As if it weren’t already all but a foregone conclusion that LATAM — the parent of South American airlines LAN and TAM — would swing towards oneworld (LAN is a oneworld member, TAM is in Star), American has announced that they’ve signed codesharing agreements with both TAM and LAN Colombia.
Oneworld is already the strongest alliance between the US and South America, even though Star recently picked up AviancaTaca as a member. When I’m looking to book awards between the North and South American continents I always prefer American and British Airways points for the bookings — American’s availability is reasonably good, especially from its Miami hub, and LAN’s is good as well.
Further, as part of the announcement, American indicates that they’ll be launching more South American service — Dallas – Bogota to connect up to LAN Colombia and Miami – Curitiba and also Porto Alegre, Brazil.
Even though getting closer to the combined LAN and TAM is not unexpected, I was surprised to see the codesharing announcement — because recently there were some significant glitches in the codesharing between American and LAN, such that American’s reservations agents were being instructed not to book codeshares on LAN flights at least for certain routes. They were even unable to change existing codeshare tickets.
Given this announcement, I asked about the glitches, and was told,
A few weeks ago we experienced some technical difficulties when booking codeshare flights on LAN. For the most part, these difficulties were related to LAN’s transition to Sabre as their new reservation system. All of those technical issues are now resolved and agents can book codeshare flights on LAN as usual.
I hadn’t realized the problems were fixed, but glad for that and also the strengthening of what’s already a great mileage currency for travel to and within South America.