Dancing with Aeroplan

Ah, Aeroplan – we meet again.

For better, for worse, in good times and bad, wrestling with Air Canada’s Aeroplan has become a yearly (bi-yearly, when I’m lucky) tradition. That’s what you get in long-distance family relationships. We live in England, my parents live in Canada. Therefore, about every nine months (give or take several months), I look up flights that can utilize the generous donation of my parent’s flying miles.

Normally this isn’t a problem. London to Ottawa is a fairly steady route – but when it comes to the busy periods, those times of the year when everyone is pushing and shoving to ride a plane, well, flying becomes a bitch.  

Last time it was a Christmas blocked-out period, anxieties over a chemo deadline, and trying to fly when everything and everyone was saying, ‘it’s not gonna happen’. This time it’s far less intense. Zsolt and I will be leaving Hungary toward the end of August, and we were hoping our arrival in Canada would correspond with my parent’s cottage vacation.

Okay, honestly – this is 100% no way like last Christmas. Last Christmas it was essential that I go home before the 15th of December. This time around we’ll be going to Canada whether or not the holiday cottage plans work out. So that’s fine. Therefore, what’s my problem?

Ah, just the same as ever. Every time we have a date (the 25th, the 28th, the 30th) and wait, say, one day to make sure it jives with my family back home-BAM!– Aeroplan does a little dance and the flights for that day are GONE.


This is not a life and death situation. I love being able to fly for less. One-way tickets are astronomical in price when not bought with points. I should be thanking Air Canada for all the free (plus tax) rides they’ve allowed me over the years (or rather, thank my parents).

It’s more of an irritation than emergency. Actually, it’s no emergency. It’s like your little brother sitting in the back seat of the van and flicking your ear every five minutes. (Hi, Dan.) Annoying, but ultimately I’ll stick by them.

Eventually this will be sorted. That’s the beauty of life – one way or another, stuff works out. And so, it’s back to the Aeroplan website. After all, every relationship demands a little work; and when it’s good, it’s so very good.

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