Back in January I realized trying to book tickets for our South America trip on LAN using American Airlines and British Airways miles was futile. Many blogs make it seem so easy but it often isn’t. I had been trying to book for months but LAN was not opening up the flights we needed for partner awards. The flights we were trying to book weren’t cheap either–Mendoza to El Calafate to Buenos Aires cost $777 per ticket for the 3-leg trip. Using money to purchase tickets is really stupid when you can get miles for free so we both applied for the LANPASS Signature Vissa credit card. Easy! Now we have free flights on LAN!
LANPASS Signature Visa by US Bank
I applied first and got 20,000 miles with my first purchase, which translates into 32,168 kilometers. LAN calculates free flights by kilometers and each of our 3-leg tickets cost 35,000 kilometers. I referred my husband, Bob, for a bonus of 5,000 miles through LAN’s Refer a Friend Program but Bob had to do a little extra spending to earn enough for the ticket. My miles posted as soon as I paid the first month’s bill. Unfortunately, Bob’s bonus and extra miles got screwed up and we had to make many calls to both LAN and Visa to finally get the miles posted after 4 billing cycles. As each month passed I was worried LAN wouldn’t have any reward seats left but fortunately they did when we were ready to book.
Booking By Using LANPASS Customer Service
When planning this trip, I contacted LAN directly and was told LANPASS only allows roundtrip award flights. We didn’t want to go back to Mendoza because our final destination is Buenos Aires, which serves as the connection from El Calafate to Mendoza. I had found a few work-around ideas on the Internet to avoid a leg from Buenos Aires back to Mendoza but none of them were working for me. However, when I called LANPASS directly after we got the miles/kilometers and were ready to book, I was completely surprised when the representative allowed me to book only three segments therefore using fewer miles/kilometers. Each ticket only cost $9.20 for a service fee!
A Little Hassle Saved us $1500!
The hassle we had with the posting of Bob’s miles/kilometers is very unusual and yet in my opinion it was still worth it to save $1500. And I’m happy to say that every single flight on our upcoming South American trip this fall is completely FREE except for a few minor service fees that add up to less than $100 total.
Here is a List of Our FREE Flights for Our Upcoming Trip…
1. Los Angeles to Lima in Business Class
2. Lima to Cuzco
3. Cuzco to Santiago
(We will take a bus across the Andes to Mendoza)
4. Mendoza to El Calafate
5. El Calafate to Buenos Aires
6. Buenos Aires to Miami (to spend a few days over Thanksgiving in Miami)
7. Miami to Los Angeles