Europe is the ultimate destination for many Canadians with their Aeroplan miles.

When you first try to put in a flight using Aeroplan, you may get a scare like this on a flight to London England to Heathrow!

It comes back with a fee of a whopping $670 dollars for a return flight – plus the Aeroplan miles!

Aeroplan - Toronto to London
Aeroplan – Toronto to London

This is madness – who would book a ticket when you can just go to Priceline or Air Canada and get the same price without using the miles?

The problem is that certain Star Alliance carriers like Air Canada charge brutal fuel surcharges (the $414 in the image above).

I have some hacks and solutions to get you to Europe for cheap and save some money!

Here are three reasons why Aeroplan is one of the best programs to use to fly to Europe:

  • One way awards book at half the price of a roundtrip ticket. So you can fly using another carrier if you don’t have enough miles.
  • You are allowed two stopovers or one stopover and one open jaw on roundtrip awards.
  • American Express Membership Rewards transfer instantly to Aeroplan (currently a bonus of 25,000 for signup).

Here are some examples of Aeroplan partners that fly to Europe with no fuel surcharges:


They fly to Warsaw direct from Toronto, and here is a great way to get to Europe for cheap.

You can also look for the United flight from LOT to Warsaw from Chicago.

Toronto to Warsaw

As you can see the fee is only $250!

Swiss Air / Turkish Airlines / United:

Here is an example of another cheap ticket – all these airlines do not charge fuel surcharges. Just $138 return for a business class ticket!

Swiss Air / Turkish / United
Swiss Air / Turkish / United

Here are some destinations with Swiss Air (you can only fly Montreal to Zurich directly), Boston, Chicago, LA, Miami, New York, Newark, San Francisco to Zurich.

You will have to find an Air Canada or United flight to these cities to get a great deal to get to Zurich.

Turkish Airlines flies from Chicago, Houston, LA, Montreal, Toronto, New York and Washington to Istanbul.

United flies so many places in Europe (none from Canada), here are just a few examples from Newark: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Dublin, Frankfurt, Geneva, Lisbon, Manchester, Rome, Stockholm, and Zurich (lots to choose from)

Scandanavian Airlines:

This works out well for you going to Oslo or Stockholm or Copenhagan. Just $152 return!

Here are some airports that this airline flies into (none in Canada – have to go through the US):

  • Chicago to Copenhagen or Stockholm
  • Newark New York to Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm
  • San Francisco to Copenhagen
  • Washington DC to Copenhagen

Remember we are all in this together, feel free to post any other good city pairings to search for.

I tried to give some concrete examples where Aeroplan was still a great deal to get to Europe.



  • Jon
    Posted January 20, 2015 4:43 pm 0Likes

    Swiss is in economy here transatlantic.

  • Jackson
    Posted January 20, 2015 8:25 pm 0Likes

    One for Australia or NZ would be awesome.

  • AM
    Posted January 21, 2015 6:16 pm 0Likes

    Getting to some of these departure cities is a whole other ball game! Often you need to use Air Canada to do that 🙁

    • Steven Zussino
      Posted January 22, 2015 1:00 am 0Likes

      YOu can often use United to get to the US from Canada.

  • David
    Posted January 22, 2015 8:45 pm 0Likes

    Agree that Aeroplan is a great travel points plan. We have had many flights, international and North American over the last fifteen years.

    Booked a flight for our son summer 2014 using Aeroplan points. Flying through Canada to westernb Europe was going to be over $650 one way. Using United through the US to Zurich was less than $100. We live in Victoria and United flys daily to San Francisco and Seattle.

    All flight options are not always available on the Aeroplan site. Contacting an Aeroplan agent has proven to be very helpful with complicated routes and finding the cheapest option. Agents have told us that available seats change before their eyes — we have had a better route and price come up while on the phone. Only downside to using the agent is an extra $25 per ticket for the service.

    Happy travelling (on points)!

    • Steven Zussino
      Posted January 23, 2015 3:01 am 0Likes

      Good tips David!

  • Wendy
    Posted January 29, 2015 4:34 am 0Likes

    So can one transfer Aeroplan Miles to United for example? ie We could drive to Seattle from Vancouver (as we often do to get better flight deals) and then fly to Western Europe on United?

    • Steven Zussino
      Posted January 29, 2015 3:10 pm 0Likes

      You wouldn’t transfer, you would just use United as a carrier using Aeroplan. Just look for flights from the US.

      An Air Canada flight to SEA from YVR would not be that much in extra taxes (versus driving).

  • Anne Betts
    Posted February 1, 2015 8:01 pm 0Likes

    Thank you for this post. I think Aeroplan is a good program for the types of deals described above. This year I have three separate trips booked to Taiwan, Spain and Turkey for a total of $435.38 in taxes, fees and surcharges. I was particularly pleased with the Turkey booking for $86.91. When searching for redemptions I think there are a few key tips. One is to have a list of airlines handy for which Aeroplan doesn’t pass on fuel surcharges. LOT is on my list of airlines that do have fuel surcharges – it’s just that they’re not as high as those of some other carriers. The other tip is to search for outbound and return itineraries separately so it’s easier to see what taxes, fees and surcharges are due for each segment of the trip. My other tips are in the following post:

    • Steven Zussino
      Posted February 1, 2015 8:49 pm 0Likes

      Thanks Anne – Istanbul is awesome!

      Great tips for this topic you have.

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