A good friend from high school saw one of our posts and asked exactly the kind of question we like to hear – How do I get airline flights to the Dominican Republic? Like a fish on bait, here we go.
First off, let’s just establish that whether you know it or not, you want to go to the Dominican Republic. If you like red-hot nightlife, an orange tan, yellow sunrises, white sand, green jungles, blue water, or purple sunsets, you are going to love every moment of it. If you’re not keen on any of those, how about history, adventure, or relaxation? Because the D.R. is full of all that, too. Before we get you too excited on it, though, let’s get you there. As you know, WorldWanderlusting is about helping you get to places you had only dreamed of at a fraction of a fraction of the cost you’d expect to pay. We’re constantly seeking out opportunities to build up our stash of frequent flyer miles, and often the quickest and most effective way to do it is to sign up for a new credit card, use it responsibly, and reap the rewards.
Now, you can get to the D.R. on almost any airline, but if you want to go to a specific airport, Punta Cana (PUJ), for example, your options may be more limited. That said, it’s only about a 2.5 hour (very scenic) drive from SDQ to PUJ. I like to remain open to the possibility of flying into a different airport.
For the timeframe and origin (IAH) I’m looking at, tickets to PUJ that aren’t ridiculous routings are going to cost at least $655, and the airlines that run these flights are American, US Airways, Airtran (out of HOU) and Delta.
$655 is a lot of scratch. Let’s see what we can do about getting this flight for a song.
The biggest key to award travel (using frequent flyer miles to book flights) is flexibility. The more flexibility you have in terms of when and exactly where you’re flying, the cheaper you tend to get things. If you can fly on a Tuesday or Wednesday, rather than a Sunday, chances are you’ll have better luck.
Airline Flights on the Cheap
Delta wants 55k +$110 too book the flight into PUJ, but you can get it for 35k and $110 if you go into SDQ. At that rate, if you happen to already have 5k Skymiles or so, you could get the Gold Delta Skymiles card that gives you 30k miles after spending $1000 in the first three months and be on your way. Plus, this way you can stop in and see La Catedral de Santa Maria – the oldest cathedral in the Americas, among other treasures, in downtown Santo Domingo.
United is almost the exact same story. They want 35k points and about $110 into SDQ. If you have some United Miles already, this is probably the best way to go. If you need to top them off with 30k more, pick up the United MileagePlus Explorer Card- which will also give you some of those lounge passes so that you really feel like a high roller.
American Airlines can get you right into PUJ for 35k+$110, but you may have to stay a couple of extra nights. You can get 40k American AAdvantage miles after spending $1000 with the Citi American AAdvantage Card.
US Airways is up in the night, thinking there is some idiot out there who would fork over 60k+$150 for these flights, so we’ll just write them off on this trip (but they could be great on others).
Airtran is intriguing because they have some really good flights. If you have a lot of flexibility, there’s a chance you could get it done for 16 credits and $110. You can get those 16 credits with the Airtran Airways A+ card, but it does require that you spend $1000 on it and pay the first year $69 annual fee.
If none of those options really make sense, there’s always the option to get some bank points and use them like cash to book whatever flight you’d like. So, for example, if you got the Chase Sapphire PreferredSM and got your 40k Ultimate Rewards points after spending $3000, those points would be worth $500 towards whatever flight you choose.
Of each of these, I have to say that your best options in this instance would likely be the Chase Sapphire PreferredSM (if you can meet the $3000 spending requirement without making otherwise unplanned purchases) or the United MileagePlus Explorer Card (if you already have at least 5k United Miles).
Whatever method you choose, you’re going to be impressed with all there is to see and do in the Dominican Republic. I’m hoping you’ll make it up to the Samana area, where you can meet my friend the ex-patriot entrepreneur who built the “Walk the Plank Zipline.”