LATAM Airlines has announced that it will now leave the Oneworld alliance on 1 May 2020, five months earlier than previously planned.
This means that you will no longer be able to earn Qantas status credits when flying with LATAM Airlines from May. Oneworld frequent flyers will also stop receiving Oneworld status benefits on this date, including lounge access and priority check-in, baggage & boarding. This also applies to bookings made before LATAM’s Oneworld departure date.
However, in an email sent to its own members over the weekend, LATAM Airlines has indicated that it intends to keep reciprocal frequent flyer benefits with some Oneworld airlines including Qantas. This could mean that Qantas Frequent Flyer members with status could still receive some benefits when flying with LATAM Airlines. This won’t include earning status credits, but could include things like lounge access. We’ve reached out to Qantas for clarification on this.
Qantas will continue its codeshare partnership with LATAM Airlines after the South American carrier leaves Oneworld. Qantas places its “QF” code on LATAM Airlines’ flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland to Santiago, as well as flights from Santiago to Lima, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Bogota, Guayaquil, Antofagasta, Punta Arenas and La Serena.
When booking a Qantas-marketed flight operated by LATAM, you’ll still earn Qantas points and status credits as if you were flying Qantas. However, for flights with a “LA” flight number, you’ll only earn Qantas points (and at a reduced rate) after 1 May 2020.
Qantas Frequent Flyer has not announced any special arrangements for members with existing LATAM bookings for travel between 1 May and 1 October 2020 – the date which LATAM previously announced it would leave the Oneworld alliance. So, if you made a LATAM Airlines booking prior to this announcement expecting to earn Qantas status credits, you may be disappointed.
It will still be possible to redeem Qantas Frequent Flyer points for LATAM flights after 1 May 2020, as the airlines will remain partners. But it won’t be possible to include LATAM Airlines as part of a Oneworld Classic Flight Reward booking after this date. Existing award bookings remain valid, however, and it appears you can continue to book Oneworld Awards including LATAM Airlines flights as long as ticketing occurs by 30 April 2020.
The deadline for booking a Oneworld Explorer round-the-world ticket that includes LATAM Airlines flights will also be brought forward to 30 April. LATAM operates the vast majority of Oneworld flights to, from and within South America. So if you’re thinking about booking a round-the-world fare with Oneworld and want to include some travel within South America, now would be a good time to do this!
At the time of writing, Qantas had not yet updated its website to reflect LATAM’s changed departure date.
LATAM Airlines will now leave the Oneworld alliance just one month after Royal Air Maroc joins on 1 April 2020. During the month that both airlines are part of the alliance, neither airline will offer any Oneworld benefits to frequent flyers of the other airline.
LATAM had previously advised a departure date of 1 October 2020 because Oneworld requires a notice period of at least one year. The airline initially revealed its plans to leave the alliance on 26 September 2019. It appears that Oneworld has now given the earlier exit a green light, enabling LATAM to speed up its integration with Delta. LATAM officially ended its bilateral agreement with Delta’s rival, American Airlines, on 31 January 2020.
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Delta buys 20% of LATAM, which will exit oneworld