This is a very cheap fare for a lie-flat seat to Brazil, with the opportunity to maximise Status Credits earn with Qantas.
Travel must commence in Melbourne and your destination must be Rio de Janeiro.
For your long flight over to South America, you will enjoy the Chilean-Brazilian LATAM’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner with lie-flat Business Class seats with a decent inflight entertainment system.
Keith goes through all the positives and negatives in his overview.
That is unless you choose to max out your Status Credits earn and fly instead via Sydney with Qantas (more on that below).
For price comparison purposes, I consider anything to South America that is under $1000 return to be a great deal in Economy Class, with Business Class usually starting around the $5000 mark.
Arrive: Rio de Janeiro
Stops: Santiago is the only obligatory layover, with Santiago, Buenos Aires, São Paulo, Lima, Sydney and Auckland available as optional stopovers (of which one is complimentary and two additional stopovers are available at US$100 + taxes per stopover); Rio does not count as a stopover, i.e. it is the destination
Dates: 1 March to 30 June 2019; all travel must be completed by this date; 7-night minimum, 3-month maximum stay
Airlines: Long-haul services between Australia and Santiago can be on either LATAM or Qantas; intra-South American services are all on LATAM (some only feature Economy or Economy & Premium Economy); domestic Australian/trans-Tasman flights are on Qantas
Cost: From $3598 in Business Class
The quickest way
Routing: Melbourne – Santiago – Rio (stop) – Santiago – Melbourne
Qantas Status Credits earn: 320
Some more stops
Routing: Melbourne – Santiago – Lima (stop) – Rio (stop) – São Paulo – Buenos Aires (stop) – Santiago – Melbourne
Status Credits earn: 480
If you are looking to maximise Status Credits earn to reach 700 SCs for Qantas Gold (or 600 SCs to maintain that level) and you have time up your sleeve, you may wish to add on extra segments.
Routing: Melbourne – Sydney – Auckland – Santiago – Buenos Aires (stop) – São Paulo – Rio (stop) – São Paulo (stop) – Lima – Santiago – Auckland – Sydney – Melbourne
Status Credits earn: 650
Where to credit points: All Status Credits earn figures have been calculated for Qantas Frequent Flyer members but you could instead choose to credit your points to another oneworld program like Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, American Airlines AAdvantage or British Airways Executive Club, or Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan. Read more in our guide to where to credit points
Lounge access: you’ll gain access to the Qantas International Business Lounge in Melbourne/Sydney and all LATAM and oneworld partner airline lounges along the way