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Friday, December 16, 2016

AKL-SYD-AUH-MLE: Departing the island for the Island

This was the one part of the trip that I was curious about from a logistics perspective.  Since there wasn't a direct Auckland to Maldives flight, I chose to book a short connector on Emirates between Auckland and Sydney before connecting to the Etihad flight option (using miles) through Abu Dhabi to Male.  When trying to checkin online ahead of time, however, Emirates would not complete the process.  We found out that this was due to the system thinking Sydney was our end-point and we did not have an Australian visa purchased.  The Emirates agents in Auckland were great and figured out what needed to be done to include our Etihad connection information on the ticket to print our boarding passes.  (whew) 10 minutes of frowning faces made me wonder what would happen - no problem.

To recap, we booked Sydney-Abu Dhabi-Male on Etihad A380 Business Class using American Miles pre-devaluation for a cost of 90,000 miles total.  For 45,000 miles per person in business, this was an exceptional redemption that I'm sure I'll have a hard time finding again.

With a flight time of 14.5 hours to Abu Dhabi, we found it to be a wise decision!

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