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View From the Wing
(Program Reviews - Side by Side Comparison - Website Reviews)
Rated: May 2013- You canâ€™t miss the moving text at TAM Fidelidadeâ€™s otherwise quiet and unassuming website at http://www.tam.com.br
There are two prominent boxes with rotating information that highlights important aspects of the program. The first box points out that members can redeem 10,000 points one-way for flights within Brazil without blackout dates or seat restrictions. In the second box, members are reminded that the Star Alliance is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. There is no mention that TAM will be leaving the Star Alliance and joining oneworld in the second quarter of 2014. The change is still over a year away and for now, the program celebrates its Star Alliance membership. The action in both boxes is continuous and after initially attracting our attention, the movement was distracting.
There are four boxes with pictures on the main page, including links to: The Program, Upgrade Class of Service, Earn Points and Redeem Points. Several links located in a menu on the left side of the page allow you to click to more specific aspects of the program, including how to redeem points for flights, upgrades and Star Alliance upgrades under the main topic of How to Redeem Points. For members unfamiliar with the program, the links on the main page provide general guidance whereas members who know what information they are looking for can access it directly from the more detailed menu on the left.
When registering for the program, members are required to enter their foreign ID, though we didnâ€™t have our passport number handy and any number will work. If you enter your phone number, which is an optional field, take note that the box to the right is checked for â€œI accept to receive SMS from TAM.â€ If you donâ€™t want to receive text messages, uncheck the box. You will also be automatically signed up to receive communication from TAM, TAM Viagens, TAM Fidelidade, SuperPontes TAM and partners unless you uncheck the relevant boxes.
Members can only book award flights online for TAM flights. Members will need to contact the service center to request an award on a partner airline. Requests for missing points, including partner points, can be made online.
The terms and conditions of the program can be found by clicking Regulations where the Rules link will direct you to a list of 21 aspects of the program that is similar to a FAQ, although not in a Q&A format. Click a topic, such as Blackout dates for using points, to find more information about that topic.
Information about the elite program is listed under Categories where each elite level is listed along with a link to learn more about the category.
There wasnâ€™t a link to news or bonus promotions although information about changes to the program was found under the Rules topic. We would have liked to have seen a separate category for current promotions and news. We also found that pages were slow to load.