LATAM Pass is the loyalty program of LATAM — an airline created when LAN and TAM merged in 2012. Recently, the airline left the Oneworld alliance after Delta Air Lines purchased 20% of the South American airline , making waves in the region’s travel industry.
Unfortunately, the airline has been hard-hit by the coronavirus-fueled travel downturn. It filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy here in the U.S. and was later delisted from the New York Stock Exchange. Through all of this, though, the airline has said it will continue to operate as it restructures.
In a post-coronavirus world, LATAM will likely have a larger U.S. presence as it works to cooperate with Delta Air Lines. The two airlines still plan on creating a gateway hub in Miami (MIA), which would give American Airlines — Miami’s largest carrier — a run for its money.
This expansion means we’ll likely see more LATAM planes stateside, so you should be familiar with it if you’re a miles and points enthusiast. I think that we’ll continue to see the program grow after coronavirus and possibly become an American Express or Chase transfer partner.
In this article, I’ll give you the lowdown on the LATAM Pass program. I’ll start by discussing the program’s partners and then move onto elite status, redeeming miles and earning miles.
Let’s get started!
New to The Points Guy? Sign up for our daily newsletter and check out our beginner’s guide.
In This Post
While LATAM is no longer in Oneworld, it’s maintained a handful of partnerships with Oneworld carriers for codesharing, reciprocal points earning and more. Here’s a quick look at the airlines you can earn and redeem LATAM Pass miles with.
Alaska Airlines is a Seattle-based domestic carrier in the U.S. You can earn and redeem LATAM Pass miles on most Alaska flights, including on the airline’s limited international route network.
Austrian Airlines is a Star Alliance carrier based in Vienna, Austria. You can earn and redeem LATAM Pass miles on the airline — to earn, just add your LATAM Pass frequent flyer number to your Austrian ticket.
Azul is a Brazillian low-cost carrier that operates both domestic and international flights from the country. LATAM and Azul’s partnership allows members to earn and redeem LATAM miles on most Azul flights.
British Airways is a London based carrier that operates flights to all corners of the world. LATAM and British Airways have continued its partnership despite LATAM leaving Oneworld, giving you an easy way to earn LATAM Pass miles when flying to, from and around Europe.
Cathay Pacific is the flag carrier of Hong Kong. Like British Airways, it has maintained its partnership with LATAM. You can earn and redeem miles on Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon flights.
Delta Air Lines
As discussed earlier, Delta owns 20% of LATAM. Because of this, the two airlines allow reciprocal mileage earning and redemption. LATAM and Delta elites also enjoy reciprocal elite status benefits when flying.
For example, LATAM Platinum (and higher) members can access Delta lounges, enjoy priority boarding and check additional bags for free when flying on Delta Air Lines. You can view the full list of benefits on LATAM’s website.
Related: Delta Air Lines stands by new partner LATAM, despite bankruptcy
Finnair is Finland’s international airline, offering flights to Europe, Asia, North America and beyond. LATAM will continue its partnership with Finnair, allowing members to earn and redeem miles when flying the airline.
Iberia is Spain’s flagship airline that offers domestic and international flights from the country. The airline will continue its partnership with LATAM, letting members earn and redeem points when flying with Iberia.
Japan Airlines is an international airline with hubs in various Japanese cities. You can earn and redeem LATAM pass miles on most of these flights, making it even easier to fly to Japan for your next international vacation.
Lufthansa is the largest airline in Germany, offering flights to major cities around the world. Like other airlines listed here, you can earn and redeem LATAM Pass miles on Lufthansa flights.
Malaysia Airlines is another Oneworld airline that LATAM will keep as a partner. The airline is the largest in Malaysia, providing connections around Asia. You can earn and redeem LATAM Pass miles on most of the airline’s routes.
Qantas is Australia’s flag carrier, which operates domestic and international flights from the country’s biggest cities. You can earn and redeem LATAM Pass miles on all of Qantas’ routes.
Qatar Airways is a Doha-based carrier with an excellent Qsuites business class product. This Oneworld carrier plans to stay partnered with LATAM despite its Oneworld departure, so you can continue to earn and redeem with Qatar.
You can earn and redeem LATAM Pass miles on Royal Jordanian flights. The airline is based in Amman, Jordan and offers flights around the Middle East and Asia, Europe and major North American cities like New York-JFK and Montreal (YUL).
