This week Fabulous Fridays deals with short-haul awards that can sometimes be good value when paid tickets are expensive that is usually the case when you need to travel on short notice and on weekdays.
The other week, I was in Brazil and I decided to hop from Sao Paulo to Rio de Janeiro on Thursday. I much prefer flying between the domestic airports (CGH in Sao Paulo and SDU in Rio de Janeiro) in these two cities avoiding the international airports at all cost if possible.
I have covered buying airline tickets in Brazil previously few times. Sometimes tickets are much cheaper when using local websites (SITI) and other times it is favorable to buy them outside of the country (SOTO). This time nothing worked and I was not ready to pay $200+ for this 40 minute flight that usually goes for less than $100.
Then I decided to check award availability using Avios, LifeMiles and Smiles. All had availability at roughly 5000 miles range with variably amount of taxes.
Didn’t choose LifeMiles due to their $25 ticketing “fee”.
Decided to use BA Avios on LATAM Brazil or TAM. 4,500 and 8 euros. Ticket was issued instantaneously.
It always makes sense to have miles and points on number of programs to use them for your advantage. BA’s program strengths are these short-haul awards and not having to speak with anyone to have them issued.
GOL awards are very reasonably priced using Etihad Guest miles but I would rather not spend 20+ minutes on call with someone in Aby Dhabi if I can use Avios and have them issued online.
I really don’t care which airline I use to fly within Brazil. There is hardly any difference between LATAM (TAM) , GOL, Azul and Avianca. Price and schedule dictate the choice.