The OTR is headed to Easter Island for a few days (I’ll be back posting again next Thursday, most likely) thanks to frequent flyer miles and my somehow winning Voyage.Tv’s TweetYourTrip contest. While doing some research about how to get to Easter Island using frequent flyer miles, I found that there wasn’t a particularly useful roundup of how to do that. I’ll provide that now:
LAN (part of oneworld) is the only airline that flies to Easter Island, and the schedule varies quite widely based on seasons – though you can only fly there via Santiago, Chile, or Tahiti. There are a handful of months (October is one) where you can make the connection from New York without having to spend a day in Santiago. For those of us in the US, American would be the most obvious choice to use miles, but they consider Easter Island to be part of the South Pacific – so you would have to fly via Tahiti. Not really an option from the East Coast (especially with Air Tahiti Nui’s nonstop from New York no longer flying).
Fret not: you have several other options:
– Use your AAdvantage points for the flight to Santiago (40k miles offpeak), then book the 50,000 kilometer reward from Santiago to Easter Island using points you’ve transfered into LAN from Starwood. Remember – Starwood points transfer at 1-to-2, so 20k Starwood points gets you 50,000 kilometers.
– Or, even better if you’re going with two people, British Airways only requires 20,000 miles for the Santiago – Easter Island flight. Transfer 35,000 SPG points into BA and you’ve got two roundtrip tickets. 40k AA miles + 17,500 SPG points is a pretty good deal, considering it’s 16 hours flying time.
– Or you can suck it up and pay 100k AA miles and fly on LAN’s apparently great premium business to Santiago. My wife doesn’t do 17 hours in coach anymore.
– Thanks to TweetYourTrip we’ll be staying at the Explora Rapa Nui. Trust me, I would not pay $1,600/night on my own. I’ll let you know if it’s worth it.
In any case, we’ll be back Wednesday. Looking online there really was a lack of resources out there about how to plan this trip so if any of you have questions about Easter Island, I’ll be more than happy to answer & post here.