Recently I talked about TAP Air Portugal's Club offering and mentioned that the only other place I had seen them was in South American Airlines, and today I will be comparing the club options from Brasil's biggest airlines, LATAM, GOL, and Azul.
For people how aren't familiar with airlines miles club they are a way for people to buy miles at a discount. Usually, they are tiered at different amounts of miles you will get each month.
Because the prices are denominated in Brasilian Reis this chart will show the number of miles and the price in BRL. The prices in that chart will show first the price if 12 months were paid monthly and then the second will show the price if paid for the one-year plan. At the time of writing the Brasilian, Real is 0.25 CAD, so the prices shown below are actually 4 times higher than what you would pay in Canadian Dollars.
|Amount of Miles Monthly||Annully||LATAM||GOL||Azul|
Along with the price of the miles, it is important to also know how much are you paying per mile. I will also compare the price of buying Aeroplan points. This chart is going to look at the price per mile if you pay a year's subscription. The price will be in cents and will show the price in Brasilian Reis and then in Canadian dollars at today's exchange rate of 0.25.
|Amount of Miles||Aeroplan||LATAM||GOL||Azul|
Most people value Aeroplan points at 2.1 cents so buying them at 3 cents only really makes sense if you can get a flight at a great discount on points compared to the cash fare.
The reason why some of the higher tire club options have a higher price per mile is that they also give additional perks like status or free checked bags.
- The miles bough through club 1000 are valid for 36 months and do not give any other benefits.
- The Club 5000 miles do not expire and give LATAM Gold that is LATAM's entry-level status that gives priority check-in extra baggage allowance and 2 upgrade coupons for upgrades into business class, on most of LATAM's partner airlines you will get priority boarding and with Delta, you get more benefits with Delta.
- The Club 10,000 miles do not expire and give you the same benefits as Club 5000 and also give you 5 coupons for LATAM lounges only for flights operated by LATAM in São Paulo (GRU), Bogotá (BOG), Buenos Aires (EZE), Santiago (SCL), and Miami (MIA). Currently because of the pandemic only the lounges in Miami and in São Paulo.
- Club plans from 1,000 to 10,000 have all the same benefits of 5 free bookings, discount on paying miles, the miles last 10 years, and differing amount of bonus miles when you transfer points from a credit card, though they are only available in Brasil and Uruguay.
- Club 20,000 has all the benefits of the other levels but also gives you Gol Diamond status that gives you: priority check-in, priority boarding, priority baggage, preferred seating, you also get a once a year companion ticket, and lounge access at São Paulo (GRU) and Rio De Janeiro (GIG) to Gol domestic and international lounges, lounges in, Brasilia (BSB), Quito (UIO), Montevidéu (MVD), Assunção (ASU), Santa Cruz de la Sierra (VVI), Punta Cana (PUJ), Lima (LIM) with a guest. Also when you fly Air France/KLM you have access to the Air France lounge in Paris (CDG) and the KLM lounge in Amsterdam (AMS). When you fly Aerolíneas Argentinas you have accses to there lougne in Buenos Aiers (EZE). You also have access to Delta lounges in Atlanta (ATL), Detroit (DTW), New York (JFK), Miami (MIA), Orlando (MCO) and Santiago do Chile (SCL) when you fly Delta and when you fly GOL you have access to Delta's lounges in Miami and Orlando.
- All the clubs from 1k to 5k are valid for 3 years and there are not more perks for these tiers. Along with benefits for Tudo Azul Credit Cards in Brasil.
- The 10k tier miles have no expiry and also gives you Tudo Azul Safira that give you: priority check-in, 1 checked bags domestic and 2 international, priority baggage, discount at parking at some airports, and 2 upgrade coupons to Espaço Azul on domestic flights that are just seats with extra legroom.
- The 20k tier miles never expire and also give Azul Diamond Status, the highest status with the airline, you get: Discount on point redemptions, Lounge access to Azul's lounges in Campinas (VCP) and Lisboa (LIS), priority check-in, priority boarding, 2 checked bags domestic and 3 international, priority baggage, discount at parking at some airports, and Unlimited upgrade to Espaço Azul on domestic flights that are seats with extra legroom, and when flying United you will also get priority check-in, priority boarding, extra bag in international flights, fast track security in the US.
LATAM is the biggest airline in South America and has recently left Oneworld, they currently have partnerships with Aeromexico, Alaska Airlines, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Delta, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, JAL, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar, Royal Jordanian, S7, and Swiss.
GOL is the second biggest airline in Brasil and focus on budget flights but has a great number of partners including but not limited to: Air Canada, WestJet, American Airlines, Copa Airlines, KLM, TAP Air Portugal, Air France, Qantas, Qatar, Swiss, Singapore Airlines, Etihad, Korean Air, ANA, JAL, Lufthansa, and many more airlines.
Azul is the third biggest airline in Brasil and is also the newest and has partnerships with Air Canada, Jet Blue, United Airlines, TAP Air Portugal, Turkish Airlines, Lufthansa, Emirates, United, Qutar, Copa Airlines.
Out of the three airlines, Gol and Azul have the option to book flights on Air Canda while Gol can also book flights on Westjet, making them the more attractive options if you plan to fly domestically.
Because each airline has there own partner airlines and sweet spots we are going to compare each airline with the cash price and the number of Aeroplan needed for that flight.
Starting with Vancouver (YVR) to Toronto (YYZ) this is the main transcontinental flight in Canada and is operated by both Air Canada and Westjet. Through Aeroplan, you would need from 25k-60k but if you want the lie-flat seats it will usually cost closer to the 60k mark. Flying on Air Canada in Business Class with lie-flat seats the price is 47k miles and as the average price per mile with Azul club is 0.765 cents CAD it would cost you about $360 CAD to get 47k miles. Gol airlines can fly both Westjet and Air Canada but for some reason, I can not find availability on Westjet in Business class. The price for the lie-flat seats though Gol is 58k points with an average price of 0.8 cents per mile this flight would cost you $465 CAD.
A flight from Toronto (YYZ) to Montreal (YUL) in business class but no lie-flat seats costs $450, 15k Aeroplan, 10k Gol smiles with a cost of 0.8 cents per mile makes the cost $80 CAD that is cheaper than economy prices!! On Azul, the cost would be 13k Tudo Azul miles and at a price of 0.765 cents it would cost $100 CAD
Because all three airlines are from Brasil it makes sense to see the prices for flights to Brasil. Flying direct on Air Canada from Toronto (YYZ) to São Paulo (GRU) in business class in lie-flat seats cost 60k Aeroplan, in cash it cost $1830, 138k Gol Smiles at a cost of 0.8 cents so the cost would be $1104, with Tudo Azul also on Air Canada it costs 119k miles at a cost of 0.765 cents so you would pay $910, and LATAM also has flights from YYZ to GRU except it is no a direct flight, the flight flys from YYZ to BOS on some airline and then you fly on LATAM from BOS to GRU, it costs 197.5k miles and at an average cost per cent of 0.95 so you would have paid $1880.
Due to a lower number of flights during the pandemic, I was not able to find many international flights available that I thought were a good deal so I am going to link to an article that has broken down really well how you can redeem Gol Smiles miles here, and LATAM here.
GOL has the most number of partners and tires available and are partnered with both major airlines in Canada along with many world-class airlines and probably makes the most sense for the majority of people, Azul is a newer airline and has fewer domestic flights and partner airlines, while LATAM is mostly partnered with Oneworld airlines.