Use Your Miles on These New Routes to Cuba, Cancun, Hawaii, Chile, & Ecuador

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1.   US Airlines Begin Flights to Cuba This Summer

Via The Points Guy, US airlines could start service to Cuba as early as September 2016.  Airlines proposing routes include:

Use Your Miles On These New Routes To Cuba Cancun Hawaii Chile Ecuador

Emily Enjoyed Her Visit to Cuba. And Soon, It’ll Be Even Easier to Get There!

Emily went to Cuba and loved seeing the architecture, plazas, and vintage cars!

This is excellent news if you collect miles on these airlines.  Or have a way to offset the price of a ticket, like the $250 annual airline credit with Citi Prestige.  Or the Barclaycard Arrival Plus, because you can use miles towards statement credits for $100+ travel purchases (including flights!).

Folks with the Southwest Companion Pass could also bring a friend or partner along with them for only the cost of taxes and fees!

2.   Virgin America Adds Flights to Hawaii

Virgin America will begin flights from Los Angeles to Honolulu (on Oahu) on May 5, 2016, and Kahului (on Maui) on June 14, 2016.

This is great for folks with Virgin America points or AMEX Membership Rewards points.  AMEX Membership Rewards points transfer instantly to Virgin America.

And through March 10, 2016, you’ll get a 50% bonus when you transfer AMEX Membership Rewards points to Virgin America.

The number of points you’ll need for a flight on Virgin America depends on the cost of a paid ticket.  But you can also use Virgin America points to fly on partner airlines like Hawaiian Airlines!

Folks on the West Coast can get a round-trip ticket to Hawaii on Hawaiian Airlines for:

  • 20,000 Virgin America points in coach
  • 50,000 Virgin America points in Business Class

Once you’re in Hawaii, you can also get inter-island award flights within Hawaii on Hawaiian Airlines for 3,000 Virgin America points each way (and 6,000 points for a round-trip award ticket)!

Here’s Virgin America’s award flight calculator so you can check how many Virgin America points you’ll need for flights to Hawaii, or anywhere else they fly!

3.   LAN Will Fly From Los Angeles to Santiago, Chile

Beginning October 16, 2016, LAN will begin flights between Los Angeles and Santiago, Chile, 3 times per week.

You can get an award ticket on this route for 30,000 British Airways Avios points each way in coach.  Remember Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer at a 1:1 ratio to British Airways.

You can also redeem 30,000 American Airlines miles each way for a coach award seat.  Or 57,500 American Airlines miles each way for a Business Class award seat starting March 22, 2016.

4.   Interjet Adds Flights Between Los Angeles and Cancun

Interjet is a budget airline based in Mexico.  And starting May 19, 2016, folks in Los Angeles will have a new low-cost way to visit Cancun.

Southwest also flies this route (with a connection).  And folks with the Southwest Companion Pass can use it to bring a friend with them to Cancun.

Lots of Southwest’s other US destinations also have non-stop flights to Cancun.  And hopefully more competition to Cancun will translate to lower fares!

Remember, you can also transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest at a 1:1 ratio if you need enough for an award flight.

5.   JetBlue Expands Into Ecuador

You can now fly between Fort Lauderdale and Quito, Ecuador, on JetBlue!

Quito is an excellent jumping-off point for folks who want to visit the Galapagos Islands.

You can book this route with JetBlue points.  And soon, there will be new Barclaycard JetBlue cards.  I’ll let you know when I find out what the sign-up bonus will be!

You can also book these flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal.  Your points are worth 1.25 cents each toward paid travel if you have the Chase Ink Plus, Chase Sapphire Preferred, or Chase Ink Bold (no longer available).

Also, Citi ThankYou Premier cardholders can redeem Citi ThankYou points for 1.25 cents each towards travel through the Citi ThankYou Travel Center.

So there are lots of ways to access these flights, and visit Ecuador even sooner!

Let me know which new route you’re looking forward to the most!

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2 responses to “Use Your Miles on These New Routes to Cuba, Cancun, Hawaii, Chile, & Ecuador

  1. Here is a question about traveling to Cuba without a visa. For instance, if you are going on Copa Airlines from Boston to Panama City to Havana and the check-in person in Boston asks if you want your luggage to be sent all the way to Havana what do you say?

  2. Stephen Manson

    Do you know how many people have been arrested in 2015 and/or 2016 for traveling illegally to Cuba from the USA?

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