If you’ve been following the Frequent Miler Instagram story (and/or the story on my Instagram account if you’re #3C3CTeamNick), you know that I just can’t stay put. My recent journey took me across three continents, exploring iconic destinations and experiencing the thrill of flying in business class on multiple airlines, all on a single ticket, courtesy of Air Canada Aeroplan.
Setting the Stage: Air Canada Aeroplan
Before diving into the details of my whirlwind adventure, it’s essential to understand why Air Canada Aeroplan is at the heart of this remarkable journey. I’ve previously shared my love affair with this frequent flyer program, and you can consider this article a continuation of my exploration into the boundless possibilities it offers.
To recap, here’s why Air Canada Aeroplan is a game-changer for avid travelers:
- Multi-Segment Awards: Aeroplan allows up to 6 segments on a one-way award ticket. This flexibility opens the door to crafting complex itineraries that span multiple destinations.
- Extensive Airline Partners: Aeroplan boasts an extensive network of airline partners, offering more options than any other frequent flyer program. This means you can choose from a wide array of carriers to build your dream itinerary.
- Mix and Match: The program allows you to mix and match partner airlines on a single ticket. While this can result in a unique and exciting journey, it’s worth noting that check-in and airport personnel may be puzzled by your adventure.
With the foundation laid, let’s delve into the specifics of my adventure, the flights I’ve taken, and the incredible value offered by Air Canada Aeroplan.
My Journey Across Continents: The Flights and Costs
On this one-way Aeroplan business class award, I embarked on a voyage that spanned multiple continents, experiencing the world in style. Here’s a breakdown of the flights I’ve taken so far:
1. Egyptair Business Class: I kicked off my journey by flying Egyptair business class from Cairo to Washington, DC. The flight was on their 787, which, I must say, was a comfortable experience. The service was friendly, and while nothing exceeded expectations, it certainly did not disappoint. This leg allowed me to explore Washington, DC, with plenty of time to immerse myself in the city.
2. Turkish Airlines Regional Business Class: My next segment took me from Cairo to Istanbul aboard Turkish Airlines regional business class. Although these seats didn’t convert into flat beds, they featured power reclining capabilities. Considering this was a 2.5-hour flight, the service was decent, and the food exceeded expectations. My layover in Istanbul allowed me to experience a 2.5-hour Bosphorus cruise, adding an exciting dimension to my journey.
3. Turkish Airlines Regional Business Class (Istanbul to Muscat): The adventure continued with Turkish Airlines regional business class from Istanbul to Muscat, Oman. While the seats on this plane were different, they were comfortable. The reclining mechanism was manual, but it sufficed for this route. I specifically chose this A321-operated flight to explore the Turkish lounge in Istanbul. My Muscat layover provided ample time for a snorkeling tour at the Daymaniyat Islands, complete with close encounters with whale sharks and sea turtles.
4. Oman Air Business Class: My final leg, aboard Oman Air’s 787, whisked me away from Muscat to Bangkok, Thailand. This flight marked my first experience with Apex suites. Although they were ideal for sleeping, I found the seat’s narrow width a bit restrictive. Nevertheless, the onboard service was exceptional, featuring a leather-bound menu, pajamas upon request, and additional amenities. With only 5.5 hours of flying time, this flight was shorter than the others, affording me limited sleep but enough energy to explore Bangkok’s vibrant flower market, the Grand Palace, and the backpacker haven of Khao San Road.
As I write this article, I’m already soaring towards my next destination on yet another Air Canada partner airline, enjoying lie-flat business class once again. It’s a testament to the endless possibilities offered by Air Canada Aeroplan.
The Cost of My Adventure
The most astonishing aspect of this adventure is the relatively low cost. My journey traversing North America to the Pacific zone (encompassing all of Asia, Australia, and New Zealand) only set me back a maximum of 115,000 miles for a one-way business class ticket. This applies to itineraries spanning 11,001 miles or more in total distance.
While Air Canada recently increased the redemption rate for this award, I secured my booking when the business class award band was 105,000 miles one way. Additionally, I incurred minimal taxes and fees, totaling just $66. This surprising affordability can be attributed to the transit passenger status, which potentially exempted me from multiple departure taxes. This strategy allowed me to save on taxes and fees, a notable benefit of crafting complex itineraries.
Booking My Adventure
Booking an itinerary as intricate as this one requires careful planning and persistence. Here’s a step-by-step guide to booking a similar journey with Air Canada Aeroplan:
- Find Individual Leg Availability: Begin by searching for availability on each leg of your journey. Air Canada’s website is a reliable resource for viewing award space.
- Call Aeroplan: Once you’ve identified your desired flights, contact Aeroplan by phone to book your multi-segment award ticket. While booking online is now possible for up to 4 segments, you’ll need to call if you intend to include 6 segments.
- Prepare for the Check-In Challenge: When checking in with different airlines and long layovers, expect check-in agents to be surprised or puzzled by your itinerary. Be prepared to explain Aeroplan’s flexibility and the unique experiences it offers.
The Thrill of Exploration
My journey across three continents underscores the incredible value and adventure made possible by Air Canada Aeroplan. While not everyone may opt for one-day stopovers in multiple cities, this voyage highlights the thrill of crafting multi-partner, multi-segment awards.
Each destination provided a unique experience, from exploring the ancient wonders of Egypt to cruising the Bosphorus and snorkeling with whale sharks in Oman. The ability to savor one remarkable experience in each place made every moment unforgettable.
As the adventure continues, stay connected by following us on Instagram and exploring our stories. We’re just getting started, and we can’t wait to share more travel stories, contests, and captivating moments with you. With Air Canada Aeroplan, the world is your oyster, and the possibilities are endless.