S7 Airlines is a Russian airline that mostly focuses on domestic flights. You can earn and redeem LATAM Pass miles with the airline, including its limited international flights to Europe and Asia.
SriLankan Airlines is an international airline in SriLanka that flies to 113 destinations worldwide. You can earn and redeem LATAM Pass miles on all of these routes — a huge benefit for those who travel in Asia.
Finally, we have Swiss Airlines. Swiss is another Lufthansa Group airline that offers international flights from Zurich (ZRH) and Geneva (GVA) to North America, Asia, Europe and beyond.
Related: Your guide to airline partners and award charts
LATAM elite status
Like most airlines, LATAM has various elite status tiers that offer varying degrees of benefits on LATAM and select partner airlines like Delta. These include things like seat assignment, free checked baggage and more — let’s take a look.
Related: Complete guide to airline elite status during the coronavirus outbreak
LATAM Gold status
LATAM Gold status is the airline’s low-tier status. It includes a handful of benefits that frequent travelers may find useful, but it won’t give you an ultra-luxurious travel experience. Here’s a quick look at the benefits:
- Courtesy upgrade with coupons: Gold members get two coupons per year to use for a one-class upgrade. We’ll discuss these certificates later in this section.
- Seat selection on domestic flights: You can select a seat free of charge on all LATAM domestic flights in South American countries.
- Priority check-in: You can check-in at a priority counter reserved for elite status members.
- Priority baggage: Your bags will deplane first on international flights.
- Maternity leave: You can extend elite status for one year when pregnant.
LATAM Gold Plus status
Things get a little more interesting with Gold Plus status. LATAM Gold Plus includes all of the standard Gold benefits plus the following:
- Courtesy upgrade with coupons: Enjoy four upgrade certificates every year you maintain Gold Plus status.
- Priority boarding: Board the plane before regular travelers.
- Flexibility on domestic flights: move to an earlier or later flight on the same day when flying on domestic LATAM flights.
LATAM Platinum status
Platinum is the airline’s mid-tier status, which adds many additional benefits over Gold and Gold Plus. Some of these include better seat selection and extra checked bags. Note that this tier includes all previously mentioned benefits.
- Courtesy upgrades with coupons: You’re eligible for six upgrade certificates every year you have Platinum status.
- LATAM+ seat selection: Select preferred seats on domestic and international LATAM flights. These generally have more legroom and — in some cases — a footrest.
- Priority baggage: You and a single companion’s bags will deplane first on international flights.
- LATAM lounge access: Access to all LATAM VIP lounges when traveling with LATAM. These are located in major cities in South America and Miami (MIA).
- Associated lounge access: Access select partner airlines when flying with LATAM or a partner. You can view a list of partner lounges on LATAM’s website.
- Fast track in New York City: Access to a priority security lane at New York-JFK for you and a companion.
- Preferred contact center access: Platinum and higher elites have access to a dedicated contact center.
- Free bassinet: Access to a free bassinet when flying with a child.
LATAM Black status
LATAM Black is the second-highest status tier. It includes various high-end perks as well as all of the benefits listed earlier. Here’s a look:
- Courtesy upgrades with coupons: You’re eligible for unlimited upgrade coupons and six coupons for a companion.
- Seat selection on international and domestic flights: Free seat assignments on all LATAM flights for you and one companion.
- LATAM+ seat selection: Select LATAM+ seat assignments for you and one companion.
- Priority baggage: You and a single companion’s bags will deplane first on domestic and international flights.
- Flexibility on international flights: move to an earlier or later flight on the same day when flying on domestic LATAM flights.
- Preferential support: A LATAM representative will contact you via WhatsApp if your flight is canceled, delayed or otherwise disrupted and help you find further accommodation.
LATAM Black Signature status
Finally, we have Black Signature status. Like Gold Plus, this is an enhanced version of standard Black status.
- Priority baggage: You and all travel companion’s bags will deplane first on domestic and international flights.
- Special Services: An enhanced version of the Black tier’s “Preferential Support” that comes in handy when rebooking disrupted flights.
Using upgrade coupons on LATAM flights
As you can see, each upgrade tier is given a set number of upgrade coupons per year, with Black and Black Signature members getting unlimited upgrade certificates. You can use these certificates to upgrade LATAM flights by one class.
That said, there are some restrictions in place. You must book a Plus or Top fare to use your upgrade certificates. These are generally more expensive than the cheapest fares available, but it may be worthwhile if you can score a cabin upgrade.
