Due to an extremely low fare on United for flights to Rio de Janeiro from Orlando, I was forced into a pretty crazy routing to earn a total of 14,812 miles. I flew DCA-MCO-IAH-GIG and returned GIG-IAH-DEN-MCO-DCA. Yeah, that’s a lot of flying, but I got mad miles for it and I slept most of the time, so it wasn’t that bad!
The flights were nothing terrible and nothing great. Since my long flights were in economy class I didn’t find them particularly interesting.
My roommate and I booked our stay at the JW Marriott Rio de Janeiro with Marriott points (Category 8, 40,000 points/night), a decent deal considering the standard rates at this hotel are often well north of $400. The hotel is located smack dab in the middle of Copacabana Beach, making it one of the best situated hotels in Rio. We had a standard deluxe ocean-view room with a beautiful view of the beach. One of my favorite features of the JW Marriott Rio de Janeiro is the stellar rooftop patio and pool. Since we were both Marriott elite, we had access to the concierge lounge with its two-story glass wall overlooking Copacabana. A delicious breakfast was served in the lounge as was a variety of tasty appetizers and unlimited beer and wine every evening.
Because we had a group, we hired a guide who took us to see all the sights in a minibus–it was really fantastic, and I would highly recommend it for convenience sake.
Admittedly, I was a bit apprehensive about my trip to Rio, simply because of Brazil’s somewhat negative reputation due to the violence in Rio and other large cities. After spending four days there, I am happy to report that at no point did I feel in danger.
Sean Ryan of Points, Planes and Passports at Prior2Boarding
FFP miles earned:
Total 29,620 United MileagePlus award miles; 14,810 PQMs. MCO-IAH-GIG-IAH-DEN-MCO (on UA): 13,292 miles flown / PQM for 26,584 redeemable miles earned (with UA Premier 1K bonus). DCA-MCO/ MCO-DCA (on US): 1,518 miles flown / PQM for 3,036 redeemable miles earned (with UA Premier 1K bonus)
Hotel points spent:
120,000 Marriott points
Approximate flight cost:
Airline(s) / Routing:
DCA-MCO; MCO-DCA on US Airways. Mileage Run: MCO-IAH-GIG / GIG-IAH-DEN-MCO on United
Month/year of trip: