oneworld Airline TAM’s New “Fifth Freedom” Route is a Great Opportunity to Use British Airways Avios and Also Save on Fuel Surcharges!

Brazil-based oneworld member airline TAM is going to start flying New York JFK – Toronto 5 days a week effective March 28 and will launch daily Brasilia – Orlando service effective June 12. Both routes will use 767s. (HT: World Airline News)

This news is much more interesting than it would at first appear.

A Great British Airways Avios Redemption

New York – Toronto is another great use of British Airways Avios — 4500 points one-way in economy, 9000 points in business class.

Business class can be worthwhile on such a short route because:

  • It gets you an increased baggage allowance
  • As well as priority airport services

For folks without airline status, an incremental 4500 points can be worth it just for baggage.

Already American Airlines flies the route, and the forward cabin is considered business rather than first, which means it’s double points with British Airways rather than triple. But TAM will be flying it with international equipment.

A Great Fuel Surcharge Savings Opportunity

Fuel surcharges to and from the US can often be lower than Canada. That means our Canadian friends can book themselves a ticket back to the US and save. And just grab this (or an American) flight back from New York for very few points.

This even works to save on fuel surcharges with award tickets. No ‘fuel dump‘ required.

(Separately you should always try pricing awards as one-ways rather than roundtrips to see if you’ll save on these charges as well.)

TAM, as a Brazilian airline, doesn’t add fuel surcharges onto their tickets at all. So Brasilia – Orlando is another flight you can redeem without paying those on awards even when using a mileage program that otherwise sticks you with those junk fees.


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. As a Brazilian, let me chime in:
    – TAM adds fuel surcharges ex-Europe. I’ve paid them once (rookie mistake)
    – as I’ve read in Brazilian blogs, JFK-YYZ should feature TAM’s new “premium business”, which has full lie-flats, albeit 2-2-2. Older planes feature an angled-flat 2-3-2

  2. How does luggage work when stringing together legs booked with Avios? For example, YYZ-JFK-CDG-MAD in biz. Do I get the across ocean JFK-CDG biz baggage limit on all the legs? What if there is a stopover of more than one day? Thanx.

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