Great LATAM Business Class Fares To Easter Island

While I’ve been to Santiago, there are quite a few places in Chile I’d still like to visit — in particular, Easter Island and the Atacama Desert.

Santiago

As a miles & points enthusiast, getting to Chile in a decent premium cabin product can be challenging. That’s because LATAM is pretty stingy when it comes to releasing award space, at least if you don’t have miles with their own program — partner award space is nearly non-existent, especially for two seats.

Perhaps the best way to get there is to book a paid ticket to Santiago. As an Executive Platinum member with American I can book economy and upgrade to business class, or maybe I’m even better off just trying to fly premium economy, so I can finally review it. Then it’s not too tough to book flights within Chile.

Easter Island is a good distance from Santiago — it’s about 2,400 miles, which is roughly the same distance as a US transcon. Award space between Santiago and Easter Island is quite limited.

SCL-IPC

While I don’t mind being in economy for a flight like that since it’s not too long, it’s worth nothing that LATAM has excellent business class fares between Santiago and Easter Island… but only if you book through their Chilean website.

For example, through the end of the schedule I see roundtrip business class fares between Santiago and Easter Island starting at 348,812 Chilean Pesos, which is roughly ~540USD.

IPC-SCL

You basically have your pick of flights at those fares.

IPC-SCL-2

As a point of comparison, making that same reservation through LATAM’s US website would cost nearly double as much.

LATAM-1

LATAM has a solid business class product on their 787, with fully flat beds in a 2-2-2 configuration.

LAN-Business-Class-787 - 11

Food and service are generally pretty good as well. I’ve only flown LATAM Chile between Madrid and Frankfurt, but had a great experience with them.

LAN-Business-Class-787 - 43

Paying ~$540 for the equivalent of a roundtrip US transcon in business class is great, and this certainly may encourage me to book my Easter Island trip sooner rather than later (since the order in which I travel is largely motivated by award opportunities).

Anyone else tempted to take advantage of these great LATAM business class fares to Easter Island?

(Tip of the hat to nk15)

Comments

  1. You’re posting this as if this hasn’t been the fare for several years. Good job ruining it for everyone now. Hopefully they don’t cancel current bookings or deny boarding to foreigners who booked this

    Also not sure why you call yourself a miles and points enthusiast when in most cases you just pay cash now. When was the last time you actually focused on collecting miles and using them creatively outside the path of least resistance (using MR for Hawaiian etc)

  2. @ K — Seriously? Have you checked my trip reports page?
    http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/trip-report-index/airlines/

    In the past few months I’ve redeemed miles for Etihad first, Cathay first, Singapore first, Lufthansa first, EVA business, United business, Air Serbia business, Aeroflot business, etc.

    The whole reason I started booking some discounted business class tickets on random airlines was due to reader feedback, requesting reviews of unique airlines.

    There are plenty of things you can legitimately criticize me for, but I’m not sure that’s one of them…

  3. I fired on reservations to Easter Island about 1.5 months ago. The prices were a bit higher then by about $175. I might have to cancel and rebook. I am pretty sure I booked a fully changeable ticket. Also if you do book on the Chilean website you have to book, then you get a reservation number. You then have to go to the pay for my reservation on the website to pay. It can be confusing at first if you don’t read Spanish.

  4. I am interested. But when I go to American Airlines to see how many miles I will earn since LATAM is part of OneWorld according to the oneworld.com website, I don’t seem them on the list of OneWorld carriers for mileage earnings. Instead I see TAM airlines and LAN airlines which merged to form LATAM airlines about 5 years ago. As such, I was hoping that the fare classes on TAM and LAN airlines as listed on American’s Aadvantage website would show the same earnings for both airlines for the same fare class but alas that is not the case. Instead, they have the same fare classes earning different mileage, EQD, and EQMs and this is for travel after 08/01/2016. As such, do you know how the various American Airlines fare classes earn on LATAM airlines since apparently American Airlines never updated their website when the airlines merged and consolidated into one airline? You would think that American would want to make sure that their OneWorld partner earnings are accurate on their website, but I guess the amount of miles you are supposed to earn in the mind of American Airlines is just like a surprise that you should be happy with.

