2015: Chicago/Liberia, Costa Rica Round Trip

2015: Chicago/Liberia, Costa Rica Round Trip

Trip Synopsis

Round Trip Economy Class Chicago to Liberia, Costa Rica + One Way Chicago to San Francisco, all on United Airlines, for 35K (28K) United Airlines MileagePlus Miles


MMB analysis

  • United allowed open jaw (depart from/return to different cities) and stopover (stop over 24 hours) in international award. This itinerary was seen as an open jaw at origin (Chicago to Costa Rica, then return to San Francisco) with a (seven-month-long) stop over at Chicago on the way back. In practice, we completed a spring break vacation in Costa Rica with a free one way to San Francisco during our fall break.
  • I ended up finding a one way San Francisco to Chicago for $64 on American Airlines and hopped on a four-day fall break to San Francisco.

How will it work out today

  • United eliminated stopover allowance in 2016. A freebie to San Francisco is no longer possible.

Trip Metrics

From To Distance (Miles)
Chicago Tampa 1012
Tampa Houston 788
Houston Liberia 1476
Liberia Chicago 2166
Chicago San Francisco 1846
Total 7287

MMB Highlights

Can you believe this? It was snowing on our day of departure in late March and our flight from Chicago to Houston was delayed by weather-related repercussions! We were stranded at O’Hare Airport from early morning through late evening and had to make one more stop at Tampa before heading to Houston. Our week-long spring break vacation shrank by one day.

Later on, after complaining to United, each of us received 7000 MileagePlus miles for the inconvenience. I would rather have one more day to spend at Costa Rica for sure.

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