in the post from Valerie, with an Aeroplan e-mail address:

Hi Matthew, I am the social media community manager at Aeroplan. I wanted to let you know that Aeroplan is offering special mileage levels to select travel regions/destinations for a limited period of time. Members may book these flight reward tickets online or thru the contact center (booking fees apply). This sale is not a website glitch and this offer could end at any time.

I am having trouble understanding why Aeroplan would do this, but nevertheless those of you who have taken advantage of this great deal need not worry about Aeroplan coming after more miles in the future.

Need help booking your award? Let us know.

This really is a nice marketing ploy--this softens the blow of the fuel surcharges and with the "sale" lasting for an unknown duration, I bet a lot of you are burning your miles now (I certainly would if I collected Aeroplan points).

No matter what Aeroplan says, I am fairly certain the fuel surcharge money is going to Air Canada (the ticketing carrier) rather than Lufthansa or other Star Alliance members operating the award flights. If true, that essentially makes booking these discounted Aeroplan awards analogous to "cash + points" redemption options on bmi and British Airways, where you spend less miles but have to fork over cash for the award ticket.

Could this all just be a ploy to make people think they are getting a good deal while Aeroplan is laughing all the way to the bank with their new fuel surcharge cash cow? It is something to think about...


lelee December 5, 2011 at 08:47 pm

I bet it started as an IT glitch, that they could not fix. With the bad PR they generated with higher mileages and YQs, they took advantage of the situation and honoured the bookings until whenever it gets fixed. If it was a legit promo, why didnt they announce it ?

Gary December 5, 2011 at 08:55 pm

My 'bet' is that this really is an IT issue that they just didn't have an immediate fix for but are working to solve. I haven't spoken to anyone at Aeroplan on this, so truly just a guess, but I really doubt this is an unannounced flash sale. :P

076753k December 7, 2011 at 07:07 am

I cashed in! YHZ-BOS AC (Y) BOS-FRA LH (J) (17hour stop) - SIN (10 day stop) LH (J)- SIN-FRA LH (J) - FRA -JFK SQ (J), EWR-YHZ CON (Y)! I have never flown trans atlantic in J, or on an A380 so its a reallll treat! I wouldn't have found out about this if it wasn't for FT

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