    Thanks,

    JC

  5. It can be even cheape if they run a promotion – I paied only around 250,000 for a return trip two years ago and easter island are def worth visiting (just not longer then 4 days and don’t expect any luxury accomodation thats worth paying the price)

  6. Is tough to get awards in premium cabins to Chile in reduced miles fares – including AA. Getting business class cabin DFW to SCL is 110000.

    Also, when looking for awards in LATAM Chile, there is no option to look in the AA webpage (as what happens with British, Iberia, etc…) despite being Oneworld.

    Any advice?

    Thanks!

  7. @ John P — American’s site unfortunately doesn’t show LATAM awards online. So your best bet is to look through British Airways’ website, and then American should have access to the same space.

  8. A friend of mine booked the same fare last summer. So the fare has been around for quite a while. My friend was pretty nervous about the fare being available only at Chilean website (not available at other countries sites and OTA-s). He thought it might’ve been only for Chile residents (what is common in South America). He has absolutely no troubles checking in, boarding and flying his ticket last November.

    I still believe the fare is for Chile residents only (though it’s not strictly enforced).

    As for the service he was largely disappointed. Despite a flight covering 2300+ miles distance only abysmal food was served. There is no domestic lounge at SCL either. Still you pay $540, which could’ve been pretty reasonable fare even for economy.

    For those working on status with BA the fare can’t be better and just dream of. Each flight will yield you 140 TP, for a roundtrip 280 TP (that is 46.6% of OneWorld Sapphire status for up to 2 years). It might be the cheapest TP you can get after AA adjusted domestic fares (from first to business booking classes).

  9. @Lucky Do you know what’s current policy on foreigners booking on LATAM/ Aerolinaes Argentina’s local website?(in Spanish) I was told those fares are only avaliable for residents in those countries and would require proof-of-ids. I booked some domestics tickets on Lan Chile and Lan Peru last year because it was significantly cheaper than booking in US website. I was able to check in and fly no issue with LAN Chile but was asked to pay fare difference on LAN Peru. Can you write a post on booking domestic tickets on LATAM/AVIANCA/Aerolineas Argentina local websites? Thank you

  10. Have been interested in this specific flight for awhile! But yeah, have always been a little nervous per Daniel’s comment…would hate to get to the airport and only be able to continue on the flight by paying a fare difference.

  11. Wow, this is gonna get enforced now that this is spread out into the open. I travel to Chile quite often, have friends who work at LATAM, and know how the staff operate. A lot of the staff are people in their early-mid 20s at SCL and you’re going to run across incompetent people. Obviously, theyll look at your ID when you’re checking in. If you’re not carrying a Chilean, Peruvian etc. passport or other ID, it’s pretty much the luck of the draw as far as whether they check for proof of residency (it’s supposed to get enforced but frankly some of their staff don’t know the airline’s rules). I doubt the deal itself gets killed — this is supposed to be a deal for the locals. The enforcement is what will change.

  12. @ Lucky — American’s site unfortunately doesn’t show LATAM awards online. So your best bet is to look through British Airways’ website, and then American should have access to the same space.

    Thanks for the tip!

    So when you say “American should have access to the same space”, I should just call and get the ticket over the phone. Right?

  13. @ John P — That’s correct. I recommend finding the space on BA’s website and then calling American to book.

