Last Updated:
December 9, 2023

LATAM Business Class for 45k Points ($4,200 value)

We spent over 10 hours in LATAM's 787-9 Business Class for just 45k points, one of the best redemption sweet spots out there. Read on to find out how we did it.

If you're anything like me, you always want to maximize your points and miles; the less you pay, the more you can stretch your points and miles for 'free' flights. This past year, I've done my fair amount of Award Travel (travel using points and miles), on long-haul domestic trips. However, in October, I had the opportunity to travel to Santiago, Chile, my first long-haul international flight since pre-COVID. While most US-Airlines have dynamic award pricing (which means that prices for points and miles can fluctuate on a daily basis) when you fly their planes, many of these airlines still have a fixed-award chart when you're flying with partners. These award charts charge a fixed amount on the distance flown and the class of service.

Ground Experience

My journey started in the Santiago Airport (SCL), where I made my way to the premium check in. The premium check in counter was on the far side of the international terminal, and featured a row of check-in desks reserved for long-haul international business and first class customers on LATAM and their partners. When I got there, there was no line at check in, so I was able to drop my bags (full of Chilean and Argentinian wine), and be on my way.

All passengers leaving Chile are required to go through 'PDI' (which is their version of Customs and Border protection). There was a 1hr+ wait to clear this line, and unfortunately, no separate line for premium travelers. As a US-based traveler with Global Entry, TSA PreCheck & Clear, waiting on line at an airport was a concept that is relatively foreign. Though I arrived at the airport 3 hours prior to departure, I cleared security just 30 minutes before boarding, so my time checking out the brand new LATAM lounge was limited.

LATAM Signature Lounge

One of LATAMs hubs is in SCL, and they recently renovated three lounges. Customers flying LATAM (or LATAM/OneWorld Elites) have access to the lounges based on either status, class of service, and/or the route they're flying. As I was flying in LATAM's most premium class of service on a long-haul international route, I had access to the LATAM Signature lounge, which is the highest tier out of the three. Ordinarily, I'd go out of my way to spend a little extra time in a new lounge, and check out all it has to offer, however, waiting in line at PDI set those plans back. While I usually like to board first (to guarantee overhead space), I saw that there were still 9 empty seats in Business class, so overhead room wouldn't be a problem. So I decided to board last, so I could maximize my time in the Lounge.

Entryway Into the LATAM Signature Lounge

Upon arriving, I was greeted by the front-desk, who greeted me and helped set me up in a Shower Suite. The first thing I noticed when I walked into the lounge was the beautiful design. The ceilings were easily 30 feet, and you could tell that this lounge was very new. The lounge was modern with a unique South American flair. The design was incredibly well done, and it certainly was not overcrowded. As I had such little time to enjoy the lounge before my 10 hour overnight journey back to New York, I made my way over to the shower suites to quickly refresh before the long flight. The shower suites were nice, but very small. There was barely enough room for me, my carry on, and my backpack. Once done showering, I went over to the main area, where they had a buffet stocked with good looking food. I'm normally not a fan of Airport Lounge Buffets (and usually prefer sit-down meal service), the food was solid, and featured plenty of healthy options before the long flight. Additionally, across the buffet was the main bar, which was very impressive. However, they didn't have a cocktail menu or wine list; it was all customizable, a-la-carte. Perhaps my favorite part of this lounge was the ice cream fridge stocked with pre-packaged Hagen Dazs cups. Before my quick visit to the LATAM Signature lounge came to an end, I took a few bottles of water for the road and headed on my way to the gate.

Main Bar at the LATAM Signature Lounge

When I arrived at the gate, there was a massive line at the jetbridge. Once I made my way down, I realized everyone was subject to secondary security prior to boarding, that was looking for liquids over 100ml due to "US Law." I knew it was illegal to bring large liquids through TSA, but I'd never heard of this rule of checking for liquids prior to boarding. Suffice it to say my water bottles were confiscated.

Seat & Cabin

Once boarded, I made my way to my seat for the next 10 hours, 3L. The LATAM 787-900 Dreamliner (Layout 2) is configured in a 1:2:1 configuration, with odd numbered seats being preferred for optimal privacy. I was excited as there was a last-minute equipment swap from the outdated Layout 1 of the same Dreamliner, which featured a 2:2:2 configuration, so the layout I was lucky enough to fly on, had even more space for passengers in Business Class. This aircraft had 30 business class seats, across 8 rows.

