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United Airlines has lots of airline partners, and most of them have their rewards program. Partners having their own programs is ideal for travelers as it presents opportunities to leverage partner loyalty programs and possibly save miles booking United flights. Here I’ll show you how to book a United flight using Aeroplan miles, one of my favorite ways to get more out of my miles and points.
Why Do This?
Doing so can save you thousands of miles when booking select United flights using Aeroplan miles instead of United miles. I’ve saved 100,000+ miles by booking United flights this way, most recently a trip to Indiana a few weeks back and a trip I am currently on. Also, in some instances, you can avoid pricey fuel surcharges when booking partner awards through Aeroplan.
Example Booking Using Aeroplan vs. United
The booking below is taking me from Phoenix to Los Angeles for a few days and then onto Chicago before returning home to Phoenix a few days later. You’ll see below that booking with Aeroplan it’ll cost you 25,000 Aeroplan miles and $15.00 Canadian Dollars (roughly $11.10 US Dollars). If you book the same route on united.com, it’ll cost you 60,000 United miles and $75 more dollars because of the close-in booking fee! Booking through Aeroplan miles on Aeroplan.com by far the better option.
When Is This Possible?
When there is Saver availability on a United flight, you should be able to book the flight via Aeroplan.
How Do I Do It?
The fastest and easiest way is to head on over to aeroplan.com, sign up for their loyalty program, and search for a flight. If there’s no availability on your preferred dates, an availability calendar will appear, and you can modify your search. I then check United’s website for better connection options and make sure I’ll be saving miles by booking through Aeroplan. Unfortunately, sometimes there are fewer flight options when booking through Aeroplan compared to United.
Update: Upon booking, you will receive an Aeroplan reference number and will have to call either Aeroplan or Air Canada to get the United equivalent reference number. You then use your United reference number on united.com to pick your preferred seat. You will check-in for your flights on united.com and receive United boarding passes.
What If I Don’t Have Aeroplan Miles?
The most common way to get Aeroplan miles is to transfer American Express Membership Rewards, or Starwood Preferred Guests points at a 1:1 ratio. To me, SPG points are too valuable for airline transfers but would do so if it was my only option.
The Bald Thoughts
I recommend always checking fares on partner airlines before booking award flights. Miles and points aren’t easy to come by, and every mile saved is a win-win. Thankfully there are multiple transfer programs available if you are lacking Aeroplan miles, my favorite is American Express Membership Rewards. With Membership Rewards, you can transfer to Aeroplan at a 1:1 ratio and book your dream vacation for less. If you’re short on Membership Rewards, I recommend the Platinum Card from American Express as it currently offers a sign-up bonus worth over $1,000 and excellent benefits. Click here to read more about the benefits of the Platinum Card from American Express.
Have you ever booked a United Flight through Aeroplan?