American has published some bizarrely good fares to Rio de Janeiro out of many cities in the US. The best has to be out of Orlando, where roundtrip fares to Rio de Janeiro are $388 all-in. Availability is wide open through early June. From other parts of the country fares start from about $550 all-in roundtrip, so there’s lots of potential with this fare, especially since there’s no minimum stay required.

The easiest way to search is to use the calendar search function on ITA Matrix and enter your preferred origin, destination, date range, and then enter “aa+” after both the origin and destination to indicate that you want to fly American.

The results page should return availability for almost every day.

I suspect these fares won’t be around for long, so if you’re interested I’d jump on one of these right away. I’ve never been to Rio so booked one of these for myself. While positioning won’t be cheap, it’s still a great value for travel to Rio, especially since I was able to route from Miami to Rio via both Dallas and New York. And the fact that I can upgrade to business class using systemwide upgrades isn’t half bad either!

Now if only I could figure out where to stay in Rio, which must be the worst value hotel market in the world…

  1. February 13th, 2013 at 1:41 am

    Duncan said,

    If you think the value is bad now just wait! It can be more economical and better value to commute into Rio from a nearby airport. Then again it is Rio and you would think it’s insane for what I have been paying the last few nights, happy Mardi Gras.

  2. February 13th, 2013 at 2:00 am

    MS said,

    This is one case where it makes sense to stay in a smaller, independent property within walking distance to beach, or rent an apartment. .

  3. February 13th, 2013 at 2:41 am

    Zz said,

    Can you combine this with the FRA fare? Or does that one only work from BRD?

  4. February 13th, 2013 at 3:20 am

    Brazilflyer said,

    I’m a Sao Paulo-based reader and expat journalist. Feel free to email me with any questions you have about your Rio trip. It is now one of the top 3 most expensive hotel markets in the world, as of last year. Quality of the independent hotels varies widely, I’d suggest you try to stick with a major chain, since I know the standards you are used to expecting. If you have signed up for the free platinum status, try an Accor hotel. Staying near the beach is nice, I’d rank ‘em as Leblon, Ipanema, Copacabana in terms of beauty and safety. However you won’t be far from the beach if you stay further in, because Rio is very compact and small. There are some nice hotels in Botafogo, which offers a view of the Christo.
    Don’t forget to get your Brazil tourist visa in advance, through the mail in the US. Don’t put it off till last second, they won’t do you any favors.

  5. February 13th, 2013 at 3:40 am

    Gary said,

    I made this work routing from MCO through JFK for more miles. And love eVIP upgrades on any fare…

  6. February 13th, 2013 at 3:40 am

    Gary said,

    sub-$700 even from LAX

  7. February 13th, 2013 at 3:43 am

    srptraveller said,

    Thanks for the heads up!

    anyone still see this? lowest I see for the same search is $1448

    Out of interest, why put the aa+ in both origination/destination and routing code fields?

  8. February 13th, 2013 at 3:54 am

    Jamison @ Points Summary said,

    I was able to route MCO-DFW-MIA-GIG-MIA-DFW-MCO for 12,536 EQM’s for $403.75 a.i @3.2cpm… i’m surprised you didn’t stretch it out Ben

  9. February 13th, 2013 at 4:28 am

    lucky said,

    @ Zz — Unfortunately that fare is only valid ex-Europe.

  10. February 13th, 2013 at 4:30 am

    lucky said,

    @ Jamison — I did — I did MCO-DFW-JFK-GIG, which is a bit more miles.

  11. February 13th, 2013 at 4:31 am

    lucky said,

    @ srptraveller — Fare is definitely still around. You put the “aa+” code into the field to indicate you want to fly American. It narrows down the search a bit.

  12. February 13th, 2013 at 5:07 am

    Jamison @ Points Summary said,

    @lucky ah, very good!!

  13. February 13th, 2013 at 5:15 am

    Zz said,

    @Braziliflyer, There are some benefits to multiple citizenships.Most citizens of the world pay no fee going to Brazil. Always bring two passports! You never know when it’s good to not be american!

  14. February 13th, 2013 at 5:17 am

    Jim H said,

    Have 2 on hold for now

  15. February 13th, 2013 at 5:19 am

    Jason said,

    Is a visa necessary if we’re arriving in the morning and departing that evening?