Seat 3L

The seat was very spacious, and featured a LATAM Amenity Kit, mattress pad, slippers, pillow and blanket for the overnight flight. As someone who's 6'4", seldom do I find a lie-flat that I comfortably fit in. This however, was an exception. The seat featured 2 feet in width, which was plenty of space to spread out and relax, as well as 77 inches of length in lie-flat mode, with a very wide-open canoe. The seat was very comfortable for me, but I could imagine if I were one or two inches taller, I would have been a little crammed for space.

Food & Service

Once I got settled, the flight attendant came over and took our orders for a pre-departure beverage, which I chose Champagne. Speak of wine, there was a very impressive list of wines on this flight, which I was kind of expecting, given that Chile and Argentina are two countries known for their wine. In fact, the entire wine list (except for the Champagne) was local to Chile, including Malbec, which is the wine they're best known for. Before departure, the purser came around to take dinner orders. I opted for the Grilled Tenderloin, and a glass of the Malbec. They also requested that we order our breakfast pre-departure, so we could all sleep uninterrupted. I opted for the Apple Strudel.

Once we were up in the air and hit 10,000 feet, the cabin crew came around with warm nuts, and asked if we wanted a beverage before meal service. I found the cabin crew to be very attentive, although the purser was the only member of the crew who spoke English, which was a little surprising given we were on a flight bound for New York. Despite that, the service throughout the flight was very good, and they were very attentive. After that, the meal was served. I have to say, I usually have pretty low expectations for meals on airplanes, but I can confidently say that this was one of the best meals I've had on an airplane. The beef tenderloin was cooked perfectly and was very tender. Additionally, the sides were all very flavorful. I ordered the ice cream for dessert, and they came around with more Hagen Dazs cups.

Beef Tenderloin & Malbec

After dinner, it was time to get some sleep. I turned my bed lie-flat, and prepared for bed. The mattress pad was very comfortable and I had an amazing nights rest. This was my first time flying in a Dreamliner, and you can definitely feel the lower cabin pressure that they advertise. I woke up to the natural sunrise somewhere over the Carolina's, and according to my Oura ring, I got 7 hours of sleep. About 20 minutes after I woke up, breakfast was served.

The breakfast was nothing special. The strudel was served warm, but wasn't anything to write home about. Before you knew it, were were on final approach to JFK, and my time in this LATAM Business Class Seat was almost over. We landed at JFK around 8:00 AM, deplaned quickly, and when I got to customs, I was the only person in the Global Entry line. I walked right through, my bags marked with priority tags were the first off the belt, and I was in my Uber home in under 20 minutes from deplaning (which was a nice relief after spending hours in customs lines at SCL).

How I Booked for 45k Miles ($450 worth of Points)

The big question you might be thinking: how did I book this for just 45k points. When people ask me what points are worth, as a simple answer, I generally say 1 Cent per Point (CPP). This is a good framework for points and miles beginners, however is a little more nuanced for those of us who seek to extract extreme value from points and miles. The cash price of this route at the time of booking was $4,193.90, and was booked using 45k Alaska Airlines miles (+$55.30 in Taxes & Fees), which imputes 9.2 CPP. Generally speaking, anything over 2 CPP is considered a "good" redemption, and this turned out to be my best redemption yet.

So how did I book? In 2020, LATAM departed the OneWorld Alliance, and was bought (20%) by Delta. LATAMs US-based partners are Delta and Alaska. Delta has dynamic awards for partners, however, Alaska does. As of booking in 2023, Alaska charged 45,000 Alaska Miles when flying between the Contiguous United States, Canada and Alaska, and South America. This is changing in 2024 to a distance-based award chart (instead of the current 'Zone-Based'), so this route would cost you 50,000 Alaska miles, which is still a steal if you ask me.

I signed up in April for the Alaska Airlines Business card and earned 70,000 Alaska Airlines miles for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of card membership. While there's an argument to be made that I wouldn't be flying in Business class if it weren't for the points & miles, I effectively, I earned a 104% return on spend, which is, quite literally, unbeatable.

