Aeroplan & Etihad Airways: A Match Made in Heaven

16.602 visualizações13 de jun. de 2

you may have already heard but in case you missed it the news that has really taken the landscape by storm over the past week and a half or so is that Aeroplan and Etihad Airways are now partners and you can now redeem Aeroplan Miles on Etsy hat Airways flights in economy business and first class I mean on one hand we’ve got aeroplanes you know our cute humble Canadian loyalty program with its cheerful orange demeanor and its rickety old online search engine and on the other hand we’ve got Etihad Airways from the United Arab Emirates you know first-class apartments if he had a380 Etihad shower in the sky Etsy had onboard lounge Etihad world-class food and drink Etihad it’s unbelievable I almost need a little bit more time to fully digest this news so in the meantime if you’re enjoying these videos if you think I do a good job of covering the credit cards and the loyalty programs or if you’re just really jumping for joy at this new aeroplane and Etihad partnership then feel free to hit the like button and subscribe to the Prince of Travel YouTube channel it really helps me out it really tells YouTube that I’m doing a good job and it encourages them to share the video with even more users especially if you like and subscribe right now just as the video started and with that said let’s get right into it [Music] alright guys so this video is gonna go a little something like this we’re gonna start by hyping up the new aeroplane and Etihad partnership we’re gonna explain exactly why it deserves to be hyped up and then we’re going to talk about the best Redemption opportunities on Etsy had Airways some of the best sweet spots the methodology for getting into the redemptions and for booking the Etihad flights for yourself and then we’re gonna end with a few caveats a few things to be aware of as you’re looking to book an tijada Airways on arrow plan and about the future of the aeroplane program in general so first of all why is the addition of Etihad Airways as a brand new aeroplane partner such an exciting development for aeroplane members well it all boils down to the fact that the United Arab Emirates is flag carrier is widely considered one of the world’s best airlines it has a very competitive product in economy class a beautiful business class product known as the Etihad business studio and of course the famous Airbus a380 first-class apartments where there’s a single aisle in the first-class cabin and it’s a very intimate first-class cabin with only nine first-class Suites in total and on top of that there’s the shower in the sky there’s the onboard bar and lounge and there’s the world-class food and drink that you enjoy on board and those Airbus a380 first-class apartments is exactly what I believe has captured the imagination of most Aeroplan members because we’ve all seen pictures of the famous first-class product but nowadays when you can redeem Aeroplan Miles according to the same published fixed charts as the rest of the Star Alliance partners for flights on the Etihad apartments with no fuel surcharges that’s obviously a huge win for any member who has Aeroplan miles and it is that ability to very easily redeem Aeroplan Miles for Etihad first-class that makes me think that this development is transformative and groundbreaking and almost a game-changer for the entire aeroplane program and to understand why let’s ask ourselves the question what is the mark of a truly outstanding sweet spot within a loyalty program right what distinguishes the sweet spots that everybody knows about everybody dreams of when they first start collecting points from the rest of the sweet spots out there and if I were to answer that question I would say that for a sweet spot in which you use a certain type of miles to book a certain type of flight for that sweet spot to be one of the best out there then the type of miles you’re using has to be one of the best ways most easily accessible ways to book the flight in question and booking the flight in question must represent one of the best uses of the miles that you’re using so not only does it have to be you know optimal in one direction but it has to be optimal the other way around as well it has to be mutually optimal and I would argue that that’s exactly the case with Aeroplan Miles and Etihad Airways first class not only do Aeroplan Miles now represent the best way for Canadian travelers to book Etihad first class and the Etihad Apartments but so to do Etihad first class and the anta hat Apartments now represent the single most valuable usage of your Aeroplan Miles that you can possibly redeem for if we think about the first half of that statement well before this new aeroplane partnership Etihad first class was always quite tough to book because you had to go through programs like American a advantage Etihad guest or Asiana Airlines Asiana club and it was never really easy to earn miles in these programs and sometimes you would have to pay very high fuel surcharges as well so now that we have the aeroplane partnership it’s super easy to earn Aeroplan Miles in Canada with the American Express TD and CIBC credit cards with the Aeroplan estore and with aeroplanes promotions and there’s no fuel surcharges that you pay when you redeem Aeroplan Miles at Etihad so that’s obviously now the best way the easiest way to book the ante hat apartments for yourself and on the other side of the coin if we think about the second half of that statement well ask yourselves what were some of the best uses of Aeroplan Miles prior to this well you could always book business class many around the worlds you can always book special experiences like Lufthansa first class or a na first class but none of those were perhaps quite as aspirational as the Etihad apartments and Etihad Airways first class which is you know almost in the league of its own along with Emirates and Singapore Airlines and especially when you factor in things like the relatively generous amounts of award seats that Etihad makes available in first-class the fact that you can redeem for no fuel surcharges the fact that you can combine Etihad flights with other Star Alliance flights on the same award and of course some of the redemption sweet spots that we’re going to talk about later in the video then this truly is a game changer for your Aeroplan Miles and I think it’s gonna be a very very popular redemption among