LANPASS Awards for Short Haul American Airlines Flights

Please note this site has financial relationships with American Express and this post may contain affiliate links. Read my Advertiser Disclosure policy here to learn more about my partners.

Since the British Airways award chart will be starting at 7,500 Avios required for short-haul flights instead of the current 4,500 Avios beginning in February, many of us are brainstorming our next move for short-haul flights.  As I said here, I think that programs like Southwest Airlines will actually be the best for many domestic short-haul redemptions once the British Airways award chart change kicks in, but for times that Southwest doesn’t work it pays to have a good back-up plan.

LANPASS Offers Short Haul Awards for Partners Like American Airlines

One frequent flyer program that still has a distance based award chart for OneWorld and other partners such as American Airlines is LANPASS. I have said many times that once you get a decent mastery of the US based frequent flyer programs, you need to become at least moderately aware of some of the foreign based programs because they can sometimes offer some better redemption values for certain flights.

LANPASS

LANPASS operates in kilometers, so keep that in mind when looking at their award chart.  They offer short-haul awards on OneWorld partner airlines from 1 – 500 kms (1 – 310 miles) for 6,000 kms, flights from 501 – 750 kms (311 – 466 miles) will cost you 8,000 kms, and flights from 751 – 1,000 kms (311 – 621 miles) will cost you 9,000 kms.  You can view the entire award chart here, but I’ll stop with that amount for now since British Airways flights that are up to 1,151 miles are just 7,500 Avios, which will often be the better alternative once you get into some medium length flights.

How to Earn LANPASS Kilometers

Even if you don’t have any LANPASS kilometers currently you can transfer them from Starwood Preferred guest at a rate of 1 SPG point = 1.5 LANPASS kilometer.  With the 5,000 point bonus when transferring 20,000 SPG points you will end up with 37,500 LANPASS kilometers.  There is also a LANPASS credit card offered via US Bank that offers a sign-up bonus of 20,000 kilometers currently.

Via the SPG method, this means that each SPG point transferred is really worth 1.875 LANPASS kilometers.  In other words, a 6,000 km award booked for flights 310 miles or less would cost you “just” 3,200 SPG points if you transfer to LANPASS in blocks of 20k SPG points.  In contrast, that same 310 mile or less flight booked via the new British Airways award chart would cost you at least 7,500 Avios.

For example, a flight such as New York – Washington DC will ring at 7,500 British Airways Avios as of the February change, or just 6,000 km (3,200 SPG points) via LANPASS.  However, with LANPASS you will need to book a round trip award where you can book one-way via British Airways.

LANPASS Award Booking Rules

 

I called LANPASS to make a test booking today at 1-866-435-9526, and on that call learned that they seem to charge by segment as British Airways does, so this program will work best for short nonstop routes.  They do allow a stopover or open-jaw (within the same region) on their round trip awards.

On my call the agent was pleasant enough, but was unable to find the American Airlines operated award flights that should have been there.  I didn’t push the issue since I was just looking for some award pricing examples, but the call was very complicated for what should have been some simple example bookings.  I also didn’t like that I couldn’t make the American Airlines operated award reservations online.  So, if you want to utilize LANPASS just be ready for some extra hoops and headaches over booking online via British Airways.

Also keep in mind that transfers from SPG to LANPASS are not instant, and LANPASS kilometers expire roughly after three years.  To be more specific, kilometers earned by flying are valid for a period of 36 months after they are earned. Kilometers earned by using the services of LANPASS-associated businesses are valid for three calendar years. Independent of the limitations stated above, If you fly with LAN and earn one or more kilometers for the flight, all your kilometers will be revalidated for another 36 months.

SPG to LANPASS Award Cost Examples

 

1 – 500 kms (1 – 310 miles) for 6,000 kms (3,200 SPG points) Example route NYC – Washington DC

501 – 750 kms (311 – 466 miles) will cost you 8,000 kms (4,267 SPG points) NYC – Montreal

751 – 1,000 kms (312 – 621 miles) will cost you 9,000 kms (4,800 SPG points) Dallas – Nashville

1,001 – 1,300 kms (622 – 802 miles) will cost you 10,000 kms (5,333 SPG points) NYC – Chicago

Is LANPASS Worth It

For nonstop short-haul flights that you want to fly on a partner like American Airlines, LANPASS can be worth it if you have a viable way to earn LANPASS miles or are willing to spend valuable SPG points in that fashion (which I’m generally not).  I think there will be a niche market of people who will truly do better for short haul awards focusing on LANPASS rather than earning Ultimate Rewards to transfer to British Airways or similar.  However, if you fall into that category then it is good to have this program as an alternative for very short haul awards.

