Good Things About Aeroplan and Air Canada
No Fuel Surcharges on Most Partners- Aeroplan will charge fuel surcharges for Lufthansa and Austrian, but they won’t charge fuel surcharges for most of their partners. This can save you hundreds of dollars per ticket when flying high fuel surcharge partners Turkish Airlines, Swiss, South African Airlines, EgyptAir, Air India, and Ethiopian.
Generous Stopover Rules- You can do two stopovers or one stopover plus an open-jaw. This allows you to do a mini round the world trip for a very reasonable number of points.
Bad Things About Aeroplan and Air Canada
Fuel Surcharges on Own Flights– Aeroplan passes on Air Canada’s own fuel surcharges, so it is usually cheaper to fly a partner airline rather than Air Canada.
Future of Aeroplan– Air Canada reacquired their award program Aeroplan from Aimia, Inc. in 2018 including $1.9 billion in points liability. I expect some sort of devaluation of Aeroplan points at some time in 2019 or 2020, so use your points in a timely manner.
Air Canada Information
Hubs: Toronto (YYZ), Montreal (YUL), Vancouver (YVR), and Calgary (YYC)
Alliance: Star Alliance
Fees: First checked bag ($30 CAD between the U.S. and Canada); Second checked bag ($50 CAD between the U.S. and Canada)
Seat Maps by Plane: SeatGuru
Points Expiration: 12 months from the last activity on the account. Elite status members and TD Aeroplan credit card holders are exempt.
Elite Status Match: Air Canada sometimes offers a status challenge if (1) you have mid-tier elite status, and (2) you fly 18,500 miles in 90 days. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.