Aeroplan award tickets are generally refundable. However, Aeroplan has a pesky term that states
Unused and valid flight rewards may be refunded and miles reinstated up to 22 days before the scheduled date of departure. A C$90.00 fee plus taxes per ticket will apply. This fee is non-refundable.
What does this mean? If you cancel an award 22 days or more before departure, you get your points and money back, less a $90 refund fee. If you cancel your award anywhere from 2 hours (the most last minute cancellation you’re allowed to do) to 22 days before departure, you won’t get a refund of your points or taxes and fees paid. What Aeroplan does with this ticket is allow you to use the value of the ticket for a future booking within a year for the named passenger. It’s like a refund, however, the ticket has to be used within a year, and if you don’t use the entire value of the ticket, and only a portion thereof, you forfeit the rest.
There is a way to get a refund of your ticket even if you cancel within 22 days before departure. Our Sunday Reader Question is: how do you refund an Aeroplan award ticket within 22 days before departure?
As explained above, a normal cancellation within 22 days before departure provides you with the opportunity to use that ticket’s value within a year. It may be that you don’t wish to travel within the year, use the value on a different passenger, or your desired travel is cheaper than the original ticket value, and you don’t want to forfeit the remaining value. There’s a way to skirt this term: if you rebook a ticket using the ticket’s value (try to use it all!), and book that more than 22 days before departure, you can then refund that ticket and get a full refund of the points and fees. You will, however, be subject to two $90 change fees: the first fee for reusing the original ticket, and the second fee for refunding the second ticket. Although it’s an expensive option, it may be your best-bet if you’re having trouble using the previously cancelled ticket value in full.