First look at Air Canada Aeroplan’s Dynamic Pricing, and…

Now that Air Canada’s new Aeroplan website is live, it’s time to start poking around!

I have been waiting for this moment, because due to the new Aeroplan award charts, Vancouver to Tokyo will become cheaper.

As a point of reference, here is the Air Canada Aeroplan’s new dynamic redemption chart for Asia, where Vancouver – Toronto falls under the first bracket at 4,674 miles:

Booking Air Canada Flights

Interestingly, with dynamic pricing kicking in, Air Canada-operated flight from YVR to Tokyo Haneda (NRT) only costs 30,400 points plus $53 in taxes only. This is less than the 35,000 to 65,000 points range as indicated by the published chart above. Similarly, premium economy and business cabins are also cheaper than the published rate. Note Air Canada no longer offers a first class product.

Example search for YVR-NRT showing lower than published rates

The pitfall of dynamic pricing can be evidenced with a connection via Montreal (YUL):

You can see the economy pricing jumps all the way to 211,700 points! As you can see this will cost more than business class. So with dynamic pricing, you will end up seeing pricing that makes absolutely no sense.

Partner Redemptions

What’s interesting is a new sort and filter option, which in the old Aeroplan system, is a simple sort (with no filter available):

With that, this appears we can filter out non-Air Canada operated flights easily!

Let’s take a look at the redemption chart:

As you can see, dynamic pricing with partners appear to be capped at 35,000 on the low end, staying true to the published chart. This is an indication that Air Canada is willing to discount flights on its own metal in order to get people to fly with them! (But not always true – see below section

Fees are showing as $92 for the directly flight on ANA. This reflects the expected $39 partner booking fee built into the fee structure.

Testing Dynamic Pricing for Tokyo Olympics

Let’s have a look at how dynamic pricing behaves during a peak travel date – The delayed Olympic Games at Tokyo in late July,2021:

On partner redemptions, the low-end of the dynamic pricing is sticking at 35,000 points. But… how about Air Canada flights?

Wow! 123,500 points is way outside of published rates for Air Canada’s own flights (35,000 to 65,000 points). So, it is very interesting to see that the rates for Air Canada-operated flights do not respect Aeroplan’s own published chart. 

Some Thoughts

I did not expect to see Air Canada not sticking to its own published award chart, but this may actually be a good thing. Instead of expecting a minimum of 35,000 points to go from Vancouver to Tokyo, I am seeing as low as 30,400 points. But the opposite is also true: during peak pricing period, such as the Tokyo Olympics, Air Canada flights become much more than upper-limit 65,000 points on its published pricing while partner stay at 35,000 points.

Still, it is exciting to see that the new Aeroplan program has a lot more flexibility and I’m sure everyone will be able to find some sweet spots that work for them. However, it is certainly sad that the old Aeroplan’s old hacks and sweet spots are now officially a thing in the past.

Also keep in mind, I am searching without logged in, where under the new system, Aeroplan elite members will receive further savings based on their status levels.