Internal flights within Peru – and South America in general – can be expensive. This is especially so if you’re booking in Australia. But there is a trick to save a small fortune on flights within South America.
Many Australians prefer to use LATAM Airlines as it’s a Oneworld airline, a Qantas Frequent Flyer partner and has a good reputation. But LATAM charges Australians a premium when booking flights within South America.
Let’s look at an example using the Lima-Cusco route. Almost every visitor to Machu Picchu will fly on this route, so it’s commonly used by Australians. If you search for a flight on LATAM’s Australian website, you’ll see a price in Australian dollars. For example, we searched for flights on 2 November and received the following results:
When selecting a flight (LA2061 departing at 17:36, for example), you’ll then be given the option to upgrade to a fare that includes baggage, seat selection and flexibility for an additional price. (LATAM Airlines uses a low-cost model on its domestic flights.)
Save money by changing to LATAM Airlines’ Peru website
The lowest fare on LATAM’s Australian website would cost $189. But that’s the tourist price! You can get a much cheaper ticket by booking on LATAM’s Peruvian website. You can do this by changing the country at the top of the website’s home page:
The Peruvian website is only available in Spanish. So you may need to ask a Spanish speaker for assistance – or use Google Translate. But if you can navigate the booking process in Spanish, you can save a small fortune. The same flights are available on LATAM’s Peru website for just USD23 (~$33):
On the Peruvian website, even the “Top” fare is less expensive than the cheapest ticket available on the Australian website.
LATAM’s website used to display a warning message in Spanish that these “promo” fares are only available to Peruvian residents. This message no longer appears. It is possible that this may still be the case, so to be on the safe side you may prefer to purchase a “Light” or higher fare product. (You’ll still save plenty of money!)
In general, this trick also works when booking flights from other South American countries.
AFF member Mistress recently completed a couple of domestic flights on LATAM Airlines in Peru, using this method to save $1,200 for their family of four. They did not encounter any problems.
I booked our flights on the LATAM Peruvian website (all in Spanish) as the flight costs were significantly cheaper and we had no issues at all with the travel.
For example, Lima to Cusco one way is $189 AUD without baggage, and adding baggage in for the next level is $237 AUD. Cusco to Arequipa was $134 AUD no baggage and $182 AUD with baggage.
However by changing the country of your location changed the costing of the same flights. I found the Peruvian website to be the cheapest, even though it was in American Dollars verse the Australian Dollar.
Lima to Cusco was $23 US no bags, or $33 US (less then $48 AUD) with bags. Cusco to Arequipa $34 US no bags or $49 US (Less then $71 AUD) with bags.
This member has also posted some useful information about their experience of flying with LATAM Airlines in Peru on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum. Read about Mistress‘ experience here: LATAM domestic flights in Peru some helpful information