Who to book NA to SA reward flights on once BA not as appealing?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by montacute, Nov 12, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. montacute
    Original Member

    montacute Silver Member

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    Just used my BA FF miles to book JFK-IPC to get in before the Nov. 16 changes.

    I will likely want to return to South America later next year, and will miss BA's great redemption values. My question is, what airline offers the best redemptions NA to SA if BA is out of consideration?
     
  2. Jimgotkp
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    Jimgotkp Gold Member

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    I would say that AA has pretty good redemption rates for NA-SA award tickets especially in Y.​
     
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  3. daemon14

    daemon14 Gold Member

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    Agreed. The main value in BA was the unlimited stopover rule, which with LAN and its many hubs and focus cities, was easy to take advantage of once south of the equator. For example, I have JFK-LIM-IPC-SCL for 40K in J one-way -- that's over 18 hours of flying! Some people have even extended it into MDZ, AEP, and IGR on one ticket, which I would have done if I had more time.

    AA still has good value because of its OW partnership with LAN and it's likely that LAN's merger with TAM to LATAM will keep it in OW due to anti-trust issues in Chile (*A already has a good foothold in Latin America with Avianca/TACA and Copa). However, it will be tough to visit so many cities without redeeming multiple tickets since the only stopover you can have on AA is within North America.

    The kicker here is that we are losing great redemption values to Easter Island/IPC. It is only served by LAN and only served from PPT and SCL. AA has it in the South Pacific category, while BA had it in the South America/domestic Chile category, which allowed a stopover at cheap rates.

    I still have some BA miles leftover because I want to see how I can use them for short segments once I am in South America. For example, a domestic roundtrip in SA is 20K in Y now but will likely go down with the new distance rules. These can help for those expensive tickets for short journeys.

    BTW, OP, I think you have a typo in your post, unless you really did find an itinerary for JFK to Islip. I'd usually just take the LIRR :D.
     
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  4. ossipago

    ossipago Silver Member

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    Quick note: LAN can also get you to IPC via LIM (sometimes).
     
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  5. daemon14

    daemon14 Gold Member

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    Right, I shouldn't forget that seeing as I'm booked on one of those! :p There are only 2x weekly flights (Saturday night and either Tu or W night) but only during some times of the year. I actually purposely booked my ticket for February to take advantage of it since it starts the first week of Feb 2012 and to avoid the reciprocity fee for Chile which is only collected at SCL airport. When I fly IPC-SCL, it will be a domestic flight.

    Still, that doesn't help with redemption possibilities after 11/16 because:

    1) The LIM-IPC and SCL-IPC flights are the same distance (within 3 miles of each other, wow!) so with BA's award chart, they will be the same price. However, it will be possible to do a LIM-IPC-SCL routing and keep the total price of the award low.

    2) AA will still have IPC as South Pacific and will charge 100K for that roundtrip.
     
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  6. montacute
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    montacute Silver Member

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    Lots of good info--thanks. Since I am hitting Easter Island on this go-around, I am thinking that reward redemption won't be a big factor for me. I would like to plan a Peru trip, which I don't have time for during my IPC trip, even though I do have a connection in LIM on the way home.

    And ha! Daemon, thanks for the typo alert! I grew up on Long Island, so that was a pretty funny typo for me to make. I should know better!
     
  7. daemon14

    daemon14 Gold Member

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    Good work getting IPC out of the way before BA miles go kaput. I'm sure ISP can wait :p

    If you're looking to return to Peru, AA would be a good deal for LAN flights to LIM.

    However, with Grupo TACA joining the Star Alliance in May 2012, UA miles may be a good way to redeem awards. I think if you book a RT award, you're allowed a stopover plus an open-jaw on UA, which could be useful (EWR-LIM (stop)-CUZ, maybe do a surface sector to somewhere else in Peru/South America, then head back up to the USA). Since Peru is considered Northern South America by UA, it's 70K RT for J with one stopover and open-jaw, easily doable with Chase Sapphire/Ink Bold sign up bonuses. To Southern South America is 100K RT, so that geographical separation really makes a difference, especially if you're booking for 2.

    Star Alliance is really building up in Latin America ... by mid-2012, Copa (Panama), TACA (including TACA Peru), and Avianca will all be part of *A, which will mean that South America will no longer be OneWorld country ... err, continent.
     
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  8. montacute
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    montacute Silver Member

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    OK, was able to book a multi-stop Ecuador/Peru tour with BA miles, starting at GPS and ending at AQP. Now I just have to work on a RT between WAS and there. Sounds like from what you are saying I could book with UA WAS to GPS and back to WAS from AQP for 70k in J? This would be great!
     

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