Have you used LANPASS for short haul awards on partners?  What tips do you have to share?

Comments

  1. SPG to LANPASS is not just not instantaneous–it can be downright torture. My understanding, before I ditched the idea of ever using them, is that the SPG transfer makes it on to a piece of paper somewhere. A piece of paper. The attendants go through and periodically run the transfers; some horror stories I read spoke of weeks going by before their transfer went through! And as you discovered, customer service (not just with LAN, but throughout Latin American airlines) tends to be spotty at best, if not vaguely adversarial.

    All of that to say, the British devaluation is really bad. 🙁

  2. I think I would rather spend 7500 Avios (which are much easier to accumulate with UR and MR–even with the transfer ratio deval) than drop 3,200 SPG, for the shortest flight, or 5,333 for the longest listed above. And as you mentioned earlier–Southwest and Jet Blue are easily the best options for short haul redemptions after the devaluation anyway.

    Obviously, you might get a higher overall return on the SPG on the airline. For a quick look, I saw redemption rate on a random weekend in Toronto for 7,000 or $119 cash (i.e. 1.7 return). On the short haul examples above, you could easily get 7.0 return or better (a $200 flight at 3,200 is 6.25 return). But, SPG points are so much harder to accumulate and the hotels typically are lower in required points, making your URs more valuable as a transfer to Avios (even at 7500) or to Southwest, if domestic, than as a transfer to Hyatt or other hotel brands. Additionally, a lot of times it would just be cheaper to buy the hotel room.

    I guess the flip side of that argument is, there are always hotel options, while there are not always different flight options. So, you could use other points for IHG, Hyatt, etc while using SPG for Lanpass. I just hate the idea of feeling like I am “wasting” SPG points on Lanpass, which is what this feels like.

    How is there no other transfer partner to Lanpass? Stupid BA and its stupid devaluation.

  3. *Scratch that. I think the Toronto hotel was 12,000 SPG. Still, doesn’t change my thoughts on “wasting” SPG points. But granted, it severely weakens it 🙂

  4. Lan awards can be great for flights on the Lan award chart. Intra-Chile or Intra Argentina can be a bargain. Lan also has periodic sales wherby USA to Chile or Argentina is 70k km in economy or 150k in business. They just ran a 50% off km purchase that would make a. RT from New York to Santiago just 1500 in Premium Business. Definitely lots of value, but perhaps for a niche market.

  5. The bonus offer is 20,000 miles not kilometers for first use. There is actually an offer for 30,000 miles (48,000 kilometers) for first use and 45 transactions within first 90 days. That can easily be accomplished by Amazon reloads in 50 cent increments. That bonus is enough for 4 roundtrip flights for the shortest distance. That’s like using 36,000 British Airways points under the old mileage system. That’s pretty good for a credit card that is overlooked. I would argue with the devaluation getting this credit card and saving the SPG points for British Airways or another favorite airline is a no-brainier.

  6. Answer: transfer BA avios to Iberia avios. Redemptions are distance based only – not segments! So 2-hop short flights are far far cheaper. Counts like one segment. Which is great.

  7. It was a torture to use lanpass miles on AA. I had the lanpass credit card, and expiration date on bonus miles is actually less than 3 years. It is between 2 to 3 years depending when you get your bonus. The best use of the miles should be on its own, not AA. Last time I booked on AA took 3 tries. The final one took well over 30 minutes, just for the booking part. It involves so many different steps. Never want to do it again even I still have 10K KM left, expiring at the end of next year.

  8. I have made many LAN redemptions and find the process terribly, terribly use unfriendly. The most simple booking can take a half hour to achieve. Perhaps if they can upgrade their online systems to permit online bookings, there will be more promise. But I am at the point of just saying never again, Ill pay for short flights.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *