Mar232015

Which itinerary is your travel style, single destination or multiple countries? Nested ticket strategy for more travel at same cost.

Days after the millennium crisis of technological doom on 1/1/2000 was averted, an offer “too good to be true” hit the forums of FlyerTalk when rumor spread of a one million mile bonus promotion from a frequent flyer program called LatinPass. That promotion was good, not too good to be true, but too good for LatinPass to remain financially solvent as a company.

Flying ten flight segments on Latin American airline members of LatinPass to earn over one million frequent flyer miles took me to Colombia, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Peru, Ecuador, Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic to fly the required flight segments on different Latin American airlines like Copa and Avianca for one million miles.

I realized yesterday it has been 15 years since I bounced around Central America and South America and the Caribbean to earn 1,014,000 miles with Latinpass frequent flyer program. I transferred around 650,000 miles to Marriott Rewards and Hilton HHonors at an exchange rate of 1 mile = 2 points and redeemed the remainder of my LatinPass miles for business class tickets to Buenos Aires, Argentina, Santiago, Chile and Quito, Ecuador. All in all, I redeemed those miles for about $30,000 in real value for free Hilton hotel rooms and business class flights. I paid about $4,000 for several trips and more than a dozen flights to earn those miles in March to June 2000.

Yesterday I researched a discount airfare on AeroMexico from Las Vegas to Medellin, Colombia MDE at $419.20 roundtrip in April. That fare had me thinking about Latinpass.

The routing is Las Vegas LAS- Mexico City MEX-Medellin, Colombia MDE. The Aeromexico V fare class earns 50% miles with Delta SkyMiles or Alaska Mileage Plan.

AeroMexico LAS-MEX-MDE April 9-15 $419

LAS-MDE Medellin $419

 

Is Your Travel Style Single Destination or Multiple Countries?

My LatinPass days came to mind as I looked for good deals from Medellin, Colombia to find fares to Curitiba in southern Brazil for $463 and Iguazu Falls Brazil IGU Airport for $461. Curitiba, Brazil was the place I found most intriguing as I researched cities in Brazil during World Cup soccer last summer.

Fare discounts like these allow a person to travel to Colombia and Brazil for the same or even less than flights directly to Brazil.

Las Vegas LAS – Iguazu Falls, Brazil IGU

$971.46 United Airlines/Tam Tuesday

May 5 – Friday, May 15, 2015

LAS-IGU Iguazu Brazil $972 May2015

Most dates in May 2015 price at $963 to about $1011.

You can get to Iguazu Falls Brazil IGU for the same price and visit Medellin Colombia MDE too by traveling in April 2015.

The AeroMexico itinerary dates above for LAS-MDE are April 9-15. Change the dates for a two week trip and hopscotch from Las Vegas to Brazil via Colombia on two discount tickets that cost less than one ticket to Brazil.

Las Vegas LAS- Medellin, Colombia MDE

AeroMexico $419.20 bookable on AeroMexico site.

Thursday April 9 to Wednesday April 22

LAS-MDE April 9-22 $420

Thursday April 9 to Thursday April 23, 2015

There are Aeromexico schedules allowing all day or overnight in Mexico City at no additional cost.

Medellin, Colombia – Iguazu Falls, Brazil $462 TAM

Monday April 13 – Sunday April 19, 2015

Arrival in Medellin, Colombia and stay a few days before traveling out to Iguazu Falls, Brazil on a separate discount ticket with TAM.

This flight schedule allows for an overnight in Sao Paulo, if desired, for same price. The itinerary below is travel from IGU to MDE without overnight.

MDE-IGU Medellin-Iguazu BR $462

LAN from Colombia to Sao Paulo GRU Brazil and Tam arrival in Iguazu Falls IGU in late morning is good time for hotel check-in.

MDE-IGU -2

Two nested tickets trips

  • Las Vegas to Medellin, Colombia AeroMexico = $419.20
  • Medellin, Colombia to Iguazu Falls, Brazil LAN/TAM = $462

April 9: Las Vegas to Medellin, Colombia AeroMexico = $419.20

3 nights Medellin, Colombia Friday April 10 – Sunday April 12

Monday April 13: Fly to Brazil

Medellin, Colombia to Iguazu Falls, Brazil LAN/TAM = $462

5 nights Iguazu Falls, Brazil Tuesday April 14 –Saturday April 18

Sunday April 19: Fly to Colombia

3 nights Medellin, Colombia Sunday April 19 to Tuesday, April 21

Wednesday, April 22: Fly to Las Vegas.

Total airfare = $881 to Medellin, Colombia and Iguazu Falls, Brazil on two nested tickets with routing potential for overnight in Sao Paulo, Brazil and Mexico City, or not.

Or pay $971 for a ticket Las Vegas LAS – Iguazu Falls, Brazil, IGU with United Airlines and TAM.

When I planned LatinPass I went through dozens of route iterations to reduce the price of the paid trips to earn one million miles. Much of that planning looked at how I could travel between cities with lowest route fares.

That same strategy works for vacation planning these days and Google Flights makes finding low fare routes so much easier.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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  1. Ok, you got almost all of them right, so I am not going to give you a hard time. Colombia, not Columbia

  2. @nic – I fixed that ONE misspelled Colombia.

    I have been researching my trip for British Columbia next month and the ‘u’ is natural to type.

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