Trick To Saving On Domestic LATAM Peru Flights

Filed Under: LATAM

Yesterday Ford and I planned a pretty last minute trip to Peru, which we’re both excited about:

  • Neither of us have ever been to Peru
  • Hopefully I can review LATAM’s new 767 business class
  • There are some cool points hotels I plan on reviewing
  • I’ll also be reviewing some other cool experiences, including my first overnight train ride

I’ll talk more about that trip in a future post, but in this post wanted to focus on one thing I noticed while booking some domestic flights within Peru.

LATAM’s Peru website is way cheaper than their US site

When it comes to booking domestic LATAM flights, I noticed that LATAM Peru’s website was way cheaper than their US website.

For example, a one-way economy ticket from Lima to Cusco cost $66 on LATAM’s US website…

…and cost $39 on LATAM’s Peru website.

Want to fly LATAM’s new domestic premium economy instead? A one-way premium economy ticket from Lima to Cusco cost $189 on LATAM’s US website…

…and cost $78 on LATAM’s Peru website.

Can foreigners use LATAM Peru’s website?

It’s not terribly uncommon to see airlines charge different fares based on the point of sale or based on the country website you’re using.

LATAM’s Peru website is super easy to access — just select “Peru” as the country on the top of the LATAM website when accessing from any country, and then you’ll be brought there (or you can just go directly to the URL for it). I don’t believe there’s an English version, though you can always have your browser translate the page.

My major concern was whether these fares were exclusively for Peruvian citizens. It’s not unusual to see airlines have different fares for residents of certain countries. I took to Twitter and asked, and dozens of people chimed in with helpful insights.

Responses were mixed:

  • Some warned that these were resident fares but you’re unlikely to be caught if you avoid human contact as much as possible (use online check-in, don’t check bags, etc.)
  • Others said foreigners will have big issues booking these because they’ll be rejected when entering US passport info
  • Others said they’re not resident fares, and anyone can book these

One user linked to this news story, which suggests that these used to be fares for Peruvian residents, but as of late 2017, that’s no longer the case. That stance is supported by many others as well. It also makes sense to me, since I don’t see the restriction listed anywhere on LATAM’s website during the booking process.

So that leads me to believe that these fares through LATAM’s Peru website aren’t actually resident fares, but rather just fares for people who know to check the Peruvian website.

Bottom line

While it doesn’t seem like there are any savings on international flights, you can save big on domestic LATAM Peru flights by booking through LATAM’s Peruvian website. Best I can tell these fares aren’t restricted to residents, neither in theory nor in practice.

Note that this advice is specific to domestic flights within Peru. It’s my understanding that LATAM Ecuador and LATAM Chile still have lower fares for residents (whether or not that’s enforced is a different story).

When you search Google Flights you’ll even see the warning about fares only being for residents, like the below search for a Quito to Guayaquil flight.

Does anyone have recent experience with saving money by using a certain country website from an airline? 

Comments
  1. The fares aren’t actually any different, it’s just that lower fare classes are available in Peru vs US Point of Sale.

  2. I’ve done this on several occasions on LATAM in Chile and Colombia without issue. For reference I checked bags and dealt with staff as well.

  3. I have booked these fares numerous times with both LATAM and Avianca with zero issues. You should be just fine.

  4. With Avianca booking in advance can make short domestic flights A LOT cheaper. Multiple times I have booked tickets 6-8 months out and the price for domestic business class is literally half that of economy class. Not that the difference between business and economy is that big, the seat is like a domestic US first-class seat and since the flights are so short the difference in service is basically non-existent, but if you have no *A elite status the use of the lounge and priority queues is a nice added bonus.

  5. yes. these flights are fine to book. not sure the issue now, but when i tried 6 months ago, it is tough to find a US credit card that can be accepted by the website

  6. As @James says, they are different fare classes with different restrictions in most cases. I found similar savings with Egyptair Egypt website.

  7. Or maybe it was Nicaragua, not Guatemala? But I’m still curious if you’re intentionally avoiding Asia and Europe at the moment.

  8. Have done this before, wouldn’t let me checkin online. In person I was told I did not qualify for this fare class as it’s only available to Peruvian citizens. Had to pay the fare difference and fee. Be careful.

  9. Just imagine a US airline that offered a lower fare for Americans.

    Wouldn’t last three days before righteous indignation on social media or an unelected judge shut it down.

