The news just keeps getting worse for Aeroplan members. Lucky wrote a post entitled Aeroplan Improving Routing Rules — No More MPM! a couple days ago and my heart sank immediately when reading it — I knew the news could not be good. And it isn’t.
Most Routings from North America to Asia via Europe Prohibited
I am still sifting through the new rules, but routings we once enjoyed to Asia via Europe are no longer permitted. The official MPM may be gone, but Aeroplan has now essentially averaged the Pacific and Atlantic MPMs, allowed something in between, and that means the upper bounds of the Atlantic MPM is now too many miles.
If that is Greek to you, here’s an example. Say I want to go from Los Angeles to Frankfurt, stop, then Frankfurt to Hong Kong, and finally Hong Kong back to LA. Piecing this together used to be easy: routing via Europe was permitted and any number of connections along the way were no problem – as long as the MPM was not exceeded by more than 5%.
Now, if I try to book LAX-LHR-FRA//FRA-ICN-HKG//HKG-TPE-LAX, it won’t work, ostensibly because the outbound is too many miles. The flights come up as before, but when I try to complete the booking, we now see the following new error message–
But here’s the thing, the LAX-LHR-FRA-ICN-HKG routing is well under the MPM:
So when Aeroplan claimed to be doing us a favor by removing MPMs, they were really just making it incredibly more difficult to redeem miles on Aeroplan.
One Bright Spot: Australia?
One of the toughest Aeroplan awards had been to Australia because of the low MPM, essentially forcing a direct route over the Pacific. Connections in Asia were permitted in some instances not because of MPM rules, but because of published routings rules – like LAX-ICN-SYD for example.
Although I have not seen any routings yet show up on aeroplan.com (and even get the error message below when trying to force in a stop in Asia on the way to Australia), perhaps the elimination of MPM will allow for routing through more Asian cities.
But I would not count on it.
There are, let’s say, some glitches in the system right now…or perhaps exceptions. Try routing via Istanbul for more generous routing rules…I am sure we will figure out why in the coming days.
This is bad news, really bad news, and I fear it will be worse once we fully understand the new logic and limits behind Aeroplan’s updated routing rules.
The problem with auto-pricing is apparent: sometimes conventional routings like Los Angeles – London – Beijing make sense, but if the computer says no, the computer says no. We are now at the mercy of the Aeroplan computers.