The United Arab Emirates national carrier Etihad Airways is offering an excellent deal for travelers that would like to visit the Maldives and are looking for cheap business class tickets. Round-trips from Budapest to this paradise destination in the Indian Ocean are available for prices starting at only €1,512 (~HUF 543,958).
The availability for this deal is good starting in January and all through to June 2020. Unfortunately, in most cases, only one segment of your trip will offer lie-flat seats, which can be a small downside to this deal.
Several options will get you from Budapest to Malé. Your first layover could be in Brussels, Munich, Rome, or another hub of an Etihad partner. From Europe, the next flight will get you to Abu Dhabi, where you will change plans and fly to the Maldives.
Trips with Etihad partners will be in the European business class. Your flight to the United Arab Emirates is on board a Boeing 777 or 787, whereas the airline operates mostly Airbus A320 on the last segment. Check out these reviews for more information:
Search & Book
According to the fare rules, this deal will be available until January 15th, and the offer is valid for trips commencing on or before June 30th, 2020. We’ve been able to find flights during the whole period. Tickets have to be booked at least seven days before your first departure.
Technically you could only stay for three days if you want to. But given that the Maldives is a dream vacation for most of us, the maximum stay requirements of 3 months will be more interesting to know about.
Use Google Flights (instructions). That way, you will be able to find all the cheap connections and choose the dates that suit you best. You can save some money with our Travel Dealz flight search tool. Just enter the dates from Google and compare prices that OTAs have to offer.
Why is booking with an airline better than with an online travel agency?
More often than not, online travel agencies offer lower fares than airlines do. We still recommend booking with the airlines directly. There are three main reasons for that:
- The Covid-19 Pandemic
During the worldwide outbreak of Covid-19, planning international travel got more and more risky because of ever-changing restrictions. In contrast to many online travel agencies, most airlines modified their terms & conditions to become more customer friendly. Rebooking conditions are eased, change fees are waived and cancellations are much easier when there is no third party involved.
Further, by adding an OTA to your plans, you increase the risk of one service provider involved going bankrupt. Now, the airline and the online travel agency involved could vanish along with your money.
- Better Customer Service
In case any problems like delays, cancellations or missed connections arise, you can communicate directly with the airline. The airlines has to take care of you because you have a contract with them.
If a travel agency issues your ticket, you may have to reach out to them first. You also depend on your OTA to forward you information like flight changes instead receiving them directly from the airline. You may get a prime exhibition of responsibility shifting rather than problem solving.
This especially applies for premium tickets. You don’t want to spend more than €1,000 to wind up with some budget OTA’s telephone hotline in case anything goes wrong.
- Baggage Fees
Economy fares not including hold luggage are more and more common. In most cases, travel agencies charge much higher baggage fees than the airlines themselves. If bags are not included in your fare, airlines are often the cheaper alternative.
All tickets should be issued in booking class Z. While Etihad is not a member of an airline alliance, the carrier has several partners that will let you earn miles on their programs. That is if you don’t want to become a member of Etihad Guest. Here’s an example of what the trip from Budapest to Malé via Doha will get you:
- 24,260 Miles on Hainan Fortune Wings Club
- 15,074 Miles on Czech Airlines OK Plus
- 15,074 Miles on Asiana Club
- 15,070 Award Miles + 15,074 EQMs on American AAdvantage
- 14,494 Miles on Alitalia MileMiglia
- 14,494 Miles on ANA Mileage Club
- 13,334 Miles on Korean Air Skypass
- 13,334 Miles on Oman Air Sindbad
- 13,334 Miles on Etihad Guest
- 13,334 Miles on Bangkok Airways FlyerBonus
- 13,334 Miles on Garuda Indonesia GarudaMiles
- 13,334 Miles on GOL Aéreos Smiles
- 13,334 Miles on Virgin Australia Velocity
- 13,334 Miles on South African Voyager
- 11,596 Miles on Malaysia Airlines Enrich
- 7,384 Points on SAS EuroBonus
Hotels in the Maldives
If you’re not only looking for a flight but also accommodation, check our recent hotel dealz or go to booking.com to see what’s out there.
Source: YHBU – Thanks!
Cover Picture: ©Pakhnyushchyy - stock.adobe.com