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The trick is starting your trip in Brazil.
Over the past couple of years I’ve noticed American Airlines opens more space to Brazil ( namely Sao Paolo and Rio ) than anywhere else they service in South America ( long haul ). And that’s fine by me…Brazil is high on my list of places to visit. Whether you’re looking to hit up the sandy beaches of Ipanema, gaze at the majestic Iguazu Falls, or immerse yourself in the hustle bustle of Sao Paulo – there’s a lot to do just in Brazil. It’s also a great place start a trip and then continue on to Argentina, Chile, or Uruguay. And that’s just what I’ve been planning to do.
Later in the year, I have a trip penciled in for South America. ( I’ve actually penciled in a trip to South America since 2012, so fingers crossed this year). While researching the trip, one particular location stuck out in my head, Brasilia. There was always a lot of award availability, but I’d mainly focused on seeing Rio and Sao Paulo so hadn’t seriously considered going there until… Last night. It hit me. This could be a great use of Iberia Avios, especially those 90k promo miles that are going to expire come December 1st. Here’s why.
What I discovered was a sweet spot in Iberia’s award chart for flying American Airlines in business class – stay under 8k miles roundtrip and you’ll do it for 100k Avios instead of 150k Avios ( 8k-12k roundtrip flight miles ). Most of the really good longhaul routes to South America don’t come in under 8k miles, but one does. Miami to Brasilia. From Brasilia you can easily fly direct to Rio, Sao Paulo, and Iguazu Falls. Here’s a map via Google Maps: it’s less than a 2 hour flight to Rio.
Here’s the Iberia Avios redemption chart for American Airlines.
Using milecalc.com – here’s a look at various routing options on American from the US to South America. All over 8k miles roundtrip, pricing at 150k Iberia Avios.
Miami is the southernmost city, but I’ve thrown in some Dallas routes as well.
Check out this route. Miami to Brasilia. 7200 miles roundtrip. 100k Avios.
It’s super easy to book on Iberia.com and carries low fees.
AA services this route with a retrofit 757. It uses the same business class as their transcon A321T.
Is this the best business class American offers to South America? No, they fly their 77W on many routes, but this is a very good business class and the flight is roughly 8 hours.
For comparison’s sake…it’s the seat KLM uses on most of their business class flights.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, you can simply, and instantly, transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards to Iberia to shore your account from 90k to 100k.
The easiest way to search for availability is using AA.com. Set your parameters for Non-stop. Here’s a sample of what it will look like:
Hope this gets your creative juices flowing!
I’m not sure that I’ll ultimately do this, but it’s worth knowing it’s possible, and illustrates how routing, and being creative had stretch your points a lot further than you may think at first glance.
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Monkey Miles has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Monkey Miles and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers