United Airlines announced expanded service between the U.S. and 19 countries in Central and South America by partnering with Copa and Avianca airlines. Here’s what you need to know about the partnership:
- The cities and routes are not confirmed yet. This partnership is expected to yield seamless service between more than 12,000 city pairs. Those cities have yet to be officially identified.
- You’ll have access to additional nonstop flights, too. The agreement isn’t just to increase the number of cities, though. For example, United already has flights to Panama City. However, you may get access to more nonstop flights as Panama City is the hub of Copa.
- Connecting flights from the U.S. will be timed better with Central and South American connections. One of the lesser-known benefits of partnership agreements can be that partnering airlines will work to align flights with connections.
- Star Alliance partners such as United would be able to use frequent flyer miles on these new routes. Avianca and Copa will open seats to members of United’s frequent flyer program and members of partner airlines in the Star Alliance.
- The agreement isn’t approved yet. While expected to be approved by the U.S. and Latin American governments, tickets won’t be sold until the approval is official. Brazil may be added to the package at a later date.
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- Airline miles and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®).
- Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card (Earn unlimited 2 miles per dollar on every purchase).
- Premium travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve® (Get 3 points per dollar on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases).
- No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card (Earn unlimited 1.5 points per dollar spent on all purchases, with no annual fee).
- Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express (Get 5 points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel, plus get access to the Global Lounge Collection). Terms Apply.
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
Why you should fly first class at least once, and how to afford it
United Airlines replaces first-class intercontinental flights with Polaris seating
5 ways to save money and nab last-minute flight deals