Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

British Airways launches new route to Chile – good Avios availability

Links on Head for Points may support the site by paying a commission.  See here for all partner links.

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:

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, 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 and not 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.

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (February 2024)

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

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

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, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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 and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

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

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 9th April) and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

Huge 60,000 points sign-up bonus (until 9th April) and free for a year 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.

Comments (24)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • 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 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?

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.