Share article

If you're anything like me, you always want to maximize your points and miles; the less you pay, the more you can stretch your points and miles for 'free' flights. This past year, I've done my fair amount of Award Travel (travel using points and miles), on long-haul domestic trips. However, in October, I had the opportunity to travel to Santiago, Chile, my first long-haul international flight since pre-COVID. While most US-Airlines have dynamic award pricing (which means that prices for points and miles can fluctuate on a daily basis) when you fly their planes, many of these airlines still have a fixed-award chart when you're flying with partners. These award charts charge a fixed amount on the distance flown and the class of service.

Ground Experience

My journey started in the Santiago Airport (SCL), where I made my way to the premium check in. The premium check in counter was on the far side of the international terminal, and featured a row of check-in desks reserved for long-haul international business and first class customers on LATAM and their partners. When I got there, there was no line at check in, so I was able to drop my bags (full of Chilean and Argentinian wine), and be on my way.

All passengers leaving Chile are required to go through 'PDI' (which is their version of Customs and Border protection). There was a 1hr+ wait to clear this line, and unfortunately, no separate line for premium travelers. As a US-based traveler with Global Entry, TSA PreCheck & Clear, waiting on line at an airport was a concept that is relatively foreign. Though I arrived at the airport 3 hours prior to departure, I cleared security just 30 minutes before boarding, so my time checking out the brand new LATAM lounge was limited.

LATAM Signature Lounge

One of LATAMs hubs is in SCL, and they recently renovated three lounges. Customers flying LATAM (or LATAM/OneWorld Elites) have access to the lounges based on either status, class of service, and/or the route they're flying. As I was flying in LATAM's most premium class of service on a long-haul international route, I had access to the LATAM Signature lounge, which is the highest tier out of the three. Ordinarily, I'd go out of my way to spend a little extra time in a new lounge, and check out all it has to offer, however, waiting in line at PDI set those plans back. While I usually like to board first (to guarantee overhead space), I saw that there were still 9 empty seats in Business class, so overhead room wouldn't be a problem. So I decided to board last, so I could maximize my time in the Lounge.

Entryway Into the LATAM Signature Lounge

Upon arriving, I was greeted by the front-desk, who greeted me and helped set me up in a Shower Suite. The first thing I noticed when I walked into the lounge was the beautiful design. The ceilings were easily 30 feet, and you could tell that this lounge was very new. The lounge was modern with a unique South American flair. The design was incredibly well done, and it certainly was not overcrowded. As I had such little time to enjoy the lounge before my 10 hour overnight journey back to New York, I made my way over to the shower suites to quickly refresh before the long flight. The shower suites were nice, but very small. There was barely enough room for me, my carry on, and my backpack. Once done showering, I went over to the main area, where they had a buffet stocked with good looking food. I'm normally not a fan of Airport Lounge Buffets (and usually prefer sit-down meal service), the food was solid, and featured plenty of healthy options before the long flight. Additionally, across the buffet was the main bar, which was very impressive. However, they didn't have a cocktail menu or wine list; it was all customizable, a-la-carte. Perhaps my favorite part of this lounge was the ice cream fridge stocked with pre-packaged Hagen Dazs cups. Before my quick visit to the LATAM Signature lounge came to an end, I took a few bottles of water for the road and headed on my way to the gate.

Main Bar at the LATAM Signature Lounge

When I arrived at the gate, there was a massive line at the jetbridge. Once I made my way down, I realized everyone was subject to secondary security prior to boarding, that was looking for liquids over 100ml due to "US Law." I knew it was illegal to bring large liquids through TSA, but I'd never heard of this rule of checking for liquids prior to boarding. Suffice it to say my water bottles were confiscated.

Seat & Cabin

Once boarded, I made my way to my seat for the next 10 hours, 3L. The LATAM 787-900 Dreamliner (Layout 2) is configured in a 1:2:1 configuration, with odd numbered seats being preferred for optimal privacy. I was excited as there was a last-minute equipment swap from the outdated Layout 1 of the same Dreamliner, which featured a 2:2:2 configuration, so the layout I was lucky enough to fly on, had even more space for passengers in Business Class. This aircraft had 30 business class seats, across 8 rows.

