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Saturday Updates (Aeroplan, United Airlines)

It has been a while since I last provided Saturday updates, so I thought I’d do one today. Today’s theme will focus on two Star Alliance members, Air Canada and United Airlines.

Aeroplan Transfer Bonus is Back

Between November 7, 2016 and December 12, 2016, Aeroplan is offering a conversion bonus. They really simplified their bonus options to the following:


Note that this new 30% category is the highest we have ever seen. The transfer partners include:

  • Best Western Rewards
  • Choice Privileges
  • Coast Rewards
  • Club Carlson
  • Golden Circle Award (Shangri-La Hotels)
  • Hilton HHonors
  • Marriott Rewards
  • Le Club Accorhotels (Accor hotels)
  • Starwood Preferred Guest
  • Wyndham Rewards

As usual, I would not go out of my way to transfer away my hotel points to an airline partner. But if you need to top up your Aeroplan account for a specific reward, now is a good a time as any to do it. Furthermore, if you have some hotel points that you no longer want to use or want to prevent them from expiring, then now is a great time to transfer too.

My point is, I would not transfer just for the sake of getting the bonus. I would only do it if there is a specific purpose in mind.

United Airlines to charge lowest-fare flyers for use of overhead bins

United Airlines is a co-member of Star Alliance along with Air Canada. If you collect Aeroplan miles, chances are you may have redeemed with United Airlines, or will do so in the future (to keep your taxes and fuel surcharges down). The main features of this new low-cost fare include:

  • No pre-assigned seating
  • New boarding group 5, where passenger will board last
  • 1 personal carry-on item that must fit under the seat in front

I have a mixed feeling about this new charge that is going to kick in. It is unfortunately that they are introducing more user fees, but it also gives people the option of having a lower fare option if you can take advantage of it.


  1. UA’s new carry on luggage policy is very severe and really intended to force every economy passenger to pay more.
    As an experienced economy traveller who never checks baggage, but always uses a real 21″ roll on (that was actually very difficult to find when you include wheels and handle in the measurements), this change is a killer. As I understand it, even a 17″ roll on (the new permissible size) will not be allowed to use the overhead compartment! So, what will these compartments be re-purposed for? Suggestion: sleeping compartments for small children (at an additional cost, of course).
    Also, this basically forces people to abandon the roll on and use a soft sided small duffel bag, which I did use when flying WOW to Iceland. For people who are older (or weaker for any reason), “schlepping” a 20 pound bag is too difficult. This change makes carry on pretty impossible for older folks who need wheels!

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