On April 16, 2012, Aeroplan blocked all redemptions to any Cuban city. Their reasoning was that Air Canada flights to Cuba were actually run by Air Canada Vacations, and they were looking to align their operations.
At that time, a very limited number of Star Alliance airlines flew to Cuba. I believe they were Air Canada, Copa, and Avianca. Now there are a number of new routes to Cuba, including on Air China from Montreal, Turkish Airlines, and United.
Considering the recent liberalization of US-Cuban relations, I asked my contact at Aeroplan whether they would allow redemptions to Cuba. This is the message I received:
Aeroplan Members will be able to redeem for travel rewards to all Cuban destinations serviced by Air Canada, Air Canada rouge and Star Alliance carriers shortly. These rewards will be bookable through Aeroplan’s Contact Centre and on aeroplan.com.
Stay tuned, I’ll be sure to keep you posted.
This is great news! Per the quote, I don’t know when this change will occur, but it looks like it will be soon. I fully expect Cuba will be placed in the ‘Carribean & Central America’ zone, meaning a round-trip economy redemption from North America would cost 40,000 Aeroplan miles. This isn’t the greatest use, considering flights to Cuba are usually inexpensive, but opens up the door for some interesting routes, such as Toronto – Istanbul – Havana – Toronto.
I’ll keep you guys updated when I hear more from Aeroplan. What do you think about Aeroplan allowing award redemptions to Cuba?