A new redemption option for your Avios: Iberia is launching flights to the Maldives

Sep 17, 2021

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It has just become even easier to use points and miles to fly to one of the most aspirational luxury destinations in the world — the Maldives.

Iberia has announced that it would start two weekly flights between its Madrid (MAD) hub and Malé (MLE) and from December 2021 through February 2022.

These flights are about 11 hours long each way from Madrid, and lie-flat, business class flights to the Maldives are notoriously pricey.

The challenge is that while we were able to price out awards on these flights this morning using Avios, availability appears to have dried up for the time being. But, since things can always change, here’s what you should know if the Maldives is on your travel wish list.

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Thanks to the Iberia Plus program and its distance-based award chart, a one-way flight to Malé from Madrid will costs 42,500 Avios for an off-peak business class rate, or 85,000 Avios round-trip — which is an already excellent use of your points.

You can transfer your Avios from British Airways Executive Club to Iberia Plus. You can also redeem your Avios for these Iberia flights from your Executive Club account directly, but you can expect to pay far more Avios, so it is a better deal to do the Iberia Plus transfer option.

Iberia is flying the A330 to the Maldives. (Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)

 

If you start your redemption journey in Madrid you will avoid the U.K.’s pesky APD tax so will pay far less in fees, taxes and surcharges. You could use a Reward Flight Saver flight to make your way to Madrid to start your journey.

Before you transfer any of your hard-earned points to Iberia Plus, head on over to Iberia.com and search for flights. We saw availability quickly decrease this morning, so double-check that the flights you want are even there first. Be sure to click “Pay with Avios” to see the rates in points — and note that Iberia uses some funky search parameters for departing from the U.S. (e.g. “CHI” for Chicago).

Here are your nonstop flight options from Madrid to Malé (and back) from 3 December, 2021- 28 February, 2022:

  • MAD-MLE: 8:40 p.m. to 11:25 a.m., with departures on Mondays and Fridays
  • MLE-MAD: 10 p.m. to 6:20 a.m., with departures on Saturdays and Tuesdays
(Screenshot courtesy of Iberia)

Once you find your ideal dates, scroll down to find the rates with points.

(Screenshot courtesy of Iberia)

These particular dates I searched cost 85,000 Avios and $291.90 (£211) in taxes and fees for the round-trip flight from Madrid. This is the lowest redemption rate you’ll find, thanks to the off-peak business class rates on Iberia’s award charts.

However, if you want to fly around Christmas or New Year’s, expect redemption rates to be higher — around 105,000 Avios round-trip if you can find availability as they are peak dates.

Bottom line

Iberia has long been known as one of the best award charts friendly for stellar business class redemptions. With Iberia offering flights to the Maldives, you can fly in luxury at a fraction of the cost any other airline will charge if some additional availability returns.

If you are able to book a flight, check out our guide on the best times to visit the Maldives and things to know when booking your first overwater bungalow.

Featured photo by Chris Dong for The Points Guy.

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