Return Flights Finally Booked from the Maldives…while here

by Adam

Unfortunately our reservation at the Conrad Maldives is about to end…which means it’s finally time to book some return flights! I’ve been closely monitoring availability on Etihad, Qatar, Turkish, Cathay, Emirates, Singapore, and China Southern, hoping for two business or first seats…however in the end Emirates had the best options for the return as well. This is actually one of the routes I book quite often on Juicy Miles, usually with pretty great availability on Etihad or Qatar (both with AA miles) anywhere from 14 days – 48 prior to the flight, however this week it doesn’t seem to be the case. Several flights had one available seat, but none with two. China Southern (using DL SkyMiles), also usually with fantastic availability, had two business seats from Male (MLE) to Guangzhou (CAN), but only one to LAX on the days we were flexible departing on. Turkish, like normal, has excellent coach availability from MLE, but nothing in business or first. Emirates on the other hand, had seats available both in business and first from Male on our ideal travel dates and connecting on to either New York, Washington, Toronto (only 1 day while the rest had all days), San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Seattle, and Los Angeles. The New York flights had no availability on the direct flights, only via the semi-new Milan (MXP) connection. Fortunately, these actually ended up working out pretty great for us. We wanted a stop in Dubai and booking via Alaska’s multi-destination search, I scheduled us for about a 48 hour stop. Better yet, even though it’s 48 hours, we are only redeeming one hotel night due to the flight arrival and departure times(see below) and Starwood Platinum’s Your24 benefit, allowing me to select the arrival and departure times (actually the first time I’ve had to use this benefit). We’ll use our 7+ hour layover in Milan to head into the city for a bit before returning back to the airport.

Total price 180,000 Alaska miles and $214.80 in taxes (quite a bit more in taxes than the outbound flights)…happy I was churning all those Alaska Airlines BoA cards these last few years!

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Better yet, as we are traveling with Emirates in business/first, we have a complimentary car pickup from Dubai into the city, from the city back to the airport, and then from JFK back home.

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Starwood’s confirmation of my Your24 arrival time in Dubai –

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Craig December 15, 2013 - 3:56 pm

Adam, You found a great return, but what would you have done if you had difficulty finding decent flights home?

adam December 15, 2013 - 4:25 pm

@Craig – It’s all about flexibility and last minute booking, granted I understand that not everyone can travel this way. I do have dates that I need to be back for work, but I’ve always had luck booking this way and chanced it. …and worse case scenario there is always coach!

Craig December 15, 2013 - 4:35 pm

Coach??? Oh the horrors!!!

adam December 15, 2013 - 4:36 pm

@Craig – Haha 😉

Heather December 16, 2013 - 5:18 am

How long do you wait between Alaska credit card applications when churning? Do you close out first before applying for the next one? Can you provide more details on this please?


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