These are the taxes for UA and AC for a business class award flight to Europe, same departure and return city. Of course, the itinerary is different, longer for UA but travelling business class a few hours extra should not matter .
Of course, it is very easy to book AC on the Aeroplan website (I am Super Elite with AC) but for UA you have to call. And I had called a few times and UA was not available for the trip I wanted (everyone knows UA is cheaper so the award tickets sell out fast). I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown as I wanted to book the tickets even on AC but I was still hoping for a UA flight.
I was told by my friends who had done it that the strategy is simple: you call, you don’t get what you want so you hang up and next day you call again, and again and again. I don’t like doing this so in fact I had called only 2 or 3 times I think. But the 4th time I called (and last time as I could not wait any longer) seats were available. I had to alter my schedule but I considered it worthwhile, the difference would more than cover 2 extra hotel nights.
I wonder when UA will start charging fuel surcharges. It is too much of a discrepancy.
And, also I wish there was an online tool for booking award tickets on Star Alliance, the same that the agents use. I would not mind pay a booking fee even higher than the $30 fee for a booking made by an agent as long as I can do it in my own time not ‘stressed’ that I use too much of the agent’s time.
My trip was very complicated; I think I spent around 2 hours on the phone and at the end the agent told me he had to manually calculate the taxes as the system could not calculate for more than 10 flight segments (!?!) or something along this line. I was about to ask him how I could check he didn’t make a mistake doing these manual calculations (did he use Excel or a calculator?), but I was exhausted and at the same time I didn’t want to ‘upset’ him.