How to Book an Aeroplan One-Way Stopover

An Aeroplan stopover will run you just 5,000 miles — a significant value when Aeroplan miles are so easy to earn.
JT Genter
Carissa Rawson
By Carissa Rawson and  JT Genter 
Updated
Edited by Meghan Coyle

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

Aeroplan, the loyalty program of Air Canada, offers some excellent deals on award flights through its unique zone-and-distance-based award chart. However, another benefit Aeroplan offers isn't as well known: Aeroplan's stopover policy.

Adding a stopover to an Aeroplan award flight isn’t free, but it can still be an excellent deal. You’ll pay just 5,000 additional points to tack a stopover onto a one-way award flight.

Let’s take a look at Aeroplan’s one-way stopover rules, how the stopover policy works and the best ways to earn Aeroplan points.

Aeroplan’s stopover policy

Aeroplan is one of the few loyalty programs that allows you to add a stopover to your one-way award ticket. While it’s not free to add a stopover, the 5,000-point cost can be very reasonable to see a second destination along the way.

There are some conditions you must meet to book these stopovers:

  • You can have one stopover per direction of travel; this means you can have one stopover on a one-way flight or two stopovers on a round-trip booking.

  • Stopovers are subject to a maximum of 45 days.

  • Stopovers are not allowed within the United States or Canada.

  • You cannot combine a stopover with an open-jaw ticket; your onward flight must continue from the city at which you arrived. This means that if you booked a flight from New York-JFK to Istanbul via Paris-Charles de Gaulle, you’ll need to depart from Paris-Charles de Gaulle to continue your trip to Istanbul. You can't fly out of Paris-Orly instead.

  • No backtracking is permitted on a stopover, as travel must be made in one direction.

Why you might want to book an Aeroplan stopover

Points, miles and award availability can be complicated enough. Why bother booking an Aeroplan stopover? Well, because you may be able to visit two destinations for cheaper than if you were to book flights separately. Let's show you just one example of this.

First, a bit about how Aeroplan awards work. Aeroplan breaks the world into four different zones, and each zone will have different pricing for an award flight.

Let’s say you’d like to book a flight from Boston to Munich. You'll be flying from North America to the Atlantic zone. That means awards will be priced based on the appropriate North America to Atlantic zones chart.

The nonstop route from Boston to Munich is 3,851 miles. That means a nonstop partner award on this route costs 35,000 Aeroplan points in economy or 60,000 Aeroplan points in business class.

The same award pricing applies to connecting flights — but only if you keep the routing under 4,000 miles in total. For example, you can fly Boston to Munich via London for the same rate since that routing is a combined 3,852 miles.

However, connecting through Newark instead would push the distance above 4,000 miles — resulting in a higher price.

Let’s say that, instead of merely connecting in London, you’d actually like to visit London. Using Aeroplan's stopover policy, you can visit a second city for just 5,000 additional Aeroplan points (plus applicable taxes and fees). That additional points price is the same whether you're flying economy or business class.

When to avoid booking an Aeroplan stopover

Depending on the route, booking an Aeroplan stopover instead of two awards can provide significant savings. However, make sure to check the pricing of booking awards separately before booking a stopover. Due to Aeroplan's quirky award chart, some awards are actually cheaper when booked as two separate awards rather than as one award with a stopover.

For instance, take an award from Chicago-O’Hare to Male, Maldives. Booking a one-way economy award on this route costs 70,000 Aeroplan points.

The routing through Abu Dhabi requires a 14-hour overnight layover. So, why not stretch that out into a proper visit? Adding on a stopover in Abu Dhabi adds 5,000 points for a total of 75,000 Aeroplan points.

However, you can actually book a trip to both Abu Dhabi and the Maldives for just 67,500 Aeroplan points by booking the two award flights as separate awards. The award flight from Chicago-O’Hare to Abu Dhabi costs 55,000 Aeroplan points.

Then you'll only have to pay 12,500 Aeroplan points for the one-way from Abu Dhabi to Male. You actually save 7,500 Aeroplan points by booking the two separately!

Just note that this doesn't always make sense to do. When booking two separate awards, you'll need to pay an additional Aeroplan partner booking fee. Plus, you'll need to pay extra fees if you need to make changes or cancel your trip. So it's worth considering the full cost of booking one award versus two.

How to book an Aeroplan one-way stopover

When Aeroplan stopovers were first introduced, travelers could only book stopovers over the phone. Thankfully, that's changed.

As of September 2022, Aeroplan members can now book Aeroplan stopover awards right on the Air Canada website. Let's show you how to do so.

You can start your search right on the Air Canada homepage. First, select the "multi-city/stopover" and "book with points Aeroplan" buttons. Enter your origin in the "from" box and your final destination in the "to" box. Select your departure date.

Then, click the "add stopover for flight 1" button. Doing so will expand the search box to add fields for your stopover city and length of the stopover. Enter your preferences and the number of passengers at the bottom of the search box. Then click the "search flights" button. You don't need to fill out or remove the "flight 2" section before doing so.

Air Canada will prompt you to log in to your Aeroplan account. You might as well do so now, as you'll eventually need to log in to book your award. Keep in mind that this will involve entering a code that will be emailed to your email address on file.

Once logged in, Aeroplan will show the results of your search plus the award rates for nearby dates. Select your preferred award, cabin and type of award to proceed.

On the next page, review your choice and select your preference between cash/points options. Finally, complete the booking process by entering the passenger(s) information and entering your payment information.

Earning Aeroplan points

Earning Aeroplan points is easy, thanks to Aeroplan's co-branded credit card and connections to several major points transfer partners.

Aeroplan® Credit Card

Aeroplan Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 

The Chase-issued Aeroplan® Credit Card gives cardholders in the U.S. an easy way to earn Aeroplan points and benefits. Here's the welcome offer that comes with the card:

Earn 70,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

In addition to the welcome bonus you’ll earn after meeting a minimum spending requirement, you’ll also be able to earn points in these ways:

  • 3x points on dining, grocery stores and flights booked directly with Air Canada.

  • 1x points on all other purchases.

  • 500 bonus points for every $2,000 you spend in a calendar month (up to 1,500 points per month).

🤓Nerdy Tip

New Aeroplan® Credit Card holders will automatically receive Aeroplan 25k elite status for the remainder of the calendar year in which they sign up, plus the following calendar year.

Transfer partners

Air Canada’s Aeroplan program partners with several flexible point currency programs, meaning you can transfer your existing points from any one of these programs to Aeroplan.

If you’re looking to book a stopover on your Aeroplan reward flight …

Aeroplan has a generous reward program as-is, and building up an Aeroplan point balance is easy. Taking advantage of Aeroplan’s stopover policy is a great way to make those points go even further.

The ability to add a stopover for just 5,000 points means you can include another destination and save yourself thousands of points in the process.


How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2024, including those best for:

Get more smart money moves – straight to your inbox
Sign up and we’ll send you Nerdy articles about the money topics that matter most to you along with other ways to help you get more from your money.