  14. Easter Island is amazing. I hope you go and enjoy it as much as I did a few years ago. I redeemed 80,000 BA miles for roundtrip from the US to Lima, Cuzco, Easter Island and Santiago (IPC was considered part of South America an BA whereas AA puts it in the South Pacific region). Ah, unlimited stopovers on BA awards – those were the days! 🙂

  15. There are some pretty cheqp award rates between the US and SCL using united points. I was able to score economy tickets for 60k miles round trip + 10$ a piece for my wife and i. We flew from SLC to YYZ and YYZ to SCL on pur way there with airCanada and with United through Houston on our way back.
    The first class saver awards weren’t too expensive either but a bit to much miles for what i had in the bank for 2 persons!
    And once in Chile, i highly recommend spending a few days around San Pedro de Atacama and hiring a guide to go to the Salar de Tara, as well as the lagunas miscanti and miniques.
    The lake region around Puerto Vara ia also super neat. And Patagonia (Torres del Paine) is a must!

  16. Fond memories of the 80,000 mile round trip BA award that you helped me book back in the day that got me to Machu Picchu, Easter Island, and Santiago, all in Business Class. Good times.

  17. @lucky: I’m pretty sure that you hold a star alliance gold membership somewhere – lately, LATAM has been very generous with status matching to LATAM black (OW Emerald). Did it myself last December with M&M SEN to LATAM black valid through 03/18. One of the greatest benefits that comes with this status, that you get unlimited upgrade coupons for yourself and 6 for your travel companion – might be worth taking it into consideration flying to SCL.

  18. That’s about what I paid for my business class flights on LATAM last October. Had no problem. Nobody asked anything about being a resident of Chile. I spent three full days (four nights) there, which seemed perfect for seeing the moai and having a bit of time to relax and see the town. Definitely no points hotels there. Can’t wait to see where you stay. I recommend reading “The Statues That Walked: Unraveling the Mystery of Easter Island” by Terry Hunt and Carl Lipo for a good overview of the history and mystery. It’s a genuinely unique destination.

  19. Keep in mind that LATAM will have a fineprint that says that they will deny you boarding if you don’t have Chilean residency, as this price is for Chilean residents only. The rarely do that, but it’s a risk you’re running if you go for this.

  20. Thats crazy to me they would charge more on american website. Just because of a different language they charge more? Good to know though, good tip 😉

  21. @K is just a cheap shot bitch, thanks for putting @K in their place Lucky. If people aren’t satisfied with your blog, why not just move to another you think fits your needs? Do people like that keep going to a restaurant after posting shitty reviews? If so, they deserve people spitting in their food.

  22. Ha. I remember just a couple of years ago when you could fly round trip from San Diego (well, Tijiuana, same thing) to Easter Island in LAN business class for only $1500. I really wanted to do this, but the fare, which was widely available at the time, disappeared before I could book. Oh well.

  23. Did this exact booking last December for about the same cost. My first Dreamliner flight.. I was only carry on only and checked in online with the LAN app so no human interaction to stop this American Gringo from his cheap biz flight.. LOL… Easter Island was great, super fascinating and relaxing… I would recommend hitting one of the last AA sweet spots USA to Lima for 30k biz each way, I did LAX-LIM on LAN, then I caught a super cheap SKY flight for less than $150 rt LIM-SCL and thought the flight was fine.

    Lucky, if you go you have to review the “lounge” at IPC, technical it’s probably the most remote lounge in the world and it’s comical…

  24. Flew this route a few weeks ago in J on similar fare, not booked through the Chilean website. I think it was about £600, paid just under a year before the flight.

    Had in-depth conversation with purser on the way out. Also did 8 other internal LATAM flights in Chile and gleaned some info:

    1. SCL — IPC is always heavily overbooked: tons of people were getting downgraded. I was one of only two OW Emeralds in business that day and so was safe. They were asking for volunteers at the premium check-in area. The purser told me anyone who bids for an upgrade can forget it, even if they appear to have “won” as they just get downgraded nearer the time, and same for any vouchers. Some were downgraded on the plane, and one person offloaded (no law enforcement required). She did also refer to some passengers paying a lot less on some fares but I was less clear if they would be targeted for downgrades.