  16. February 13th, 2013 at 5:20 am

    Brazilflyer said,

    @ZZ, I forgot that Lucky has a European passport. He should get in to Brazil for free with that, but he’ll wanna confirm.
    For those with a US passport, Brazil’s pre-travel visa by mail is a bit of a hassle. I know of two Americans (dopes) who forgot and were turned away at the airport.

  17. February 13th, 2013 at 5:47 am

    Susan said,

    Try airbnb and rent an apartment… a wonderful way to stay somewhere.

  18. February 13th, 2013 at 6:04 am

    Brazilflyer said,

    @Jason, A Brazil tourist visa is necessary to even get on the plane in the US. I think its $160 now, reciprocity for the visa fee US charges Brazilians, but you have to apply by mail in advance. Find the Brazilian consulate in the US that is designated to serve your state.

    And @Susan, while airbnb can be a good deal, local media reported multiple stories during New Year’s of foreign tourists being scammed by non-existent apartments in Rio, via airbnb and similar sites.

  19. February 13th, 2013 at 6:05 am

    A. S. said,

    As a Brazilian living in Sao Paulo, all I can say is be safe, gringos! :) Rio is beautiful, but embarrassingly dangerous. I prefer Sao Paulo, personally, for its vibe (and it’s a million times bigger than Rio — translation: much more to do), but Rio is a great city, too.

    If you manage to get to Sao Paulo, let me know and I’ll be happy to send tips. As for Rio, I have plenty of advice, too, but limited when compared to Sao paulo.

    Oh, and enjoy!

  20. February 13th, 2013 at 6:22 am

    mike said,

    Anyone else seeing $431 for MCO-DFW-JFK-GIG-JFK-DFW-MCO?

    I can’t find 388

  21. February 13th, 2013 at 6:27 am

    mike said,

    nevermind, i’m an idiot.

  22. February 13th, 2013 at 6:27 am

    A. S. said,

    @mike: You got that price for that routing and you’re holding out for $43?!?! Perspective, man! :)

  23. February 13th, 2013 at 7:13 am

    LR said,

    There’s 5 hotels you can stay at that are great in Rio, in order of preference…

    Fasano
    Copacabana Palace
    Caesar Park
    Gavea Tropical
    Sheraton Leblon

  24. February 13th, 2013 at 7:39 am

    Matt said,

    When I go to the matrix for departing BOS to GIG on 3/14 for 3 days I get $623 for the fare. But when I click through it jumps to $930… anyone know what I can do?

  25. February 13th, 2013 at 7:55 am

    th said,

    in for long weekend. thanks lucky

  26. February 13th, 2013 at 7:57 am

    Angel said,

    Put 2 itins on hold. I’d like to go from there to EZE but I can’t find any availability with TAM… suggestions anyone? Revenue tickets are really expensive…

  27. February 13th, 2013 at 8:05 am

    Carlos said,

    looks dead

  28. February 13th, 2013 at 8:06 am

    Carlos said,

    how do i route thru to JFK? cna i book online?

  29. February 13th, 2013 at 8:14 am

    Gene said,

    This a great fare if you want to actually VISIT Rio, but not so great as a mile run, especially if you have to re-position to MCO and pay for a hotel room/sleep in the airport at GIG. Oh, and then there’s that pesky VISA fee if you don’t already have one.

  30. February 13th, 2013 at 8:15 am

    Carlos said,

    10 min hold wow

  31. February 13th, 2013 at 8:26 am

    Pepe said,

    Both Sheraton´s should be available for points or cash + points. They are on the 12,000 points / night range compared to rates of around U$ 400,00 / night.

    The one in Barra is newer but farther away from Rio proper. I stayed at the S. Conrado one about 2 months ago and their Club level is quite acceptable.

    Yes, Rio is expensive in terms of hotels, but all Brazil is right now. Just paid $350,00 last week at the Sheraton in POA.

  32. February 13th, 2013 at 8:41 am

    Carl said,

    I have always stayed at unbranded properties in Rio, usually in Leblon.

  33. February 13th, 2013 at 8:41 am

    Skwok said,

    So i only look for weekend MR and this can be it, ignoring the small problem and high cost of the positioning flight. Cant exactly find a good alternative than starting in MCO.

