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Award Redemption Best way to get to Maldives

Discussion in 'questions. answers. conversations.' started by Username123, Jan 3, 2016.

  1. Username123

    Username123 New Member

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    Hi!

    My husband and I want to go to the Maldives next year for a major anniversary. We would like to stay at a hotel with over the water bungalows(2 weeks... I doubt we will be able to get enough points for the whole thing... But any bit helps)

    We currently (or will soon have) :

    45000 TYP
    175k AA for him and 200k aa for me
    110k sw

    Cards: (in past 3 months)
    Me: chase southwest premiere, chase southwest business premiere, aa world Mastercard, aa business world Mastercard, city national Bank infinite
    Him:aa world Mastercard, aa business world Mastercard, city national Bank infinite


    We want to fly first class (30 hr in coach sounds painful). What would be the best way to do this?

    I was thinking getting a few Amex for the MR to trade to other programs, maybe getting the aa exec card, but not sure what else.

    Would I be able to book Cathay Pacific (blogs tell me it's my best bet) for 2 before the AA Deval for next year, or is that too far out?
     
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  2. MidSouth Skier

    MidSouth Skier Well-Known Member

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    Welcome @Username123 - AA will let you book flights ~330 days in advance, so your travel dates will determine whether or not you'll be able to book pre-deval or not.

    You'll want to book as soon as you can. It's quite possible CX will only open up 1 seat in F at the booking window. So your choices are either to book both seats in J and hope 2 seats in F open up a few weeks before the trip or to book 1 in F and 1 in J and hope 1 more F seat opens up. Your call.

    I don't see any hotel cards in your portfolio and 45K TYP won't take you very far. As you get within a year or so of your trip you could each get the Hyatt card which would give you 4 nights but that would be in a base room, not the over-water bungalow.

    You may want to consider whether or not a OWB is worth it for your situation. Consider this post by Mike here at OMAAT from earlier this year: http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2015/11/10/is-the-park-hyatt-maldives-a-good-use-of-points/

    There are other hotels that offer OWBs of course. I found this website (http://www.overwaterbungalows.net/water-villas-in-the-maldives) that lists them. Having never been to the Maldives I cannot vouch for the site but you may want to do a little research of your own to find out what works best for you.

    Good luck!
     
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  3. Tiffany

    Tiffany One Mile At A Time

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    @Username123 -- Sounds like a fun trip!

    In general, using miles to get to the Maldives is surprisingly easy. If you're open to business class, you'll have oodles of options.

    There are lots of hotels in the Maldives with OWBs, though if you're looking for straight "value" then it's probably not at the Park Hyatt, unless you're a Diamond. Most of these hotels will let you pay to upgrade a room booked on points, so you could potentially book base rooms and then pay to get into a bungalow.

    Also, I'm here now, and unless you are a serious diver or want to do nothing but lounge by the beach for the entire vacation, two weeks is a looooong time in the Maldives, for what it's worth.
     
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  4. Mike

    Mike Member

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    With that many AA miles, Etihad is also a good option.
     
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  5. Gaurav

    Gaurav Well-Known Member

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    @Tiffany, that's great. I'm thinking of a surprise trip for my wife in mid-March (she loves the beach and I usually avoid it like the plague so with the recent Diamond upgrade I'm thinking of doing this for her). I know Ben did a series but would you mind sharing your thoughts on the property, accommodations etc if they are substantially different than his?
     
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  6. Tiffany

    Tiffany One Mile At A Time

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    I'm not at the Park Hyatt, so yes, absolutely will :)
     
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  7. AlexGBBAGold

    AlexGBBAGold Member

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    Hotels in Maldives are a real killer with their prices. You are talking $hundreds per night. Spend all available time looking out for hotel options. Flights and reward flights are not generally an issue.
     
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  8. Cal

    Cal Member

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    Last year my wife and I went the long way to the Maldives. From the east coast we positioned to SFO. From there it was to HND on JAL then from HND to HKG on Cathay, both in F. We had it as two awards as we stopped over in Japan but it can be priced as one, as a connection on an AA award. The HKG to MLE sector was on Cathay business on a BA award ticket. I found it was easier to score two F tickets at once to Japan via JAL than two F tickets direct to HKG. As mentioned by others Cathay seems to release only one F seat in advance and then you have to wait until last minute for the second. Intra-Asia flights seem to have better F availability for two on Cathay. Plus we got to try JAL F (though it is the overnight flight so no full dinner course). It was a very good product.

    I found availability from HKG to MLE scarce in business class in either direction on Cathay. I originally booked two premium economy class tickets via BA and then upgraded when availability opened at the last second (literally the day before). Even so, I booked a revenue ticket in the opposite direction (MLE-HKG) because there was no award space. Flights were very full on both legs.This was during the Maldives off-season period.

    We only spent 4 days in the Maldives. We could have stayed the full week but as Tiffany mentioned there is only so much you can do there so two full weeks could be harder. Also, activities are $$$ so that could add up very quickly over two weeks. During the shoulder and off season I found quite a few deals (4 for 3, 7 for 5) with some resorts offering dining and spa credits as well. We ended up staying at Cocoa Island which was perfect for us (though not a chain hotel). It helped us avoid the seaplane transfer allowing us to stay at the resort until much later during the day on the final day. This is super useful if you are looking at Cathay back to Hong Kong as it is a night flight. Boat transfers can go past sundown whereas I understand seaplanes cannot. I would therefore recommend a resort within boat distance to MLE of which there are several good ones.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 14, 2016
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