Destinations Running Round the World With Miles

Finally! I Booked My Elusive Business Class Award On One Of The Desolate Southern Hemisphere Routes

elusive business class
Written by Charlie

My big Running Round the World With Miles event is fast approaching and my mileage is really starting to ramp up more. By the end of the month, I will be running at least 100 miles a week with some peak mileage weeks thrown in there to help me get to where I need to be. At the same time, I am dealing with some pretty intense heat training as well – today’s run was in a very warm 95 degrees!

Finally Booked My Elusive Business Class Award

elusive business class

At last – I get to fly in business class on one of the most desolate flight routes – from

The training is what is really taking attention now since I have already booked all of my tickets for the trip. However, there was one ticket that I kept watching and waiting for a bit. It was the Sydney – Santiago ticket aboard Qantas for the 5th marathon distance run. At 37,500 miles, it was a great deal but it was in economy. While I am certainly not against flying economy (2/3rds of my flying is probably in economy), I really did not want the 12 hour flight after my 4th marathon distance in 2 days to be having to sit upright the whole time. I have done it before in an event like this and I remember enough to know that getting business would be a huge help.

The Desolate Southern Hemisphere Routing

Map generated by the Great Circle Mapper – copyright © Karl L. Swartz

But, business class on that route was only showing one seat on one day over 3 months of flights! In fact, even economy only has isolated dates available over that same period. The route is, of course, in the somewhat desolate flight routes of the Southern Hemisphere so it certainly is one in demand. There are not that many flights that go from Australia to Santiago, or even much of South America at all for that matter. Because of that, I was not optimistic that I would get what I wanted. On the positive side, at least I have oneworld elite status that would give me priority access and lounge access to make the airport process a little smoother.

In addition to the Qantas’ non-stop from Sydney to Santiago, there is a LAN Airlines flight that goes from Sydney to Santiago via Auckland. I have been checking that flight as well and, up to now, not found even economy available.

Found It!

Until today! Today, I actually saw 2 business class seats available on that route and quickly called American Airlines to book that flight. Since it was to an upgraded cabin without a change of cities, it did not cost me anything to make the changes and even the taxes and fees stayed the same. I did have to pay the difference – a very cheap 12,500 miles! That is really a great deal to fly from Sydney, Australia to Santiago, Chile for only 50,000 miles one way!

elusive business class

Getting to lie down here will be a huge help! – from

So, what did I lose by making this change? Now, I will be leaving almost 2 hours earlier (which is okay because I am spending the night in a hotel after I finish the run in Sydney so it just means a little less sleep in a hotel) and arriving 1.5 hours later. I will also have a layover situation but I am not worried about it since it is a continuing flight. I figured the 1.5 hour loss on the arrival end (leaving me about 8 hours in Santiago) would be acceptable considering I am gaining the ability to lie-flat for 12 hours instead of sitting upright. That advantage, I think, makes up for the loss in time. At worst, I will have to shift my route a bit.

The plus side? Obviously, I get to fly in business and that means that the entire journey will now take place in either business class or first class. Also, I get to try out LAN’s 787 airplane and see what their business class aboard that aircraft is like.

Here is what the updated table looks like on the miles and cash spent, routes being flown, and airlines/cabins being used.

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Have you flown the Southern Hemisphere, trans-ocean flights before? How about LAN’s 787 – thoughts?

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.


  • When it was the old LAN A340 there were more award seats available. When they transitioned to the LAN 787 on that route I noticed zero availability at first but now they’re opening up.
    Have a great time! From my experience LAN 787 service was typical south american. No frills but they get the job done. It’s a flat seat so at least you can rest — but after running all these marathons, I’d imaging you want your legs raised up to allow bloodflow throughout your body versus being completely flat. 😉

  • The LAN 787 is awesome. Even in coach the seats are comfortable. Good luck. Maybe next time I will join you in some of these races.

    • Thanks for the report! Looking forward to it – and anytime you want to join me on a run, I would welcome it happily! Hopefully, we can cross paths at some point.