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Deal alert: Business class flights to Maldives and Seychelles from $2,178

Feb. 20, 2022
6 min read
Island in Maldives
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Does an overwater bungalow on an island in the Indian Ocean sound like your idea of a perfect vacation? With these superb business class deals for flights to the Maldives or Seychelles, you could be flying to a distant island in style for quite the bargain.

Both Qatar Airways and Etihad have put business class flights on sale from select U.S. cities to these island nations starting from only $2,178 round-trip. If you haven’t experienced Qatar’s top-rated Qsuites, this could be your chance to indulge in the luxurious experience.

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(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

This deal was originally reported by Scott’s Cheap Flights, which offers a premium membership that alerts readers on discounted fares starting from $49 per year for economy class deals and $199 per year for an elite membership, which also includes first, business and premium economy deals.

Deal basics

Airlines: Qatar, Etihad, Saudia and Ethiopian

Routes: IAD/ORD/JFK/MIA/BOS/DFW to MLE/SEZ

How to book: Directly through the airlines or through Google Flights

Travel dates: Mostly September – November

Sample flights

The deals below are for business class tickets, which include lie-flat seats, gourmet meals and two checked bags. All of the deals listed are under $4,000 round-trip, which is well below the typical rate for such a long flight in business class. Here are a few examples (all round-trip):

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  • Washington Dulles (IAD) to Male, Maldives, (MLE) from $2,178 on Etihad
  • Chicago (ORD) to Male, Maldives, (MLE) from $2,410 on Etihad
  • Chicago (ORD) to Mahe, Seychelles, (SEZ) from $2,549 on Ethiopian
  • New York (JFK) to Male, Maldives, (MLE) from $2,747 on Saudia
  • Miami (MIA) to Male, Maldives, (MLE) from $3,374 on Qatar
  • Boston (BOS) to Mahe, Seychelles, (SEZ) from $3,440 on Qatar
  • Dallas (DFW) to Male, Maldives, (MLE) from $3,804 on Qatar

Most Qatar flights between the U.S. and Doha, Qatar, (DOH) feature its top-rated Qsuites, but you may be on a different aircraft with standard business class seats when flying on the connection between Doha and the island nations.

Etihad also has an excellent business class product and has some of the cheapest rates in this sale. If you’re flying to Seychelles, Ethiopian Airlines will have the best prices from certain cities. The national carrier of Ethiopia is not as well-rated as the Middle East carriers, but it’s still a great experience with a lie-flat seat on the long-haul and Ethiopian usually has shorter connections.

From Washington Dulles (IAD), you can fly Etihad business class to the Maldives for $2,178 round-trip on several travel dates in September and October. If you depart on a Sunday and return on a Thursday you'll get the best rate. Here’s an example of a one-week trip in early September.

(Screenshot courtesy of Google Flights)

This route requires an overnight layover in Abu Dhabi (AUH) on the return, but the savings will more than pay for a hotel for the night. If you’d rather have shorter connections, you can fly Qatar Airways starting from $2,633 round-trip.

Speaking of Qatar, you can fly its Qsuites from Dallas (DFW) to the Maldives for $3,804 round-trip on a few dates in late May and wide-open travel dates between September and early November. Here’s a trip over two weekends in early November, a perfect time to visit the Maldives.

(Screenshot courtesy Google Flights)

Notice that the lowest prices are available when booking through third-party online travel agencies. You’ll need to pay slightly more ($3,942) to book directly with Qatar Airways. It’s worth noting that this price is for a Classic business class fare, which includes lounge access.

(Screenshot courtesy of Qatar Airways)

You may find that some of the fares listed on Qatar are its new Business Lite fare, which earns fewer miles and does not include lounge access among other restrictions. But, at least on this example from Dallas to the Maldives, the lowest price is sold as a classic business class fare.

If you want to shoot the breeze in Seychelles, Ethiopian has some incredible rates from Chicago (ORD) starting from $2,549 round-trip. This price can be found on scattered travel dates throughout the year. If you’re looking for a spring break trip, have a look at this deal in March.

(Screenshot courtesy of Google Flights)

Maximize your purchase

Pay with: The Platinum Card® from American Express for 5 points per dollar on airfare booked directly with the airline or through American Express Travel (on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year), the Citi Prestige® Card for 5 points per dollar on airfare, the Citi Premier® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve for 3 points per dollar on air travel, the American Express® Gold Card for 3 points per dollar on airfare when booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel, or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card for 2 points per dollar on travel.

The information for the Citi Prestige Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Bottom line

It’s rare to see business class flights drop this low to these exotic islands in the Indian Ocean. If you want to start your trip with a little luxury and get some rest on the long flight, snag one of these deals for a lie-flat seat before they disappear.

Featured image by GETTY IMAGES
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

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10XEarn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel partner site
5XEarn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
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    Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel

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  • Annual Fee

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  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    Fair/Good

Why We Chose It

The revamped Wander Card from Credit One Bank earns cardmembers up to 10 points per dollar spent on eligible travel purchases. With no foreign transaction fees, the card is also great for international travel. However, points earned from this card can only be used at a fixed value, so it may not be the best option for those striving to get maximum value from their rewards.

Pros

  • This card has no foreign transaction fees and earns up to 10 points per dollar on travel purchases through the Credit One Bank travel partner site.

Cons

  • While cardholders can earn a significant amount of points on travel purchases, there isn't any way to redeem points from the Wander Card for maximum value (beyond 1 cent per point).
  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel
  • Earn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel site
  • Earn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
  • Earn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Redeem your reward points for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, flights, hotels, and more
  • With $0 Fraud Liability, you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Free Online Credit Score and Credit Report summary, terms apply
  • If you are a Covered Borrower under the Military Lending Act, you may get a different offer
  • See Rates & Fees