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Any affordable way to the Galapagos from GYE?

Any affordable way to the Galapagos from GYE?

Old May 21, 11, 4:23 pm
  #1  
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Any affordable way to the Galapagos from GYE?

I'm thinking of taking my family to the Galapagos. I've been eyeing this new LAN service to GPS, and thinking of redeeming AA points to get us there. Unfortunately, LAN doesn't seem to be giving AA any award seats to the Galapagos, so that means we can only fly "for free" to Guayaquil (GYE).

From what I can tell, it's expensive to fly GYE-GPS. Are there any tricks to get the fare reasonable, like buy it locally? Any other transport options?

I figure a vacation in the Galapagos is going to be expensive, so I'm reluctant to spend a lot of money just to get there from GYE.

Thanks.
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Old May 21, 11, 4:30 pm
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How cheap do you want it?
LAN's Ecuador site currently has it for US$213 which I think is the cheapest I have ever seen it
http://www.lan.com/es_ec/sitio_perso...iversario.html
If you find your itinerary on LAN you may be able to get it cheaper on AA.com because they may knock off some taxes that you are not liable to pay (Not an Ecuador expert but that certainly works when I go BOG LIM UIO LIM BOG)
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Old May 21, 11, 8:13 pm
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Originally Posted by JohnnyColombia View Post
How cheap do you want it?
LAN's Ecuador site currently has it for US$213 which I think is the cheapest I have ever seen it
http://www.lan.com/es_ec/sitio_perso...iversario.html
If you find your itinerary on LAN you may be able to get it cheaper on AA.com because they may knock off some taxes that you are not liable to pay (Not an Ecuador expert but that certainly works when I go BOG LIM UIO LIM BOG)
Yup, I'd be willing to pay that (even though I should be able to fly it free on points).

But, as often the case with LAN, gringos aren't allowed to fly on that fare. The gringo fare is $360 (so for my family of 5, $1800). I'm not willing to pay that.
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Old May 21, 11, 9:02 pm
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Wow I didn't know that LAN had discriminatory fares in Ecuador as well as Peru Argentina and Chile.

Sorry for that, had I known I wouldn't have suggested it, at least not before asking if you could prove that you are ecuadorian.

Aerogal has it for 90 bucks less, Aerogal site wont book it, Aerogal is owned by Avianca which also won't book it, but you could try calling AV and see what price they will give you.

I have only had limited problems booking LAN inventory on AAdvantage, inventory kept coming and going so it is definitely worth calling AA a few more times to see if there is any. I don't know when you are thinking of going.

LANPASS has full inventory for GYE GPS and it is 15000 RT per pax. A total of 75000 for your whole family. If you fancy a gamble, you could sign up for LANPASS and buy 6000 kms for $0.02 each, then once or twice a year, LAN lets you buy upto 100,000kms for $0.01 each so long as you have 6k in your account. So you buy another 69,000 miles to make your 75000 and the whole family can go for US$810 plus taxes

Its a round the houses approach but I don't know how much you fancy playing the system
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Old May 22, 11, 6:56 am
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Originally Posted by iahphx View Post
The gringo fare is $360 (so for my family of 5, $1800). I'm not willing to pay that.
There's another big-ticket item you need to factor into your budget: the Galapagos entry tax. You'll fork over $100 pp upon arrival in the islands; $50 for anyone under 12.
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Old May 22, 11, 7:23 am
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Originally Posted by JohnnyColombia View Post
LANPASS has full inventory for GYE GPS and it is 15000 RT per pax. A total of 75000 for your whole family. If you fancy a gamble, you could sign up for LANPASS and buy 6000 kms for $0.02 each, then once or twice a year, LAN lets you buy upto 100,000kms for $0.01 each so long as you have 6k in your account. So you buy another 69,000 miles to make your 75000 and the whole family can go for US$810 plus taxes

Its a round the houses approach but I don't know how much you fancy playing the system
Hmmm. I'll have to look at that again. I thought I saw 30K per person for the roundtrip, which would be no bargain. I had to do something similar in Peru to get to Cuzco, given the extortionate fares LAN was charging gringos there (as you can see, this is LAN's standard business practice; although in Peru, I think the gringo fare was 3x the price!).

