LAN Airlines is introducing a new nonstop flight between Los Angeles and Santiago, Chile three times per week between October 16, 2016 and March 25, 2017, the South American summer. Normally LAN is extremely stingy with Business Class award space, but right now there are up to seven Business Class awards per flight that you can book for only 50,000 American Airlines miles.Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 1.15.36 AM

There are great connection options to the rest of Chile and Southern South America.

  • How good is LAN Business Class?
  • Where does LAN fly?
  • How many miles do you need and why is this such a good deal?
  • How can you search for and book the award space?
  • How can you get American Airlines miles?

How good is LAN Business Class?

LAN Business Class on its 787 Dreamliner is a world-standard flat bed with six seats per row in a 2-2-2 configuration.

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In that configuration, I always recommend a middle seat, so you and the person next to you both have aisle access without having to climb over each other.Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 10.41.37 AM

How Many Miles Does the Award Cost?

For awards booked by March 21, American charges only 50,000 miles one way in Business Class between the United States and Southern South America

These awards go up to 57,500 miles one way if booked March 22 or later.

How Can You Search and Book the Award Space?

Search on ba.com. For the moment–very likely to change very soon–there is excellent award space from October through December 2016 on nonstop flights between Los Angeles and Santiago in both directions.
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Note that this post is about LA603. LA601 is a “direct” flight with a stop in Lima.

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This flight operates three times a week: Monday, Wednesday, Saturday from Los Angeles and Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday returning to Los Angeles.

There are as many as seven Business Class award seats on the same flight.

Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 12.59.44 AMScreen Shot 2016-02-08 at 1.06.27 AMAs chance would have it, I am in Santiago at the moment. It is the cleanest, wealthiest, safest-feeling city in South America in my extensive experience on the continent. But it’s also a little boring, lagging way behind the culture of Buenos Aires or the food of Peru. So I don’t think I’ll be back any time soon. I’d use this award space to connect somewhere else in Chile or Southern South America (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia on AA’s chart.)

Here is a connection to Punta Arenas, the launching point for the best trek of my life: the W (not the hotel) at Torres del Paine.

Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 12.59.44 AMScreen Shot 2016-02-08 at 1.11.36 AMHere is award space to Puerto Montt, where I haven’t been.

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You could also easily connect this award space to Sant Cruz, Bolivia (high on my list) or the in-town airport in Buenos Aires.

Note the date, cabin, and flight number of the award space you like. If necessary, pair it with American Airlines or Alaska Airlines domestic award space you search on aa.com as part of a segment-by-segment searching strategy. Once you’ve found all your space, call American Airlines at 800-882-8880 to book the award by feeding the agent the date, cabin, and flight number of each flight. There is no longer a phone booking fee to book awards that cannot be booked at aa.com, so you’ll just pay the miles plus about $100 in taxes for a roundtrip to Chile.

Alternatively, instead of booking now, you can put the award space on hold for five days for free when you call American Airlines.

How Can You Get American Airlines Miles?

Right now the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® and CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard® are each offering 50,000 bonus American Airlines miles after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open. Don’t be thrown off by the word “Platinum.” Both cards have no annual fee the first 12 months, and then $95.

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Get both cards and meet the $6,000 total spending requirement to have over 106,000 American Airlines miles.

Bottom Line

Book–or put on hold–LAN Business Class award space to South America today with your American Airlines miles. LAN is normally very stingy with its flat bed award space to South America, so book it or put it on hold today, and plan your trip to South America for its summer 2016/2017 while your friends are stuck in winter.

Hat Tip One Mile at a Time

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