Hacking the United Airlines Caribbean Hopper Award

United’s award chart has a sweet spot for the entirety of Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and Northern South America. They price a flight to and from any one of these locations for 10,000 miles in Economy. This means you can go from Mexico City to Quito for 10,000 miles. But it gets better. You can book it as a round trip for 20,000 miles and effectively turn the ticket into a hopper with a stop over and a double open jaw. For example, this is what I did: SXM-PTY-UIO (stop), UIO-BOG (stop & open jaw), MDE-BOG-SDQ for 20,000 United miles and $200.17 in taxes. The high taxes are due to the “departure/tourism taxes” from transiting so many airports. If I were to buy the tickets with cash, it would have cost me SXM-PTY-UIO $587 UIO-BOG $461 MDE-BOG $70 BOG-SDQ $657, or $1775, which means I got ~7.87 cents per mile – an amazing value.
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