Aeroplan members so that is in a nutshell why this new aeroplane and Etihad partnership is such a match made in heaven a matrimony of the highest order and without further ado let’s dive into all of the details on redeeming Aeroplan Miles for Etihad flights so that you can try it out for yourself let’s talk a little bit about the Etihad Airways routes network now Etihad as a relatively young airline having only been founded in 2003 based out of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates it serves 74 destinations around the world across five of the six inhabited continents in North America the airline serves five destinations with direct flights for in the u.s. LAX Washington DC New York JFK and Chicago and one in Canada Toronto Pearson so if you don’t live in one of these five cities then you may need to add on a separate flight whether it’s on Air Canada or United or a different airline to get to the Gateway Airport and catch your Etihad flight and around the world Etihad Airways has a route network that potentially could be beefed up a little in certain areas but is nonetheless still very comprehensive overall some of the most popular destinations might include London Paris Frankfurt or Istanbul and Europe Seychelles Johannesburg or Nairobi in Africa Beijing Hong Kong Seoul Tokyo or Singapore in Asia or Sydney and Melbourne in Australia as well the airline also has a very good coverage of India and the Indian subcontinent in general as well as throughout the Middle East now something else that we must familiarize ourselves with about the Etihad route network is where does the airline fly their fleet of 10 Airbus a380s because it’s only on the Airbus a380 the world’s largest plane on the top deck that Etihad has the famous first class apartments with the huge individual suite the shower in the sky and the onboard lounge and as of right now Etihad is using Airbus a380 on five different routes Abu Dhabi to New York JFK London Heathrow Paris shall de Gaulle Seoul Incheon and Sydney Australia so that means that if you live in North America then the flight that you really want a book is the flight out of or into New York JFK because that’s the only one that’s gonna have the Airbus a380 first-class apartments the other flights out of North America are still going to be very special business class or first class experiences but perhaps not quite on the same level as the apartments without the same kind of wow factor anyway now that we’ve gone over the available routes let’s think about the redemption possibilities and in particular the redemption price points because there are some very interesting redemption price points available here let’s pull up the aeroplane reward chart and take a look if we consider the most basic first-class flight that you could book let’s say New York JFK to Abu Dhabi then we see that that falls into Canada and continental USA to Middle East in North Africa and that costs two hundred and thirty thousand miles for a round trip in first-class which is equivalent to a hundred and fifteen thousand miles one way but the very interesting thing here is that if we now think about a Redemption between Canada and the continental USA and Australia New Zealand and South Pacific that actually clocks in at only 220,000 miles first-class round-trip which is the same as 110,000 miles for a one-way in first-class so the kind of crazy thing is booking a simple flight from JFK to Abu Dhabi is actually one of the more expensive redemptions that you can make and you can actually add a whole 14-hour flight after that over to Sydney Australia and you would actually save 5,000 miles by doing so just think about that for a second by adding a 14-hour flight in first-class to your itinerary that would ordinarily cost almost $10,000 alone you actually save 5,000 miles you’re basically getting paid to fly an extra 14 hours in first-class from JFK to Abu Dhabi to Sydney instead of just from JFK to Abu Dhabi it’s a classic example of award chart arbitrage and indeed it’s proven very popular with Aeroplan members with tons of members including yours truly having booked this JFK Abu Dhabi Sydney flight or the opposite way around for a hundred and ten thousand Aeroplan Miles plus about a hundred and fifty dollars in taxes and fees and that’s of course a spectacular deal now in terms of actually making a booking some auntie hat flights will show up on the online search engine when you search for a one-way journey but not all of them will so for example when you search JFK to Sydney you might not see the auntie hat first-class flights throughout boo Dhabi showing up in the search results so you’re gonna need to call Aeroplan to book those more complex itineraries I found that the most reliable way to search for Etihad first-class availability is actually not to go through the Aero plan search engine itself but instead to go through expert flyer or the Etsy had guests search engine and the award space that you see through these two sources more closely aligns with what the call center with aeroplane agents can actually see and book on their end and speaking of the aeroplane call center now is the point in the video where I want to mention some caveats to expect when you’re making your Etihad first-class booking and when you’re dealing with aeroplanes and making aeroplane bookings in general if you’ve tried to make a complex booking through the aeroplane call center over the past two or three weeks there’s been a bit of a problem a mishap or a debacle depending on how you look at it and it relates to a little-known part of how the Aero plan loyalty program works known as the maximum permitted mileage or MPN now we’ve covered the MPM before here in the channel basically a rule that’s supposed to limit how far you can fly between two cities how convoluted your routing may be Aeroplan has assigned to every pair of cities around the world a certain maximum permitted mileage figure and while they don’t publish that figure publicly there is a way to figure it out but in case you needed a refresher for the concept the MPM is basically a number given to every city pair within the Aeroplan system such that for any one-way booking between these two city pairs the total distance flown on you know whatever flights you booked between these two cities cannot be over the MPM the maximum permitted mileage so the MPM number has historically been quite generous but about two or three weeks ago some