To Brazil:

US Airways has published some business class fares in the ~$2,000 range, which is much lower than usual. US Airways seasonally flies their Airbus A330-200 aircraft between Charlotte and Rio de Janeiro, featuring their Envoy Suite. It’s worth noting, however, that between March 29 and October 26 they fly their 767 on the route, which feature a substantially worse business class product, so you’ll want to avoid it if possible.

I’ll be going to Rio de Janeiro soon on a $400 ticket upgraded to business class so don’t have much of a use for this, but it is a great fare.

It’s especially good given that there’s no minimum stay requirement and that it’s valid year round, so you can travel in peak season.

The best place to look up availability is on ITA Matrix. Enter the origin and destination, your date flexibility, and select business class, and it will return options in a calendar view.

American has published similar fares out of several markets, though unless you can route on their new 777-300ERs I’d say US Airways’ new Envoy Suites are a much better product.

From Brazil:

US Airways has published some even better fares between Brazil and New York/Los Angeles.

The fare between Brazil and New York is ~$1,645 on US Airways connecting in Charlotte.

The fare from Rio de Janeiro to Los Angeles is also ~$1,645, which is an even better value given how much more flying it is.

On a mildly unrelated note, am I the only one that finds Rio to be the most frustrating and expensive hotel market in the world? Yes, even much more so than Singapore?

(Tip of the hat to The Points Guy and Fabio)

  1. February 28th, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    JRL said,

    Rio is an overrated poor value in my opinion. Use your insanely inexpensive fare to GIG and reposition yourself for a flight to Fortaleza. The hotels are cheap and the northeastern state of Ceará is incredible.

  2. February 28th, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    Hristo said,

    $2500+ now

  3. February 28th, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    lucky said,

    @ Hristo — I still see the same fares…

  4. February 28th, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    Hristo said,

    Both are gone, imo.

  5. February 28th, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    Sherpa said,

    Lucky – We are headed down April 12-17, when are you going? We are also really disappointed by hotel selection, not a Hyatt in sight, only two SPG – really? We started looking at AirBnB and are equally frustrated. Will look at JRL’s tip, but anyone else with a tip would be greatly appreciated.

    Also, if you matched top tier on Accor one of the million times they have offered it, there are a couple of Mercure and Ibis hotels that are cheaper but still don’t look to be a great value.

  6. February 28th, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    Thomas199023 said,

    I stayed in the Mar Ipanema last year: http://www.maripanema.com/portugues/index.asp

    IT was one of the only reasonably prices hotels with good reviews on TR. I really enjoyed the stay. They gave us a choice of a room close to the street or one in the middle with no windows, which was larger as well. We choose the latter, and despite not having a window is was a really nice room, clean and lots of space. I would realy reccomend it. The area was pretty nice as well in Ipanema, and only 2 bloks form the sea!

  7. February 28th, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    Lantean said,

    I wish they would bring back the $1k business class fares to Easter island… :(

  8. February 28th, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    lsed said,

    OMG Yes!

    Stayed at the Copacabana Palace a few months back. For the price it’s honestly nothing special.

    Problem with Rio is that the general standard is crappily low. Seems the prices are blown out of proportion by the rising middle class.

    Look at the Sofitel, Marriott, they’re all in the high hundreds per night and all so lacking.

    If anything the hotel that’s probably the best value on Copacabana is the Arena Copacabana Hotel. I didn’t stay there but it looks reasonable.

    If you can afford it, do the Palace for the history.

    If not, the new IBIS is affordable.

    Tip from a Singaporean. P.S. I think HK hotels are more frustrating than SIN!

  9. February 28th, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    Andrew said,

    When are you going? Happen to be going between March 20-24th?

  10. February 28th, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    lucky said,

    @ Andrew — Going after you and before Sherpa. Have a great time!

  11. February 28th, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    stephan said,

    Gone?

  12. February 28th, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    Chris said,

    I was considering the cheap Rio fares, but my enthusasim was hammered once I realized how much I’d be forking over for a hotel.

  13. March 1st, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    mike said,

    I live in Rio and also have stayed in almost all the hotels there and its true they totally suck. I second the Mar Ipanema as a value play but to be honest my favorite place to stay was the Arpoador Inn-its as cheap as $70 a night and in a kick ass location right on the beach in between ipanema and copacabana. Yeah its no Park Hyatt but then again nothing is in Rio-unless you want to drop $800 a night at the Fasano. I’ve got a 2 bedroom crib in Ipanema right across the street from posto nove Lucky if you want to crash for free-
    Mike

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