In a previous post, we wrote about Aeroplan’s Fixed Rate and Market Fare reward tickets. Fixed Rate tickets are exactly what their name is, a standard award redemption rate which does not change any time of the year that you book the ticket (unless there is an overall program changes). For Market Fare rates, they are based on whether you travel during high or low season, which allows you to redeem the ticket at a lower or higher rate than the fixed rate. In this post, I will focus on the differences of taxes, fees, and surcharges attached to each award ticket.
Ottawa to Brussels (High Season):
Let’s take a look at a ticket from Ottawa (YOW) to Brussels (BRU):
You’ll notice that for the fixed rate, it costs 60,000 Aeroplan miles and $581.30 for taxes, fees, & surcharges.
As we click over to the Market Fare tab, not only do you need an additional 4,500 miles, the taxes, fees & surcharges become less expensive, totalling 64,500 miles and $551.30. Please take note that these are the results we get during high season market fare tickets.
Let’s take a look at another example, but this time during low season:
Ottawa to Brussels (Low Season)
Below is a flight from Ottawa (YOW) to Brussels (BRU) during low season:
It will cost 60,000 miles and $582.52 in taxes, fees and surcharges, to take this flight on Aeroplan’s Fixed Mileage.
During low season you will notice a significant difference in the miles needed for an award ticket redemption. The Market Fare during this time only 32,500 Aeroplan miles, along with $551.50 in taxes, fees and surcharges. Note that this reward redemption was retrieved on January 5, 2016.
As you can see, there is a difference between number of miles required for the flight and also the taxes, fees, and surcharge as well. Let’s dig a little deeper into the breakdown of the taxes, fees & surcharges.
The number to keep in mind is the carrier surcharge of $486 for the fixed mileage reward flight. I know, it’s really high. Though check out the next picture below.
This picture was taken on January 5, 2016 as well. Check it out, the carrier surcharge is lower, clocking in at $456 for the market fare reward flight. Let’s look at another snapshot.
This snapshot was taken on January 7, 2016, 2 days after the one above. As you can see, the number of miles have now dropped to 28,400 miles instead. So you will notice that the number of miles required for a market fare reward flight will fluctuate based on the actual price of the ticket has you paid in full price in cash. So when the price goes down, the number of miles to redeem for that flight also goes down.
Ottawa to Paris
In order to figure out why there is a difference in the fees, Aeroplan shows us a breakdown of the fee while ITA Matrix gives us a breakdown of all the necessary fees we would be paying if we were to purchase the ticket.
As you can see, there are many different combinations of what is the optimal choice. In some cases, Fixed Mileage tickets can cost more than Market Fare tickets in terms of miles and additional charges. Be sure to be comparing apples to apples though, i.e. 2 identical flights. And then you can correlated to apples to oranges, i.e. flights to the same destination, regardless of the airline.