Home to the famous moai statues, Easter Island is a popular tourist destination. Unfortunately, its geographic location in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean makes Chile’s Isla de Pascua rather difficult to get to from Australia!
There are only two ways to reach Easter Island (airport code IPC) by plane – from Santiago or Tahiti. Both routes are operated by LATAM Airlines, a Qantas partner in the Oneworld alliance. The quickest way to get from Australia to Easter Island is to fly via Auckland and Tahiti. But this is not cheap, and flights between Tahiti and Easter Island run only once per week to a bizarre schedule.
I went to Easter Island last year with the ticket being MEL-AKL-PPT-IPC-SCL priced just over $1,400 using expedia. As above, flight from PPT-IPC run only on Tuesday, so please search accordingly.
The only other way to get to Easter Island is with a stopover in Santiago. This clearly involves a much longer travel time, but can work out a lot cheaper!
It is a while since I have looked at details, but as a general rule I beleive that the best way to get to IPC is doing a “domestic” trip originating in Chile. Tickets from Australia via Tahiti etc are way more expensive than getting all the way over to Santiago.
LATAM operates twice-daily Boeing 787 services between Santiago and Easter Island. Occasionally award availability exists on these flights to/from Santiago, although it’s almost always for Economy class. If you’re lucky enough to find award space, you can redeem Qantas points for LATAM Airlines flights. But you may need to call Qantas as some LATAM Airlines award seats don’t appear on the Qantas website.
If you can’t find any award availability, the cheapest method is generally to purchase return fares from Santiago. As Santiago-Easter Island is a Chilean domestic flight, the Business class fare prices are actually quite reasonable.
I booked Easter Island flight a couple months ago for this coming April, and if your dates are right, the fare can be quite cheap if you book via their Chilean site. For a business class return between SCL and IPC, I paid about $700 USD, and this will earn you good Status Credits on QF.
Currently, return Business class fares from Santiago to Easter Island are available for under AUD800. These fares would earn 160 Qantas status credits for Business class. Interestingly, Economy class is only slightly cheaper. To access these prices, you would need to book on the Chilean version of the LATAM Airlines website. This website is only available in Spanish but there’s nothing wrong with enlisting a little help from Google Translate!
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Redemptions to Easter Island?