7+ Business Class Award Seats Per Flight Between Two Of The Most Interesting Places You’ll Visit

Some readers scored $1000 business class roundtrips from New York to Easter Island several years ago. And back when British Airways allowed unlimited stopovers on awards Easter Island was a popular destination. However it’s one not as many frequent flyers make it to today.

Great Business Class Award Availability Between Easter Island and Tahiti

Here’s an interesting opportunity. South American mega-carrier LATAM flies to Easter Island. Easter Island is a Chilean territory, so LATAM Chile operates from Santiago.

Once a week on Mondays, though that Boeing 787 continues on from Easter Isand to Tahiti and returns to Easter Island on Tuesday. And award availability on that flight is really good. (HT: OhDoctor)

Searching availability four weeks in a row I find that there are at least 7 (or more) business class award seats on every single flight:

One-way discounted business class runs about $1800 on the route.

British Airways charges 37,500 miles. There are no carrier-imposed surcharges. American charges 30,000 miles for business class, Papeete – Easter Island.

While Easter Island is in the same South Pacific zone as Tahiti, you cannot fly from the U.S. to Easter Island on a single American AAdvantage award. A year ago American started requiring two awards to get to Easter Island (US – Tahiti and Tahiti – Easter Island must be separate awards so you might as well stop over in French Polynesia.)

Get To Tahiti on Air Tahiti Nui

Now that American Airlines allows premium economy award redemption on Air Tahiti Nui (such as Los Angeles – Papeete, Tahiti) getting to French Polynesia with miles is much easier.

Act Soon To Use AAdvantage Miles to Easter Island, Or Wait Until LATAM Partners With Delta

LATAM is expected to leave the oneworld alliance October 1. You’ll be able to use American AAdvantage (or British Airways) miles for travel after that, but only if you book before that. Don’t expect to be able to make changes to awards once LATAM leaves oneworld, however.

Copyright: artzzz / 123RF Stock Photo

LATAM will become a Delta SkyMiles partner of course, and it should be possible to redeem Delta miles for this flight in the future.

Putting The Whole Trip Together

If you’re thinking about the ‘interesting things’ you can do with miles, putting together a trip to French Polynesia and Easter Island has to be up there. You’re not going to want to spend six nights on Easter Island, so you’ll want to look for award space off Easter Ialand to Santiago (or to start in Santiago and do French Polynesia second).

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Huh? Totally not following the logic here. What good is this for US based travelers? I’m usually a fan but you missed the mark, or your Editor was asleep tonight.

  2. Jim A – what? The value of the article is to be measured only by those based in the US? Who can fly from a number of points to Chile and then on to Easter Island? Legitimate information.

  3. Funny that we just booked this for trip in the fall. Got two seats in business LAX/PPT. Saw the availability to Easter Is and decided to do it. We are continuing on to via Santiago to Machu Picchu and Galapagos. Make note that to get from Easter Is to Santiago, there is only one business seat on each of two flights with no coach award seats. Our preferred travel day only had one seat, so one of us is in the back on a cash ticket.
    These flights were 30k using AA miles and must be called in since they are not bookable on the AA website. Availability on the BA website looks to be accurate.
    Once in Santiago, you can use BA avios or Avianca seems to have sale awards available for far fewer miles.

  4. Nope, this is a great deal. I just put it together myself over the last couple of weeks for this summer. Grabbed a business class AA – Air Tahiti Nu ticket from LAX-PPT for 80K Saver Award. The same flight, seats in the front of the cabin are going for just shy of $5K. Will spend 10 days in French Polynesia. Depart PPT for IPC (Easter Island) with a 30K AA-LATAM Business Saver. A great deal for a 30K business Award ticket. Will spend 3 or 4 nights in Easter Island. 110K miles for ~ $7K ticket.

    Great deal IMO. Especially since it goes away once LATAM pulls out of OW. I grabbed it without hesitation when the PPT Awards came available at the same time I saw alot of availability on Business Savers PPT-IPC.

    Haven’t put together the rest of the itinerary, but LATAM flights from IPC to SCL are daily & plentiful & only $1200 in Business. Dirt cheap in Economy. May make an additional stop someplace in South America, where depending on good dates, and a ticket that I can grab a Business or First Saver Award, conveniently back to the states. Or just pay for a cheap ticket back to the states. It’ll still be a bargain for the overall trip given the Award tickets to Tahiti and Easter Island.

  5. I booked 2 RT in J Lax to PPT for January. These are great redemptions so here are a couple of information points:

    – I tried to book the awards thru BA as I was short some miles in my AA account. I rang a UK call center and found out that BA cannot book awards on Air Tahiti Nui. So I was told. So no quick transfer from Amex or other.
    – Business class seats on the return PPT – LAX are scarce so be flexible. Plenty of availability LAX to PPT but not so much on the rebound. I was looking at a return in late March or early April, flexible, but very little joy. The flight down is a day flight so Economy is a valid way to reduce the cost but return is a red eye so J is best.

    – Once you are in PPT the logical next step is Auckland. It is only about 4.5 hours and there are cheap flights every day, like $250 one way economy. Great way to get to New Zealand and Oz while taking a good dose of Tahiti on the way.

    I saw there is a weekly flight to Easter Island. That got me thinking. I put the LAX-PPT award on hold and decided to check out a way to get to Easter Island for less money than I would have to pay to buy AA miles to fill out the award to PPT. SCL to IPC is the logical route. Once I found out that the Tapati festival is first two weeks of February I committed. I flushed the Tahiti tix and found a couple interesting things:

    – Getting to the southern cone is tough, There used to be a 3 X weekly day flight MIA – EZE which offered lots of award availability but that is gone. There is just no way to get to EZE with miles and prices are nuts. SCL is just as bad. But COR is different. I found two seats in J MIA – COR for $1800 each RT. Once you get down there local flights, even across borders, are cheap. COR to SCL is easy, but we will go overland just because it should be cool to cross the Andes.
    – Flights SCL to IPC are all Latam, two or 3 X per day. There are two Web sites, one in English and one in Spanish at Latam.cl. I found two RT SCL – IPC in J for $900 each. Booked them, they ticketed. Same flights on all the US OTA and the English version of Latam were $3 K + . Difference is rules; if you want US rules pay US prices. If you can live with Chilean rules and deal with Spanish, pay Latam.cl prices. I booked the local fares and will deal with any fall out.

    I had to choose between two very cool trips to get us out of the New England winter; LAX – PPT – AKL RT or MIA – COR – SCL – IPC RT I chose the latter. I booked a week at the Park Hyatt Mendoza ($90 each one way COR to MDZ on the other AA) where we will chill with a glass of malbec and a side of beef. Then off to SCL over the Andes and Easter Island. Looking forward to it.

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