TAM to Join oneworld With LAN Colombia; Restructures Award Loyalty Program

An aircraft operated by TAM taxis on a runway on a rainy day. Photograph by FlyerTalk member so3003. Click on the photograph for a trip report written by so3003.


The LATAM Airlines Group — which is the parent company of LAN Colombia and TAM as a result of the merging of LAN and TAM to become the largest commercial carrier in Latin America — announced today that it will choose the oneworld global alliance, meaning that TAM will leave Star Alliance and join the oneworld alliance sometime in the first half of 2014.
LAN Colombia is also expected to join oneworld sometime later this year. LAN Airlines, LAN Argentina, LAN Ecuador and LAN Peru are already members of oneworld.
While this merger further strengthens the presence of the oneworld alliance in South America and Latin America — already arguable the largest of the three alliances in those regions — Star Alliance loses another airline partner within a month, as US Airways will leave Star Alliance to become a oneworld member once it merges with American Airlines.
Reaction by FlyerTalk members is mixed, whereas the reaction to the changes in the award chart for the TAM Fidelidade frequent flier loyalty program — to be effective as of June 1, 2013 — is considered a “huge devaluation” by some FlyerTalk members despite introducing new benefits and a new elite status level.
The chart to the left shows that a new elite status level called Red Plus will be added and will require 100,000 TAM Fidelidade frequent flier loyalty program points to earn; while the requirements to earn Red and Blue will require 2,000 and 3,000 TAM Fidelidade frequent flier loyalty program points respectively — but Red and Black will have additional or improved benefits. Additionally, you will be able to earn elite status by flight segments.
The cost for obtaining refunds or rescheduling flights will vary according to the fare profile selected and will be charged in cash rather than in TAM Fidelidade frequent flier loyalty program points.
The period of time for redeeming your TAM Fidelidade frequent flier loyalty program points has been expanded from as few as 90 days to 360 days in advance of the scheduled date of your flight.
With exceptions determined by availability, three types of redemption options will be available:

  • Promo for the fewest amount of TAM Fidelidade frequent flier loyalty program points needed to redeem, but you must redeem them well in advance
  • Classic where a standard amount of TAM Fidelidade frequent flier loyalty program points needed to redeem, but you must redeem them in an advance period which is less than Promo
  • Unrestricted will allow you to redeem your TAM Fidelidade frequent flier loyalty program points for even the the last remaining seat on the aircraft closer to the date of departure

 
Unfortunately, some award levels will require increases in the amount of TAM Fidelidade frequent flier loyalty program points needed for award tickets. For example, a round-trip economy class airfare between South America and North America will cost 70,000 TAM Fidelidade frequent flier loyalty program points with a partner airline as well as at the Promo level and anywhere between 80,000 to 140,000 TAM Fidelidade frequent flier loyalty program points with the Classic redemption option; whereas the cost is currently 40,000 TAM Fidelidade frequent flier loyalty program points.

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