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TAM, the largest airline in Brazil, joined oneworld today March 31, 2014.


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The oneworld roster with the addition of TAM.

You can now book a one way flight from the United States to Brazil for 4,000 Avios and $97.50!

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TAM flights are bookable with American Airlines miles and British Airways Avios and searchable on American Airlines and British Airways do not collect fuel surcharges on TAM flights.

TAM has flights between Brazil and New York-JFK, Miami, and Orlando. All three American cities have flights to Rio de Janeiro–Galeão and São Paulo–Guarulhos. Miami also has flights to:

I am very excited about TAM joining oneworld for three reasons:

  1. On short TAM flights, awards will cost very few Avios. For instance, Miami to Manaus is only 12,500 Avios each way or even fewer Avios with the Cash & Avios option.
  2. TAM First Class looks awesome. TAM First Class space is wide open between the US and Brazil, and American Airlines has the cheapest remaining award chart for partner first class redemptions. Between the US and Brazil, American Airlines awards are only 62,500 miles each way in TAM First Class.
  3. TAM segments are now bookable as part of an American Airlines Explorer Award, which is by far the best value around the world award.

Why am I so excited about TAM joining oneworld? What do you need to know about TAM awards?

Avios Prices

All prices are each way in economy. Double them for the business class price. Triple them for the first class price. Don’t forget that Avios awards cost more for each segment flown, so if you have to connect from your home airport to New York, Miami, or Orlando, the price will be higher.

Between New York and:

  • Rio de Janeiro: 25,000 Avios
  • Sao Paulo: 25,000 Avios

Between Orlando and:

  • Rio de Janeiro: 25,000 Avios
  • Sao Paulo: 25,000 Avios

Between Miami and:

  • Rio de Janeiro: 25,000 Avios
  • Sao Paulo: 25,000 Avios
  • Belem: 12,500 Avios
  • Manaus: 12,500 Avios
  • Belo Horizonte: 20,000 Avios
  • Brasilia: 20,000 Avios
  • Fortaleza: 20,000 Avios

You cannot beat a one way flight from the Unite States to Brazil for 12,500 Avios and $2.50!

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Miami to Belem or Manaus for 12,500 Avios each way

If you have a surfeit of Avios, you can consider using them for First Class on TAM flights, but at 75,000 Avios each way, it’s not as good of a price as with American Airlines miles (62,500 AA miles each way.)

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JFK to Sao Paulo in TAM First Class for 75,000 Avios + $2.50 one way

Taxes out of Brazil are very low, so a roundtrip from the United States to Brazil has only $52 in taxes (slightly more if you need connecting flights.) There are no fuel surcharges on TAM segments.

Cash & Avios

I’ve covered Cash & Avios awards in detail. The deal is that you can pay only 30% to 90% of the normal Avios needed and pay extra cash to make up for saving Avios.

On economy awards, you get to “buy” the Avios for about 1.3 cents each. For First and Business Class, the “price” of the Avios you save is much higher.

Here are the price options for a one way award from Miami to Belem in economy.

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You can pay as little as 4,000 Avios and $97.50 for the one way flight! That’s a steal and a half! It works out to “buying” the 8,500 Avios you save at 1.12 cents each.

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You can get the roundtrip for 8,000 Avios and $242. That’s a roundtrip to Brazil for less than a most flights within the US.

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For comparison, the six hour flight goes for $778 roundtrip on the same days as the award availability I found above.

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TAM First Class

TAM flies its 777s with only four First Class seats. Until last month, there was never any award availability in TAM First Class. Then the flood gates opened, and they haven’t closed yet. (I sadly think they will at some point. I can’t shake the fear that this is some awesome, extended mistake.)

One Mile at a Time published some photos last week of TAM First Class, and it looks fantastic, easily the best way to get between the United States and Brazil.

Anywhere in the United States (including Hawaii) to anywhere in Brazil on an itinerary that includes TAM First Class costs only 62,500 American Airlines miles each way. That’s a fantastic deal.

Avios awards are 75,000 Avios each way for just the direct TAM First Class, many more Avios if you need to connect from your home airport or want to continue past Sao Paulo or Rio in Brazil.

Explorer Awards

American Airlines calls its round the world awards Explorer Awards. They are by far the best value round the world awards. They allow unlimited stops on a 16 segment itinerary, and the total price in miles is based on the total distance flown and the cabin of the award.

With TAM in oneworld, its flights can be included on an Explorer Award. How awesome would this award be?

  • Los Angeles to New York in American Airlines’ newest Flagship First Class product
  • New York to Sao Paulo in TAM First
  • Sao Paulo to London in British Airways First (no fuel surcharges on any flights out of Brazil)
  • London to Dubai in Qantas First Class on an A380
  • Not Included in the Award to Save 50k Miles: Dubai to Hong Kong
  • Hong Kong to Los Angeles in Cathay Pacific First Class

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This award would traverse 23,763 in First Class on the nicest products oneworld has to offer for only 230k total American Airlines miles plus government taxes.

The MileValue Award Booking Service specializes in booking Explorer Awards. Contact us today with your dream Explorer Award itinerary today for a price quote.


TAM joined oneworld today. Say hello to Brazil!

Say hello to Brazil for as little as 4,000 Avios and $97 each way. Say hello to Brazil in a world class First Class product for as little as 62,500 American Airlines miles. And say hello to Brazil as part of a round the world trip on an Explorer award booked by the MileValue Award Booking Service.

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