  10. Lucky,
    Just flew LATAM through Chile, Brazil, Paraguay & Argentina. Buying fares not on the website of the country of travel eg Brazil for Brazil is asking to pay much higher.

    Sometimes, LATAM has system problems and won’t accept your card. This happened with a huge system problem from 11-15 Feb. 2020 but when it won’t let you pay, press the cancel payment and it will generate a booking reference number which you can call LATAM to ticket without charges.

    Their website(s) at times are infernal but the savings using each country’s website certainly add up.

  11. I’ll be flying from Lima to Cusco on one of these Peruvian fares in a couple of weeks.

    For my partner and I it represented a savings of about $400CAD. I did a few minutes of research and it seems it’s largely hassle free, and certainly within my risk comfort.

    Also just noticed the seat map is the new configuration for our flight out of LAX. Yay.

  12. Funny, I just did this myself yesterday on both the LATAM Peru and Chile websites and was going to write about it…

  13. I’ve been living in Lima since the start of this year and can confirm you’ll have no problem with the cheaper fares. I noticed the same distinction after ITA matrix kept finding better deals and I realized the LATAM site wasn’t offering the same fare classes when I was connected to a US IP address via VPN. Enjoy!

    PS long time reader and heading to Cusco myself this Monday with my boyfriend and some friends. Maybe we’ll run into y’all 😉

  14. * BE ADVIZED *
    Legally, residents fares are not discriminatory in that any resident of Peru in this case, regardless of nationality, is eligible to these lower “resident fares” that in their eyes LAN/LATAM market as a kind of *subsidy* to a lower income country, to foster sales against a very well developped bus industry : longer, true, but way cheaper.

    Now, by buying on the Peruvian website, or any other national LATAM site for that matter, you are contractually declaring you are a resident of a country, which you are not. That is a both cheapo in terms of image and behavior, and what is more, a breach of contract whereby LATAM can deny you boarding – I doubt you’d win your case in court.

    That said, it seems the system is rather permisive per the testimonies up-page, but with your visibility and this very post, your chances of going unnoticed may have thinned a bit.
    But if you do beat the system, I suggest you hush, let alone brag about, it coz :
    1) it is terrible image wise, supposing you care
    2) morally it is no different from that idiot who sneaked his way into biz faking an injury
    3) and you may trigger LATAM into tightening their controls at the expense of the thousands who undoubtedly use it and go noticed : some get killed for much less ( like soccer players scoring against their team ).

    Last, Peru is one country where flying has a huge opportunity cost : I get it that you review airlines, but its magnifiscent landscape command to travel by road. In fact, I had a big laugh at how a couple of peruvian bus companies offer premiun cabin buses, i.e. Cruz del Sur – forgot the other’s name, has excelent service all with breathtaking scenery : personal IFE, personal blankets ear plugs, fully flat biz seats ( 3 per row ), dedicated “FA”, meals and free beverages, security video “this bus has 4 emergency exits, two at the front, one at the back, one on the roof, for you security our journey is monitored by satelite”, etc.

  15. Different fares for residents and foreigners where abolished one or two years ago.
    No issues booking via Peruvian latam page and flying…

  16. Air New Zealand has a large difference between their NZ site and their US one. A few years ago, I was looking at a round trip between Auckland and Christchurch for USD $278. The exact same itinerary on the NZ site: NZD $138!

  17. When I tried to book the lower fares in 2018 on the Peruvian website I couldnʻt select United States as an option for country when filling in the required fields for phone number, passport, address etc. I called and they said it was their way of making sure I use the US website with higher fares. I thought about selecting American Samoa or Puerto Rico, but decided that a couple hundred dollars was not worth having my travel plans disrupted (Amazon cruise and Machu Picchu tour) just in case it became an issue when I checked in.

  18. I have used Peruvian website, I am not local resident, I have check in luggage, but there wasn’t any issue. So go for it.

  19. Tried this with Aerolineas the other day. When I went pay it asked me for some identification nbr. Had to pay non-residents rate. Enjoy Peru. Hi hike the Inca trail. Macchu Picchu was fun!

  20. I booked a roundtrip from Lima to Cusco on the Peruvian site back in November 2016. Very cheap but when I wanted to check in at the check in desk, I was told that I did book a fare that was for Peruvian residents only. I had to pay a penalty of about $ 160 to be allowed on the flight. Maybe things have changed now and like you mentioned, using online check in is a good thing to avoid human contacts.

