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The calendar is turning to Summer below the equator, and it’s not too late to book yourself an award to escape the cold in the United States.

Many airlines release unsold seats as Saver award space in the last weeks, days, or even hours before a flight. I searched for award space between Miami and several South American cities on American Airlines for the next few weeks to see what American’s pattern of last-second award space will be this South American Summer.

American Airlines miles have the best award space to South America on American Airlines and LAN Airlines flights. Right now the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® comes with 50,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.

If you got the card today, and spent $3,000 on it in the first month, you’d have 53,000 American Airlines miles around the New Year. That’s more than enough for a roundtrip to Northern South America including Peru and just short of the 60,000 miles needed for a roundtrip to Southern South America.

  • What is the award space to Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru and more for the next few weeks?
  • What is the award space in economy, business, and first class?
  • Where can you search and book this award space?

I searched from Miami to several South American destinations on aa.com. If you don’t live in Miami, you can easily connect there on American Airlines flights for zero extra miles.

Searching aa.com means that award space on LAN Airlines flights will NOT appear. Search for LAN space on ba.com and book it by calling American Airlines at 800-882-8880.

All award searches are for two people. Light green represents a day with 2 award seats at the Saver level in economy, light blue is Saver business, and light purple is Saver first class.

For Southern South America (Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia) in the South American summer, the prices are:

  • 30k miles each way in economy
  • 50k miles each way in business
  • 62.5k miles each way in First Class

Here’s a trip report of flying American Airlines First Class to Buenos Aires.

All American Airlines awards booked within three weeks of departure, incur a $75 fee.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

For Buenos Aires, there is award space in all three cabins in the next three weeks. The only pattern of last second award space that I’ve spotted on this route is that First Class award space seems to be opened up six days in advance.

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 1.24.00 PMScreen Shot 2014-11-20 at 1.24.16 PMScreen Shot 2014-11-20 at 1.24.07 PM

Santiago, Chile

Santiago has a ton of economy award space for the next three weeks, and only a little business class space for two people.

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 1.25.15 PMScreen Shot 2014-11-20 at 1.25.21 PM

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio shows a lot of economy award space and a bit of business and first class space. Oddly the first class space is not available for this week but for 2-3 weeks out.

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 1.26.10 PM

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 1.26.16 PMScreen Shot 2014-11-20 at 1.26.21 PM

Montevideo, Uruguay

Montevideo is downright boring compared to its neighbor Buenos Aires, but it is the gateway to Uruguay, which features interesting resorts in Punta del Este and Colonia.

The two-cabin flight has plenty of economy award space and a bit of business class space in the next week.Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 1.26.48 PMScreen Shot 2014-11-20 at 1.26.53 PM

Asuncion, Paraguay

Asuncion is the place to go if you want to see everywhere with your own eyes, though it is mostly bereft of attractions and tourists. There is economy award space on the route in the next three weeks, but no business class space. Maybe the route is selling well in business.

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 1.27.25 PM

Lima, Peru

Lima is cheaper than every other destination in this post at only 17.5k miles each way in economy and 30k in business. Here is a full post on getting to Machu Picchu and Peru with miles.

Like Asuncion, there is no business class award space. There is economy award space most of the next two weeks.

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 1.27.50 PM

How to Use This Info

The best way to guess how last-second award space will be released on the route you want is by tracking its last-second award space over time.

Bottom Line

I’m already in South America for the Summer, but I keep reading about the snow in the United States with a mix of pity and glee–mostly the former.

Joining me down here in the summertime is quite easy because American Airlines releases a lot of last second award space to its huge South American network in all cabins.

Even if you don’t currently have any American Airlines miles, right now the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® comes with 50,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months, so no excuses.




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