InsideLook: LAN Airlines

InsideLook: LAN Airlines

In operation since 1929, LAN Airlines originally operated as a state-sponsored carrier to provide passenger, cargo and postal air transportation services.

In 2000, LAN joined oneworld and today LAN provides services to approximately 66 million passengers per year with 135 destinations in 22 countries. In 2012, LAN and TAM merged into a single entity called LATAM Airlines Group, becoming one of the largest airline groups in the world. In March 2014 TAM joined the oneworld alliance.

Earning Ability
LANPASS members earn kilometers based on distance flown and class of service on LAN with a minimum of 800 kms flown for short hops, or a minimum 600 kms for flights inside continental Ecuador. Premium business class earns a 25 percent kilometer bonus. Flights longer than seven hours flown in Premium business class earn 50 percent more kilometers. Domestic flights within Colombia on LAN earn up to 200 percent for flexible (FX, FF) fares.

Members earn kilometers on TAM at a rate of 100 percent to 150 percent of actual kilometers flown on international flights to the U.S. and Europe based on class and earn 25 percent of actual kilometers flown on economy flights within South America and domestic economy flights in Brazil. Members earn kilometers on oneworld alliance airlines and LANPASS affiliated airlines according to the partner airline’s earning guidelines. Oneworld flights also count toward tier status.
Credit cards, hotel stays and car rentals are additional ways members can supplement their kilometer earning. The co-branded LANPASS Visa card comes with a signing bonus of 20,000 miles (32,187 kms) with first purchase and two miles per $1 spent on LAN, TAM and affiliate airline purchases.

Award Choices
LANPASS offers three award options in economy: Classic, Plus and Full. In Premium economy and Premium business class, there are two award levels: Classic and Plus. Award tickets must be redeemed immediately upon booking and cannot be reserved.

Domestic roundtrip award flights within Chile range from 10,000 to 24,000 kms depending on the travel zone. For example, Arica to Calama is 10,000 kms, Arica to Santiago is 18,000 kms and Arica to Punta Arenas is 24,000 kms. Domestic roundtrip award redemptions within Argentina, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia range from 8,000 kms to 28,000 kms depending on the country and travel zone.

International roundtrip award flights within South America start at 20,000 kms for economy, 30,000 for premium economy and 58,000 for premium business, for example between Chile and Argentina. Between Chile and Ecuador, the redemption amounts for roundtrip flights are 34,000 for economy, 50,000 for premium economy and 80,000 for premium business.

Roundtrip economy award flights between the U.S. and South America or the Caribbean start at 48,000 kms (between the U.S. and Peru, Colombia or Ecuador, for example). And a minimum of 120,000 kms is needed for roundtrip economy award flights to Europe from South America.

Award redemption on oneworld partners and affiliate airlines is based on distance traveled starting with one-way award flights of 500 kms or less requiring 6,000 kms for economy, 9,000 for premium economy, 12,000 for business and 15,000 for first.

Upgrade awards within South America range from 20,000 to 40,000 kms based on travel zone, upgrades from the U.S. to South America start at 45,000 kms and upgrades on flights from South America to Europe start at 80,000 kms.

With the merger and creation of LATAM Airlines Group, TAM, previously a Star Alliance member, joined oneworld on March 31, 2014. Following the merger, LAN and TAM have continued to maintain separate loyalty programs with a reciprocal relationship that allows members to earn and redeem kilometers on either LAN or TAM flights. Those who are members of both programs cannot combine TAM Fidelidade Multiplus points and LANPASS kilometers into a single account or pool points and kilometers to attain elite status.

LANPASS members in Chile can earn one kilometer for every one dollar spent on car rentals with Econorent. Premium Silver and Comodoro members earn 1.5 kms for every dollar spent with Econorent. In other countries, LANPASS members who rent with Hertz will earn 400 kms on discounted rates and 800 kms on standard rates. Members who rent with Avis will earn 800 kms as well as special discounts, including 10 percent off rates in Europe and 15 percent off rates in the U.S., Latin American and the Caribbean.