Seat 3L

The seat was very spacious, and featured a LATAM Amenity Kit, mattress pad, slippers, pillow and blanket for the overnight flight. As someone who's 6'4", seldom do I find a lie-flat that I comfortably fit in. This however, was an exception. The seat featured 2 feet in width, which was plenty of space to spread out and relax, as well as 77 inches of length in lie-flat mode, with a very wide-open canoe. The seat was very comfortable for me, but I could imagine if I were one or two inches taller, I would have been a little crammed for space.

Food & Service

Once I got settled, the flight attendant came over and took our orders for a pre-departure beverage, which I chose Champagne. Speak of wine, there was a very impressive list of wines on this flight, which I was kind of expecting, given that Chile and Argentina are two countries known for their wine. In fact, the entire wine list (except for the Champagne) was local to Chile, including Malbec, which is the wine they're best known for. Before departure, the purser came around to take dinner orders. I opted for the Grilled Tenderloin, and a glass of the Malbec. They also requested that we order our breakfast pre-departure, so we could all sleep uninterrupted. I opted for the Apple Strudel.

Once we were up in the air and hit 10,000 feet, the cabin crew came around with warm nuts, and asked if we wanted a beverage before meal service. I found the cabin crew to be very attentive, although the purser was the only member of the crew who spoke English, which was a little surprising given we were on a flight bound for New York. Despite that, the service throughout the flight was very good, and they were very attentive. After that, the meal was served. I have to say, I usually have pretty low expectations for meals on airplanes, but I can confidently say that this was one of the best meals I've had on an airplane. The beef tenderloin was cooked perfectly and was very tender. Additionally, the sides were all very flavorful. I ordered the ice cream for dessert, and they came around with more Hagen Dazs cups.

Beef Tenderloin & Malbec

After dinner, it was time to get some sleep. I turned my bed lie-flat, and prepared for bed. The mattress pad was very comfortable and I had an amazing nights rest. This was my first time flying in a Dreamliner, and you can definitely feel the lower cabin pressure that they advertise. I woke up to the natural sunrise somewhere over the Carolina's, and according to my Oura ring, I got 7 hours of sleep. About 20 minutes after I woke up, breakfast was served.

The breakfast was nothing special. The strudel was served warm, but wasn't anything to write home about. Before you knew it, were were on final approach to JFK, and my time in this LATAM Business Class Seat was almost over. We landed at JFK around 8:00 AM, deplaned quickly, and when I got to customs, I was the only person in the Global Entry line. I walked right through, my bags marked with priority tags were the first off the belt, and I was in my Uber home in under 20 minutes from deplaning (which was a nice relief after spending hours in customs lines at SCL).

How I Booked for 45k Miles ($450 worth of Points)

The big question you might be thinking: how did I book this for just 45k points. When people ask me what points are worth, as a simple answer, I generally say 1 Cent per Point (CPP). This is a good framework for points and miles beginners, however is a little more nuanced for those of us who seek to extract extreme value from points and miles. The cash price of this route at the time of booking was $4,193.90, and was booked using 45k Alaska Airlines miles (+$55.30 in Taxes & Fees), which imputes 9.2 CPP. Generally speaking, anything over 2 CPP is considered a "good" redemption, and this turned out to be my best redemption yet.

So how did I book? In 2020, LATAM departed the OneWorld Alliance, and was bought (20%) by Delta. LATAMs US-based partners are Delta and Alaska. Delta has dynamic awards for partners, however, Alaska does. As of booking in 2023, Alaska charged 45,000 Alaska Miles when flying between the Contiguous United States, Canada and Alaska, and South America. This is changing in 2024 to a distance-based award chart (instead of the current 'Zone-Based'), so this route would cost you 50,000 Alaska miles, which is still a steal if you ask me.

I signed up in April for the Alaska Airlines Business card and earned 70,000 Alaska Airlines miles for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of card membership. While there's an argument to be made that I wouldn't be flying in Business class if it weren't for the points & miles, I effectively, I earned a 104% return on spend, which is, quite literally, unbeatable.

Find Points Hotels in 

Related posts

Using Points in the U.S. Virgin Islands
Guides

Using Points in the U.S. Virgin Islands

The Best Points Hotel In Nashville (Kimpton Aertson Hotel)?
Travel

The Best Points Hotel In Nashville (Kimpton Aertson Hotel)?

18 Hours of United Polaris For 150k Chase Points
Travel

18 Hours of United Polaris For 150k Chase Points