Aeroplan Booking Guide (part 1)

When most people redeem Aeroplan miles for flights, they just go on the Aeroplan website and book a one way or round trip.  Some people know about multi city booking where you can visit 2 cities (ie. Home city -> city B -> city C -> Home city).

What if I told you you can actually visit as many countries if you want (with certain restrictions) for the same number of miles?  That’s right – using our YYZ-HKG example from before, we can use the same 150,000 miles but do
Toronto → Vancouver (stopover)→ Taipei → Bangkok → Hong Kong (destination)
on the outbound route and
Hong Kong → Beijing → London (stopover) → Zurich → Montreal → Toronto
on the return route, around the world all in BUSINESS class!  Doing so we can sample much more world class airlines including EVA air, Air China, Thai airways and Swiss Air.

Crazy eh?  In fact the routing above is the exact one I booked for a upcoming epic trip in January next year!

The Maximum Permitted Mileage (MPM) Rule

Of course, there are limitations – you can’t just visit every single country on the continent on a single trip.  This is controlled by MPM – how many miles you are allowed to fly on a single outbound or inbound route.  This is usually how many miles a direct flight requires + 20 to 40% (depending on how far the direct flight is) to the destination.
The destination is defined by the furthest point of your trip where you have a stopover (over 24 hrs before your next flight).  Layovers (< 24 hours )do not count – notice that in my trip above Bangkok is further away than Hong Kong from Toronto, but my destination is HKG because I’m only spending 12 hours in BKK but a week in HKG.

It important to know your origin-destination MPM number so you have a good idea if your desired routing will be accepted or not.  To do so, you can follow this guide or go to the Flyertalk forum which lists all city pair MPM quoted from Aeroplan.

Next, you will enter the route you have in mind to gcmap  to see how many miles your route will take you.  I’ve entered a couple segments to the link so you can just edit, add or delete segments as you wish (under Map Controls near the bottom).

Example: YYZ-HKG Outbound

From the flyertalk thread, i know YYZ-HKG has a MPM of 10,957.  I want to visit Vancouver, Taiwan and another south-east asian country, so I try:
Gcmap gives this a total distance of 10,652, so I’m fairly confident this route will work, as it is under 10,957.

What is I swapped BKK for SIN (Singapore)?
The total miles is now 11,640, which is over my MPM.
Note this doesn’t necessarily mean it will definitely be rejected (gcmap is not exact and Aeroplan seem to have very slight leeway to the quoted MPM in certain situations I don’t fully understand).

Example: YYZ-HKG Outbound

For a true round the world trip, I will fly in the opposite direction, over Asia, Europe and the Atlantic.  Lets try this:


The miles traveled on this route is 10,857, under the origin-destination MPM of 10,957 so this should work!  Feel free to swap out London for something else, maybe a visit to Dubai, Istanbul or Frankfurt?  The possibilities are endless…

When I first discovered this was possible, it BLEW MY MIND.  Think of all the epic trips we can plan with this knowledge!

My Aeroplan round the world trip (Business class on all segments) for 150,000 miles + $300 ish taxes

We’ve only scratched the surface on the rules and tricks we can employ with Aeroplan – read the next section to find out.