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I first read from View from the Wing about a new frequent flier program from Copa Airlines. Currently Copa Airlines uses MileagePlus, the frequent flyer program of its Star Alliance partner United, but later this year they will be introducing their own frequent flyer program, called Copa Connect Miles.
(SEE ALSO: Introduction to Air alliances)
Copa Connect Miles award chart
Copa Airlines has said that their Copa Connect Miles will be able to be redeemed for flights on Star Alliance and other partner airlines, but they have not released their partner award chart, but they have released the award chart for flights on Copa Airlines itself.
As you can see, Copa flies primarily in Central and South America. They have not yet said whether they will assess fuel surcharges on award flights, but Gary at View from the Wing seems to think (and I tend to agree with him) that fuel surcharges are not common in the Americas and his guess would be that they would NOT assess fuel surcharges. That still remains to be seen as they introduce their Copa ConnectMiles program.
Comparing the Copa ConnectMiles award chart using the Mile Matrix
If we look at the Mile Matrix app, we can compare the published Copa ConnectMiles award chart with the current equivalent on Copa’s Star Alliance partner: United Airlines
Generally speaking, the miles required for Saver redemptions on Copa Airlines are competitive with United’s redemption costs.
- United charges 17,500 miles to go from the US to Central America or the Caribbean – Copa will charge only 15,000.
- United charges 20,000 miles from the US to Northern South America, and 30,000 to go to Southern South America. Copa’s prices are only 15,000 and 25,000 miles.
- United has no special award chart for Panama or Colombia (where Copa is headquartered), but Copa ConnectMiles has several cheaper redemptions going to/from Panama and Colombia
- Central America to Central America / Caribbean / Northern South America – 10,000 miles on United and 7500 miles on Copa.
There are only a few increases compare
- From Mexico to the Caribbean or Northern South America – 10,000 on United and 12,500 on Copa.
- From Central America to Southern South America – 10,000 on United and 20,000 on Copa.
A lot of the usefulness of Copa ConnectMiles may be dependent on how easy it is to accrue Copa Connect Miles. They promise that they’ll have a co-branded credit card, and we can hope for some bank transfer partners as well (Chase Ultimate Rewards, anyone?). As far as earning miles throgh flying, View from the Wing suggests that Copa may be a good place to credit flights on United Airlines, now that United has gone to revenue-based earning.
1000 free miles from Copa Connect miles
To get 1000 free miles from Copa Connect Miles, sign up for updates on the Copa Connect Miles site by April 30th. If you use the same email address to subscribe that you later use to register for a Copa Connect Miles account, they’ll give you 1000 free miles. They say that enrollment will start in mid-May 2015 and the program will start in July 2015.