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Business Class from Many Cities to Rio de Janeiro for ~$2,000 Total Roundtrip on US and American!

by on February 28, 2013 · 11 comments

in Amazing Deal Alerts, American, Discounted Business/ First Class, US Airways

US Airways just loaded some competitive roundtrip business class fares to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil:

$2,005 total roundtrip from JFK (via Charlotte) = 10,471 base miles, plus class of service bonus depending on where you bank your miles
$2,005 total roundtrip from Miami (via Charlotte) = 10,688 base miles, plus class of service bonus depending on where you bank your miles
$2,191 total roundtrip from LAX (via Charlotte) = 13,638 base miles, plus class of service bonus depending on where you bank your miles
These book into A class for the domestic legs and Z class for the international portion. Both A and Z earn 150% accrual in US Airways Dividend Miles, meaning your total elite and redeemable miles would both be 15,707 for JFK-CLT-GIG and 20,457 for LAX-CLT-GIG. Note: US Airways and American are merging, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to combine elite miles this year, so I wouldn’t recommend buying and flying a US Airways flight if you need that to count towards your 2014 American elite status.

When searching other cities, it looks like American has matched these fares in US hubs, like Philadelphia- PHL-MIA-GIG roudntrip in business for $2,007 roundtrip!

Note: when searching for flights originating in Brazil, the fares were $3,200+
RIO NY Fare

These fares are bookable on usairways.com, but I used the ITA Matrix to search by the month to pull up all available dates, of which there are many. There also doesn’t seem to be a minimum stay, so quick trips are a possibility.  Fares are usually upwards of $3,500-$5,000, so this is nearly 50% off and the fare is good almost all year long- even in December over Christmas and New Year’s! I spent New Year’s in Rio three years ago and it was incredible- such a party all across the city and the famed party on Copacabana beach where you wear all white and run into the ocean at midnight for good luck.

While US Airways isn’t known for top notch premium service, Charlotte- Rio de Janeiro is serviced by their Airbus A330 aircraft, which is fitted with their premium lie-flat sleeper seats and they generally get great reviews from travelers. I haven’t flown them on US Airways, but Cathay Pacific has the same seats in business class, which I really like.

Herringbone lie-flat seats to Rio? I'm in

Herringbone lie-flat seats to Rio? I’m in

Rio is a lot more expensive than you might realize, plus you need to get a $160 visa before leaving- I wrote about my process here. Since then, TPG reader Steve at Allied Passport handles all of my visas and their expediency and time saved is well worth their fees in my opinion.

I redeemed points to stay at the Intercontinental in Sao Conrado, which was an okay hotel, but it is about 15-20 minutes out of the action. Next time I go to Rio, I’d like to stay at the JW Marriott or splurge and stay at the top notch Fasano. Though realistically, I’ll probably just rent an apartment, since that can be the most economical option.

I can’t imagine these fares will last long, so book now if you’re interested- US Airways has a 24 hour risk free cancellation in case you decide you can’t swing it. This is a big airfare purchase, so make sure you maximize it and get the most points possible- check out this point for my tips on maximizing airfare purchases.

Hat tip TPG reader Scott / Passageiro de Primeira (Portuguese)

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  • AM

    I’m also seeing LAX-GIG on Copa business for under $2000. How’s their business class? Old style?

  • http://www.facebook.com/fabiovilela Fábio Vilela

    Just a side note: US Airways is removing the A330 from Rio route by the end of March and putting back the 767.
    Guarulhos-Sao Paulo route that will start on 1st of June will also be served with the old 767.
    Both flights to LAX or LGA, if booked through Orbitz or USAirways.com are $1,661.74 all-in.

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  • Hmmm

    How exactly are you getting $1660 on orbitz? I’m unable to replicate on Orbitz LGA-GIG in November.

  • FlyingDoctorwu

    Old old style… 737 with domestic first type seating/service

  • LR

    TPG,

    My favorite hotel in Rio is the Copacabana Palace. It’s in Copacabana. If you want to stay in Ipanema, a mile away, a bit swankier, stay at JW Marriott,Fasano, Mirasol Ipanema, or Caesar Park.

    Fasano has an amazing pool that will amaze you. Spectacular.

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  • Wandering Sheppard

    Before you hit Buy make sure you have a Visa. There is a consulate in Miami (bayshore drive in Coconut Grove). It takes a day, but you need to be there in person. Back in 2000 people were in the lobby after being denied at MIA.

  • http://www.facebook.com/fabiovilela Fábio Vilela

    Those fares were for flights originating in Brazil not the other way around.

  • http://themilesprofessor.com/ The Miles Professor

    I just went to Rio in December. Flew Business Class back, but with miles on United in flat-bed seats :). Weather there is great so nice to go especially in this cold weather. And with Carnaval over, it will be empty and not touristy at all!

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