    2. I’m not 100% certain but I am pretty sure there was no premium economy on the plane I traveled in, inbound and out. I say this because boarding outbound was via the back door only bizarrely, so walked right through the plane to the front row. So if you do get downgraded, it could be to economy.

    3. You will get 140 tier points each way crediting to BA. Depending on what day of the week you fly, LATAM flights can take almost two weeks to arrive in your executive club account. Take this into account if hoping for extra miles etc when reaching a higher tier — my partner narrowly missed out on BA Silver in time for flying back to London so missed out on 50% extra miles. Plan IPC near the start of a Chile trip if you want to avoid this.

    4. I got 2336 avios plus cabin bonus of 584 avios for an I/J fare. Not sure what Chilean only fares book as. Good luck in trying to find out before you fly: when I called LATAM nobody I spoke to had any idea what I mean when I referred to booking class (not stated at time of booking) and I had to insist for almost half an hour to get through to someone who asked a colleague who did know. Even then it took them another 15-20 mins to find out.

    You earn via the LAN chart.

    5. Fare class is important: on cheap internal economy flights (excluding IPC) you will earn 0 TPs, which is sort of stated on the BA website but hard to find. LATAM does not state class of ticket when purchasing from from what I can see and even if you buy a flexible ticket it may earn no TPs or airmiles. If your flight is delayed (almost every one of the 10 I took was at least slightly delayed) and you can accept being re-booked (often a few hours later) you will almost certainly be booked into a higher fare class and earn 5 TPs.

    6. IPC flights are frequently delayed — had this both ways.

    7. Comments about LATAM staff at IPC are about right — many of them have no idea what OW Emerald is, you could try referring to Comodro, but getting them to accept you through fast track lanes etc at the counters for domestic flights excluding IPC could require gentle insistence in Spanish.

    8. At the gate if you are OW Emerald you can use the ‘preferente’ queue. However, most others in the queue won’t have the right to be there and the gate agents don’t give a X.

    9. OW Emerald allows you to book front row / exit row on LATAM but generally some of the seats are reserved for their own scheme.

    10. No domestic LATAM lounges. Lounge Key will get you into something in SCL but almost not worth going. No lounge at IPC. There is a VIP room which was closed when I went, but it’s size means it can’t be intended for business passenger use — you could only fit about 10 people!

    11. @Lucky — given what you say about BA food, reading what you say about LATAM having good food, I was tempted to think you are just a liar! The food is fairly awful for me. However, I respect differences of opinion and you can take photos for everyone to get an idea. I’d take BA food over LATAM *any day* if there were a choice.

    12. @Lucky — international J seats are no direct aisle access for window seats. Not even a gap to climb through like BA – bit like RJ. So not sure why you think the product is so ‘solid’…

    13. All domestic LATAM flights are economy only and you get two choices of snacks and a drink.

    14. Easter Island and Chile in general — amazing. Just go!

    Oh and btw don’t have a problem with your LATAM booking that requires call centre assistance or writing in. They don’t care about your problem and won’t solve it…

  25. We did exactly this (although the fare was a little higher, but still a HUGE discount vs. booking via US LAN site) back in January, as part of a larger US-Bogota-Buenos Aires-Patagonia (both Argentinian and Chilean sides)-Santiago-Easter Island trip. Most of the other flights were using miles in J (United miles redeemed on Avianca on the outbound and LAN on the return, Delta (economy) from BA to Ushuaia). LAN food is HORRIBLE even in J (so is Avianca’s), but Easter Island is amazing. I highly recommend booking a tour while there (otherwise you’d be just walking/driving around statues without any context) – we used http://www.easterislandspirit.com/

  26. Andrey – Where is this fine print? LAN Peru inform you when you hover over the promo fare class on the Peru website, it’s listed in the fare basis rules and the promo fares aren’t visible on foreign websites. LAN Chile does none of that so I’m not convinced they have such a policy at all (I was previously under the impression they didn’t for some reason).

