1. Ben..I’d be interested in Bali if you recommend it over the Maldives…..but do you know off hand any good resorts that include food, and good snorkeling on site?

  2. Great article! I do wonder if the Maldives will be more accessible when(if) Air India joins the Star Alliance.

  3. Great write up and I couldn’t agree more with the option you feel is best (fly to Columbo). We had award space reserved in Nov 2009 that was booked 11 months out using ANA and SQ via Tokyo and Singapore to Male. 2 months out everything fell apart as SQ reduced frequency from Singapore to Male to 5x per week from daily service (affecting our return segment). We weren’t able to work it out and as a result the Maldives are still on our ‘to visit’ list.

  4. @Sean – India is a big hub for South Asia travel and having Air India in the Star Alliance and Kingfisher in oneworld will open up a lot of possibilities!

  5. Ben, does Singapore Airlines now allow booking in their not-so-new business class on the 77W and A380 to non-Kris Flyer members? Although I’ve seen reports of some loosening on flights to Australia, I thought the only business or first option from the US, booking via a Star Alliance partner, is the flight from JFK. I hope I’m wrong!

    (Sorry for not supporting the article on TravelSort, but I don’t want to link from Facebook, which they require.)

  6. Can I get more info on the seaplanes? Are they specific for each hotel/island? How much are they?


  7. @ Ozaer — Unfortunately I don’t know of any that have snorkeling off the top of my head.

    @ Loran — I don’t think they’re as strict anymore, though I haven’t seen much (if any) award space from the US to Asia in their new product.

    @ David — You have to arrange the seaplanes with the hotels directly. They usually go directly to the hotel or land somewhere on the island the hotel is located on. Prices vary, so you’ll want to contact the hotel directly for that.

  8. What would you say is the best way to get to the maldives
    if you already in southern or Easter Africa (I.e. Malawi, south Africa, or Kenya.)

  9. Lucky, thanks for your insightful post! In your article you mentioned that the fuel charges for booking a Malaysia Airlines Business Class ticket to Maldives from the US are around $400 – is this the total cash cost to book the award ticket or is there more to it? I recently booked this itinerary and was charged much more (in the vicinity of $800 per ticket) and am wondering if I am missing something.

  10. Lucky: What do you you think of the safety aspect? A lot of countries still have Bali listed as a travel advisory because of the terrorist attacks the focus on tourist areas?

  11. @ Bryan — That’s a real toughie. You might still be best off going through Southeast Asia and trying to catch a flight on Singapore.

    @ HB — I could be off or it may have recently changed. I was under the impression it was around $400 per ticket in total taxes and fees, though it could be higher. I had no clue it was *that* much higher, though.

    @ mtlfire — I’m no safety expert, so take what I say with a grain of salt, but I feel incredibly safe in Bali. As far as I know the last terrorist attack was in 2002. It was an isolated incident. In the same way I feel incredibly safe in New York, though we saw what happened in 2001. It’s worth keeping in mind that they had targeted nightclubs, as I don’t believe there has been an attack on a resort.

    So I feel incredibly safe in Bali, and I would return in a heartbeat. There are risks in everything I do every second of the day, from driving to the supermarket to flying to going to New York to going to Bali. I most definitely wouldn’t hesitate to return based on safety.

  12. Flying my Dad using 120K US miles and some cheap domestic flights, staying Sheraton Full Moon, then Kandy SL for Perahera, then India for business

    CO CLE-EWR-BOM in J 830p-900p
    overnight in BOM
    Air India BOM-TRV 700a-855a $163
    Air India TRV-MLE 1130a-1210p $151
    (not bookable as a connection)

    Emirates MLE-CMB $145
    Jet Airways CMB-MAA $95

    LH BLR-FRA-IAD in J 215a-1240p
    US IAD-CLE in Y

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