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Travel from Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, or Washington DC to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for $436+ roundtrip on Copa Airlines from March to June 2016.


  1. When are the $436 fares?
  2. Layover Trip to Panama Canal
  3. Mileage Earning
  4. Best Credit Card to Buy the Ticket
  5. Copa Baggage Policy

$436 Roundtrip from Tampa to Rio de Janeiro

Sample Dates: March 24 – April 3, 2016 on Copa

You can search these fares on the ITA Matrix for a month at a time for trip lengths of your choosing. Your results calendar will look like this.

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Your results will display a monthlong calendar.

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Hover over an orange day to see what length trips are that price.Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 11.02.56 AM

Click through to select the exact flights, but you cannot book on ITA Matrix.Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 11.03.55 AM

Head to and recreate the search. You can bring up the same fares that you found on ITA Matrix.

Fort Lauderdale and Washington to Rio de Janeiro for $484+

For only about $50 more, you can fly roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale or Washington-Dulles to Rio de Janeiro next Spring.

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Panama Canal Layover

On some Copa itineraries, you may be able to build in a 5+ hour layover in Panama City, just enough time to visit the Panama Canal like I did in April.

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On ITA Matrix or, just select a longer layover in one direction like the bottom one here which has a long afternoon layover in Panama.

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Mileage Earning

These are L class fares from Copa. United offers 50% mileage earning on Copa L fares.

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  • You’d earn 4,455 United miles on the Fort Lauderdale to Rio roundtrip.
  • You’d earn 4,601 United miles on the Tampa to Rio roundtrip.
  • You’d earn 5,345 United miles on the Washington to Rio roundtrip.

Best Way to Buy the Ticket

You should definitely purchase your Copa ticket with a credit card that imposes no foreign transaction fees. Your top choice should be the Citi Prestige® Card, since it comes with a $250 Air Travel Credit every calendar year that will cover the purchase of this ticket. If you haven’t used the credit yet, buy this fare with your Prestige, and you will receive an offsetting credit on your next statement: about a $186 roundtrip to Brazil!

Even if you’ve already used your $250 credit for this year, the card offers 3x on all airfare purchases.

See my review of the Citi Prestige Card which explains its many benefits like it annual $250 Air Travel Credit, 40,000 point sign up bonus, access to the American Airlines Admirals Clubs and Priority Pass lounges, 3x points per dollar on air travel and hotels, and a $450 annual fee.

My second choice would be the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®. The card comes with 40,000 bonus Arrival miles after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days and 2x miles on all purchases.

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Arrival miles can be used for free flights on any airline. The number of miles you need is based on the ticket price. You would need 43,600 Arrival miles for a free $436 flight.

Copa Baggage Policy

You can take one carry on and one personal item for free. You can have two checked bags of up to 50 pounds each for free. (Full policy.)

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Hat Tip The Flight Deal