Our $27,000 Vacation to the Maldives for ~$4,300 & How You Can Do It Too: Part 3 – Flights from India to the Maldives

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Daraius and I used our miles and points to have a fabulous honeymoon in Bora Bora.

Emily Jablon:  We heard that the Maldives Islands rivaled the beauty and splendor of Bora Bora, so we planned a trip to decide for ourselves!

The Maldives is known for its luxury resorts, and most resorts have their own private island.  There are beautiful white sand beaches and crystal clear blue water.  The islands also have fantastic snorkeling and scuba diving!

We booked 5 nights using Hilton points at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island.  The Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is a 30-minute seaplane ride from Male, the capital of the Maldives.  We booked this trip to make the most of our Hilton points before the Hilton devaluation last year.

Spicejet To Maldives
The View on Our Flight Into Male

Our $27,000 Vacation to the Maldives for ~$4,300 & How You Can Do It Too Index:

The Maldives are located in the Indian Ocean, just south of India.  Getting to the Maldives is a long journey, but the trip is definitely worth it!  Daraius and I have been to many beach destinations such as Bora BoraMaui, and Kauai on miles and points, but the Maldives tops them all!

Traveling to the Maldives is also very expensive, but you can do it for much less than the retail cost!  This trip would have cost us ~$27,000, but we only paid ~$4,300!! These series of posts will show you how you can also take a trip to the Maldives on miles and points!

Flights From India to the Maldives

We stayed in India for 2 weeks before flying to the Maldives.  We flew on SpiceJet, a regional Indian airline, to Kochi, a city in India.  All international flights fly into Male.  It’s the country’s only major airport.

The flights are SpiceJet are short and affordable, but you could also use cash back from your Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard to help pay for these flights.  With this card you get 2% back on all purchases and 2.1% back when you redeem for travel. 

You can also redeem United miles for flights on Air India from India to the maldives.  Or American Airlines miles for flights on Sri Lankan Airlines from India to the Maldives.

Spicejet To Maldives
Our 1st Flight on SpiceJet

And then on to Male, the capital of the Maldives.

Spicejet To Maldives
Eagerly Awaiting Our Flight to Male

The airport was somewhat large and looked newer.  There were a few shops and small eateries.

Spicejet To Maldives
At Kochi Airport

We found a place to sit and relax before the flight to Male.

Spicejet To Maldives
Daraius Is on His Laptop Every Chance He Gets 🙂

Our flight was pretty short.  We ordered lunch on the flight.  We were given a menu that included dozens of options.  However, only sandwiches were available.

Spicejet To Maldives
We Browsed Through Pictures of These Meals While We Ate Our Sandwiches

You can’t bring in quite a few things to the Maldives.  The list of restricted items is on the Customs form.  So you may have to throw away that bottle of wine if they find it.  But you can always buy alcohol (at a very high price) in the resorts!

Spicejet To Maldives
The Family Dog Will Have to Stay Home on This Trip Along With His Bacon Treats

We knew when we were arriving in the Maldives because of the gorgeous view!

Spicejet To Maldives
The Maldives Are Made of 1,190 Islands, Only 200 of Which Are Inhabited

Once we arrived in Male, we collected our luggage.  Thankfully, the luggage carts are free!

Spicejet To Maldives
This Was the Cart Just for the Small Bags at Kochi airport!

How You Can Do It Too!

Our favorite way to get to the Maldives from the US is with American Airlines miles on Etihad or Qatar Air.

If you’re willing to book separate award tickets (i.e. 1 award ticket from the US to Hong Kong & another from Hong Kong to the Maldives), you could even fly on Cathay Pacific or Malaysia Air using American Airlines miles to the Maldives.  

Here are ways to get lots of American Airlines miles.  And here’s my series on using American Airlines miles.  It could also be worth using an award booking service to book the flights for you.

You can also use Alaska Airlines miles on Emirates or Cathay Pacific. And folks say you can get the Alaska Airlines credit card multiple times.

We used United Airlines miles because we wanted to go to India first.  But folks who only want to fly from the US to the Maldives would likely use American Airlines miles or Alaska Airlines miles.

1.   Using American Airlines Miles

Link:   American Airlines Award Chart

A flight from the US to the Maldives costs:

  • 45,000 American Airlines miles 1-way in coach
  • 67,500 American Airlines miles 1-way in Business Class
  • 90,000 American Airlines miles 1-way in First Class

You can use American Airlines to fly many different ways to the Maldives, including on Etihad, Sri Lankan, Qatar, Cathay Pacific and Malaysia Airways.  If you want to book on Etihad, first find the available flights on the Etihad website and then call American Airlines to reserve the tickets.  See this step-by-step guide for more information.

2.   Using Alaska Airlines Miles

Link:   Alaska Airlines partner award chart to Middle East

From the US to the Maldives you’ll pay:

  • 42,500 Alaska Airlines miles 1-way in coach (Emirates)
  • 50,000 Alaska Airlines miles 1-way in coach (Cathay Pacific)
  • 62,500 Alaska Airlines miles 1-way in Business Class (Cathay Pacific)
  • 70,000 Alaska Airlines miles 1-way in First Class (Cathay Pacific)
  • 72,500 Alaska Airlines miles 1-way in Business Class (Emirates)
  • 90,000 Alaska Airlines miles 1-way in First Class (Emirates)
You can book Emirates flights on the Alaska Air website, except for Cathay Pacific, which has to be reserved by calling Alaska Airlines customer service.  See this post for more ways on using Alaska Air miles to get to the Maldives.

And folks say you can get the Alaska Airlines credit card multiple times.

3.   Using United Airlines Miles

Link:   United Airlines award chart

To fly from the US to India, you’ll pay:

  • 42,500 United Airlines miles 1-way in coach
  • 70,000+ United Airlines miles 1-way in Business Class
  • 140,000 United Airlines miles 1-way in First Class

Here’s a post on how to use United Airlines miles.

And here’s how you can get the airline miles and hotel points for your trip to the Maldives!

Bottom Line

SpiceJet, the Indian airline we flew, was clean and comfortable.  The food selection could have been better.  We were glad we had a stop-over in India because it is a long trek when coming straight from the US to the Maldives.

Have your camera ready when you fly over the islands, because the views are spectacular!  And they get even better on the seaplane…

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