LATAM Oneworld & Delta Elite Benefits Update

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LATAM and Delta announced a partnership back in 2019 that resulted in the US airline taking a stake in its Latin American counterpart that resulted in LATAM’s decision to withdraw from Oneworld Alliance that took place on May 1.

Subsequently, LATAM has filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States (read more here), while trying to renegotiate its obligations, and exited the Argentinean market (LATAM Argentina ceased operations).

You can access LATAM’s page for partnership updates here.

Now, LATAM has sent out more information about the partnerships it continues with select Oneworld Airlines (the original plan was to exit the alliance and merely swap American with Delta), and elite benefits that are in place on Delta operated flights effective August 7, 2020.

LATAM elite member benefits on Delta:

Oneworld benefits until September 30, 2020:

Bonus on select partner flights October 1 – December 31, 2021:

Earning insignificant amount of more redeemable miles (points) for partner flights makes very little sense if they are not elite qualifying, you cannot enjoy status benefits, or you could credit them to a more stable and lucrative program such as Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, American Airlines AAdvantage, or British Airways Executive Club.

Conclusion

Delta’s purchase of a stake in LATAM was very poorly timed. The airline has been very clear that it is not planning to prop up any airlines such as LATAM and AeroMexico, of which it owns a significant albeit less than 50% stake.

There has been speculation in Brazil that Azul could perhaps buy LATAM’s Brazilian arm (used to be called TAM), and the airlines already began codesharing routes within Brazil yesterday.

TAM was first partner with American, then joined Star Alliance, until it merged with LAN to form LATAM and subsequently joined Oneworld, only to exit it earlier this year to partner with Delta before filing for bankruptcy protection (cannot make this up – only in Latin America).

It seems that the LATAM may end up at least partially disintegrating. I liked the fact that the airline had operations all over South America in Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, and Paraguay to enjoy my Oneworld elite member benefits.

LATAM frequent fliers are also losers because they no longer can earn elite qualifying miles on Oneworld Alliance airlines replaced by only Delta (not so good).

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