Ever scrolled through a friend’s photos of their trip to Paris, and their trip to Maui, and their trip to Tokyo and wonder “How can they POSSIBLY afford to fly to all of these places while I’m stuck here watching cat videos on Youtube?!”
Your days of being green with envy are no more! Here at RentMoola, and with the help from our friends at American Express, we’ve broken it down to 3 simple steps of how to maximize your points for travel, and fly to your favourite destinations for a fraction of the cost.
No, we don’t mean take your tickets out for drinks and ask them about their 5-year plan.
In order to understand how to get expert prices, we need to first understand how airline ticket prices are constructed. Despite popular belief (based on the rows upon rows of charges in fine print on your flight tickets) fare construction is actually quite simple. We’ve whittled it down to three components that contribute to the price of each ticket:
Base Fair: This is the original price of your ticket before any other taxes and fees. Base fares change depending on variables such as how far in advance you book your ticket, what class of seat you select, etc., etc.
Fuel Surcharge: Pretty straightforward, this goes to the cost of fuelling the aircraft, and like any trip, this will increase depending on how far your destination is.
Other Taxes/Fees/Surcharges: This category includes things like airport fees, security charges (I paid to get frisked!?) and other government-imposed taxes. This category makes up the smallest piece of an overall airline ticket.
Not simple enough? Let’s use an example. Using the above categories, we’re going to break down the prices of a ticket from Air Canada from Toronto to Paris:
Now let’s make this interesting, we’re going to eliminate the first two components of this ticket price!
… Yes, really.
There’s one go-to method that every flight expert uses to completely eliminate base fares: loyalty programs.
But a loyalty program is only helpful if you have points, right?
We recommend two tools that will get you enough points for a round-trip flight anywhere in Canada and the US, and they’ll also become staples in your long-term toolbox for flying affordably. Those tools are: Aeroplan and American Express Gold Rewards Card, and they are your key to eliminating base fares!
- American Express is currently offering 20, 000 + 5, 000 bonus travel points for new signups. You can instantly transfer those points into 25, 000 Aeroplan Miles, which will fly you anywhere you want within Canada & USA and back.
- You receive travel insurance and other perks for free with your new American Express.
- Aeroplan is always free, and right now the American Express Gold Rewards Card is offering your first 12 months absolutely FREE.
Now you know how to eliminate the largest portion of the flight, by using the combination of American Express and Aeroplan to avoid base fares. But as you can see in our Toronto-Paris ticket, you’d still have to pay $292 for this flight! That’s not good enough!
How can we make this ticket:
Spoiler alert: The answer lies in the airline.
In the first ticket, we were flying on Air Canada. Air Canada’s agreement with Aeroplan dictates that they pass on the fuel surcharges to customers (which is bad for you.) This is the same on every Air Canada flight booked through Aeroplan, which can mean some pretty heavy charges if you’re traveling long distances.
In the second ticket, we flew with Turkish Airways. Turkish Airways’ agreement with Aeroplan is that they withhold the fuel surcharge (which is GREAT for you.) You’ve probably noticed a slight adjustment in the Other Taxes/Fees/Surcharges (a fee imposed by the airport on a stopover in Istanbul), but overall your $61 flight is much more impressive than the previous $292 flight.
Okay, let’s recap.
Step 1. Get to know your tickets.
Once you know how they are constructed you can know how to eliminate costs!
Step 2. Get the tools. & eliminate Base Fares.
Sign up for Aeroplan and the American Express Gold Rewards Card. To eliminate Base Fares, transfer your American Express points into Aeroplan Miles on the American Express website. Then log in to Aeroplan.com, go to Use Your Miles à Travel, and search for your destination. Boom! Base fares are gone!
Step 3. Eliminate fuel surcharge.
Choose an airline that withholds surcharges by agreement with Aeroplan and book your flight for a delightfully cheaper price.
Congratulations! You can now fly like an expert!