Fly From JFK To Toronto For 4.5K Avios Or $94…And Get 141 Pounds Of Free Luggage! Also: When Redeeming Avios For Business Pays For Itself

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Brazilian carrier TAM has announced that they will start flying nonstop between JFK and Toronto. The flight will operate once daily on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday effective 03/29/15.

It’s a tag-on flight from Sao Paulo and operated so that the 767 doesn’t just sit parked at JFK all day.  It’s a 5th freedom route that allows a foreign carrier to sell tickets on select routes between 2 other countries.  Similar to the JFK-Vancouver 777 route that is sold by Cathay Pacific.

When a foreign carrier operates a route within 1 other country, like Qantas’ JFK-Los Angeles route, it can only be booked when continuing onto Australia.   However the TAM and Cathay routes can be booked by themselves and offer some of the most comfortable seats you’ll find between the US and Canada.

It’s a route that used to be flown by TAM’s merger partner LAN, but that ended a few years ago.

TAM allows 2 free 32KG (70.5 pound) bags on all tickets from the US and Canada, so you’ll get 141 pounds of free checked luggage.

Introductory pricing on the route can be had from JFK to Toronto one-way for $94 and from Toronto to JFK for $128.  If you have 2×50 pound checked bags on other airlines that can set you back $60 each way. 2×70 pound checked bags on American would set you back $260 each way.

Those fares are bookable now on Orbitz.

TAM is a OneWorld airline, so you can use Avios for this route.  The rates are the same as for flights on American, 4.5K Avios in coach and 9K Avios in business each way.

However TAM is currently only releasing 1 coach award seat per flight.  I do expect them to release more award seats as we get closer to the start of these flights.

Want to travel with lots of bags on an award without waiting for that to happen?

You can redeem 9K Avios for a one-way business class flight on American and get 3 free 70 pound bags for a total of 210 pounds of free checked luggage.  That’s an awesome business class redemption, just 4.5K extra miles to go to a business class and from no free bags to 3 free bags!

3×50 pound bags on a coach ticket would set you back $210 each way. 3×70 pound bags on a coach ticket would set you back $510 each way!  Or use a business award to get that for free.

You can earn 50K Avios on the Chase British Airways Visa which has the annual fee waived for a limited time only.

Currently there is a 40% bonus for transferring AMEX MR points into Avios. That means that a round-trip business class redemption with 3 free bags each way will take just 13K AMEX points!

On domestic flights BA charges triple the Avios for business class.

However on international flights it’s just double the Avios, so it’s worth bearing in mind that flying in American business class comes with 3 free bags as it will often make sense to splurge for the extra 4.5K or 7.5K Avios just to get the free bags.

So the next time you use Avios to fly on a short flight to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, or Central America do it in business if you will have several checked bags.

If you’re a family consider flying 1 or 2 members in business to get 3 free bags each.  If you just want to sit together they’ll be happy to seat you all in coach and you’ll just have used the extra Avios for the free bags 😀

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24 Comments On "Fly From JFK To Toronto For 4.5K Avios Or $94…And Get 141 Pounds Of Free Luggage! Also: When Redeeming Avios For Business Pays For Itself"

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Happy Thanksgiving

9,000 avios for a bed one way for an hour plus?! great chal hamoed trip!!


Is the BA card churnable


Yes, just open a new BA account number.


Dan, are there any American/OneWorld partners that can get me from Boston to Toronto for points? American used to have a flight from Boston but canceled it a few years back. 9000 points beats 15000 on aeroplan or United.


On domestic flights BA charges triple the Avios for business class.


“On domestic flights BA charges triple the Avios for business class”
What do u mean with that ?
You just said that it’s 9k avios miles for busniess that’s double not triple


@Happy Thanksgiving:

Officially if you didn’t get the bonus in the past 24 months you can get it again.
Sooner than that, YMMV, but there have been positive reports on DDF.

You would have to connect, so it would be 9K Avios each way.

Question? Statement?

Last I checked Toronto isn’t domestic.


Seriously? One goes first class on LAN and gets a bed for YYZ-JFK? Also, is it not triple the points with Avios? You quote prices to fly YYZ-JFK but what if one uses Avios points?


Angled flat bed.

The rates are in this post, read it again.
Or look here:


@David: jfk-yyz is an international destination. So for example jfk-bos first class would cost 13.5k.


Dan, when flying with American to Montreal can I book business?


While BA seems to price business class as double coach for American flights to Caribbean, this does not appear to be true for US Airways where they still charge triple. Am I correct here? I really wish I could get flights like PHL-PUJ on US Air’s A330 in J to price as “Business” on the BA chart but they always come up as “First”. Anything I can do to get some consistency here?


BA tells me that you can’t redemm avios to use with TAM. Its only partners on paying tickets



The new refurbished LAN planes which TAM gets it’s 767’s from are all fully flat bed, great product.


why does it say a flight is $94 and when I go on the website its $221??

need some sun

Any airport I can land in to go to Miami for only 4.5 k avios instead of 9k?

need some sun

leaving from nyc (mistake in previous comment meant 4.5 instead of 7.5)


Hey Dan!

If i only have an amex blue card can i make the transfer?
It doesnt seem to let me



Dan will Tam fly Montreal as well or only tronto?

Thank you.


Hi Dan,
If I buy on Orbitz, their American site, a one way from Toronto to JFK, will I be charged a foreign transaction charge, or is $128 the final price?


the text said that a flight is $94 and when I went on the site it was $200???!!!


@Avi: You can fly BUF-BOS and catch megabus at BUF airport to/from downtown Toronto.


Hi Dan,
Thank you for your wonderful service and for keeping everyone informed and up to date.

Do you know what TAM’s lap child policy would be between JFK-YYZ? I would like to book with avios.



Link to visa card with 40,000 points not working – the website I found only has 25K bonus points – is there another link?