How do you get to Easter Island?
With LATAM leaving oneworld, how do you get to Easter Island and can you get there with Avios?
There are only two ways to get to Easter Island: From Tahiti, French Polynesia or from Santiago, Chile.
Both these routes are flown by LATAM.
And that’s it. It’s the only way. After all, it’s one of the most remote airports on earth so perhaps it should be surprising that a 5 hour flight from Chile will get you there.
Can you get to Easter Island with Avios?
Well, yes, but availability has all but vanished since LATAM announced it is leaving oneworld. You can still find the occasional flight with space, but there aren’t many.
From Tahiti (PPT) to Easter Island (IPC) it’s quite easy to find award tickets in business class, but the only flight is on a Tuesday. You only stand a chance if you search for one way tickets, and economy tickets are virtually impossible to find.
It will cost you 38750 Avios and taxes of £25.50.
Yes, you can still use Avios, up until 30th April when LATAM leaves oneworld, even for flights after 30th April. Travel after 30th April and you won’t get any of your oneworld status perks, but you won’t be missing out on anything with a business class redemption.
If you are going from Tahiti then the Avios option could be reasonable value. From Santiago, business class tickets are often priced at only a small premium over economy.
Tickets from Tahiti aren’t cheap, because there’s no competition, and only one weekly flight. An economy ticket starts at around £400, and business is more like £1500.
If you’re island hopping through the Pacific like I did, then know that a one way ticket from PPT to IPC is often hundreds of pounds more expensive that a return. You should check the fare conditions carefully, but you could potentially save over £300 by booking a return and cancelling the return leg once you get to IPC.
Don’t expect too much from business class though. The seating on the 787 is 2-2-2 and the service is nothing to write home about.
How do you get to Easter Island from Chile?
From Chile, there are more flights, but very limited availability with Avios.
LATAM flies its 787 to Easter Island from Santiago every day of the week.
The thing to know is that business class tickets are often not much more than economy. Round-trip economy tickets can be as cheap as £200, rising to over £700 at busier times. Business class is often not much more than an extra £100.
LATAM doesn’t have the best reputation for food and service. The seats are fully flat but usually the 2-2-2 layout on this route. LATAM does have 787s with a newer 1-2-1 layout, but you probably won’t get it on this route.
Another thing to know is that booking on the LATAM Chile website will get you much cheaper tickets than if you book on a Europe or US version of the LATAM website.
The cheaper tickets are intended for residents of Chile, and so if you try this option there is always a chance that you could be asked to pay a surcharge when you try to check-in. Many people have reported having no such problem, but you should check the terms and research the risk yourself.
Now that you know how to get to Easter Island, know also that it is definitely worth the effort to get there.
The Moai all in a line at Ahu Tongariki are stunning.
The most iconic ones on the hillside at Rano Raraku are spellbinding.
Bombing around the island in a rented Suzuki Jimny is brilliant fun because the place is empty.
Watching the sunset behind the Moai at Ahu Tahi, right next to the main town of Hanga Roa, is magic.
The atmosphere and culture and locals and the food and music will all leave an impression.