When our friend Katia invited us to stay with her while she was staying in Copenhagen, we couldn’t resist! Luckily, we have lots of Aeroplan points (see my page on Credit Cards to find out how you can get tons of points yourself!), so no need to spend thousands of dollars for two transatlantic tickets!
The key to spending Aeroplan points for longhaul flights is to only use airlines that don’t charge fuel surcharges (also known as carrier surcharges or YQ). These are Air China, Brussels, EgyptAir, Ethiopian, EVA Air, Scandinavian, Singapore, Swiss, Turkish, and United. If you instead use an airline that charges YQ, such as Air Canada or Lufthansa, you will have to pay as much as $800 in YQ – a very bad use of points!
Another thing to keep in mind is that in addition to your destination, you’re allowed two extra stopovers. So you can see three destinations for the price of one! You’re also allowed to make an unlimited number of layovers, which are defined as stops less than 24 hours long.
Since we wanted to go to Copenhagen, a hub of Scandinavian Airlines (or SAS), which doesn’t charge YQ! SAS has a direct flight to Washington DC, so we decided to add a two-day stopover in DC (Why not? This is the beauty of using points!).
Once we were in Europe, we wanted to see more than just Copenhagen, so we added a flight to Amsterdam. From Amsterdam, we flew United (no YQ) to Montreal, with a short layover in Washington DC.
Total costs for our flights: 60k points each + $220 in taxes + $35 Aeroplan call centre booking fee (complicated itineraries with two stopovers cannot be booked online).