You can apply an upgrade coupon to your flight 48 hours before departure. All upgrades are processed based on availability and prioritized by status. This means that if there’s only one business class seat available, a Black Signature member would have upgrade priority over a Platinum member.
The number of coupons required for travel depends on where you’re traveling. Longer flights require more coupons. For example, a flight from New York-JFK to Lima (LIM) costs two coupons per leg while a flight from Sao Paulo (GRU) to London (LHR) costs three coupons per leg. You can see how many coupons each flight requires for an upgrade on LATAM’s website.
Earning miles with LATAM Pass
Unfortunately, it isn’t easy to earn LATAM Pass miles here in the U.S. The most popular options include flying on airline partners, using cobrand credit cards and transferring Marriott Bonvoy points.
Earning LATAM Pass miles by flying
As you’d expect, you can earn LATAM Pass miles when you fly with LATAM and its partner airlines. That said, you’ll earn miles differently when flying with LATAM and partner airlines — let’s break down the process for both.
Earning miles on LATAM flights
Like most U.S. airlines, you’ll earn miles on LATAM flights based on ticket cost. The number of miles you’ll earn depends on the flight’s cost before taxes and your status tier. Those without status will earn 5 miles per dollar spent, meaning that a $1,000 flight earns 5,000 miles.
Elite status members earn bonus miles on all flights. You’ll find how many miles per dollar each status tier earns below — here’s a look:
|Status Tier||Points Earned Per Dollar|
|Gold Plus||7x points|
|Black Signature||11x points|
This means the same $1,000 flight would earn 11,000 miles. This is a massive benefit to earning elite status since you can more quickly earn miles towards your next award ticket.
Earning miles on partner flights
On the other hand, partner flights earn miles based on the flight’s fare class and length. Each airline has its own earning chart — you can see each airline’s earning chart on LATAM’s website.
To find the miles you’ll earn on a partner flight, use GCMap.com to find your flight distance. Next, find the airline’s earning chart and multiply the flight’s length by the percentage listed to the right of your ticket’s fare class.
For example, an Alaska Airlines flight from Seattle (SEA) to New York-JFK booked in P fare first class would earn 3,026 LATAM Pass miles. This is because the flight is 2,421 miles long and Alaska Airlines issues 125% miles flown.
Transfer points from Marriott Bonvoy
Like most airlines, LATAM Pass is a transfer partner of Marriott Bonvoy. You can transfer Marriott Bonvoy points to LATAM Pass at a 3:1 ratio, with 60,000 point transfers getting a 5,000-mile bonus. This means 60,000 Marriott points equals 25,000 LATAM Pass miles.
Consider applying for one of these Marriott credit cards:
- Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card: Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
- Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card: Earn 75,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card: Earn up to 125,000 Marriott Bonvoy points: 100,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months. Plus, earn an additional 25,000 bonus points after your first anniversary of card membership. Offer ends 1/13/2021.
Related: When does it make sense to transfer Marriott points to airlines?
Spend on LATAM cobranded credit cards
Likewise, LATAM has a suite of three different cobranded credit cards from U.S. Bank. Each of these cards has its own set of benefits, welcome bonuses and other benefits.
LATAM Visa Signature Card
The $75 per year LATAM Visa Signature Card is the airline’s top tier card. It includes various flight benefits like three annual upgrade certificates, 20% off LATAM flights (up to $1,000 annually), and a 20,000 point bonus after your first purchase. It also includes an annual 4,000-mile bonus, lets you earn 25% bonus miles on flights and $1,000,000 in travel accident insurance.
The card earns 2x miles per dollar spent on LATAM purchases and 1 mile per dollar everywhere else. The card is pretty lackluster for earning points but has excellent benefits for frequent flyers.
LATAM Visa Card
Alternatively, the $45 per year LATAM Visa Card has a 15,000 point bonus after first purchase, 10% off LATAM flights (up to $500) and 2,000 bonus miles per year. Plus, it has $500,000 in travel accident insurance. It earns 1x points per dollar on all purchases.
We don’t recommend applying for this credit card. In most cases, you’re better off opening something like the Chase Sapphire Preferred for a higher welcome bonus and better points earning. Plus, you can book LATAM flights through the Chase Travel Portal.
LATAM Visa Secured Card
Finally, we have the LATAM Visa Signature Card. This secured credit card is for those who are new to credit as it requires a deposit equal to the credit line. It has a suite of limited benefits like a 5,000-mile welcome bonus, 10% off LATAM flights (up to $500) and $500 in travel accident insurance. This card costs $25 per year and earns 1x mile per dollar spent on all purchases.
