This week sees Qantas flights to South American shift from Buenos Aires in Argentina to the Santiago hub of Chile's flag carrier and oneworld partner airline LAN.
It's an inconvenience if you want to go to Buenos Aires, but for just about everyone else heading for South America it's a huge win: there are more connections to other destinations on LAN from Santiago.
Qantas' flight QF27 to Santiago will leave Sydney on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, with return flight QF28 running on Saturdays, Mondays and Wednesdays.
Partner airline LAN already flies six times a week Sydney to Santiago but with a stop-over in Auckland, adding time to the journey.
Here's the full weekly schedule (click to zoom), with Qantas flights denoted by red triangles and LAN flights by green squares:
LAN's angled-flat business class seats (which Australian Business Traveller has reviewed) aren't as good as the fully flat beds A380-standard refurbished Boeing 747 cabins that Qantas will be flying.
(Remember not to fall for the lie-flat lie: fully flat beds are more comfortable than lie-flat seats.)
Another reason to book on the Qantas flights: Platinum, Gold and Silver Qantas Frequent Flyers will only receive bonus miles and status credits for flights on Qantas on the Sydney-Santiago leg.
Change options if you're booked to Buenos Aires
If you booked tickets before 22 August 2011 for Qantas flights to Buenos Aires, there are several options to change your journey. You can:
- Rebook your flight on Qantas/LAN flights with QF flight numbers
- Reroute your journey, via Santiago, most likely
- Change destinations and decide to head to Santiago instead, and book on to Buenos Aires or other destinations separately
- Keep the ticket value in a Qantas credit
- Get a full refund if you haven't started your journey yet
But be quick if you want a refund: Qantas tells travel agents that refunds are only available up to 7 October, and only then if you booked before 22 August for flights after 26 March.
Head to Qantas' website for more information about changing your Buenos Aires ticket.
About John Walton
Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.