I'm intrigued by Aeroplan - in general, it offers a user-friendly way to search for Star Alliance awards, and business class awards to Europe are 45,000 miles each way. That's a favorable comparison to United, which charges 57,500 miles for their own flights and 70,000 miles for partner flights. The problem I keep running into with Aeroplan is only seeing availability for goddamned mixed cabin awards that no rational person would ever spend miles on. I realize this problem isn't specific to Aeroplan, since they're just reporting availability from across the Star Alliance network. It's just as bad when searching availability on United, and although you sometimes have the option to exclude mixed cabin awards from showing up in the list of flights for a specific date, you can't view an availability calendar that has been filtered to get rid of mixed cabin awards. That means that you have to sift through date after date of available flights to find a single cabin award - and if you live in San Francisco, you may never find it. Hey wait a second, here's something funny. I went over to Aeroplan to pick a random date in order to find a representative example of how annoying mixed cabin awards can be, and I found this:
SAS partner availability in business class?! I'm definitely filing this away for future consideration. SAS's new business class cabin looks super nice, although everything I've heard suggests that SAS almost never releases partner award space. I also have a soft spot for SAS, since I love their livery... even though the one time I flew them, I was on a plane that looked like it had been in service since the 1980s.
Okay, back to my irritation over mixed cabin awards...
Here's a good one: 45,000 miles for a 1 hour flight in "business" (which on an intra-Europe flight means a coach seat with the middle seat blocked off and maybe a meal) and a 12 hour transatlantic flight in Economy. What a deal!
This is my favorite: an itinerary that shuttles you all over Europe on short hops (again in "business") before plopping you into the economy section of a long haul flight. I'd maybe splash out 45,000 miles for this award if it had a few more connections, but as it is, it seems a little too efficient.
To be honest, I don't really care about all this anymore, since all I can think about is booking a business class award on SAS. Petty annoyances will just have to make way for my genuine interest.
Requisite question designed to spur a flurry of responses in the comments section: How much did it suck the last time YOU flew a mixed cabin award?