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A few weeks ago, I wrote about how my wife and I are planning to head to Peru next summer. Peru is actually a bit of a sweet spot in many award charts, especially those that divide South America into 2 zones. Peru is typically the southernmost city in “Northern” South America.
Peru’s spot was the reason that a LAX-LIM flight won my competition of the longest airline routes and the cheapest miles to fly them (4180 miles for 15K AAdvantage miles (at the time) off-peak
Miles to get to Peru
The absolute best miles to get from the US to Peru are American Airlines. Business class one way is 30K miles. Other good options for lie flat seats to Peru are
- United Airlines – 35,000 miles
- Alaska Airlines – 30,000 miles if you fly American, or 45,000 miles if you fly LAN
- Avianca – 40,000 miles
If you’re flying economy instead of lie flat seats to Peru, American at 17,500 miles off-peak (or 20,000 miles during peak times)
Flights with Lie Flat seats to Peru
Not all of the longhaul flights are lie flat seats to Peru. You’ll want to check SeatGuru to make sure. The routes I saw with lie flat seats to Peru were:
- United EWR-LIM
- United: IAH-LIM
- LAN: JFK-LIM
- LAN: IAD-LIM
- LAN: LAX-LIM
- LAN: MIA-LIM
American’s flights from DFW and MIA are NOT lie flat – they are angle flat. Even for the flights from JFK-LIM which ARE flatbed seats to Peru, I was having trouble finding any award availability.
Then I found LAN’s new 3 times a week service between Washington Dulles (IAD) and Lima (LIM). There were (at least) 7 seats in Business Class available nearly every day the flight flies, through most of the summer. You can’t check LAN availability on AA.com or AlaskaAir.com – you have to use British Airways – here’s an example for June 11th to Lima.
Booking lie flat seats to Machu Picchu
As we mentioned before, American Airlines charges 30,000 AAdvantage miles one way for business class from the US to Lima, Peru. You can fly on any oneworld airline, including LAN. Alaska charges 45,000 miles if you fly LAN (and if you want lie flat seats to Peru, you have to), but you do get a (free) stopover.
I was running low on American miles and even though it killed me to use “extra” miles by booking on Alaska, that’s what I ended up doing. Otherwise I risked running on analysis paralysis (which happens to me all the time)
(READ MORE: Sometimes you just gotta suck it up and book a “standard” award)
Booking flat bed seats to Peru with Alaska Airlines miles
Alaska’s website does NOT show LAN availability, so I looked it all up on britishairways.com (as mentioned above) and got all of my flights in place. Because Alaska does not allow you to book an award with multiple partners, I had to book it starting out in Washington DC. Even though Alaska ALSO partners with American Airlines, and American Airlines has a flight from Cincinnati to Washington, I couldn’t book it on this award.
When I called up Alaska, I think the agent I got was fairly new as she didn’t seem to know exactly how to do what I was trying to do. She was very nice though, and patient as I fed her the flights I had picked out. In the end I booked
- IAD-LIM on LAN Airlines (leaves 10:30pm; arrives 5 a.m. in Lima the next day)
- 1.5 day stopover in Lima
- LIM-CUZ on LAN
Total: 45,000 miles and $59.02 in taxes and fees per person (this includes Alaska’s partner award fee). This actually seems a little high so I’m going to see if I can figure out if that’s the right amount.
Note that I will need to separately book my flight from Cincinnati to Washington for earlier that morning, making sure not to cut it too close as I won’t be protected since my connecting flight is on a different airline in case my connection to Washington goes astray
Booking flat bed seats from Peru with American Airlines miles
Then it was time to call up American Airlines. You can’t book LAN seats with American Airlines miles online either, so again I had to call. I ended up with
- CUZ-LIM on LAN (overnight layover in LIM – we get back to LIM in the afternoon)
- LIM-IAD on LAN (leave LIM at 9 a.m; arrive Washington in the late afternoon)
- Because there aren’t really any good connecting flights back to Cincy, we decided to just stay the night in Washington before flying back
- Aaaaaand, there weren’t any direct flights with award availability (even in business class) from WAS-CVG, so we are currently connecting through LaGuardia, though I’m hopeful a schedule change will let us adjust that to a better itinerary, similar to how I got us 16 extra hours in Rome for free)
Total: 30,000 miles and $56.55 in taxes and fees per person
Needless to say, we are very excited about our trip and I’m relieved to have it booked (though as I mentioned, we may need to tweak it a bit over the next couple of months). Now it’s time to figure out what exactly we’ll do while we’re there!
Ever flown on lie flat seats to Peru? Or have good Peru / Lima / Cuzco / Machu Picchu tips to share? Leave it in the comments!
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Nice work Dan! How many days total will you be in Peru? I am really wanting to get down there but not sure how long I should plan for!
We’ll be there 8-9 days. Not sure if that’s too long, too short, or just right – I’ll let you know when we get back 🙂
LAN doesn’t fly SFO-LIM… Are you use you don’t mean LAX-LIM?
Thanks – I’ve updated the post
Can’t wait to see a post on doing these big trips with your “crew”. 2 people around the world and to LIM is not so much a family crew experience.
Hello anonymous “family guy”. There are plenty of trip reports of me traveling with my whole crew on my site, if you’re interested. Here are a few to get you started
Or the guest post from my daughter about our trip to NYC (published yesterday)
Thanks for your comment!
Hi Dan, I am not trying to be mean in any way, just providing candid feedback. I should have been more clear. The domestic stuff is easy with a family or crew. Trips for 2 international are also easy.
Are your big trips for 2 showing us that we should not bother trying to take a crew outside the US on points and awards?
I would love to read how you get a crew out of the US on cool trips using miles and awards.
Thanks for the reply and sorry that I assumed bad faith on your original comment. While I understand that there are various reasons to be anonymous online, I do find that the majority of anonymous commenters are “complain and run” folks, rather than people that are sticking around to provide meaningful dialog and community.
So…. back to your original point. I think that you’re right and it is something that we are working on. While I don’t feel like I am obligated to explain my travel to you or anybody, because I have put our family out in the “public” to one degree or another, I think it is a fair question.
We are currently targeting a longer international trip in the fall 2017 or winter 2018. It gets tricky for all the obvious reasons (cost for 8, kid schedules, the fact that I still have a “real” job too, etc)
I have an BA account, but no Avios/points. I login and for the life of me I cannot find anything but BA flights and a few AA flights, but nothing that says LAN. Additionally, I get no option for a flight like yours. I tried several days. What might I have done wrong? This is one of our bucket list trips.
Dan, this is awesome! Peru is also on my bucket list, so I will want lots of pictures when you get home.
We’re heading to Peru also! We’ll be doing it over spring break in March, and we’re taking the kids (2) with us. We’ll be in economy on this one, but it should be a really epic trip. We’ll be sure to have a good post written up about it for you when we return!