In Part 1 I went over the basic overview of saving 30,000 US Airways miles AND getting a free one way trip from Mexico, Central America or the Caribbean to the United States. In Part 2, I went into the guts of a particular trip that I had booked in business class from Cabo San Lucas, to Los Angeles, to Bangkok all for 90,000 US Airways miles and $162 in taxes. This post will conclude the series with some helpful hints and tips in creating great new awards from Mexico/Central America/Caribbean to South Asia.
After US Airways and American merge, it's almost a certainty that loopholes like this one (paying 30,000 less miles to fly more) will be gone. Now might be an optimal time to start padding your US Airways miles account, applying for the US Airways credit card, transferring Starwood points and looking out for other "buy miles" deals.
Be mindful of the last segment:
As stated in Part 1 and Part 2, to complete a valid routing with this loophole, you must finish and end your trip in Mexico, Central America or the Caribbean. Starting in these areas is self-explanatory. However, unless you actually live there, you want to effectively end your trip at the second to last destination in the US. So for instance, SJD-LAX-BKK is your routing from Los Cabos, to Los Angeles to Bangkok. Heading back however, you'd fly BKK-LAX-SJD, but get off the plane in LAX and purposely miss the flight back to Cabo San Lucas. Also, keep in mind that airlines don't necessarily like it when flyers miss flights, so use your best judgment in how often you book these types of "loophole flights". In my experience, I've never had a problem booking 2-3 of these in a year.
Here are some sample itineraries that I've booked. For ease of reading, I've left out connecting airports in appropriate cases.
– Panama City, Panama – Los Angeles (stopover) – Bali (destination): This is a great way to experience two beach-front paradises on one trip for only 90,000 miles.
– Grand Cayman – Hong Kong (Stopover) – Singapore (destination): If you're a casino lover such as myself, this trip is a great way to get exposed to some of the best gaming in the world, outside of the United States. Keep in mind that the stopover is in Hong Kong, rather than the US, so you would have to transit quickly from Grand Cayman to a hub in the US, and then off to Hong Kong.
– Mexico City – Madrid (Stopover) – Bangkok (destination): US Airways agents are notorious for having a limited grasp of geography. Technically, you're not supposed to be able to route from Mexico through Europe, but I've noticed that anytime there's a vaguely Latin name involved, things tend to work out. This is a great way to see three continents in one 90,000 mile trip.
Needless to say, the possibilities are endless and it's only a matter of time before this loophole goes away. So what are you waiting for? As the cool kids are saying nowadays, "YOLO".