    Twoclicks – The LATAM website always displays the fare class for me. It’s listed on the flight summary under cabin along the lines of “Economy-X”, where X is the class.

  27. @callum — this definitely was not the case when I booked, however app and website have undergone some improvements since I booked it seems, so an improvement! Although I find both prone to freezing :/

    I flew a couple of years ago and for some reason couldn’t seem to select front row seats via the website, although between booking and flying could do so nicely this time around, however.

  28. Lucky: you should go to Easter Island. I was there in 2000 and found it (and the moai) very interesting.

    One tip: when we flew out of Easter Island, the plan (I think I flew Lan) circled the island. Everyone on one side of the plane had a fantastic view of the island and the moai spread around the island. So, try to find out which side of the plane would have that view if the plane circles the island. Have fun

  29. I can confirm that there is no nationality requirements for tickets purchased on the chilean website. It’s Peru and Argentina that enforce this. As in many other cases airlines run specific pages per country and it’s usual in the industry to charge depending on the POS (point of sale).. so no big surprise in here. Before booking tickets on LAN I usually check their pages in other countries in case lower fares are available. Chilean domestic tickets are ALWAYS cheaper on the chilean webpage.

    BTW after 7 trips to Easter Island I still can’t get enough of it. February is the carnival, called Tapati.. try to book your stay during the last days of it.

  30. Just a few remarks:

    It’s a fantastic place to go to. But for me it was sort of a once in lifetime thing. It’s a long flight from Santiago and there are quite a few things to see – but once you have seen them, there’s not much else … after all, it’s a small island.

    Flights are often delayed, because only one aircraft at the time is allowed to be on the island or in the airspace of the island. So the next flight from SCL can only take off, once the fligh from IPC is past mid way. This because there are basically not alternate airports, so an aircraft having an issue on the only runway would basically disable to whole airport.

    I don’t know if they enforce the Chilean residency or not, for the Chilean fares. When I flew to IPC, I was one Chileean fare, but at that stage I was a resident and had a Chilean address, phone etc. They didn’t ask for any additional justification. I know in Peru they ask for a Peruvian ID or at least a residential visa. None of that was verified in Chile – although had been able to provide evidence, if necessary. Obviously I’m fluent in Spanish, which might also have helped that no questions were asked.

    Finally, some flights go on to Tahiti. They board from two gates at SCL, one domestic and another international – which is quite funny! But you are not allowed to voluntarily select the international gate, which would provide lounge access, if you are only flying to IPC.

  31. Airlines discriminate in pricing by making different fares available in different Points of Sale (POS). Although the intention may be to restrict the fares to residents of that country it cannot be enforced. As long as you purchase these in the correct POS you are eligible for the fare.

    This is the only restriction on the fare:

    Category 15: Sales restrictions
    TICKETS MAY ONLY BE SOLD IN CHILE.

  32. If flying any of the former LAN routes you probably will be flying a good airline and have a pleasant flight.

    If flying any of the former TAM routes, beware those flights are still struggling with the same poor service and poor atitude from the Brazilian base, crews and staff, and you probably won’t have a good flight nor good professional service.
    Kent

  33. I flew LATAM to Easter Island in business in November. Highly recommended trip but remember it’s south of the equator so August is not the best time of year. You need at least 4 days. I was there for 6 and would love to go back, but so many more places to visit!

  34. Hi Lucky,

    I’ve been pondering about doing the same for Avianca / LATAM flights in Colombia (flying from Leticia to Cartagena). But I’m paranoid that the fares bought through the Colombian site are “resident only fares”. Can you tell me whether it’s safe to purchase the cheaper fares? (i.e. is it a point of sale thing rather than a “resident only thing”?). I’ve heard horror stories of people being fined at the airport in Peru and Argentina, but not sure if the same restrictions apply in Colombia.

    Thanks

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