One of the most impossible premium cabin awards to find is now bookable!
Star Alliance carrier TAM has released excellent first class award space between its hub in Sao Paulo, Brazil and New York-JFK & Miami. In all my experiences at our Award Booking Service, I’ve never seen a TAM first class award seat….ever.
Check out the searches below using the ANA tool for two passengers. Both are during peak travel dates to South America: the World Cup this summer and in December when the weather is delectably hot. The “OK” indicates there is desired award space on that particular date.
The award space between Miami and Sao Paulo is worse, though there are some dates with a single first class award seat .
The most exciting part about TAM is their first class configuration on their longhaul Boeing 777-300 aircraft. There are only four first class seats in the entire cabin!
A TAM 777-300 was parked right next to my gate at London-Heathrow on my United flight home (trip report coming soon), so I’ve been dying to try them out for sometime.
Though TAM is currently in the Star Alliance, they are exiting on March 30th to join the oneworld alliance. For now, you can book TAM flights using Star Alliance miles (ANA, Aeroplan, United, US Airways) as well as AAdvantage miles.
Note that TAM is not yet in the oneworld alliance. You can’t book TAM flights with Avios, for example.
The best deal is with AAdvantage miles, as they charge only 62.5k miles oneway in first class.
Transferring Chase Ultimate rewards to United miles is another interesting redemption, especially in light of United’s horrific devaluation of first class awards. A oneway first class award to Southern South America is 70,000 United miles.
I will likely be transferring some American Express Membership Rewards to Aeroplan miles, as Aeroplan charges 67,500 miles or a oneway first class ticket with no fuel surcharges. I unfortunately spent most of my AAdvantage miles traveling to the Maldives and flying home from Australia.
Do not wait to book these TAM awards, as I can’t guarantee how long the award space will be around!
Hat tip to the Points Guy!