Air Canada (1,000 Miles)
- Product Code: Air Canada Aeroplan
- Availability: In Stock
Aeroplan. They have decent award rates for travel to “Asia 1” (which includes most of North and much of South Asia) at just 125,000 miles for roundtrip business class. It’s worth noting that this price is only valid through January 1, 2014, because at that point they’ll be devaluing their program and charging 150,000 miles for the same award.
Best of all they allow two stopovers OR one stopover and one open jaw.
The catch is that they impose fuel surcharges for redemptions on most of their partner airlines that fly directly between the US and Asia. There are three exceptions however. Aeroplan doesn’t impose fuel surcharges for travel on Air China, EVA Air, or United, all of which have frequent service (and award availability, for that matter) between the US and Asia. A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about redeeming miles for Star Alliance business class, and as I mentioned there, both Air China and EVA Air release a ton of business class award space.
I’ve flown Air China and EVA Air, and enjoyed them both in business class. Here are my trip reports about their longhaul service:
I especially love EVA Air due to their reverse herringbone business class configuration and excellent
cappuccinos service in business class.
Anyway, if you have Membership Rewards points it’s tough to beat the value of redeeming them for travel on EVA Air (or Air China, or United) in business class to Asia. Not only are the redemption costs reasonable and there are no fuel surcharges, but it’s a great business class product as well.
For example, as you can see below, an Air China roundtrip between Los Angeles and Beijing costs 125,000 Aeroplan miles plus just $73.70 in taxes:
Meanwhile a roundtrip between Los Angeles and Taipei on EVA Air also costs 125,000 Aeroplan miles plus just $69 in taxes:
While a roundtrip between Los Angeles and Shanghai on United costs 125,000 Aeroplan miles plus just $73.70 in taxes:
It’s worth noting that you can include other airlines that do impose fuel surcharges on the same Aeroplan award, and you’ll only be charged the fuel surcharges for the segments on the airlines which impose them. So a short intra-Asia flight shouldn’t have especially high fuel surcharges, should you want to include a segment on ANA, Asiana, Thai, etc.
Anyway, I realize this probably isn’t life changing, but I figured it was worth posting the reminder given that with United’s award chart devaluation in February they’ll be charging 160,000 miles for business class to much of Asia, and that Aeroplan will also be raising the cost of this award to 150,000 miles.