Just a few months ago, Aeroplan added Etihad to its list of partners, allowing seamless awards with Air Canada, Star Alliance, and Etihad metal in one award reservation. They also added Azul, Vistara, and Air Serbia in 2020 and, of course, relaunched the Aeroplan program.
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Aeroplan / Virgin Australia Partnership
Today, they’ve announced that you’ll be able to earn and burn Aeroplan miles with Virgin Australia from January 19th.
While Virgin Australia isn’t currently operating any longhaul flights to Oz, and while you can’t enter Australia now as an American anyway, this should prove useful in a post-pandemic world. My guess is that Virgin Australia will one day add longhaul flights again, but, even if they don’t this provides extremely useful connectivity once you land in Australia (or elsewhere in Virgin Australia’s network once they bring back nearby destinations like Fiji and Indonesia).
Since, just like the Etihad partnership, you can add this onto an award based simply on your total mileage, it would be convenient to fly, for example, SFO-SYD on United (add a stop in Sydney for 5,000 Aeroplan miles more) – PER (Perth) on Virgin Australia. This trip would be in the 9,000 – 10,000 mileage band and price at 105,000 miles in Business Class plus 5,000 for the stopover (and the $39CAD booking fee).
Aeroplan Award Chart from North America to the Pacific
Or, you could simply use Aeroplan to book travel on Virgin Australia separately, in which case you would use their Pacific award chart. Perth is just over 2,000 miles, so that flight alone would cost 45,000 miles in Business (25,000 in coach).
Aeroplan Award Chart Within the Pacific
Getting Aeroplan Miles
You can transfer into Aeroplan 1:1 from American Express Membership Rewards, 1:0.75 with Capital One miles, and, soon, from Chase Ultimate Rewards points. They are also launching new Aeroplan credit cards within the US later this year.
Accrue Aeroplan Miles on Virgin Australia Flights
- Members can earn Aeroplan points based on distance flown on all scheduled flights operated by VA.
- For VA flights wholly within Australia, members can earn Status Qualifying Miles (SQM) and Status Qualifying Segments (SQS), as well as Status Qualifying Dollars (SQD) for VA domestic flights ticketed by Air Canada.
Here’s the relevant earning chart:
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New to all of this? My “introduction to miles and points” book, MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available on Amazon and at major booksellers.