Reciprocal Mileage Earn and Redemption Between LATAM and Delta Air Lines to Begin April 1, 2020; Codesharing Flights Expanded

Members of SkyMiles and LATAM Pass will be able to earn and redeem miles in both of the frequent flier loyalty programs across the networks of Delta Air Lines and LATAM Airlines Group respectively effective as of — or after — Wednesday, April 1, 2020 across greater than 435 destinations worldwide, as per this agreement which was officially announced earlier today, Thursday, February 27, 2020.

Reciprocal Mileage Earn and Redemption Between LATAM and Delta Air Lines to Begin April 1, 2020; Codesharing Flights Expanded

LATAM Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplane

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

Reciprocal benefits — including airport lounge access, priority boarding, baggage allowances, and seats — for members of either frequent flier loyalty program who have earned elite tier status are expected to launch later in 2020.

When Delta Air Lines officially announced on Thursday, September 26, 2019 that the airline had entered into a strategic partnership in which it will invest $1.9 billion for a 20 percent equity stake in LATAM Airlines Group S.A. through a public tender offer at $16.00 per share — which was funded principally with newly issued debt and available cash and completed in December of 2019 — it was only a matter of time before the joint venture would strengthen to the point in which the partnership will eventually hold the leading position in five of the top six markets in South America from the United States.

Delta Air Lines bankruptcy emergence Salt Lake City

Photograph ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

Both carriers also continue to expand codesharing more flights across their expansive networks in order to add expanded connectivity for customers. “As a next step, the airline groups have reached agreement to launch codesharing between Delta and LATAM’s affiliate in Brazil beginning in the first half of 2020, subject to governmental and regulatory approvals”, according to the aforementioned announcement. “The agreement will create improved opportunities for customers to connect on up to 65 routes throughout Delta’s U.S. and Canada network and up to 37 LATAM routes in Brazil.”

Codeshared flights are now currently in effect between the affiliates of Delta Air Lines and LATAM in Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru; and these codesharing agreements — which were officially announced on Monday, December 2, 2019 — would provide customers with increased connectivity on up to 74 onward routes in the United States and up to 51 onward routes in South America when they are fully implemented. Codesharing for flights operated by the Colombia and Ecuador affiliates of LATAM Airlines Group are now visible at the official Internet web site of Delta Air Lines; while codesharing for flights to and from Peru will be in effect for flights as of Sunday, March 29, 2020 — pending final approval from the government of Peru.

Additionally, select interline routes connecting the flights which are operated by Delta Air Lines and LATAM are now available for booking tickets on the official direct channels of Delta Air Lines.

Delta Air Lines will co-locate its operations with LATAM Airlines Group in São Paulo–Guarulhos International Airport Terminal 3 effective as of Sunday, March 29, 2020 to facilitate swifter connections for customers. At John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, LATAM has already relocated its operations to Terminal 4 in order to improve the connecting experience for customers traveling onward to flights which are operated by Delta Air Lines.

During the period of time between May 4, 2020 and July 28, 2020, Delta Air Lines will bolster its footprint in south Florida with 13 new daily nonstop flights to Miami International Airport from hubs and top corporate travel destinations around the United States.

Summary

Delta Air Lines Sky Club Concourse B Atlanta airport

Select members of LATAM Pass will eventually be able to access Delta Sky Clubs. Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

Despite the announcements of this strengthening partnership, LATAM Airlines Group is not confirmed to join the SkyTeam airline alliance in the foreseeable future.

I have flown as a passenger aboard airplanes operated by Delta Air Lines countless times over the years and have enjoyed very good experiences. As for LATAM, my only experiences as a passenger was my first time aboard a Boeing 787-9 “Dreamliner” airplane traveling from Santiago to Easter Island — as well as the return flight. Yes, I still have the series of articles pertaining to my trip to Easter Island to finish as well.

Although customers may benefit overall from this new partnership, they also could possibly have fewer choices as well on affected routes, which could mean more expensive airfares…

…but only time will tell, as you will never hear from the marketing departments of airlines as to how customers will be adversely affected by the new partnerships.

All photographs ©2007 and ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

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