Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

This is: Mexico 2019


Although I had been a keen traveller all my life, it is fair to say that both the extent and the intensity of my roaming saw a step change in the early years of the 21st century, as I began to experience premium travel for the first time. Better still, I learned how this could be enjoyed without necessarily spending crazy amounts of money, and this website documents the fun that I've had since my eyes were opened. Yet by 2018, six years after the closure of bmi Diamond Club and with the 'race to the bottom' approaching free fall in the European short-haul market, it is also fair to say that I was in danger of becoming a little jaded. As I tended to mutter all too often: "This game isn't as much fun as it used to be".

And then something happened that changed everything, bringing back a thrill similar to that of booking a mistake fare and the corresponding agony of waiting to see whether it would be honoured. If not quite manna from Heaven, the "something" to which I refer was certainly an unexpected and fun-filled gift from sunny Spain. Iberia, British Airways' Madrid-based sister airline in International Airlines Group, launched a promotion with a difference. Generous quantities of bonus Avios (the frequent-flyer 'common currency' of BA and IB) were to be awarded for up to ten bookings - pretty much any bookings - per person, payable upon booking rather than flying.

Bruce and I were all over this - heck, so was the entire frequent-flyer community - and we quickly agreed on a couple of ground rules. First, we needed to hit this for the maximum benefit. Secondly, and partly as insurance against the possibility of Iberia backing out of the whole deal, we were going to book viable itineraries that we actually intended to fly. (That way, it would never be a case of 'money down the drain'.) Although there was a little bit of after-the-event wriggling by IB, with non-viable itineraries being cancelled, everything else ended up going through as promised. The bonus miles posted late at night while we were on our Sicily trip, and the the long-haul 'framework flights' for this jaunt to Mexico were booked almost immediately, in the middle of the night, before the scrum for award space started!

Somewhat later, the trip evolved at a more leisurely pace to include visits to Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta and Oaxaca, as well as Mexico City itself. Please note that the trip has been documented as starting and ending in Madrid. Time spent in the Spanish capital beforehand and afterwards has been listed under Short Trips 2019, alongside visits to other parts of Spain - the ones that generated the miles for this trip!



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