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LAN Airlines is putting its Boeing 787 Dreamliner into service between Los Angeles and Lima starting July 1st according to airlineroute.net, and the award space is widely available.
Like all LAN longhaul flights, the plane is configured with two cabins, economy and Premium Business with fully flat beds. You can get on the flights from the west coast to Peru for only 17,500 miles each way in economy or 30,000 miles in a fully flat bed–a steal for the 8hr20min flight.
How can you get on the flight and when is the best award availability?
LAN flies two flights a day from Los Angeles to Lima, flight numbers LA 601 and LA 2605. Starting July 2, LAN flight 601 will be operated by a 787 Dreamliner. So will LAN flight 600 from Lima to Los Angeles.
Flights 2605/2606 will be operated by a Boeing 767, which also has lie flat seats in business class, but I’d rather fly the Dreamliner.
LAN’s Dreamliner will feature 30 business class beds in a 2-2-2 configuration. Check out LAN’s dedicated 787 site here.
To search for award space on LAN flights, I use ba.com whether I’ll be using American Airlines miles, British Airways Avios, or any other currency that can be used to book LAN award flights. Here’s a tutorial on using ba.com to book awards.
I searched the first month of the 787 from Lima-Los Angeles-Lima, July 2013, and found no business class award space. But I also checked October 2013 and found tons of award space in business class in both directions. Specifically I found ten days with at least one seat–many with two seats–from Los Angeles to Lima on the Dreamliner in business class.
The outbound, LA601, departs Los Angeles at 2:00 PM and arrives in Lima at 12:20 AM the next day.
The return, LA 600 departs Lima at 1:30 AM and arrive in Los Angeles at 7:45 AM. There were 12 days in October 2013 with one or two business class seats on LAN’s Dreamliner on the route.
If you wanted to book these flights with Avios, the total would be 100k Avios + taxes and no fuel surcharges roundtrip.
Or you can book the award for 50k Avios one way. I recommend neither though, since you can secure the award for way fewer American Airlines miles.
As I discussed in The Best Value Destination for Lie Flat Beds? Peru, Peru is a steal on most award charts because it is the farthest south of its Northern South America region. American Airlines’ chart even puts Peru in the same category as Central America.
That means American charges only 30k miles each way in business class from Los Angeles to Peru.
Taxes would be the same as those collected by British Airways, but you would incur a $25 phone fee per ticket using AA miles since LAN flights aren’t bookable at aa.com. Add it all up and roundtrip in LAN’s flat beds on the brand new 787 would cost only 60k American Airlines miles + $90.
Beyond Los Angeles to Lima having wide open award space in business class on a 787 Dreamliner, I am excited about the route for two reasons.
I flew LAN Premium Business seven years ago on a flat bed from Buenos Aires to Lima. (I showed up to the airport so late that economy had checked in full, and I got a free upgrade!) I found the bed and entertainment system to be awesome though I had nothing to compare it to since I had never flown in a premium cabin.
From the contemporary reviews I’ve read, LAN’s beds and entertainment system continue to get rave reviews. The service and food reviews are decidedly mixed.
Despite those mixed food and service reviews, I’m enthusiastically looking forward to flying this route because:
- I strongly believe the bed is the most important part of a flight. I want to land at my destination rested and ready to go.
- I am not a gourmet, nor do I expect great food from a plane. Incredible service is a real plus, but as long as flight attendants comply with my requests and aren’t overtly rude, I’m OK.
The Beauty of the Route
For those people who live in Los Angeles, a direct route to South America–a rarity–is welcome for the time savings over flying to Dallas or Miami.
Even more importantly, when it comes to an American Airlines award, you can only have a free stopover at your North American International Gateway City–the city where you leave North America or arrive in North America.
If your North American International Gateway City is also your home airport, now you’ve unlocked two Free Oneways on American Airlines Awards per roundtrip. (Or if you live within a short direct flight of Los Angeles on American Airlines or Alaska Airlines, you can enjoy an almost free oneway.)
The good news for beach lovers is that LAN has a published fare from Lima to Honolulu, so you can take your free oneway to Hawaii. If you don’t know what I’m talking abut, you have to check out The Five Cardinal Rules of American Airlines Awards.
LAN has an extensive intra-Peru network, so you can get to all the major cities in Peru if you don’t want a roundtrip to Lima.
Tacking on intra-Peru flights to an American Airlines award from the US to Peru will cost zero extra miles and just a few dollars in taxes.
Getting the Miles
If you’re short American Airlines miles, pick up 86,000 in the next few weeks.
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- Your first eligible checked bag is free*
- Priority Boarding with Group 1 privileges* and 25% savings on eligible in-flight purchases*
- Earn a $100 American Airlines Flight Discount every card membership year with qualifying purchases and card membership renewal*
- Double AAdvantage® miles on eligible American Airlines purchases*
- Earn 10% of your redeemed AAdvantage® miles back – up to 10,000 AAdvantage® miles each calendar year*
- *See full terms and conditions
My dream awards combine great value, a great product, and a great destination. Flying LAN’s 787 Dreamliner from Los Angeles to Peru with a fully flat bed for only 30k miles definitely combines all three criteria.