Deal alert: Half-priced round-trip flights to the Maldives
It's not every day or really any day that we see half-priced deals to the Maldives, a collection of islands in the Indian Ocean known for their overwater bungalows and overall picture-perfect paradise.
Scott's Cheap Flights dropped this crazy deal to its Premium and Elite members, showcasing flights to the Maldives, including one as low as $730 from New York City to the capital of Male.
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This deal departs slightly from our traditional deals format, but we will still provide all the information you need to know to save money. But note, this deal is set to expire, so time is of the essence. Off you go!
Airline: Varies, but the cheapest fares found are with Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways.
Routes: JFK/ORD/IAD/DFW and others to MLE.
Cost: As low $722 round-trip for select routes.
Dates: Depends on the route, but generally through March 2022.
Pay with: The Platinum Card® from American Express for 5x 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 5x on airfare, the Citi Premier® Card (see rates and fees) or Chase Sapphire Reserve for 3x on air travel, the American Express® Gold Card for 3x on airfare when booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel, or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card for 2x 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.
First things first: Given the aforementioned location of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean, all flights departing from the U.S. are going to have at least one stop as there are no direct flights from the U.S. As such, you could book a two-in-one, meaning you connect somewhere in Europe or the Middle East, which would give you some time to spend in your connection point if you so choose. TPG reporter Chris Dong recently traveled from New York City (JFK) to Istanbul (IST), where he stayed for a few nights, before continuing on to Velana International Airport (MLE).
Scott's Cheap Flights notes that "all routes have availability on Qatar Airways for a slightly higher price, if you fancy flying the world's best airline." Either way, you should expect a long layover in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, or Doha, Qatar, in one or both directions.
Sample economy fares in this deal to Male include departures from the below cities:
- NYC (JFK), starting at $696 (normally $1,300 — 46% off).
- Chicago (ORD), starting at $633 — the lowest we've ever seen this route (normally $1,300 — 51% off).
- Washington, D.C. (IAD), starting at $685 (normally $1,300 — 47% off).
There are also reduced business-class deals to Male from:
- Chicago (ORD), as low as $2,459 (normally $5,000 — 45% off)
- Washington DC (IAD), as low as $2,828 (normally $4,500 — 37% off)
- NYC (JFK), as low as $2,984 (normally $4,500 — 34% off)
- Dallas (DFW), as low as $3,277 (normally $4,500 — 27% off)
Check out this $730 round-trip flight from New York City to Male with a two-hour layover in Doha via Qatar Airways.
Read more: It’s all in the details: What it’s like to stay at The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands
Both flights include a short layover in Doha, so while there wouldn't be enough time to necessarily leave the airport and explore, you would get an incredible deal that would make for a much shorter journey to your final destination.
We normally advise using Google Flights to search for deals, and while that is still a good place to start for these flights, note that you may see a cheaper deal around $700 for this flight through a third-party booking site. Be sure to review the terms and conditions of any sites before booking. The above example flights are if you book through Qatar Airlines directly.
If coming from the Midwest, you might consider flying from Chicago's O'Hare (ORD) for as low as $722, which is among the lowest fares for this route that normally costs around $1,300.
Although Qatar Airways is highly regarded as one of the best airlines thanks to its impeccable service, and TPG has reviewed it favorably, TPG has also said the food in the airline's economy class is nothing to write home about, despite economy passengers receiving a menu.
Read more: TPG roundup: 5 worst economy meals in the sky
Another option for this deal is to fly on Etihad Airways, including the below flight for just under $750 in January 2022 from Dulles International Airport (IAD) in Washington, D.C. Both flights include overnight layovers.
Etihad is a popular choice for both Citi and American Express cardholders as you can transfer your Citi ThankYou Rewards and Amex Membership Rewards to Etihad Guest at a 1:1 ratio.
Regardless of the airline you choose, be sure to act fast because this deal will soon be disappearing. Otherwise, you'll miss out on this view!
Read more: Cleared for Takeoff: A honeymoon trip to the Maldives on points and miles