TAM makes it official: They’re leaving Star Alliance

The news that Brazilian airline TAM is leaving Star Alliance isn’t particularly surprising. The Chilean courts mandated the move and have given the airline two years from the close of its merger with LAN to be out. That merger closed last week, at the same time as Avianca/Taca and Copa joined Star Alliance, so the clock is ticking.

Interestingly, however, it is still not clear where TAM is headed. From an article in a Brazilian paper:

According to Mauricio Amaro, Chairman of the Board of Latam, the holding company combining LAN and TAM that was officially established yesterday, in the coming months the group will decide whether TAM will join the LAN’s alliance, Oneworld, or "will be independent."

While the LAN/TAM merger is building a unified loyalty program (launching this coming week!) and integrating sales and schedule arrangements, apparently they aren’t quite ready to commit to fully unifying the two brands into a single operation. And that includes keeping options open for the TAM side.

Once TAM announces its exit from Star Alliance there will be a six-month wrap-up period. A small consolation and certainly better than situations like bmi‘s departure following their acquisition by IAG.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. I am looking to fly from Rio to Buenos Aires in late November, returning in mid December, and want to credit the miles to US Airways DM. Will the 6-month wrap up allow me to do this flying Tam (neither Avianca nor Copa fly this route)?

  2. Off topic, but I didn’t see a simpler way to contact you.

    El AL changed the codes for award inventory. Can you double check that your excellent tool get the economy awards properly? It seems to have an overdose of availability. (its possible that they release a different amount to their AA partner, though.

  3. Personally, I think it’s silly to think that they’d do anything but join oneWorld. I know they’re trying to build suspense, but it’s coming for sure. It’s just my opinion, but I’d put serious money on it.

    1. I agree that they’re likely to end up in OneWorld, but until that’s actually announced it will be an interesting situation to watch it play out.

      I’ll look in to the LY award inventory change.

  4. I haven’t made my GIG/EZE reservation yet, and won’t until I can clear my US Chairman’s upgrade to GIG. Am I still safe with being able to get *A credit for a Tam RT in Nov/Dec?

    1. Yes, BrooxH, I think you’re probably still fine. Do pay attention to fare classes and such in terms of what earns in the US DM program, but the’ll still be in *A at that point, I think.

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