wandering amphibia

One of the best-value redemptions on Aeroplan

There are many cool places one can go to – Asia, Africa, Australia, round-the-world… but one of the best redemptions on Aeroplan remains right in our own backyard here in Canada. I’m talking about YFB – Iqaluit. Hardly a place one would think of as a vacation destination… but this is one of the absolute best dollar-per-mile values on the award chart (shockingly, INCLUDING first- and business-class rewards). Consider this: an award to Asia will cost you at least 75,000 miles in economy for a ticket worth, say, $1,500. That’s a value of 2 cents/mile. The same ticket in first class will be 175,000 miles and be worth, let’s say, $20,000 – a value if 11 cents/mile, which is much better – right? The problem with first class bookings is that this value is a little bit superfluous: would you ever pay $20,000 for a ticket? If you would, you would probably not be reading blogs. However… a ticket between YUL-YFB or YOW-YFB will cost 15,000 miles, for a ticket worth at least $2,000. That’s 13 cents/mile… but wait! If you grab an American Express Aeroplan Platinum, you can get the two-for-one benefit, which means you can get two tickets for 15,000 miles. This means $4,000 worth of tickets, for a total value of 27 cents/mile. Definitely one of the best values in the chart. The tickets are a little bit hard to get (7F, Canadian North, publishes availability very randomly, but is at least accessible through Aeroplan’s reservation system… and First Air isn’t even accessible, so they literally have to phone in to request a ticket), and there isn’t much to do in Iqaluit besides watch auroras, but hey, anything for better points value. 🙂

3 thoughts on “One of the best-value redemptions on Aeroplan

  1. Pingback: Do you *have* to travel round-the-world with Aeroplan for best value? | wandering amphibia

  2. Peter

    It seems that it is no longer possible to book trips to Nunavut using AP miles, at least not on the Aeroplan website. Typing in YFB or Iqaluit yields no results. Maybe you can phone it in, not sure. Maybe that got smart to it and stopped this since it was costing them a lot of money. Like you said, flying to the Arctic is not cheap.

    1. pseudo Post author

      Actually, fortunately, it’s not all bad! Availability on First Air and on Canadian North is basically written down by a man in a hat with a wooden pencil and then telephoned to Aeroplan, so they do not publish it online. Essentially, you must call in and ask for specific dates – and if they say no availability then press, because sometimes they seem to have to check elsewhere.

      Also, it’s not loaded in any sensical order. I once was checking for August availability, and June, October and part of September were loaded, but August wasn’t (was obvious from the complete lack of seats – you can usually find at least one seat if you’re flexible by a few days).

      So, unfortunately, call in!