I consider frequent flyer miles similar to currency as they have a value and how you choose to use those miles gives you a different return (i.e. high-end blender vs business class ticket reward).

I have seen so many award booking services pop-up in Canada where you pay $100 for assistance on booking an award ticket.


I feel this is a tremendous waste of money for most Canadians.

There is so much FREE information available on-line and it is not rocket science as some services would have you believe.

Looking to get to Europe without spending an arm and a leg for taxes and fees with Aeroplan?

Read my guide for free! If you don’t like my guide, just google, “Save taxes with Aeroplan”.

Another reason is that we only have 3 major programs that most Canadians collect from (Avion, AIR MILES, and Aeroplan).

I read this CBC article where the author explained how Canadians could use a service like this and I couldn’t believe how much press this got!

The problem is the article did not explain enough about why the difference is there and any examples.

If you need any advice, just send me a note via the blog and I will help you for free!


Save your money and use it for your travels! $100 can go a long way in most cities.


  • Joey
    Posted May 29, 2015 3:07 pm 0Likes

    I agree but I understand if people’ don’t have the time to check availability or call the airline call center…. That’s when hiring an award booking service would be helpful!

    • Steven Zussino
      Posted May 30, 2015 2:07 am 0Likes

      You still need to give parameters and it doesn’t take much time – easier calling an Aeroplan agent.

  • Mark
    Posted May 29, 2015 3:46 pm 0Likes

    I’ll take you up on your offer. Is this route possible with a starting point in YWG. I know it is from YYZ, but I don’t want to use additional miles for YWG to YYZ. From YYZ to HKT the routing is firm as I would like to fly with Turkish and Swiss.

    YWG – YYZ – IST – FCO (Stop)
    FCO – ZUR – BKK – HKT (Stop)
    HKT – BKK – PEK (Turnaround)
    PEK – ORD – YWG

    • Steven Zussino
      Posted May 30, 2015 2:09 am 0Likes

      Mark, that is a doable itinerary you surely can find a flight from YWG to YYZ.

      • Mark
        Posted May 30, 2015 1:54 pm 0Likes

        Thank you Steven.

        • Alex
          Posted July 20, 2015 8:21 pm 0Likes

          hi Mark

          A few tips

          1. PEK will not be your turn around. It will be HKT, which is further
          2. You cannot transit BKK twice prior to the turn, as you can only transit a city once in each direction (outbound being from origin to turn, and inbound being turn back to origin)
          3. HKT is likely not far enough for YWG-HKT mpm to have enough mileage for your itinerary

          its your outbound that is the main problem, YWG-YYZ-IST-FCO-ZRH-BKK-HKT is too high, and has a bit of geographical backtracking, which is wasting mileage. if you are set on FCO & IST, i would suggest looking for something like this

          YWG-YUL-ZRH-FCO (stop)
          FCO-IST-BKK-HKT (turn)
          HKT-BKK-PEK (stop)

          the longhauls should be doable if you book early, YUL-ZRH on LX. IST-BKK on TK

          you may have trouble finding award space on HKT-BKK, as I generally found that to be quite tough. You can try to pay for that segment out of pocket, and end your itinerary at BKK as your turn. the MPM should be similar.

  • Colleen
    Posted May 29, 2015 8:25 pm 0Likes

    Awesome! I stopped reading most blogs because they push referrals and this award booking ‘service’ that gouges unsuspecting readers. I’m happy I stopped by and will certainly come by more often.
    Thanks much!

    • Steven Zussino
      Posted May 30, 2015 2:07 am 0Likes

      Thanks Colleen – I like to give free advice and appreciate any support for the referrals for the blog!

  • Jeff
    Posted May 29, 2015 8:37 pm 0Likes

    Changing your car oil is very easy. Even explained in user manual. Do you change the oil in your car, or pay someone?

  • Matt McLean
    Posted June 2, 2015 2:01 pm 0Likes

    Hi Steve,

    I like your blog and I am in YYJ too! We should meet up to chat strategy or something?! Always good to meet another Travel Hacker!

    Thanks for posting your findings, super useful info!

    Have a great day!


    • Steven Zussino
      Posted June 3, 2015 4:29 am 0Likes

      Thanks Matt! Send me a note.

  • Charles Richard
    Posted June 2, 2015 3:14 pm 0Likes

    Hi there,

    I might have a question for you regarding finding basic fare Aeroplan routes. How can I ask them to you in private?


  • Celina
    Posted June 2, 2015 10:09 pm 0Likes

    I disagree. There are many people who would use the service mentioned in the CBC article otherwise such companies would not be making a go of it. Instead of dissing this entrepreuneur perhaps you should take the highroad and wish him well and he the same of you. It’s a big world out there and being nasty is not very Canadian.

  • YYZgayguy
    Posted July 8, 2015 5:05 pm 0Likes

    …back at ya!

    There were many non-nasty ways of making your perfectly valid point. You chose criticism. As I do now.

    BTW I am entirely Canadian.

    I disagree with your opinion about our fellow countrymen: your snark (and mine) are typical, in my humble opinion.

    I’m sure, like all agreeable, nice Canadian, we’re in perfect harmony on this point: everyone is entitled to my opinion.

  • Sumit
    Posted October 31, 2015 5:32 pm 0Likes


    This is a great article and I agree that by reading on google and other sites one can book travel without shelling $100!!

    I am YYZ based and was wondering if there is a way to get a better route to maui from toronto? All I see is air canada rogue flights with 17-18 hrs of flight time with 2 stopovers….

    How to search for all UA flight on this route to save on taxes? Planning to take the family on fly business class (3 tickets).

    Also, if need to book a route that shows on ANA or UA booking sites, how to get aeroplan call centre to book those. They always say that they don’t see it or its not available.

    So far the route I see the best is:

    YYZ-SFO – do a couple of days stopover

    OGG-SFO or LAX – 6 hrs layover (Any way to avoid this long stay over)

    Any advice?

    • Steven Zussino
      Posted October 31, 2015 7:11 pm 0Likes

      That is what I would do as well – you can also try looking at Alaska Airline miles.

      It is tough because it is a long distance – a stopover in LAX might work as well.

      • sumit
        Posted October 31, 2015 8:40 pm 0Likes

        Thanks Steve….will look into it!

        Also, Just wanted to know if there is a way to get the Hyatt Chase card as a Canadian without SSN or ITIN? Searched a lot of forums but wasn’t satisfied……

        I have a cousin in US so I can use her address for mailing. I have a account in TD Canada…if I was to open account in US thru TD and get a visa card…will that work to establish credit score in US?

        Any other way to get that card ( and KEEP IT FOREVER)……?

        Thank YoU!

        • Steven Zussino
          Posted November 2, 2015 2:49 pm 0Likes

          Ahh, a very interesting question – I will address this in a future post. You do need a SIN or ITIN though.


          • Sumit
            Posted November 2, 2015 3:23 pm 0Likes

            Thank You Steven! Yes I have come across lot of canadians with this card and some managed to get without SSN or ITIN.

            Thank you for your help and advice! Keep up the good work.

          • Steven Zussino
            Posted November 3, 2015 2:15 am 0Likes

            Please let me know by email how they got it- I would love to get this card!

Comments are closed.