Like many frequent flyers, Len Dvorkin saves his Aeroplan points and redeems them for plane tickets for his family every year.
Lately, however, he noticed that fuel surcharges on the so-called “free tickets” seem to have crept up each year.
His recent business class tickets to Europe booked using Air Canada’s reward points cost $850 each. That added up to more than $2,500 for his family of three, on top of 270,000 Aeroplan points. Fuel surcharges took up most of those added fees.
“This is a First World problem, OK? I’m lucky. I’m privileged. I can go and I can afford it,” he told CBC’s Aaron Saltzman. “But that’s lot of money for a free ticket.”
When contacted by CBC News, Air Canada referred questions to Aeroplan.
Aeroplan said it is collecting fuel surcharges on behalf of Air Canada, and the amount is “usually determined by market and by class of service.”
The airline began levying fuel surcharges in 2007 when oil prices spiked to more than $145 per barrel. The price now is less than $90 per barrel.
Watch Aaron Saltzman’s full report by clicking the video above.