OK, I know I might be obsessed with the World Cup in Brazil, as I have written about it multiple times, here, here, and here, and perhaps somewhere else too. My point has always been that good things come to those who wait, and indeed during the last few months, we have witnessed sporadic emergence of Saver award flight availability with Star and One World. Some turned out to be fantom United availability, other routes required a little trick, yet there have been a lot of available seats in the last few months with both United and American that would come and go. And right now, American has unblocked their availability again.
New York – Sao Paulo
Sao Paulo – New York
Availability to Rio is slightly weaker, but it’s there, too! And there are a lot of non-stop or direct flights. I doubt it will get any better than this, and I’m sure it will go away soon. So grab your tickets while you can. If you are a little bit flexible, you will be able to go to this incredible event on your own terms.
I also checked other markets: Philly, Charlotte, Washington, Miami, Dallas, and LA, and availability from those also ranges from decent to excellent. So it’s good news across the board.
That is if by board we mean coach. Premium seats availability is far and between.
If you are not going to Rio or Sao Paulo, that’s not a problem now, that Azul has joined Star Alliance.
For those who don’t know about Azul, it’s an airline created by the founder of JetBlue, and it has excellent coverage of all 12 World Cup cities. What’s even more important is that the award flights are currently bookable on United.com.
Since this map can be a bit confusing, here are the non-stop flights for each of the 12 World Cup cities.
Sao Paulo (Campinas and Guarulhos): Belo Horizonte (Confins, Pampulha), Brasília, Cuiabá, Curitiba (Afonso Pena), Fortaleza, Manaus, Natal, Porto Alegre, Recife, Rio de Janeiro (Galeão, Santos Dumont), Salvador da Bahia,
Manaus: San Paulo (Campinas), Cuiabá, Fortaleza, Recife, Rio de Janeiro (Santos Dumont), Salvador da Bahia.
Fortaleza: Belo Horizonte (Confins), Sao Paulo (Campinas-Viracopos), Manaus, Natal, Recife, Rio de Janeiro (Galeão and Santos Dumont), Salvador da Bahia, São Paulo-Guarulhos.
Natal: Sao Paulo (Campinas), Fortaleza, Recife
Recife: Belo Horizonte-Confins, Sao Paulo (Campinas), Fortaleza, Natal, Rio de Janeiro (Galeão), Salvador da Bahia
Salvador: Belo Horizonte (Confins), Brasília, Natal, Recife
Brasilia: Belo Horizonte (Confins), Porto Alegre, Manaus, Salvador da Bahia
Cuiabá: Belo Horizonte (Confins), Sao Paulo (Campinas), Curitiba (Afonso Pena), Manaus, Porto Alegre, Rio de Janeiro (Galeão and Santos Dumont), Paulo (Guarulhos, Campinas)
Belo Horizonte: Sao Paulo (Campinas, Guarulhos), Rio de Janeiro (Santos Dumont), Cuiabá
Rio de Janeiro (Santos Dumont): Sao Paulo (Campinas), Cuiabá, Curitiba (Afonso Pena), Manaus, Porto Alegre, Recife, , São Paulo (Congonhas, Guarulhos)
Rio de Janeiro (Galeão): Sao Paulo (Campinas), Cuiabá, Fortaleza.
Curitiba: Rio de Janeiro (Santos Dumont), Cuiabá, Sao Paulo (Campinas and Guarulhos).
Porto Alegre: Rio de Janeiro (Santos Dumont), Cuiabá, Brasília, Sao Paulo (Campinas and Guarulhos).
One problem is that United doesn’t see Manaus. You will need to call.
I’ve played with the search engine just a bit and found availability to range from decent to excellent. Here are my findings.
There is excellent non-stop award availability between Sao Paulo and the following cities:
There is a good availability between Sao Paulo and Salvador (connecting flight)
Availability between Sao Paulo and the following cities is decent.
Recife (after June 21)
Natal (June 23, 24, 26 and most of July)
Fortaleza (June 21, 25, 30 and most of July)
Rio (June 13, 20, 24, July 6, 7)
A one-way flight within Brazil will run you 12,500 United miles.
Are there better ways? Sure. One way between Rio and Sao Paulo on TAM using Avios is 4,500 miles. Availability, however, is another matter, so you might want to grab the flight you want now even if it’s going to cost you a little more.
I will investigate other intra-Brazilian options in my next post. To be continued.
Photo Credit: by Marc Oliver John
You are not alone ! The WC is the most amazing sporting event ! I am bummed, because I withdrew my ticket bid application for game # 50 in Rio (looks like my Italia MAY be playing there, should they finish 2nd in their group). I got frustrated at no availability on flights and hotels months ago, for a family of 4 mid you…
I am surely not alone 🙁
Ouch, Getting 4award seats might be tough. But 2+2 is certainly possible. Think about it. Can’t imagine there won’t be tickets on sale at FIFA, so might not be too late. Cheers.
Like the expression goes, “from your mouth to God’s ears” !! 🙂
Thanks for sharing the topic Andy !
Sure thing 🙂 I’ve just booked. We’ll see what happens.