Members can earn kilometers with hotel partners Starwood, Marriott, InterContinental, Hilton and Hyatt. LANPASS members can transfer Starwood points at a rate of 1 Starpoint to 1.5 kms. Members earn two kilometers for every dollar charged at IHG and Hilton. At Hyatt properties 1,000 kms per stay is earned.

The LANPASS Visa signature card comes with a first purchase bonus of 20,000 miles and an annual renewal bonus of 4,000 miles as well as a one-time 20 percent discount (up to $1,000) on a LAN or TAM purchase, double miles on LAN and TAM purchases, three one-way upgrade coupons and a 25 percent bonus on miles flown. A LANPASS Visa with a first purchase bonus of 15,000 miles, renewal bonus of 2,000 miles and a one-time 10 percent discount on LAN and TAM purchases is also offered. The LANPASS Visa Secure card offers a first purchase bonus of 5,000 miles with a one-time 10 percent discount on LAN and TAM purchases.

Elite-Level Program
The elite program has four levels: Premium, Premium Silver, Comodoro and Comodoro Black. To reach Premium status, members are required to earn 40,000 kms on flights with LAN, TAM or oneworld alliance airlines with a minimum of four legs flown with LAN or TAM in one calendar year or by flying 30 segments with LAN or TAM in one calendar year. Premium level benefits include priority check-in and baggage handling, two upgrade coupons for you or your companion to be used towards a one-way upgrade, ability to upgrade by using kilometers and a 25 percent kilometer bonus on LAN, TAM and American Airlines flights. Premium members get oneworld Ruby status.

Premium Silver is reached after flying 80,000 kms with LAN, TAM or oneworld alliance airlines with a minimum of 40,000 kms flown on LAN or TAM or by flying 60 segments with LAN or TAM in one calendar year. Premium Silver can also be achieved by flying a minimum of 40,000 kms with LAN, TAM or oneworld flights in combination with a minimum of six medium or long haul segments (1,600 kms or greater) with LAN or TAM in business class in a single calendar year. In addition to all of the benefits of Premium membership, Premium Silver benefits include six upgrade coupons, 100 percent kilometer bonus, ability to check position on the upgrade list via online app, access for you and a guest to LAN, TAM and oneworld lounges, free excess baggage allowance, preferential service through the contact center including ability to credit missing kilometers to your LANPASS account using the contact center at no charge and ability to reissue award travel tickets at no charge. Premium Silver members get oneworld Sapphire status.

Comodoro membership is earned by flying 150,000 kms with LAN, TAM or oneworld alliance airlines with a minimum of 75,000 kms flown on LAN or TAM or by flying 100 segments with LAN or TAM in one calendar year. Comodoro can also be achieved by flying a minimum of 80,000 kms with LAN, TAM or oneworld flights in combination with a minimum of eight medium or long haul segments (1,600 kms or greater) with LAN or TAM in business class in a single calendar year. Comodoro benefits include unlimited complimentary upgrade coupons, preferred seating on domestic and international flights operated by LAN, preferred seating through for domestic flights in Chile, priority boarding, exclusive baggage drop counter for passengers who have checked-in online, one piece of excess baggage when flying on oneworld alliance airlines and courtesy notification of flight changes.

Comodoro Black membership requires flying 210,000 kms with LAN or TAM or by earning a minimum of 80,000 kms with LAN or TAM through a minimum of 16 medium or long haul segments (1,600 kms or greater) with LAN or TAM in business class in a single calendar year. In addition to the benefits of Comodoro, Comodoro Black membership includes six complimentary upgrade coupons for travel companions as well as the ability to use upgrade coupons when redeeming award kilometers, Special Services agents at select international airports and access for your immediate family and a guest to LAN, TAM and oneworld lounges. Comodoro and Comodoro Black members get oneworld Emerald status.
LANPASS elite members earn kilometer bonuses when traveling on LAN, TAM or American Airlines based on their membership level: Premium level members earn 25 percent and Premium Silver, Comodoro and Comodoro Black members earn 100 percent. Upgrade awards are available on international flights and can only be requested by LANPASS elite Comodoro, Premium Silver and Premium members. LANPASS elite members can also redeem kilometers for upgrades for companions traveling on the same flights as the elite member.