  21. You must check the Priority Pass lounge on the domestic side of the airport. I was there several years ago (so don’t know if it’s changed) and it gets my vote for worst lounge ever. (The lounge on the international side got redone last year or two and is better.)
    Enjoy the Andean Explorer train! It’s fantastic.

  22. I recently booked several internal flights in Peru using Agoda flights web site,prices were a lot cheaper than other sites.
    Added luggage and picked seats through LATAM website,

  23. I used Avios for a flight from Peru to Argentina last year. I don’t remember the details, but it was a very good redemption value based on the price on google flights.

    On a side note, when I check in on line, the Latam app generated another record locator for me and I received Avios for the flight!

  24. @Ricky – I agree! Was there about 5 years ago in the middle of the night and the domestic lounge was terrible. It probably should also get the award for smallest lounge ever.

  25. @OneWorld Thank you for your candid viewpoint. I was so impressed by your mention of Cruz del Sur busses that I googled them and they do look great. Especially traveling across the awesome country so you can not only enjoy the scenery but also meet others at a more leisurely pace. On my bucket list now. 🙂
    Your points on trying to game the airline system are well-taken.

  26. You can book the fare on the Peru website. I confirmed with LATAM’s social media team via Twitter. The only catch is that it’s pretty difficult to book it without a Peruvian issued credit card. US credit cards don’t go through. I tried booking it with a Chase card and it was denied. Chase support had no idea how to override the denial. I ended up booking the LIM-CUS flight with BA avios.

  27. I live in Brazil, and I am Brazilian. Last year, we bought Latam Peru tickets on the Peruvian website for a group of 20 people, from Puerto Maldonado do Lima, much better price than on the Brazilian website, we had no problem, paying with Brazilian credit cards, check in with our Brazilian passports and checking in bags.
    Five years ago I traveled from Lima to Arequipa with a Peruvian friend, I had to pay a higher airfare even though the ticket was bought in Peru.

  28. Used the Chilean LATAM website saving ~50% on fares for 3 round trips within Chile in the last month, including Easter Island. No issues.

  29. I jus back from Peru and Brazil . I booked ticket in Brazil and Peru site to get the cheaper fare . No one stop me at any point . Beware when u in Cusco airport, enter immigration an hour prior departure. I enter 40 mins prior and immigration stop me. At the end find out flight departed 20mins earlier than scheduled time , that mean including taxing , gate was closed 30 mins prior departure.

  30. Beware when u in Cusco airport, enter immigration an hour prior departure. I enter 40 mins prior and immigration stop me. At the end find out flight departed 20mins earlier than scheduled time , that mean including taxing , gate was closed 30 mins prior departure. I jus back from Peru and Brazil . I booked ticket in Brazil and Peru site to get the cheaper fare . No one stop me at any point

  31. Beware when u in Cusco airport, enter immigration an hour prior departure. I enter 40 mins prior and immigration stop me. At the end find out flight departed 20mins earlier than scheduled time , that mean including taxing , gate was closed 30 mins prior departure.

  32. I booked Aerolineas with an American passport with no issue. I checked in luggage with a human and no issue until the airline announced a strike as we were ready to board.

    Latam has super cheap flights to Easter Island when you switch to Peru.

  33. You’ll have no problems. I travel with a US passport and just spent 4 months in Peru, Chile, Ecuador (October to January). I booked 100% of my flights directly on the LATAM site in each respective country’s page after researching restrictions extensively – they’re a thing of the past.

    In total I took 9 domestic flights across these countries.

    I had zero issues. Generally checked-in online for convenience, but I also went to gate agents a few times to change seats, etc.

    I’m American Platinum Pro and was afforded upgrades to front row seating and free seat selection – though no business class or premium economy existed.

  34. The local fares work just fine. Wife and I just completed a RT Santiago to Easter island in J on Latam. Booked it from the US, used a US credit card, entered a US passport number. Checked bags. Cost on latam.cl was $900. Cost on latam.us or any US ota was $3200. Did the same for Santiago to Puerto Montt. Difference is US rules vs Chile rules, per Google flights.

    Flying next Thursday from Bariloche to Buenos Aires, Latam dude at the airport helped me book the flight. paying local fares Don’t believe most of what you see on Twitter, mostly twits on Twitter.

  35. Did this in December in Chile, as local website was literally $150 less per ticket. Checked in online and showed mobile boarding pass at gate, no questions asked.

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