My Week in Points: AeroMexico Road Tested, Brazil and More

Who doesn’t like free, little effort points so why not grab 500 LaQuinta points (InACents)? I enjoyed the game they had last year. Some day may stay at one or even get their credit card for the heck of it. They have even opened up in New York.

I had a business trip to Brazil with stops in Rio and Sao Paolo. I sleep well by the ocean, too well. Then there is the traffic in both. Radisson Barra is on a quiet beach town quite far from the action in Rio. Sheraton Rio, where the conference was, is closer, perched on a cliff with nothing else safely walkable and one of the few hotels with true beach access not requiring crossing a street. Both better for spending time at the hotel than for exploring Rio. Superb weather in Rio. Huge crashing waves every day kept the red flags up and swimmers out of the water. Brazil is quirky for chain hotels, Atlantica runs hotels for the following brands: Radisson, Park Suites, Four Points by Sheaton, several Choice brands, and Go Inn.

AeroMexico is the latest addition to Delta’s coalition of the willing (Travel Daily News). Both it and Gol have good SkyMiles earning. I will have more to say on AeroMexico. I flew AeroMexico because the last-minute fare for business to Brazil was $2400, $1200 cheaper than the nearest, Copa and its recliner class, and more thousands cheaper than the US airlines and nonstop options.  The quick take:

  • Customer service: typical for the region
  • Transit in Mexico City: port of first entry hassle like the US
  • Mexico City Airport: funky design, has potential, lots of little inconveniences like every seat has power outlets and none work. Or that airport screen do not display any flight info for flights after midnight until after midnight, good luck finding someone to tell you your gate or transit security letting you in until the day on your 12:40 am boarding pass
  • Lounges: coconut water but little to eat
  • 787: darn good for New York – Mexico City once a day though the half-size blanket will cover you in lint
  • 777: really creaky, uncomfortable angle business seat
  • 767-300: better than the 777
  • 737-800: economy has lots of legroom and all seats have personal AVOD
  • E-190: nothing noteworthy

On Gol, this is the first time I had a revenue ticket booked directly with Gol, rather than a Delta award. Nice that online check-in worked and my Delta SkyMiles number was recognized so could select a premium seat for free.

Airlines:

  • United’s new website beta version is out, Matthew gives it a whirl (Live and Let’s Fly) and Seth figures out how to check GPU eligibility (wandr.me). I like the simple, now old-fashioned looking current site for its functionality except the recent issue of stealthily charging $200 award redeposit fees on awards booked by Platinums/1ks for other travelers (Dan’s Deals). Mine was a big hassle to sort, with repeated calls and emails until I found someone who got it through. The system and people behind it kept treating it as an award from a non-status passenger. I, like others, learned to only call in for the time being.
  • An Evening With the Most Powerful Woman in the Airline Loyalty Business (Live and Let’s Fly) and the Gary counterpoint. I was at the same happy hour, they had Ms. Zachary pinned for hours.
  • Delta is all about no transparency, here’s a way to check availability for many of their flights on ExpertFlyer (Milecards.com).
  • How To Book Free One Ways On American Airlines Flights To The Caribbean And Latin America (MileCards.com, again). Just booked a Caribbean AA ticket with Citi ThankYou points, wish I had seen this. Great content on MileaCards.com but who is behind the site? I have never seen any hints, yet has all the hard to get affiliate links, maybe another bankrate site?

Hotels:

  • Lucky has now stayed at 75 Hyatt properties (One Mile at a Time). I don’t even know how many there are yet seems like all these years of Hyatt the count would have been higher? Did not know about their tracker map, cool feature. I have only stayed at a handful, mostly for FTUs.
  • Everyone is Wrong about the Wyndham Credit Card. Here’s Why (The Deal Mommy). I don’t think I’ve ever had a weeklong hotel booking, if I do, good to know about Endless Vacation Rentals and other cheap options.

Credit Cards:

MS:

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