Back in November of 2010 (yeah, you’ve gotta love the pace at which this stuff happens) I wrote about Avianca-TACA and Copa’s intention to join the Star Alliance. Well, that date has finally come, as both airlines are Star Alliance members as of today.
Copa is based in Panama City, Panama, and has a pretty thorough route network within South America (you can find their route network here), though doesn’t have any longhaul flights (they don’t even fly any widebodies). Since the United merger it has been possible to redeem MileagePlus miles for travel on Copa, and before that it was possible to redeem Continental OnePass miles for travel on them. Copa was never formally part of the Star Alliance, though, so this is the first opportunity for other Star Alliance members to earn and redeem miles for travel on Copa.
The best place to search for Copa award space is on the United award search tool, and as you’ll see they have excellent coach award space, though the same can’t be said for business class.
TACA is based in Sal Salvador (their route network can be found here) while Avianca is based on Bogota (I can only find their unofficial route map here). Avianca award space can be accessed on ExpertFlyer, and based on a few quick searches availability seems to be reasonably good.
Not gonna lie, I’m kind of excited to book a few awards on any of the above airlines with US Airways. Am curious which geographical region they think Colombia belongs to (my money is on Europe or the Iraq).