Aeroplan is an American Express transfer partner. Points transfer instantly in my experience over the years.
The Aeroplan program is great for booking awards on Star Alliance partners. Nearer Europe is just 45,000 miles each way in business class.
Aeroplan does not impose fuel surcharges on all of its airline partners, though.
When they first introduced fuel surcharges, they offered an explanation like ‘they’d add them to airlines where that airline charges their own members’ but that never really held water and explained which carriers saw the junk fees and which ones didn’t.
There are no fuel surcharges when using Aeroplan points to book on:
- Air China
- Brussels Airlines
- EVA Airways
- Singapore Airlines
- Turkish Airlines
Fuel surcharges are whatever would be charged on a similar, paid itinerary. LOT fuel surcharges are low, so booking an Aeroplan award on LOT Polish isn’t very costly.
Similarly, fuel surcharges vary by destination. Hong Kong is a low fuel surcharge destination, so it’s much cheaper to book an award on an airline where there are fuel surcharges if the destination is Hong Kong, than if the destination is many other places in Asia (say, Bangkok).
If you book an Aeroplan award without fuel surcharges, by using one of these airlines, and then after you’ve flown the first flight you wish to change your ticket — you’ll pay a change fee, but you will not pay fuel surcharges even if rebooking onto an airline where Aeroplan usually charges them.
You’ll want to try to book United, Brussels Airlines, or Turkish across the Atlantic (good luck finding Swiss space, or Singapore space New York JFK – Frankfurt using partner miles; SAS space isn’t great and their seats aren’t either in my opinion). And you’ll want to try to book EVA Airway or Air China across the Pacific — EVA Airways has one of the world’s best business class products, featuring Dom Perignon and pre-order meals, and Air China is better than you’d think with pretty good award availability from Houston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.