Friday, January 22nd, 2010, 12:05 am
Starwood AMEX Linky
It’s been over 2 years since I transferred Starpoints into LAN kilometers but I finally got a chance to redeem them.
20,000 Starpoints transfer into 50,000 LAN kilometers. At the time I used the often overlooked Starwood Night and Flights option by redeeming 60,000 Starpoints for 5 nights at the former Sheraton Jerusalem and 100,000 LAN kilometers.
Originally I had planned to use them to go to Brazil for just 48,000 kilometers, but I haven’t (yet) been able to coerce myself back into the country where I launched this site ever since I was nearly killed there in a riot in 2007…
I was looking for tickets for people to go from NYC and Chicago to Montreal and was in shock at the $400 prices. I was able to redeem 16,000 kilometers for a round-trip NYC-Montreal ticket, 18,000 kilometers for an open-jaw NYC-Montreal-Chicago ticket, and 20,000 kilometers for a round-trip Chicago-Montreal ticket. All of those flights were on AA.
LAN does make you jump through some hoops to redeem award tickets when the account holder isn’t traveling. I had to fax them a copy of my drivers license and an authorization form in order to redeem my kilometers. Some of the agents working there are extremely helpful and patient while others are unintelligible or just downright nasty.
The taxes on the tickets were just under $40, which is slightly less than what AA charges! Plus LAN has no expedite fees and has free date changes.
Redeeming 16,000 kilometers for a NYC-Montreal ticket that would’ve cost $400 is a great deal. At a 2:5 ratio it cost me only 6,400 Starpoints for the round trip ticket. Even when you account for backing out the $40 in taxes, the value per Starpoint is still over 5.5 cents, which clears my threshold for redeeming Starpoints!
All in all there are some very good redemption options on the LAN OneWorld chart, but (as I explained in the related article linked to above) they are primarily only good for short nonstop flights.