Any advice on the best way to get to Bogota -Colombia from Perth?

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Hey guys. Im planing a trip from Perth to south America being the first stop Bogota. Im fairly new here and wondering if there is a way of getting economy class from Perth to Sydney/Melbourne, business class from Sydney /Melbourne to LA/ Buenos aires/Santiago de chile, and economic for the others (LA to Bogota or Buenos aires/Santiago to Bogota coz those are short trips. Also open to other suggestions including starting trip form another city or country. I do not have frequent flyer points but i can buy in Lifemiles or AA when on sale.

I would really appreciate if someone can give me and idea from where to start.

Many thanks

J

 

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As you are in Perth the easiest and cheapest way is not thru Chile as the business class redemptions are really difficult to get with Qantas to fly to Santiago. And if you go thru America then you pay more money as there are pretty much no redemptions available all the way to Bogota. You have mentioned that you could buy Lifemiles from Avianca, then this is the solution: Buy Lifemiles and redeem for a business class but from Singapore to Bogota (via Istanbul). The following example is all in business class with Turkish Airlines for the Sin – Ist leg which has “flying chefs” not the best and “flashiest” planes but good service in general. Then with Avianca on the new 789 from  Barcelona to Bogota.

Múltiples Aerolíneas  Múltiples Singapore (SIN) 22:00 Bogota (BOG) 21:04 36:04 Múltiples Ejecutiva
          TK55 Singapore (SIN) 22:00 Istanbul (IST) 04:25       0 Ejecutiva
          TK1835 Sabiha Gokcen (SAW) 09:55 Barcelona (BCN) 12:45       0 Ejecutiva
          AV19 Barcelona (BCN) 16:40 Bogota (BOG) 21:04       0 Ejecutiva

There may be options from Kuala Lumpur too, you need to check. I have done Bogota to Kuala Lumpur in Business before (thru Madrid). The above example is for 84,000 miles. As usual with Lifemiles you have the option of paying some money when redeeming instead miles, thus the more money you pay the less miles you use which can be quite useful depending of what you want.

Good luck, Luis

  • Hey Luis. Thanks for your info. Which website did you use to find that flight? I have tried so many and can’t find that route.

    Cheers
    Jay

  • That example is from Lifemiles website precisely…….login and search. However, if you have United MilesPlus they are running a promotion with 100% bonus …you buy 75,000 (max. allowed) and get 75,000 more. They have multiple dates available too.

  • Thanks mate. I was using Avianca website but crushes every now and then. Much easier using lifemiles website.
    Many thanks.
    J

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Miles don’t really work all that well when talking about mixed class fares as it seems you intend to do. As theothergatsby pointed out award seats on your long haul flights, especially in business, are incredibly difficult to come by and the competition is fierce.

My background is with Qantas and I can tell you that although business rewards on flights to either USA or Santiago are both hot property, the USA one’s are infinitely harder to get. Not saying they’re not get-able, but my advice would be to consider going straight to Santiago rather than via the USA.

My other advice would be to look at Qantas flights where possible for redemption on the long haul, because you’ll have premium economy as a fall back option should no business be made available. It’s not business but it’s a massive trade-up comfort wise from economy and if you don’t get any business, rather than waiting and hoping for more seats to be made available which may not come I’d take what you can get in premium and then request an upgrade using miles closer to the travel date.

Your Perth – SYD/MEL/BNE flights are going to be easy as to get, and I’d also rate you a good chance of snagging award seats on Santiago to Bogota flights provided you’re not trying to get away in peak season.

Best of luck!

  • Hey Jimmy. Premium economy sounds good too, but as theothergastby said tickets in South America are pretty expensive. Regarding to upgrading the tickets close to the travel date, If I buy a tickets which involves two or three different airlines, do I have to do the upgrade In every airline independently?

    Many thanks

  • Yes, which sounds like it may suit your needs since you only want to do certain sectors in business class. Qantas has good award availability within South America using LAN or TAM airways and the taxes payable on top of points are reasonable.

  • Thanks for your advice Jimmy.
    Cheers

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There are so many different options for what you’re trying to achieve it’s a bit hard to give advice. When do you intend to fly? If it’s within the next 10 months, it’ll be very difficult to find a business flight to the Americas given not many award seats are released. Also, given you currently have no points, the cost of purchasing the points outright is going to be very expensive, and you should consider whether just buying a business ticket outright might work out cheaper. For example, buying enough AA points to do a return business from SYD>LAX would cost approximately $4100AUD and you wouldn’t earn any status credit or points.

Given you’re happy to fly economy for all flights other than Australia to the Americas, you can just buy them outright as it’ll be easier/cheaper than points. This means you’re looking for one of two flights: Australia – LAX; or Australia – South America. I’d also note you could fly Perth to Auckland as this would open up some of other flights, including an Auckland to Buenos Aires.

Given you don’t have any points and you want to purchase AA or Lifemiles (LM), you can use the following airlines/flights given the partnership arrangements:

  • Australia > LAX
    • AA points
      • Qantas: MEL, SYD, BNE > LAX
      • AA: SYD > LAX
    • LM
      • United: SYD, MEL > LAX
      • Air NZ: AKL > LAX
  • Australia > South America
    • AA points
      • Qantas: SYD > SCL (Santiago)
      • LAN: SYD > AKL > SCL
    • LM
      • Air NZ: AKL > EZE (Buenos Aires)

Finding award seats on these flights is very competitive and not many seats are released. You often have to look either a year in advance, or get lucky when an airline randomly releases the seats a month before the flight. There is heaps of information on this website about how to search for these flights, so you should start your research there.

I would also note that internal one-way flights in South America are very expensive. For example, a one-way flight from Santiago to Bogota is about $1000. LAX to Bogota is around $700.

  • Hi mate, thanks for your advice. I have tried many combinations but it is very expensive or require more than $300k points. Few days ago I checked Qantas and return ticket in business was around $6500 but next day was around $12k :'(. I was planning flying to Colombia end of December this year or Dec 2017.

    Many thanks

    J

  • Hey J, to be perfectly honest I think you would need to re-think perhaps buying a proper ticket. December being the Christmas and New Years peak it’s relatively unheard of for airlines to release ANY award seating because they know they don’t need to. These flights will depart full anyway because it’s just such a peak season for travel.

    You may be able to get availability on some of the very frequently serviced routes i.e. Per – Syd or SCL to BOG where there are flights every hour, but the likelihood of you being able to find availability on long haul flights in December are slim to nil, never mind how prepared you are.

    Qantas, AA and a few other ones have “anyseat” schemes, where your points get horrendously devalued but you can buy literally any seat using points. If points in your chosen program are no obstacle this could be an option for you?

  • I had a look few days ago and buying a seat appears to be best option rather than using points. I’ll keep searching.

    Many thanks

    J

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