The 150.000 Mile Traveler

David Shirley, a legal consultant who
works with U.S. businesses in Latin America, won the “ConnectMiles Challenge” launched by Copa Airlines earlier this year. He was the first frequent traveler to visit ten of the airline’s twelve new destinations between October 2015 and March 2016.

A ConnectMiles member since June 2015, David Shirley decided to take the “ConnectMiles Challenge” launched by the airline earlier this year. The challenge offered a prize to the first frequent flyer to visit ten of Copa’s twelve new destinations between October 2015 and March 2016. Upon reaching the goal of ten destinations his or her account would be credited with 150,000 miles. “Of course I wanted to earn the miles, but I was also hoping to contact lawyers throughout Latin America in order to offer legal services to U.S. companies there and, at the same time, improve my Spanish.”

Shirley visited Belize, Toronto, San Francisco, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Villa Hermosa, Puebla, New Orleans, David, and Boston. His favorite destination was David, in western Panama, because he didn’t expect so much to discover. “I had eight free hours in the city. An employee at one of the rental car companies suggested I visit Boquete.

Armed with a Google map, I drove for sixty miles and climbed 4,000 feet above sea level where I discovered cool air, coffee plantations, and spectacular scenery, particularly in the Barú Volcano National Park,” recalls David.

On March 25, 2016, Shirley wrapped up his travels in Boston. He’d taken the chance to visit Lima the day before. “I dined outdoors at Huaca Pucllana, looking out on the Pucllana pyramid in Lima’s Miraflores district. I asked the couple next to me if their appetizer was good and not only did they let me try it, they recommended another restaurant: Maido, where I enjoyed the best fish sandwich of my life. I only got four hours of sleep before leaving for the airport in Lima,” says the traveler.

Having completed his epic adventure, David has nothing but praise for Copa’s services. “Everyone has such great energy; people are very friendly and willing to help. No matter who you talk to, they almost always look for some way to help.” Shirley also emphasized how much he enjoyed the opportunity to travel through Latin America. “That’s what I wanted to do, and I can’t think of a better way to do it than with Copa.”

About 38,000 people participated in the “ConnectMiles Challenge,” but David Shirley was the first to reach the goal. The campaign was promoted through direct emails to ConnectMiles members, in social networks, and in our in-flight magazine: Panorama of the Americas.