people over the phone have been told that the MPM is now a much lower number it now aligns with the MPM that you might find when you search through expert flyer which is significantly lower than what it used to be through Aeroplan and if the MPM was truly lowered across the board then it would take a lot of value out of the aeroplane program because it would be a lot harder to customize your routes on the exact flights and the exact business class product and first-class products that you want as you’re trying to get to your final destination and it would also be a lot tougher to build in your ideal stopovers on your way to your final destination as well as any long layovers any 23 hour layover z’ that you want to slot in in the middle now here’s the problem I was obviously very concerned when I heard about these potential changes to the NPM I mean the NPM has always been kind of hidden in the aero plan program it’s never been openly published or disclosed if you look through the Terms & Conditions you’ll see that there’s no mention of a maximum permitted mileage at all so really aeroplane could choose to change this number and not announce it or disclose it at all and it would kind of be a subtle or stealth devaluation that was still very much within the limits of the program itself so I was obviously very concerned and I reached out to my aeroplane contacts to see if there had been a change to the NPM but they replied saying that there have been no change to the NPM rules surrounding the flight rewards so what gives I mean on one hand there’s been no official change to the NPM rules but on the other hand there’s been a lot of aero plan members who’ve been calling in to the call center especially when they’re trying to book these new Etihad Airways flights and being told that their previously valid itineraries are no longer valid because they’re over the allowed maximum permitted mileage so when people try to book Sidney Abu Dhabi New York JFK for a hundred and ten thousand miles for example some of them are being told that it’s not valid that you can’t book it whereas other members are actually being allowed to book and are being helped very enthusiastically by the agents to book these trips and it seems to depend entirely on which agent you’re connected with when you call Aeroplan and this situation obviously does make any sense at all so I’ve actually followed up with my Aeroplan contact I’ve sent them a long-winded email for some clarity on what’s going on with the NPM situation and they’ve said that it may take a while to get back to me because the team needs to investigate so obviously when I do hear back you can expect to hear what are the latest updates on the NPM situation on the channel or over on Prince of travel comm but in the meantime if you’re trying to book an Etihad Airways flight through the Aero plan call center especially if it’s one of the more interesting sweet spots like that Sydney Abu Dhabi New York JFK for a hundred and ten thousand miles then be prepared to call back hang up and call back a few times because you need to find the right agent who will help you make that booking instead of just putting on a terrible attitude and saying sorry that’s not possible it’s against the rules and finally I want to end this video with a little bit of a reminder to you guys about the general state of the aeroplane program now that this very welcome news of the Etihad Airways partnership has arrived as we know Air Canada will be launching a brand-new version of the aeroplane program later on this year currently slated for quarter four of 2020 and it makes perfect sense that they’re trying to hype up the program as much as possible in the lead-up to the new programs launched this new Etihad Airways partnership is obviously an incredible development and it really makes me think that we’re currently in the Golden Age of Aeroplan Miles and in general things may not quite be as good as they are right now especially as we go many years into the future of the new program right now we’re able to combine ante head flights with a relatively generous published fixed award charts for international premium flights now in the future when the new aeroplane program launches we know they’re still going to be a published award charts but we don’t know what those award rates are gonna be and it’s quite likely if you ask me that those rates aren’t going to go up in the future after all we know that across the industry loyalty programs generally devalue over time and the aeroplane award chart has remained fixed at its current levels for the past five years or so so it’s kind of ripe for a little bit of a devaluation if you ask me now I’m not saying that the award rates are definitely going to go up but I’m saying that if they do go up don’t be surprised so right now in the current moment we really have the best of both worlds we have Air Canada improving the program hyping up the program adding exciting new partners like Etihad Airways and we have a relatively generous existing award chart to work with and I’m sure that many of us hope that this award chart will remain generous in the future but we also have some degree of healthy skepticism about what’s gonna happen with the new program so what I’m saying is right now is the golden ages for Aeroplan Miles and if you want to maximize your value now’s the time to make some epic redemptions on Etsy how dare ways for travel later on in 2020 or perhaps more likely sometime in 2021 anyway I’ll leave you with that I hope you’ve enjoyed the video because we’ve covered some very exciting developments for Aeroplan members and I’m sure many of you will be looking at your next auntie hat Airways redemptions if you haven’t already soon after watching the video don’t forget to hit the like button and subscribe to The Prince of travel YouTube channel just click the subscribe button below the video and do share with me in the comments what’s your take on this new aeroplane and Etihad partnership are you about to book some epic flights on the Etihad first-class apartments and do you think Aero plan is on its way to becoming a program of global prominence let me know and I’ll see you in the next video so in this video let’s break down okay wait Jesse don’t make noise you know this is going in the outtakes let’s take a look at the Etihad route route routes Jesse do you say route or route do Canadians say

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