I actually wouldn't mind paying SOMETHING for a mainland Ecuador-GPS flight because this way I can stop over in, say, Quito. An AA coach award to Ecuador is very cheap (30,000 miles for much of the year), but they don't allow foreign stopovers.
Originally Posted by SJOGuy View Post
There's another big-ticket item you need to factor into your budget: the Galapagos entry tax. You'll fork over $100 pp upon arrival in the islands; $50 for anyone under 12.
Yeah, I'm aware of that fee. That's why, to make this "work" as a plausible family vacation, I need to keep my airfare expenses to a minimum. I'm also certain that boat/lodging expenses for a family won't be cheap in the Galapagos.
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Old May 28, 11, 10:09 am
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LIM->GYE->GPS round trip 30,000 AA plus $66

Not sure it is good price to you or not.
I think it is great deal when I finally able to book this 30,000 AA miles + 46 tax + 20 ticket fee.
LIM -> GYE 6/27/11
GYE -> GPS 6/28
GPS -> GYE 7/2
GYE -> LIM 7/3

That was a few month ago. I called BA agent, there tax is much higher than AA.
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Old Jun 22, 11, 4:44 pm
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I wish you luck, we searched and searched and it seems that these flights do not tend to go on sale.

If you go to the Galapagos be aware it is expensive to get there unfortunately, regardless if you fly from Guayaquil or Lima.
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Old Jun 22, 11, 6:18 pm
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With intervention from oneworld management (AA customer service refused to look into my problem independently), I got AA to fix "the glitch" that prevented AA from booking my LAN flights to the Galapagos. So now I have the whole trip from the USA to the Galapagos in coach for 30,000 AA miles per person -- which is obviously a sweet deal.

Now I have to think of a creative way to vacation in the Galapagos without spending a fortune. Those "adventure cruises" seem beyond what I'd be willing to pay (not planning a trip of a lifetime, just a family vacation). I understand that there are affordable land-based options.
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Old Jun 22, 11, 10:51 pm
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There are, our group had a great time with one called Galapagos Alternative, they basically plan most everything for you once you say what you would like.

We got to see a bunch of different islands and stayed on two different islands.

I'm not saying it's better than a cruise (because I never did a cruise), but I did not feel short changed in the least, and we got to support the local economy and experience the Galapagos lifestyle.

Isabela is awesome btw, if you go there do not miss the channel swim with a hundred white tip sharks!

Anyway, that's one company... there are others I'm certain.
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Old Aug 6, 11, 10:24 am
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AeroGal

Check AeroGal for flights from GYE to Galapagos.
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Old Aug 9, 11, 2:57 pm
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Originally Posted by iahphx View Post
With intervention from oneworld management (AA customer service refused to look into my problem independently), I got AA to fix "the glitch" that prevented AA from booking my LAN flights to the Galapagos. So now I have the whole trip from the USA to the Galapagos in coach for 30,000 AA miles per person -- which is obviously a sweet deal.

Now I have to think of a creative way to vacation in the Galapagos without spending a fortune. Those "adventure cruises" seem beyond what I'd be willing to pay (not planning a trip of a lifetime, just a family vacation). I understand that there are affordable land-based options.
We are planning a trip in Sept to the Galapagos, so I'd love to know what you had to do to "fix the glitch".....I am running into the same problem as you...i.e. we can only get to GYE for free....

Could you share your experiences in getting to GPS from the US for 30K ?

Thanks
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Old Aug 9, 11, 10:42 pm
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Originally Posted by silvermaple View Post
We are planning a trip in Sept to the Galapagos, so I'd love to know what you had to do to "fix the glitch".....I am running into the same problem as you...i.e. we can only get to GYE for free....

Could you share your experiences in getting to GPS from the US for 30K ?

Thanks
See here:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...universal.html
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Old Aug 10, 11, 8:23 am
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Originally Posted by UA Fan View Post
So was the end result that you emailed Mr. Blunt?

I don't see any availability from GYE to GPS on BA's site (when trying to "book through partners") for several dates that I check. Is there a better way of checking availability?
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Old Aug 10, 11, 12:54 pm
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Originally Posted by dvdapex View Post
So was the end result that you emailed Mr. Blunt?

I don't see any availability from GYE to GPS on BA's site (when trying to "book through partners") for several dates that I check. Is there a better way of checking availability?
Yes. Blunt was able to get it for me. I have no idea whether he's still willing to help others. Obviously, fixing this glitch seems to be nobody's priority, which stinks.

BTW, when they added the GPS segment, they also took an additional 5,000 miles per ticket out of my account. so it became 35,000 miles in coach. I'm guessing that's correct -- if not, I need to complain. On the other hand, it somehow reduced the taxes by about $40, so I guess I can't complain too much. Funny how adding a flight (especially to the Galapagos) would reduce your tax, but who knows.
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