Delta & LATAM Launch Reciprocal Frequent Flyer Benefits

Filed Under: Delta, LATAM

In September 2019 it was announced that Delta would be buying a 20% stake in LATAM, and that the two airlines would be forming a joint venture.

There is significant work required to fully execute on the partnership, as LATAM currently belongs to oneworld, though LATAM will be leaving oneworld as of May 1, 2020.

In late February we learned more details about the timeline for frequent flyer reciprocity between the two airlines. This post is an update on that, as the reciprocity between the two airlines is now live.

Reciprocal mileage earning & redemptions now live

Delta and LATAM have introduced reciprocal mileage earning and redemptions as of yesterday, April 1, 2020. Here’s the Delta SkyMiles mileage earning chart for travel on LATAM:

As you can see, mileage earning is more or less in line with what Delta offers on their other “close” partners (typically joint venture partners), including Aeromexico, Korean Air, Virgin Atlantic, etc.

It’s now also possible to redeem Delta SkyMiles for travel on LATAM. While Delta’s website suggests that LATAM awards are bookable online, I don’t actually see any availability, so you may need to call to book.

For now there’s an overlapping period where you can earn and redeem oneworld miles or Delta SkyMiles for travel on LATAM.

Soon you’ll be able to earn and redeem SkyMiles on LATAM

Reciprocal benefits coming later in 2020

Interestingly as of now no details have been announced of reciprocal elite benefits between the two airlines, like reciprocal lounge access, priority check-in, boarding, seating, etc. I imagine details of this will be revealed soon.

Delta and LATAM say that we can expect this to launch “later in 2020.”

Expect Delta & LATAM to offer reciprocal lounge access later this year

Delta & LATAM co-located in Sao Paulo

As of February 1, 2020, Delta and LATAM co-located in Terminal 4 at New York JFK.

They just completed the next stage of that — as of March 29, 2020, Delta joined LATAM at Terminal 3 at Sao Paulo Guarulhos International Airport. At least that was the plan, though I’m not sure how that went down in light of the current situation.

This facilitates easier connections between the two airlines.

Delta will be moving to Terminal 3 in Sao Paulo

Delta & LATAM have expanded codesharing

Delta and LATAM started codesharing early in 2020, with LATAM’s operations in Colombia and Ecuador being the first to get codeshares, and LATAM’s operations in Peru getting codeshares as of a few days ago.

Next up, codeshares are planned between Delta and LATAM Brazil beginning in the first half of 2020, subject to government approval. This would cover 37 LATAM routes from Brazil, and 65 Delta routes from the US.

When fully implemented, these codeshares provide connectivity on up to 74 routes from the US and up to 51 routes from South America.

Delta & LATAM are progressively rolling out codeshares

Bottom line

I’m sad to see LATAM leaving oneworld, though it’s at least nice to see the pace at which Delta and LATAM are moving forward. It’s now possible to earn and redeem Delta SkyMiles on LATAM, which is a nice development.

I’m quite surprised that the two airlines aren’t introducing reciprocal elite benefits until “later” in 2020, since you’d think they’d want to make the experience as seamless as possible sooner rather than later.

What do you make of Delta & LATAM expanding reciprocity?

Comments
  1. LATAM is dead to me. They used to have a really nice first class soft product, but when that went away, my love for them did too.

  2. If LATAM joins Skyteam they will be the first airline to have been member of all 3 alliances (TAM were in *A before)

  3. @Lucky – Maybe I’m missing something here, but what about LATAM’s Argentina operations? Will those also be wrapped up in the codeshare expansion? Do earn and burn opportunities exist there, too? Cuz Aerolineas Argentinas and their flying fax machines are…not optimal

  4. To Bobby J, Latam has not invested in Argentina for more than 15 years, so it would be detrimental for Delta to switch partner. Latam has for domestic flights 13 A320 with a fleet age of 16,7 years, Aerolineas for the same market + some regional flights has 43 B737 with a fleet age of 6,7 + 26 E190 with a fleet age of 8,3. It is true that Aerolineas has its quirks, particularly with union issues but there is no doubt regarding whom you would prefer to partner in Argentina for the domestic market nowadays.

  5. Carlos

    I disagree. It is not just the hard product, the soft product of AR is awful. Also the earnings rates on AR crediting to Delta or vice versa are just useless.

    Giving the new low cost options in the country I would say it is better to not have any partner for intra Argentina flights. And Latam can serve the entire south america, so that is points for them.

  6. @Ryan: OK. Enjoy flying GOL and American First to South America, I guess.

    Or not fly to South America at all because the destination is serviced by none of your fancy First carriers fly there (and to 75% of the world).

  7. @lucky

    I just thought about this. You’ve done hundreds and hundreds of airplane and seat reviews. But if we stay on the ground for moths and with all these service changes and possible plane and seat configuration changed occurring…. you might have to start all over lol.

  8. It looks like the Aeromexico and China Eastern trick (getting 40% of distance flown for MQDs) is possible with LATAM but only on the most expensive business-class airfares, not all business-class. That stinks.

  9. Right now Delta is dead broke. I don’t know how they can afford to buying 20% stake of LATAM. Let’s see how things will turn out in the next few months.

  10. Finally Delta has moved to T3 at GRU. It was the only of the US airlines and one of the only international airlines operating from T2 which is a dump. T3 was built brand new for the World Cup in 2014 and it is the only thing that is kind of pleasant to see at the GRU airport.

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