I know many people burned their British Airways miles prior to the start of Avios. So, I thought I’d share my recent BA mile-burner to Easter Island.
I made a simple routing from New York (JFK) to Easter Island (IPC) via Santiago (SCL). For anyone unfamiliar with the destination’s geographic isolation, the tiny island is a five-hour flight due west of Chile. The only way to reach it is to connect on a LAN flight from Santiago. I know my route does not maximize stopovers, but I didn’t have time except for a few days in Santiago on the return.
Checking in at JFK was a breeze thanks to the convenient location of the dedicated counter. After check-in, I headed over to the Oasis lounge. The downside of the lounge is that it’s located land-side, so allow time to go through security when boarding.
My JFK-SCL segment was delayed about an hour due to the weather. Upon arrival in SLC, I was greeted with long lines for both the reciprocity fee and immigration booth. Between the delay and the lines, I would have missed my connection if I had booked the morning flight. Easter Island is still considered a part of Chile, so the flight that departs to IPC is domestic. Therefore, the reciprocity fee is required even if you are not stopping over in Santiago. There are two locations in SLC to pay reciprocity fees, which can be helpful to know if you have a tight connection.
LAN’s 767 J-class boasts 180-degree, lie-flat seats which are pretty comfortable for sleeping. My only gripe is that the AVOD controls are a bit awkwardly located as my knee kept hitting the controls on the armrest. Food is subjective, but I had no problems with meal quality, though after four segments the menu became kind of old. Although I’m not a wine connoisseur, I liked the Malbec and Sauvignon Blanc served at meals.
As far as my island activities,
I blogged about them at:
FFP miles spent:
80,000 British Airways miles
Hotel points spent:
Airline(s) / Routing:
Phone, but the $25 service fee was waived.
Type of award(s):
Business class (J)
Kaimana Inn, based on the recommendation of another miles enthusiast. It’s nothing fancy, but did the trick.
Month/year of trip:
December 2011/January 2012