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By: Travis Cormier
Hi Travel Junkies,
Like many of you, I got started in the points and miles world when planning my honeymoon. And boy am I glad I did! Without points and miles, I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy such an amazing honeymoon.
We flew first class, stayed at the wonderful Park Hyatt Maldives, and amazingly didn’t even get a serious sunburn.
There’s many great ways to travel to the Maldives, but I’m going to walk you through how I did it – including some of the speed bumps we ran into along the way.
Etihad Apartments and American Airlines First Class
This was a crazy itinerary but travelling across three different continents only cost us 230,000 American AAdvantage miles and $174.32 per person.
We flew a pretty busy route for this trip. Our outbound itinerary included:
- Austin (AUS) to Dallas (DFW) on American Airlines First Class
- Dallas (DFW) to London (LHR) on American Airlines Flagship First Class
- London (LHR) to Abu Dhabi (AUH) on Etihad First Class
- Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Male (MLE) on Etihad First Class
For our return flights we flew:
- Male (MLE) to Abu Dhabi (AUH) on Etihad First Class
- Abu Dhabi (AUH) to New York (JFK) on Etihad First Class
- New York (JFK) to Miami (MIA) on American Airlines First Class
- Miami (MIA) to Austin (AUS) on American Airlines First Class
If you’ve read our guide to redeeming AAdvantage miles, you may have noticed that this violates one of American Airlines’ routing rules as it transits Europe on way to the Indian Subcontinent.
The reason I was able to book this route was because I was originally booked on Etihad’s flight from DFW to AUH, but Etihad discontinued that route 5 days before my honeymoon! I called American Airlines with the alternative routing in hand and they were happy to accomodate because of the flight cancellation.
Now, let’s look at how much this trip would have cost if we had booked with cash. Spoiler! They would have been really expensive.
It’s a little tricky to put the exact price together, because these exact routings won’t show up on either Etihad or American’s websites so I did my best to piece it together accurately.