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Aeroplan $72 for a Free Flight?

Written in 2005 when Aeroplan still was able to get you flights in a shorter period of time. Now the whole system is, not even airline centric.

Due to a family emergency, we need to send Mrs. C8j to Toronto from Ottawa. Thankfully we have a fair amount of frequent flyer points with Air Canada, so we are sending her with those, and I must say that Aeroplan has changed their system so it is quite easy to use these days (and allows for you to buy your tickets the day before you use them, I remember when you had to book MONTHS in advance). So kudos to the Aeroplan folks for getting that one straight.

What amazes me is that my “free ticket” now costs me $72.00 after all the fees and the taxes. My understanding is that I still have to pay the GST & PST for the ticket even though it is “free”, and Ottawa airport has a “landing fee” (can I not pay that and choose to stay in the air?), and I’m sure there is a gas surtax in there somewhere. I have these points because I flew a GREAT DEAL in the mid-90’s for my job, yet I must pay all of this as well? Seems an odd way to show “appreciation” of my good moneys being spent. My guess is Air Canada can’t not charge this, so my beef isn’t with them right now, it is, as usual, with the Government of Canada and their taxation folks.

What is really funny is at the end of this, with gasoline at $1.35 a liter in Ottawa, the $72.00 service charges are still 1/2 of what I would have paid if we had driven down to Toronto (WOW).

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  1. Well those charges have gone up since November 2004, when Mr. Soh used Aeroplan miles (also collected after many business trips) to fly to London, Ontario due to a fatal family emergency. He booked his flight 1 hour in advance (pretty shocking and impressive as we also remember the much in advance booking required in days past)and just barely made the flight. His additional fees came to approx. $40.

    As you say, the additional fees are not the fault of Aeroplan or even the ancient flight attendants of Air Canada. It’s everyone else sticking their hand out to get a piece of the pie.

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