You Can Now Book Emirates Awards With Air Canada Aeroplan Miles

For years Emirates and Air Canada have had a frosty relationship, the upshot being that Emirates has limited access to the Canadian market. After trading barbs years ago, and Emirates going from being allowed just 3 flights a week to 5 in 2018, the two airlines are now partners. They had already announced they would do some codesharing and introduce a frequent flyer partnership. The partnership is here.

And with both mileage-earning and redemption across each others’ flights, as well as a lounge access agreement for Toronto and Dubai, the new Aeroplan-Emirates tie-up is far better than what we’ve seen so far from Emirates and United.


Emirates A380 First Class Shower Spa

Redeeming Aeroplan Miles For Emirates Travel

Aeroplan now allows redemption for travel on Emirates (and Emirates Skywards miles will be able to be used for travel on Air Canada). This is the only airline for which Aeroplan has a separate award chart, but that separate chart hasn’t been implemented yet. So for now you can book Emirates flights at current Aeroplan redemption rates for other airlines (and, indeed, you can include Emirates as part of larger itineraries with other partners).

What’s more, unlike when you book travel on Emirates through the Skywards program or with most other partners, there are no fuel surcharges. (Aeroplan does charge a CA$39 booking fee on partner awards.) Emirates redemptions can be booked on the Aeroplan website.

Here’s the chart, though first class awards – which will be possible – aren’t online yet.

Distance (miles) Economy Business First
Up to 2,000 15,000 to 35,000 pts 30,000 to 77,500 pts 65,000 to 175,000 pts
2,001-5,000 21,000 to 65,000 pts 45,000 to 14,000 pts 110,000 to 325,000 pts
5,001-9,000 40,000 to 85,000 pts 80,000 to 185,000 pts 225,000 to 475,000 pts
9,001-12,000 60,000 to 110,000 pts 120,000 to 225,000 pts 300,000 to 600,000 pts
12,001+ 85,000 to 150,000 pts 180,000 to 300,000 pts 400,000 to 750,000 pts

Consider that North America – Dubai is going to fall into the 5,001 – 9,000 mile band regardless of flight. You can get from New York JFK as far beyond Dubai as India, Sri Lanka or the Maldives and stay under 9,000 miles one way. You’ll still likely pay a princely sum, but potentially a non-crazy redemption amount in business (but perhaps not first) class.

Scott O’Leary, Air Canada’s Vice President of Loyalty and Product, tells me that there will actually be three phases for the rollout in Emirates redemption pricing.

  • For “a few weeks” you’ll be able to redeem Emirates economy and business class awards at current Aeroplan award chart rates

  • Then we’ll see prices fairly stable within the range of this new Emirates-specific chart (“pricing… won’t vary too much”). That’s when first class awards will be added.

  • Eventually pricing within the Emirates award chart bands “will vary a bit more.”

  • Emirates A380 Business Class Bar

    It seems to me that Emirates redemption flights must be more expensive for Aeroplan to buy than those of other partners. I have to think that Emirates is requiring payment of the fuel surcharge amount, for instance. So to make these flights available Air Canada has to charge more miles – but for the next few weeks at least there are some real bargains to be had (Air Canada choosing to lose money on your redemptions!).

    Earning Aeroplan Miles On Emirates Flights

    If you’re doing paid travel on Emirates you can now credit the miles to Air Canada Aeroplan. That’s going to be better than crediting to the Emirates Skywards program itself, Korean Air Skypass, or Qantas Frequent Flyer for most readers, much of the time. So this is a new great option to consider.

    Class of service Eligible booking classes Aeroplan points  
    First Flex F, A 150%
    Business Flex & Business Saver J, C, I, O 125%
    Business Special H 110%
    Premium Economy W, E 110%  
    Economy Flex + R, Y, P 100%  
    Economy Flex U, B, M, K 50%  
    Economy Saver G, T, L, Q 15%  
    Economy Special/Ineligible classes V, X, S, N, D, Z N/A

    Reciprocal Lounge Access

    Aeroplan 50K Elites and above will have access to Emirates business class lounges in Dubai (including one guest) when flying Emirates economy, and when Air Canada relocates its own flight to terminal 3 next year the benefit will extend to economy passengers on those flights as well.

    Emirates Skywards Gold members and above will have access to Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges and Air Canada Café (including one guest) in Toronto when traveling coach on either Air Canada or Emirates.

    Business class passengers on Emirates will also have access to those lounges regardless of status. And there’s one special element here for Emirates first class: access to the Air Canada Signature Suite (and Emirates first class award passengers are eligible for this).


    Air Canada Signature Suite Toronto

    If you’re connecting to pick up an Emirates first class flight, I’d consider Signature Suite access a reason to consider their Toronto flight over other Airbus A380 gateways.

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