Rules and Conditions
Membership in LANPASS is open to individuals over the age of two. Kilometers are valid for three years and will expire if members do not take a flight on LAN or TAM within that three years but will be extended with taking a flight. Kilometers cannot be combined or sold but can be transferred to other LANPASS members for a fee ($7 for every 1,000 kms transferred, with a minimum of 2,000 kms and a maximum of 100,000 kms). Kilometers can be purchased at a rate of $0.02 per kilometer with a minimum purchase of 1,500 kms and a maximum of 100,000 kms purchased per year. Award tickets purchased through a LAN office or through the contact center will incur a service charge. Changes to award tickets made through the contact center or a LAN office will incur a service fee and fees increase the closer you get to the date of travel.

You can claim retroactive credit for flights taken no more than 60 days before joining the program.

Service Support
LANPASS customer service is available Monday through Friday 9am to 6pm. When we called, we were connected immediately with an English-speaking representative who was able to answer our questions. The website lists contact numbers for customer service for both LAN and TAM worldwide and also has an email contact form for questions and complaints.

Online Services
Members can join the program and manage their account online and flight award requests can be made online for LAN flights. The award calendar will display award flights available three days before and three days after your selected date. Requests for missing kilometers can be made online. When we visited the website for our research we found that the website was not always working properly and links within the LANPASS program tab often led to a page that stated “this page is no longer available.” In addition, program information and the terms and conditions often had conflicting information, most likely a result of program changes that have not been properly updated.

Plus Features
Members can earn and redeem kilometers with a wide number of airlines and partner companies. Elite benefits, such as the 100 percent kilometer bonus for Premium Silver members, is a perk not usually offered to lower level elite members. Members also like the availability of transfer partners such as SPG with the transfer ratio of 1 Starpoint to 1.5 LANPASS kms.

Minus Features
Members report that they do not like that kilometer earning is lower on some discount economy fares and that there are no systemwide upgrades for elite members. It is confusing that TAM Fidelidade and LANPASS continue as separate entities even after the airlines have merged.

Report Card from Readers
Rating: B+
Biggest pros:
Good value per Km.
J upgrades for elites.
Customer service for elites.

Biggest Cons:
Customer service for non-elites.
Lousy availability.
Mavalenzu [Milepoint]

Rating: B+
Dominant carrier in region; if travel is limited to this area LANPASS is by far the best program for regional flights.

Focus on service for and recognition of Comodoro and Comodoro Black elites (no others).
Every elite level receives at least two one-way upgrade coupons, which can also be applied to award bookings.

There are limited non-flight kilometer earning opportunities outside of co-branded credit cards and bank offers.

Many benefits are limited in their availability, such as: no preferential check-in in many/most domestic airports, only major international gateways; upgrades only on international flights, no premium classes on domestic service (other than SCL-IPC).

Kilometer upgrades only available to elite members. This could be a pro for the elites as it limits the pool requesting upgrades, but devalues kilometers for general members.
Very poor ground service/customer service for non-elites and Premium-level elites, especially outside of Chile.

Poor website.
Priority luggage is often not among the first to luggage claim.
Poor availability for kilometer redemption.
zpaul [Milepoint]

Program Rating
Overall Score 7.29
Earning Ability 7.5
Award Choices 7.0
Partnerships 7.5
Elite Level .7.5
Rules & Conditions 7.0
Service Support 7.5
Online Services 7.0

Program Information:
LANPASS Customer Service
Ave. Americo Vespucio 901, Piso 3-A
Renca, Santiago de Chile
(866) 435-9526


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