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Aeroplan, the frequent flyer program of Air Canada is devaluing its award chart, effective for awards booked December 15, 2015 and later.

This is one of those devaluations that I consider almost good news because we are getting three months’ notice, the changes are minor, and one big improvement was made.

Americans should pay attention to Aeroplan miles because Aeroplan is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards and SPG Starpoints, has a fair award chart with a few gems, and doesn’t impose fuel surcharges on many Star Alliance partners’ award flights like United, Air China, Turkish, and SAS.

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 9.14.50 PM

The Changes

Aeroplan has announced that awards booked by December 14, 2015 will be on the current award chart. Awards booked from December 15, 2015 will be priced according to the new chart.

Here is a comparison chart that Aeroplan released that shows the changes side-by-side. This chart shows roundtrip prices, but you can book one way awards for half price. (Click image to enlarge)

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 4.32.16 PM

Only awards with a black dot next to them went up in price. Notable increases are:

  • Business Class to Western Europe from 45k to 55k one way
  • First Class (like Lufthansa) to Western Europe from 62.5k to 70k one way
  • Business Class to Eastern Europe from 52.5k to 57.5k one way
  • First Class (like Lufthansa) to Eastern Europe from 72.5k to 80k one way
  • Business Class to Southern South America from 47.5k to 55k one way
  • Economy Class to Australia/New Zealand from 40k to 45k one way

Overall mileage prices stay very competitive, at least on awards that don’t have fuel surcharges.

There are also changes for awards that start in regions other than the United States and Canada. The big change for those other regions, though, is that one way awards will now be allowed for half the price of a roundtrip. Previously one way awards were only allowed to/from USA/Canada.

Why I Like Aeroplan’s Handling of the Devaluation

I get that miles drop in value over time (and also get easier to earn over time). I am OK with that as long as we get reasonable notice to redeem at the old prices. Aeroplan is giving us almost three months to redeem at current prices. On December 14, 2015, you can redeem on the current award chart for travel through mid-November 2016. That’s fair.

I also like Aeroplan’s system of releasing a new award chart once a year with small devaluations. Contrast that to what the American programs tend to do: release a new award chart every several years with huge changes. United completed changed the game with respect to booking partner First Class awards in 2014. Aeroplan is just making tweaks. I prefer the tweak method to the game-changer method.

I also appreciate that while Aeroplan takes away with one hand, it gives with the other. Being able to book one way awards between all regions has real value for someone like me who travels a lot and doesn’t always come back to the United States between trips.

Bottom Line

If you want to book 2016 travel to South America or Europe with Aeroplan miles, book by December 14, 2015 to lock in lower award prices.

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