Deal Alert: Premium Economy Flights to Brazil From $600 or 40,000 Points Round-Trip

Apr 17, 2019

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Airfare deals are typically only available on limited dates. We recommend you use Google Flights to find dates to fly, then book through an online travel agency such as Orbitz or Expedia, which allows you to cancel flights without penalty by 11pm Eastern Time within one day of booking. However, if you’re using The Platinum Card® from American Express, you’ll need to book directly with the airline or through the Amex Travel portal to get 5x MR points. Remember: Fares may disappear quickly, so book right away and take advantage of Orbitz or Expedia’s courtesy cancellation if you’re unable to get the time away from work or family.

American Airlines is on the verge of finishing its years-long retrofit program to get premium economy on a vast majority of its international fleet. And if you haven’t gotten a chance to try it out yet, a deal just popped up that’ll let you book AA’s premium economy cabin for cheaper than flying in economy for flights between the US and Rio De Janeiro (GIG).

Back in early 2018, I flew the same AA Boeing 777-200 aircraft type that’s flying between Miami (MIA) and Rio, and I found that AA’s premium economy product was a solid offering. The hard product offers extra seat width (2-4-2 configuration vs. 3-4-3 in economy) and a half-foot more legroom than in economy.

Window seats in premium economy on American Airlines' Boeing 777-200. Image by JT Genter / The Points Guy
Window seats in premium economy on American Airlines’ Boeing 777-200. Image by JT Genter / The Points Guy

But, it was the soft product — the service, food and amenities — where AA’s premium economy impressed. Effectively, the seat, food and service is equivalent to a good domestic first class flight.

To search, head to Google Flights and enter your origin and destination cities. Scroll through the calendar function to find dates and prices that work for you. Finally, click through to book directly with the airline or through an OTA like Priceline or Expedia.

Airline: American Airlines
Routes: IAH/PBI/ORD/BWI to GIG
Cost: $600+ round-trip in premium economy
Dates: August-November and January-February
Pay With: The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on airfare booked directly with the airline), Citi Prestige Card (5x on airfare plus excellent trip delay insurance),  Citi Premier® CardChase Sapphire ReserveAmerican Express® Gold Card (3x on airfare) or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel)

Here are a few examples of what you can book:

Houston (IAH) to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil (GIG) for $600 round-trip in premium economy in September:

Houston (IAH) to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil (GIG) for 39,966 Ultimate Rewards points round-trip in premium economy:

Houston (IAH) to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil (GIG) for $600 round-trip in premium economy in October:

West Palm Beach (PBI) to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil (GIG) for $883 round-trip in premium economy:

Chicago (ORD) to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil (GIG) for $1,018 round-trip in premium economy:

Baltimore (BWI) to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil (GIG) for $1,049 round-trip in premium economy:

Maximize Your Purchase

Don’t forget to use a credit card that earns additional points on airfare purchases, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel), Citi Prestige Card (5x on airfare on plus excellent trip delay insurance), Chase Sapphire ReserveAmerican Express® Gold Card Citi Premier® Card (3x on airfare) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on all travel purchases). Check out this post for more on maximizing airfare purchases.

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Featured photo by Agustin Diaz / EyeEm via Getty Images

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