IdeaWorks Rewards Seat Availability Rankings

We recently wrote a post about Aeroplan’s decrease in award availability, but a recent study by IdeaWorks seems to indicate the contrary. Below is the chart with all the rankings:

IdeaWorks Ranking

Before we talk about Aeroplan, I would like to first congratulate Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards! Rapid Rewards is actually my favourite rewards program and this ranking just helps me solidify my feelings. Unfortunately, I do not talk a lot about it because they do not fly into Canada. I can only fly with them within the United States.

As you can see, Air Canada’s Aeroplan is ranked in 3rd place, though technically 4th place, because there are two airlines tied for 1st place. Furthermore, Aeroplan actually made improvements from 2014 to 2015. Though usually I use my Aeroplan points on Star Alliance Members anyway, so I am generally not too caught up on Air Canada flights anyway. 

It is my understanding that much of their growth comes from their Market Fare Rewards Seats, which costs 3 times more than a Classic Rewards Seat unless you are a Distinction member where you can get a slight discount. My main complaint is that they have a fair number of Market Fare Reward Seats, but not enough Classic Fare Reward Seats. I would love to see some improvement on that part of the rewards program.


  1. well I suppose this may in fact be true, Aeroplan will find you award seats but often turns a 3 or 4hr non stop flight into a 8 or 10hr flight with one or two stops that nobody wants to endure. Then there is the taxes and user fees that often add up to half the price of the full fare ticket.

    1. True and I think it also factors in differently with alliance member flights, which most rank lower than Air Canada.

  2. Everything Geoff says is true. Aeroplan gets worse and worse everyyear. Points required go up and up, or they give you milk runs to get anywhere for classic flights, charges outrages points for better connections or direct flights, surcharges do not have any basis but to re-coup money from their customers. $780.00 surcharges for an international flight-more than their cost for a simple return ticket. The free ticket is not a free ticket. Sometimes they don’t even treat you nice for your business.

    ‘Aeropesos’ is one of the worse value airline frequent flyer programs in the planet. Unfortunately, CANADIANS, without a US
    address have no other choice but to pay the exorbitant fees, surcharges, and taxes imposed by aeroplan. If one has amex rewards, it is better to transfer points to BA Executive club and then fly on One World Alliance American Airlines (10,000 points YEG-LAX or YEG-DFW one way) or Cathay Pacific (30,000 points YVR-HKG one way) less surcharges, etc.

    When oil tumbled from over 100.00/barrell to under 60.00 aeroplan did not adjust lower any surcharges like other airlines did.

    Canadians continue to get shortchanged(ripped off or hosed or whatever you want to call it) by aeroplan and Air Canada. The surcharges are plain stealing from their loyal and faithful customers. Sometimes the surcharges in low season amount to as much as seventy percent of just simply buying the ticket. Eastern Canadians have plenty of US airline options. Western Canadians more limited, Alaska Air is an excellent option.

    Recently booked a flight on Air Canada and told that the TD aeroplan visa would not cover the advertised “FREE” check in luggage, still had to pay 25.00 plus gst. The employee shrugged it off as no knowledge of this perk. Just cancelled TD aeroplan visa.
    Everything about air canada and aeroplan is not user friendly…do anything and everything if possible to avoid!!!

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