Recently, bloggers such as DCTA have reported that you can no longer book award flights from airlines such as Air China, Air India, Avianca, Copa and SWISS. After reading these two blogs, Pekflyer has conducted little researches on this matter.
According to our research, Air India seems has returned to Aeroplan's website, as I was able to find flights from New Delhi to London for example and many other itineraries.
Not be able to fly Air China has always been a big bummer for me before Aeroplan massively devalued their Asian award flight chart. It may bother me less now, but it provides us much fewer options if you want to have a better, YQ-Free mini-RTW itinerary because Air China has massive networks both internationally and domestically.
Swiss has such a good business product and is also a YQ-free carrier with Aeroplan. Being able to fly out of Montreal and Toronto on Swiss business class is always a big treat. Now, this is dead too, which feels sore.
Lastly, Copa and Avianca are two major and only Star Alliance players in South America. Even though you can now redeem Aeroplan miles for Gol airlines in Brazil, but not be able to book flights from Copa and Avianca is a considerable drawback for people to construct mini-RTW itinerary in South America.
The best value for using Aeroplan miles have been know as redeeming Mini-Round the world ticket, which you book a regular round-trip ticket, but throw in 2 stopovers and up to 10 transfers. Aeroplan also allows you to fly North America to Asia through Pacific ocean and fly back from Asia via European countries. This kind of generous routeing makes your 'simple' round-trip ticket become a mini-RTW ticket.
Now we have talked about the gist of the situation, and people are whining about how this 'glitch' would devalue the Aeroplan miles. It got me thinking, how many routes are affected by this 'glitch'?
We looked up the total destinations for each of affected carriers and found out that there are 431 destinations from Air China, Air India, Avian, Copa and Swiss. Meanwhile, according to staralliance.com, they claim that their member carriers have 1300 airports.
With these numbers handy, it is easy to know that AEROPLAN HAS REMOVED OVER 30% (~33%) OF FLIGHTS FROM THEIR INVENTORY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Is this even Legal? Does this violate Aeroplan's term and conditions?
IT IS A TREMENDOUS DEVALUATION FOR ITS MEMBER!
Disclaimer: our calculation may cause duplications in destinations, but we argue that the overlap of the airports can be omitted by the frequencies of the routes. For example, city a to city b has more than one flight a day from these carriers.