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British Airways launches new route to Chile – good Avios availability

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British Airways announced yesterday that it is starting flights to Santiago de Chile on 3rd January.

This will be the longest British Airways flight on the network.  It clocks in at 14 hours and 40 minutes, 50 minutes longer than the current longest flight to Buenos Aires.

The route will be operated with a 4-class Boeing 787-9.

This is what BA says about Chile:

Santiago de Chile

As the capital and economic centre of Chile, Santiago is a lively and vibrant city and its mild winters and very warm summers make it an ideal year-round destination. There is a wealth of things to see and do, including museums, theatres, restaurants, bars and events throughout the year. Must-sees include the Parque Metropolitano, the Cerro San Cristobal, which provides breath-taking views of the city, the Plaza De Armas, Catedral Metropolitana and the Mercado Central, the city’s bustling central market.

Santiago is an excellent gateway from which to discover the rest of the country. With its close proximity to the Andes mountains, as well as coasts of the Pacific Ocean, it’s an ideal destination for skiers and sun worshipers alike. Mountain climbing, hiking and bike tours are available for sports enthusiasts, with cooking classes and wine tasting tours making for a more relaxed break. And those looking to explore even further can travel onward to Easter Island.

And for those HfP readers who live in Chile:

Those visiting London from Chile will discover an iconic city packed with an eclectic mix of museums, galleries, shops, theatres, markets and nightspots. From royal landmarks such as Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London to the shopping hubs of Oxford Street and Notting Hill; captivating museums such as the Natural History Museum to glittering West End shows, there’s something for everyone.

London is also a convenient gateway from which to explore further afield in the UK. Discover Devon’s picturesque coastal towns, the breath-taking landscape of the Peak District or Manchester’s lively nightlife

Flight times

The flight will leave Heathrow at 10pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, landing into Santiago at 09.40.

The return leaves Santiago at 18.45 on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, landing at Heathrow at 12.05.

These timings seem a little bizarre, as BA is keeping $100m+ of aircraft sitting on the ground for nine hours.

Avios availability

Seats are already showing for Avios redemption.

BA seems to have opened up the expected four World Traveller and two Club World seats per flight, plus an additional two World Traveller Plus seats.  I could not see anything in First Class but the F cabin on the 787-9 has only eight seats.

Unfortunately, ba.com has an issue and you cannot get through to the payment page.  It also does not show the Avios or taxes required.  The flight is 7,228 miles which should make it Zone 9 and therefore a shocking 300,000 Avios in Club World on a peak date and 250,000 Avios off-peak.

It is possible that BA will choose to fudge the numbers and push it into Zone 8 which would be 210,000 / 175,000 for peak / off-peak in Club World.  This is already done on some routes which just sneak into the wrong band.

Tax will presumably be around £500.  Remember that you can save considerable sums by booking the Iberia flight from Madrid to Chile instead.  If you book on iberia.com and not ba.com the Business Class tax figure should be around £150.  More details on booking Iberia redemptions to save tax can be found in this article.

If you want to find out more, British Airways has produced a factsheet on the route which can be downloaded as a PDF here.


British Airways BA Amex American Express

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 2021)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

There are two official British Airways American Express cards. Both have increased sign-up bonuses until 2nd November 2021:

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

10,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 241 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

40,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

The 30,000 points bonus on Amex Gold runs to 9th November 2021. The 60,000 points bonus on The Platinum Card runs to 2nd November 2021.

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies. This card has a limited time offer of 60,000 Avios when you sign up:

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

60,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

Comments (24)

  • Lady London says:

    Also remember that Iberia seems to have some stunning sales on its South American routes (that also sometimes include BA legs)

  • Linda says:

    Slightly O/T…..glad you mentioned BA.com experiencing issues, as I wondered if it was just my problem, the last few weeks has been pretty horrendous with numerous ‘system errors’ ‘time out/refresh’ ‘systems not working’ and future bookings not showing. All this combined with ‘Explorer Map’ being unavailable is making the experience of trying to book very frustrating 🙁

  • Paul says:

    Just booked a 241 CW redemption for next year. Its classed as Zone 9 so serious avios (same as Sydney).

  • Alex says:

    Why does BA start net Lat Am routes instead of using Iberia / LATAM synergies? Isn’t it better to do in partnership with IAG / oneworld and harmonise like it does with AA or Finnair?

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