Maldives tends to be a destination that has pretty heavy premium traffic, so fare “sales” to Maldives are pretty rare, and award space can be hard to come by. Currently, though, Cathay Pacific is having some great fares available throughout Summer 2018. Specifically, you can fly round-trip from Chicago (ORD) to Maldives (MLE) for around $2,430.
The fare looks to be available for Monday and Thursday departures from the US, and Sunday and Wednesday returns from Maldives. You can search for them on Google Flights (our guide here), which will price them out at around $2,569. However, if you then book the same flights on Priceline, you will find the price dropping to $2,429.
Of course, booking through Priceline means you won’t earn 5x on airfares with the American Express Platinum card, which restricts the bonus only to airfares booked directly with airlines. However, you should still earn 3x with the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
There is one caveat about the itinerary—you will have an overnight layover in Hong Kong. However, with ~21 hours you can actually explore the city a little bit, and Cathay Pacific’s lounges are a wonderful place to be while waiting for your flight.
The transpacific flight to Hong Kong will be operated by the Boeing 777-300ER, which features fully flat reverse herringbone seats. Meanwhile, the flights to/from Maldives will be operated by the Boeing A330-300, which also offers lie-flat seats.
Round-trip from Maldives to Chicago comes to 21,540 miles.
Cathay Pacific is a oneworld partner, so you can credit your flights with American Airlines and earn AAdvantage miles. Assuming you have no status with American, you will earn:
- 26,925 redeemable AA miles
- 32,310 EQMs
- 5,385 EQDs
However, if you’re not after statuses, you might want to consider crediting your flights to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan. Alaska offers a 125% bonus with Cathay Pacific in Business Class, so you can earn 48,465 redeemable Alaska miles from your itinerary. This is almost enough for a one-way Business Class award to Hong Kong, which costs just 50,000 Alaska miles on Cathay Pacific.
If you live in or can reasonably position yourself to Chicago, this is definitely a solid deal for paid Business Class travel to Maldives—in a great Business Class seat with a great airline no less.
(HT ernad on FlyerTalk)