We’ve all known that the move was coming and that there would be about 180 days of advance warning. Well, today is the 180-day mark. TAM will switch from Star Alliance to oneworld on 31 March 2014. The announcement also included news that LAN Colombia, also part of the LATAM family, is a full member of the oneworld group effective today.
TAM’s move will significantly shift the balance of alliance opportunities in the deep South American market, further bolstering the oneworld domination which LAN and American Airlines already provide. The Star Alliance trio of United, Copa and Avianca/Taca have some presence further north in the region but much less in Brazil, Argentina and Chile.
And for those hoping to use their Star Alliance partner points to book awards on TAM metal we now know the final date that will work. Then again, the limited award availability TAM has means that might have been a pipe dream to begin with.
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Star really should accelerate the joining of Avianca Brasil. It’s nothing close to TAM’s coverage, but at least there’s some strategic presence that could be organically grown if Avianca is smart enough to run a tri-hub strategy of BOG+LIM+GRU
I know JJ/PZ availability is slim to begin with, but assuming it exists — will we be able to book beyond Mar 31 using Star? I’m looking to book in June for the World Cup and I’d prefer more details settled.
My recollection is that TAM doesn’t open up domestic inventory until 90 days out, if at all. Based on that getting those flights for the World Cup will be quite a challenge.
The longhaul flights should be possible, assuming you can get the inventory, but that’s hardly a trivial task.
What’s the best way to check TAM award availability? I see it’s no longer listed on Expertflyer. Thanks!
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