April 5th, 2013
- Earn 3 MR points per dollar with American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card, 3 MR points per dollar with The Business Gold Rewards Card® from American Express OPEN, or 2.14 UR points per dollar with Chase Sapphire Preferred.
This fare is valid on Copa, a member of the Star Alliance. It’s from JFK to Montevideo via Panama. Airfare to southern South American is normally more than $1,000.
You will earn full miles when credited to United, so that’s 11,170 round-trip miles (worth over $200 in my book). The miles also count towards United elite status.
United elites also get their elite mileage bonuses of 25%-100% bonus miles. United elites are also eligible for complimentary upgrades on all Copa flights!
Alternatively you can credit the flight to Aegean, which only requires 19,000 miles to earn top-tier Star Alliance gold status. Plus Aegean Star Alliance Gold status does not currently seem to expire, so with it you may get 3 free 70 pound checked bags for you and your companions along with free Star Alliance lounge access worldwide for life! Though it would be a good idea to credit at least one Star Alliance flight to Aegean every 3 years just to make sure your account stays active. Fly twice to Uruguay and you’ll have more than enough miles to earn that awesome alliance-wide elite status. Or fly once and you’ll need less than 7,000 more miles to earn Star Gold.
Bear in mind that seasons are inverted, so fall in the US is spring in South America and winter in the US is summer in South America.
There are Chabad Houses and kosher restaurants in Montevideo and Punte del Este.
You can take a ferry nonstop to Buenos Aires from Montevideo or Colonia.
The upshot? While Argentina charges a $160 per person fee for Americans flying into Buenos Aires there is no charge for Americans entering Argentina by ferry! According to recent reports Argentina may now be charging the fee even for arrivals by ferry.
I spent a week last May in Buenos Aires and had a great time. Best of all there was no jetlag as the time zone was only one hour off from home. Plus for the foodies out there, Buenos Aires is home to what’s possibly the best kosher restaurant in the world!
Argentina is very cheap for Americans with an official rate of 1 dollar to 5.1 pesos but on the street and at stores all over in Buenos Aires you can get double that as the Argentine government tightly controls dollars and locals are always looking to trade their pesos for dollars even at highly unfavorable rates. With such cheap pesos you can eat like a king and buy goods for a small fraction of the cost of other travel locations.
Finally don’t forget about Iguazu Falls, a waterfall so lush and beautiful it makes Niagara look like an ugly leaky faucet. It doesn’t hurt that’s located in middle of rainforest that makes the air oh so sweet. You can fly from Buenos Aires (AEP) to Iguazu (IGR) for just 15,000 Avios round-trip, but you have to call BA to book that LAN flight. You’ll need 1.5-2.5 days to fully explore both the Argentinean and Brazillian sides of the falls, each beautiful in the own right. There is a Starwood property located right next to the Argentine side, the only hotel actually in the Argentinian park.
I’ve done your homework for you, below are the currently valid dates for this fare:
More after the jump…
Valid outbound JFK-MVD travel dates:
Valid return MVD-JFK travel dates: