Guess who’s going to the Olympics?!

Well, WE are!

In a very interesting plot twist, a friend of mine managed to get us Opening Ceremony tickets (obrigado, gato!) and we have decided to attend, which means we had to cancel our plans (and tickets!) for our trip to Helsinki, Tallinn and Saint Petersburg.

Guanabara Bay, from Wallpaperweb.org

Guanabara Bay, from Wallpaperweb.org

As this is a last minute change of plans, we had to do our best to secure flights down to Rio, which as you can imagine is not easy given that this is an extremely popular worldwide event. So, no matter how much we tried, we knew it wasn’t going to be ideal, so we had to settle for what was available and not too horribly inconvenient.

First, we needed the long haul international flight down to Brazil… except we couldn’t find anything that wasn’t exorbitant in price. We ended up booking a Business Class flight from Atlanta (ATL) to Santiago de Chile (SCL) on Delta for a mere 62,500 Delta miles each. Great!

Delta One, from Delta.com

Delta One, from Delta.com

But now we need to get from Seattle to Atlanta…

We booked that stretch using a Delta Platinum Amex Companion Ticket so it ended up amounting $230 each, round trip SEA-ATL, ATL-SEA, since Atlanta is going to be our entry point back in the US.

Now, that leaves us in Santiago de Chile, which is you guessed it, not in Brazil. We booked that leg using British Airways Avios on a LATAM flight for 10,000 Avios each.

LATAM Airlines from airlinersphotostream.com

LATAM Airlines from airlinersphotostream.com

For the way back, since there was no way out of Rio direct to the US without us having to mortgage our house, we decided for a more convoluted screwed up inventive routing. We secured a Gol flight from GIG in Rio to EZE in Buenos Aires, which would have cost $460 one way… on the “low cost” airline. Since that wasn’t happening, we booked it using Delta Skymiles for a much more convenient sum of 12,500 miles each. We are going with our friend Bruce, so we figured we’ll take this opportunity to show him Buenos Aires for a couple of days and do all of the touristy things I never got to do while I lived there.

Gol flight

Gol flight

After eating all of the asado my body will digest, savoring all of the amazingly delicious ice cream I can survive and downing tubs and tubs of dulce de leche, that still leaves us in Buenos Aires, Argentina. From there, we decided to book a Business Class ticket on Delta from EZE to ATL for 62,500 miles.

So this is the routing:

SEA-ATL-SCL-GIG-EZE-ATL-SEA

SEA-ATL-SCL-GIG-EZE-ATL-SEA

Just to recap: we managed to find a rather acceptable routing for us to get to a once in a lifetime event, last minute no less, for the following amounts:

Seattle to Atlanta Economy Class on Delta $115
Atlanta to Santiago de Chile Business Class on Delta 62,500 Skymiles
Santiago de Chile to Rio de Janeiro Economy Class on LATAM 10,000 Avios
Rio de Janeiro to Buenos Aires Economy Class on Gol 12,500 Skymiles
Buenos Aires to Atlanta Business Class on Delta 62,500 Skymiles
Atlanta to Seattle Economy Class on Delta $115

It’s worth noting that, had we not done this Carmen Sandiego world hopping tour, this is what the hole in our wallet would look like:

Delta Coach Brazil

Delta Coach Brazil

 

Yes, let that sink in. Six thousand dollars per person IN COACH! #AintNobodyGotTimeForThat

Opening ceremony is on August 5th, so stay tuned and expect to see our trip report shortly after. Also, if you want to stay updated in a more real time fashion (because, let’s face it, you just can’t wait until we’re back!) you can follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and see what we’re up to during this trip.

See you then!

 

Author: Ben Nickel-D'Andrea

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11 Comments

  1. The “obrigado, gato” is funny enough!

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    • I figured it would be for those who can understand it! (or google it, I suppose…)

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  2. You gave up Helsinki and Tallinn for a place where the police and firefighters are greeting people at the airport for signs that say, “Welcome to Hell”? Where you have a not-laughable chance of getting the Zika virus and possibly infecting your unborn children? What were you thinking?

    Post a Reply
    • Well, I was mainly thinking as a rational human being who can process facts. I have been to Brazil in at least 7 separate occasions and in particular Rio is no more or less dangerous than, say, Chicago or New York. In fact, there are probably higher chances of getting shot anywhere in the US. As for the Zika virus, the normal precautions such as a good quality strong insect repellent, treated clothing and being indoors with either window screens or air conditioning drastically reduce the risk. I recommend you visit this CDC guideline for travelers going to Zika infected areas and get informed.

      Post a Reply
  3. Or the super bugs in
    The water resistant to all antibiotics. Yikes. I passed on an Xmas trip because of that. Can’t swim in the water. But, I’ve been to Brazil several times in the last couple years and agree it is very safe.

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  4. Obrigado amigo! We’ll be at the opening ceremony too!!! We also used miles to get to Rio, although I’m not as smart at finding/booking award flights so ours are in coach, ouch! Maybe we’ll bump into each other and chat over some ice cold Skols! Até logo

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  5. Noticed your posts recently on boarding area. I’m in Portland so interested in your NW travel perspective. Do you only Delta? I’m looking at a South America trip using mostly AA miles.

    Post a Reply
    • Welcome to our corner of the internet, Dustin! I actually try and not use Delta, but since I was platinum for many years with them, and I recently divorced them to move to Alaska, I had about 400,000 miles orphaned with no real purpose in mind. It made perfect sense to use them for this trip. If you want, you can email us at nomascoach@gmail.com and we can look into helping you with those AA miles!

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  6. Have Olympic event tickets if you are interested…Gymnastics including medal round

    Post a Reply
    • We’re all good! Thanks

      Post a Reply

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