Sunday, January 26, 2014

Thanksgiving 2013 in Maldives: Introduction


Another long overdue report! :( Hopefully, I'll finish this as soon as possible.

After only visiting Conrad Maldives last Christmas and already visiting twice before that (reports here and here), we were not planning to return to Maldives that soon. Yes, it's one of our favorite places on earth but it can be expensive to make it a yearly tradition.

We had gone on the whale shark excursion during the last visit and had signed up to the non profit Maldives Whaleshark Research program mailing list/facebook page that ran the excursion since we wanted to learn more about the maginificent whale sharks. Early in 2013, there ran a silent charity auction for a stay at the Conrad Maldives which we ended up winning much to our surprise!

We had initially booked a more direct Turkish Airlines Houston to Male via Istanbul in business class through my United miles to get to Maldives. I was reasonably happy with the redemption since it would give us a chance to try Turkish Airlines and their much acclaimed lounge in Istanbul.

Two weeks prior to departure, I got restless and managed to come up with a much long winded way of getting to Maldives albeit in First Class:

  • Austin to Denver on revenue tickets on American Airlines
  • Denver to Frankfurt in Lufthansa First Class and onto Rome
  • Rome to Bangkok in Thai First Class
  • Bangkok to Maldives via Singapore on Thai and Singapore Business Class
Although the flight experience wasn't new having tried both Lufthansa and Thai in first class before, we decided the difference in miles and the additional day traveling required was worth it since it was first class for the most part (First is still First :)), we got to take a Porsche out for a drive during our layover in Frankfurt and had a day for a quick look in Rome.

For the flights back to Austin, we opted for one of the ex-CMB AA fares since we needed the AA miles for the AA 30k EXP challenge that both of us managed to sign up for. By the time we got around to booking the ticket, the first class fare was no longer available and routing on AA metal or codeshare was somewhat limited which resulted in another long winded multi-hop flight back:
  • Male to Colombo on Srilankan Airways
  • Colombo to Manchester via Abu Dhabi on Etihad in Business
  • Manchester to Austin via Chicago on American Airlines in Business 


  1. Enjoyed reading your blog!! And congracts on the baby!!
    BTW, how to book ex-CMB AA fares ? On AA website?? Thanks!!

  2. @Juliet Glad you enjoy the blog. Just wished I had more time to update it more frequently.

    Send me an email and I'll be glad to provide more info on the ex-CMB fares