Just about one year ago, I took advantage of British Airways' final days of offering the ridiculously good redemption rate of 40,000 miles for round-trip travel in economy to anywhere in South America, including Easter Island (which technically should be classified as the South Pacific). On November 16, 2011, British Airways completely overhauled their award chart and scrapped their region-based method of calculating miles needed for redemption. In its place came their new currency, Avios, as well as a distance-based award system.
Hence, the routing below (SFO-LIM-IPC-SCL-LIM-SFO), which I redeemed for 40,000 miles round-trip in economy one year ago, would now cost a whopping 85,000 Avios. This is definitely one of those trips where, if it weren't for miles, I would never be able to justify in terms of actual cost. I don't think it has really sunken in yet that I'm headed to Easter Island tomorrow morning, but I'm sure it will once I come face to face with my first Moai. In addition to four days on Easter Island, I will also have a three-day stopover in Santiago, Chile. But for now, it's back to packing!