    The flight i have is just MCO-DFW-GIG. Land in GIG at 8AM and then fly out the same night at 8PM. Don’t have too many vacation days so just going there for about 12 hours.

    As to the previous questions, i have found MCO-DFW-JFK-GIG to be about 430 on matrix but 472 on AA multi-city search for saturday departure in April. Could be different if tried other weekends. In matrix search, make sure to reverse the connecting airports on the return. So it should be AA+ DFW JFK on outbound, and AA+ JFK DFW on the return. I did not the first time and got much higher fares. I do not think MCO-JFK-DFW-GIG would work.

  34. February 13th, 2013 at 8:42 am

    MS said,

    @Carlos, by calling you’ll likely killing the deal for those not in on it already.

  35. February 13th, 2013 at 8:46 am

    Carlos said,

    how do i book it oinline i wont call

  36. February 13th, 2013 at 8:55 am

    Skwok said,

    If you are booking just MCO-DFW-GIG, just put it into AA.com search roundtrip. Just search MCO to GIG will find the flight connecting in DFW. Pretty simple.

    However, if you want to add MCO-DFW-JFK-GIG, then you will need to use multi-city routing on AA. To get to it from the new AA interface, click refine search on the homepage, right underneath the giant search button. I think the MCO-DFW-GIG is a great itinerary anyway and may not be worth the hassle of going through JFK unless you have a lot of time on your hands as it will require one additional night stay somewhere.

    First use matrix to track down the flight. The only thing you’ll need is each segment and date of each segment in the multi-city search option. I would use sort by price option first and see if you get each of your segments that you want. If not, then go back and sort by schedule and you can hand pick each segment.

    This is a great way to maximize your mileage runs as many of these MR deals cannot be found using the default search tool.

  37. February 13th, 2013 at 8:56 am

    Angel said,

    Carlos, just do a multi-city on AA.com and input MCO-GIG and GIG-JFK, JFK-MCO or just a round trip MCO-GIG.

  38. February 13th, 2013 at 9:04 am

    Carlos said,

    I’m an idiot it worked. No more calling ty

  39. February 13th, 2013 at 9:14 am

    Skwok said,

    A few more comments about this deal:

    MCO-JFK-GIG is not a longer route than MCO-DFW-GIG (a bit of a surprise)
    MCO-DFW-MIA-GIG is only 100mi longer roundtrip than MCO-DFW-GIG since its along the same route. It is two free segments as you pay the same for four or six total segments, in case you are trying to hit segments for elite status. However, I am concerned about missing my flight home that is on another itinerary so trying to cut segments to a minimum.

    MCO-DFW-GIG is about 12.5k miles while MCO-DFW-JFK-GIG is 14.3k miles roundtrip.

  40. February 13th, 2013 at 10:17 am

    Michael said,

    Can anyone please put down the sub LAX $700 fare? I can’t find it.

  41. February 13th, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Angel said,

    Skowk: you gotta route via MCO. I see March 7th – March 13th with availability at $651.75 all in. Use the multi city option on AA.com and do LAX-MCO-MIA-GIG-MIA-MCO-LAX
    Have fun!

  42. February 13th, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Angel said,

    Last message was for Michael, not Skwok :)

  43. February 13th, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    Carlos said,

    FYI: Lowest is now showing $458 RT MCO-GIG

    I got sub-$400. see yall soon.

  44. February 13th, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    Carlos said,

    If you have the $100 flight credit it can also be applied to this fare!

  45. February 13th, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    Angel said,

    …or the $200 from Amex Plat!

  46. February 14th, 2013 at 5:32 am

    Sergio Fernandes said,

    The real bummer is that the sale is only MCO -> GIG, not the other way around. I’m from Rio, and if I want to go to Orlando, it will be something around $1800.

  47. February 14th, 2013 at 7:11 am

    Carlos said,

    Some of my holds seem to have been canceled randomly… but I was able to book via JFK March 2-9. See you guys in Brazil

  48. February 14th, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    ed said,

    Ben, any tips on cheap ways to get TPA-MCO? I’ve heard Florida doesn’t have rental card drop charges, but evidence so far is looking otherwise.

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