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Aeroplan and my Sister Rule!


Leslie Ehm is a Toronto Journeywoman who shares her love story of the three benefactors who helped her get to China to adopt her second daughter. At a time in history when air travel is more complicated than it's ever been, this is a refreshing tale, indeed.

My husband Russ and I are the parents of a wonderful seven year old adopted Chinese daughter. This week we learned that our request for a second daughter has been answered and we will be flying to China in six weeks to receive eight month old Beckett Mei-Li. Anybody who has ever flown even one hour with a baby or toodler will appreciate how difficult a twenty hour flight with a child who barely knows you could be. Once you've read my story you'll appreciate why this is a love letter addressed to my sister, Erica and to Steve and Mindy, our angels at Aeroplan.


My sister is very smart...

When Russ and I were married nearly four years ago, my sister Erica Ehm gave us the most delicious and unexpected wedding present. Let me preface this by explaining something you may not know about Erica – she is the queen of bargain hoarding. She’s got loyalty points from twelve different companies and will drive across town simply to shop somewhere that will offer three extra bonus points on a can of soup. I find this greatly impressive. I, on the other hand, cannot even find my one loyalty card in the morass that is my giant wallet and won’t ever try to recover a quarter that rolls under my car. Now – don’t get me wrong. This doesn’t mean she’s cheap. It means she’s smart - very smart. But I digress…


An amazing wedding present...

Back to the present (and the present). At our wedding, Erica offered up a tiny gift-wrapped box and my husband and I opened it expectantly. Inside was a small travel alarm clock with a piece of paper stuck in it that read “Aeroplan miles to fly Business Class to get your next baby”. Wow. My first thought was ‘how the hell did she collect that many Aeroplan miles’ and then I remembered she was a jet setting celebrity (I tend to forget that). Next I thought ‘holy crap!!!’ and I cried. A lot.


I call Aeroplan...

This wedding gift gestated for the next three and a half years until lo and behold, the time to collect on the present arrived. Russ and I received word that our chosen daughter, Beckett Mei-Li was waiting to meet us in China. We would be advised as to when we needed to travel to Beijing. Hubby and I knew that trying to score Biz Class Aeroplan tickets to China a mere six weeks prior to departure is a long shot at best. In fact, when I called Aeroplan customer service a few months ago to test the waters, the very nice agent kind of laughed when I asked about generally availabilities. “Madam", he said politely “People book a seat like that up to a year in advance”. Gulp.

Back I went to Erica (the jet setting celebrity) with a cry for help. She reached into her bag of contacts (and let me tell you – that’s one giant bag), and pulled out the name of Steve Allmen, General Manager, Business Development, Aeroplan. ‘Not bad’ I thought. A call went out to Steve who said that he would do his best when the time came.






More love stories



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