Spend Your Soon-To-Be Devalued United Miles on an Award Flight to the World Cup in Brazil!


A couple months ago, I wrote a post on Frugal Travel Guy. I mentioned (among other things) how the airlines had been blocking all award seats for the whole June and July 2014. And then I predicted–boldly enough, LOL–that tickets would go back on sale and that all you needed to do is wait.

I know one thing. As soon as the initial hype is over, the plane tickets will go back on sale. And we will see saver award flights from North America, too— after all, the US is not exactly a soccer nation!

I have been criticized for that “boldness” on more than one occasion. One of the readers on Travel Blog Buzz came up with a great line that I loved: “Hope is not a plan.” Well, take a lot at the United award calendar and rejoice. The 5 markets I have checked, currently show wide availability between the US and Rio de Janeiro in saver business: JFK, MIA, ORD, IAD, and LAX for both departure and return.


The vast majority of flights that I found are via Panama on Copa, whose business class is nothing to write home about. But seriously, this is the World Cup!


Return availability is also wide open. Just a few days ago it was all white.






Like I said before, there is great availability from all other cities I mentioned before, as well. Even if you want coach, I would still book these right now provided you’ve got the miles. I’m pretty sure, the economy seats will be released as well eventually, and you’ll be able to change your ticket free of charge for $75. In conclusion, I’d like to add yet another quote from my FTG post.

There will be apartment owners in Brazil who’ll be delighted to rent you an apartment for mere pennies on what they’re asking for right now, because they have held out too long and lost. All you will need to do is get your butt to Rio (or wherever in Brazil you’re going to) with one night booked (just in case) and a phone list of local R.E. agencies. I guarantee, as soon as you’re on the ground, the asking prices will be falling around you like autumn leaves.

Of course, I could be wrong about that, but so far I haven’t 🙂

Photo credits:
iko / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

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Francisco C

is this what you are doing for accomodations?


I have NO accommodations in RIO. Not even the first night. I know of a friend of a friend who may have a place, so you know how that works.

Do you have any leads for apartments. What do you think is a reasonable price for apartment in RIO?

I only need it for 3 nights, then off to Natal where I have a place to stay. How about Recife?


Hello Andy, I am Gonzalo from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

I have just read in your blog these recomendations.

I am planning to go Rio in 2 months, so i am looking for an aparment in copacabana for a week and i want to know ir Copaapartments.com is a reliable agency.

Thank you very much.

my best!

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