Related: The 6 best starter cards for building your credit
Book hotels with RocketMiles
RocketMiles is an online hotel booking portal that lets you earn airline miles, Amazon gift cards and other perks when booking hotels. LATAM Pass is a partner, giving you yet another option for earning LATAM Pass miles.
The number of miles you earn depends on how much you spend on your stay. In addition, featured hotels (shown as “Top Offers”) also earn more points. We’ve found that prices are generally comparable to booking direct, but make sure to cross-check prices with other Online Travel Agencies and the hotel’s official website.
But there’s a catch: you generally won’t earn hotel points or get hotel elite status benefits when booking through RocketMiles. This is because most hotels require you to book directly to take advantage of these benefits. Do the math and see if hotel points or LATAM Pass miles work best for your points portfolio.
Related: Should I use Rocketmiles to book hotel rooms?
Redeeming miles with LATAM Pass
Now for the fun part: redeeming LATAM Pass miles. Like most loyalty programs, you can use your LATAM Pass miles for LATAM flights and partner awards. We’ll dive deeper into award pricing and how to redeem miles.
Related: How to redeem miles for flights on LATAM
Booking LATAM flights with LATAM Pass miles
LATAM doesn’t publish an award chart for its own flights, nor does it disclose how they are priced. According to a support article on the airline’s website, the “number of miles or points you need to redeem your ticket depends on the destination and cabin you want to travel in.”
In practice, this means that LATAM award tickets are generally priced by distance and by leg. I found that a nonstop economy flight from New York-JFK to Sao Paulo (GRU) costs 41,200 miles on various dates. On the other hand, a flight via Lima (LIM) cost 82,500 miles.
This was pretty consistent across the board. A nonstop economy flight from Los Angeles (LAX) to Lima (LIM) costs 15,000 miles on various dates, while a connecting ticket cost 31,950 miles.
Long story short: you must search for your award ticket to find pricing. This is an annoying process, but it’s the only way to see pricing for each award ticket since the airline doesn’t publish an award chart for its own flights.
You can book LATAM award tickets online
Thankfully, it’s easy to find LATAM award tickets online. Just head to the LATAM website and login to your account. Enter your flight search information on the homepage and click the “Use your LATAM Pass Points“ button. All award flights will appear on-screen.
One thing to note: you can’t view the taxes and fees associated with each ticket unless you have enough miles to book a ticket. Call LATAM Pass to get a tax quote if you’re transferring miles from Marriott Bonvoy to book a ticket.
Booking partner flights with LATAM Pass miles
Here’s where things get really frustrating. The LATAM website shows an extremely reasonable award chart for partner awards — we’ve posted a copy below. Under this award chart, you could book flights to Europe on partner airlines for less than 40,000 miles one-way.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. According to this chart, a 3,643-mile flight from New York-JFK to Amsterdam (AMS) on Delta Air Lines should cost just 37,500 miles in Delta One. In practice, however, the LATAM website shows a 108,000-mile price for a one-way business class ticket.
A flight from New York-JFK to London (LHR) showed the same price, leading me to believe that LATAM’s award chart is simply outdated. As a final test, I looked for a Qatar Airways flight from Doha (DOH) to New York-JFK in business class. This flight was priced at 120,000 miles, significantly higher than the award chart’s 96,500-mile rate.
Until LATAM updates its partner award chart, you’re stuck finding prices by searching for them on the airline’s website. Unfortunately, the prices we’re seeing are not competitive with other airline loyalty programs, so we recommend you steer clear of transferring points to LATAM for the time being.
In this article, we gave you the lowdown of the program and discussed partner airlines, elite status, mileage earning and redemption. It’s hard to earn these miles right now, but there’s a good chance that we’ll see them become more ubiquitous after the coronavirus travel downturn subsides with Delta’s new investment.
Feature photo by Philip Pilosian/Shutterstock
SPONSORED: With states reopening, enjoying a meal from a restaurant no longer just means curbside pickup.
And when you do spend on dining, you should use a credit card that will maximize your rewards and potentially even score special discounts. Thanks to temporary card bonuses and changes due to coronavirus, you may even be able to score a meal at your favorite restaurant for free.
These are the best credit cards for dining out, taking out, and ordering in to maximize every meal purchase.
Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
Source: Read Full Article