Costa Rica has been on the wife and I’s list of places to visit for a while, but Alaska Airlines starting service there sealed the deal to go this year. Why? Because of the fabulous Companion Certificate that comes with the BoA Alaska Credit Card. BTW, we don’t hawk credit cards so see one of my fellow bloggers for that. This turns a trip for two that should cost ~$1532 to only ~$787. Can’t beat a savings like that AND you each earn EQM and RDM unlike some other airlines companion certs. For this trip I got 20,100 RDM (100% bonus for being MVP Gold) and my wife earned 22,612 RDM (125% bonus since she is MVP Gold 75K). If you value AS miles at 2 cents each, that’s essentially a rebate of $854. We actually tacked on an extra leg going through SEA for only $40 more and gained another 1,000 EQM each that way. I know many say mileage runs are dead, but you can see the economics of this one, admittedly made better due to our status on Alaska. Due to that same status, we also were upgraded on every leg but one. Gold status means a lot more on Alaska than any other airline.
Here is the big downside to trying to do this from the East Coast. There is no way to fly across the country and catch the flight to SJO or to make a connection going back to east on the same day. West Coasters can do it, which isn’t surprising given that AS is a West Coast airline. So I timed the trip with my high school reunion for one stopover in LA and just saw my brother in Burbank on the other stopover. Not as efficient as we engineers like, but who doesn’t love LA?
Note that in booking this you have to know the schedule for AS. They fly to San Jose, Costa Rica, but also to Liberia, Costa Rica on alternating days. So MWFSa to SJO and SuTThSa to LIR. Planes fly back the same day they land.
I am going to skip pictures of AS First Class and the great food they serve since I seem to do that in about every post. I will end this post with a cool coincidence at BWI. We ran into an Honor Flight full of WW II/ Korea War vets who had been flown out to see our nation’s capitol. Pretty cool. I wonder if they’ll have these things going on when I’m 80 years old?