Deal alert: Nonstop flights to South America in 2021 from $232 round-trip

Editor’s note:As the travel industry reopens
following COVID-19 shutdowns, TPG suggests that you talk to your
doctor, follow health officials’ guidance and research local
travel restrictions before booking that next trip. We will be here
to help you prepare, whether it is next month or next year.

If South
America
is on your list of places to visit once travel returns,
you’re in luck. We’re currently seeing some incredible deals to
visit Peru, Brazil, Chile and Ecuador in late 2020 and early 2021,
including many nonstop options.

The discounted fares start at just $232 round-trip and are
available for travel from August 2020 through the end of the flight
schedule in May 2021, including over peak periods like
Carnival
. You can fly out of cities like Miami (MIA), Los
Angeles (LAX), Washington-Dulles (IAD) and New York-JFK to Lima
(LIM), Santiago (SCL), Cusco (CUZ), Guayaquil (GYE), São Paulo
(GRU) and Rio de Janeiro (GIG). LATAM is offering the
most direct options, but we’re seeing low rates being offered by
Avianca and
American
Airlines
as well.

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Although most airlines are offering
flexible change and cancellation policies
, the low fares do not
come completely risk-free. Most South American countries currently
have
strict travel restrictions
and there’s no telling how long
they might be extended until. A rapid rise in coronavirus cases in
Brazil, Peru, and Chile have made South America one of the new hot
spots in the pandemic. Additionally,
LATAM
and Avianca
are in precarious financial positions.

Chile, Easter Island, Moai stone heads in Rano Raraku quarry, Rapa Nui National Park. (Photo by Getty Images)This
deal can help you get to Easter Island for cheap. (Photo by Getty
Images)Should I book travel now?

As noted above, there is some risk with booking travel now, as
there’s no way to guarantee yet when it will be safe to travel
again. Many South American countries are currently off-limits to
tourists through the summer, and those travel bans may be extended
as coronavirus cases there are rising. Depending on how the
situation plays out, you may have to change or cancel your
trip.

Related:
When will international travel return? A country-by-country guide
to coronavirus recovery

LATAM, Avianca and American are all offering their own
flexible change and cancellation policies
. LATAM’s policy is
very generous and allows a free date change without having to pay a
fare difference for new tickets purchased by July 31 and rebooked
by Aug. 31. Alternatively, LATAM allows you to change your
destination or request a voucher without penalty.

Similarly, Avianca is allowing multiple flight changes without
penalty or fare difference as long as they are made in the same
cabin to common points and you’re scheduled to fly by Oct. 31.
For all flights from Nov 1. onwards, Avianca is allowing one free
change, but it will be subject to any fare difference. 

American Airlines, on the other hand, is waiving change fees
only on certain new bookings made by June 30. For basic economy
tickets, you can make one free change (subject to any fare
difference) for travel by Sept. 30, but with a standard economy
ticket you can make one free change regardless of your travel
date.

None of the above airlines are letting passengers get a
cash refund

Related: Airline
coronavirus change and cancellation policies

Further, many airlines are currently on rocky financial ground.
While
American is expected to survive the pandemic
,
LATAM
and Avianca
are currently both in the process of restructuring through
bankruptcy. Aside from LATAM’s Argentina unit — which has

ceased operations
— both airlines are continuing to operate
(albeit with limited schedules). But if
the airlines do go up belly-up
, your ticket could end up being
rendered worthless. Financial insolvency is unfortunately
not covered
by most
credit card trip protections
, so while you can try to submit a
dispute
with your credit card company
, know that there’s a small
chance you could lose the money spent on the ticket if you book
this deal.

If you can’t afford to take that chance, then either book
through American or don’t book this deal at all.

South America deals currently available

Airlines: American Airlines, Avianca, LATAM
Routes:  Miami (MIA), Los Angeles (LAX),
Washington DC (IAD) and New York-JFK to Lima (LIM), São Paulo
(GRU), Santiago (SCL), Cusco (CUZ), Guayaquil (GYE), São Paulo
(GRU) and Rio de Janeiro (GIG)
Cost: $232 round-trip in economy
Travel Dates: 
August 2020 – May 2021
Pay With: 
The
Platinum Card® from American Express
 (5x on airfare
booked directly with the airline
), Citi
Prestige® Card
 (5x on airfare), Citi
Premierâ„  Card
 (3x on airfare), Chase Sapphire Reserve (3x on travel), American Express® Gold Card (3x on airfare booked directly
with the airline or amextravel.com) or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel)

The information for the Citi Premier and the Citi Prestige card
has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card
details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card
issuer.

Sample itineraries

Here’s a look at some of the best deals you could book. This
isn’t an exhaustive list so you may be able to find deals to
other cities for varying prices.

Miami (MIA) to Lima (LIM) for $232 round-trip nonstop on
LATAM:
(Photo
courtesy of LATAM)Miami (MIA) to Lima (LIM) for $232
round-trip nonstop on American Airlines in basic economy ($272 in
standard economy):
(Photo
courtesy of American Airlines)New York (JFK) to Lima (LIM)
for $269 round-trip on Avianca:
(Photo
courtesy of Expedia)

Miami (MIA) to Santiago (SCL) for $292 round-trip on
Avianca:

(Photo
courtesy of Expedia)New York (JFK) to Guayaquil (GYE) for
$314 round-trip nonstop on LATAM:
(Photo
courtesy of LATAM)Los Angeles (LAX) to Lima (LIM) for $314
round-trip nonstop on LATAM:
(Photo
courtesy of LATAM)Miami (MIA) to São Paulo (GRU) for $343
round-trip nonstop on LATAM:
(Photo
courtesy of LATAM)How to book

Finding these bargains is easy. Just head to Google Flights and plug in
your desired departure and destination cities. Use the calendar
function to find dates and prices that work for you and then click
through to book with the airline directly or an OTA such as
Expedia or Priceline. If you
don’t have a specific destination in mind, type “South
America†in the “Where to?†field for a map showing the
cheapest flights to destinations around the continent for your
desired dates.

(Photo
by Google Flights)Maximize your purchase

Don’t forget to use a credit card that earns additional points
on airfare purchases, such as The Platinum Card® from
American Express
 (5x on
flights booked directly with airlines or American Express
Travel
), Citi
Prestige® Card
 (5x on airfare), Chase Sapphire
Reserve
American Express® Gold
Card
Citi Premierâ„ 
Card
 (3x on airfare) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred
Card
 (2x on all travel purchases). Check out this
post
 for more on maximizing airfare purchases.

Featured image by Kelly Cheng Travel Photography / Getty
Images.

Source: FS – All-Travel destinations-News2
Deal alert: Nonstop flights to South America in 2021 from
2 round-trip