Far Flung Places: Getting to Madagascar with Miles

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Madagascar is one of those places that just sounds exotic and difficult to get to and is well known for having many animal and plant species that aren’t found anywhere else in the world. While flight options are somewhat limited to get to the island nation off of the east coast of Africa, its far from impossible and your miles can even help you get there!

madagascar

If getting to Madagascar is your goal, you’re going to want to start off collecting miles with a SkyTeam airline (like Delta or Air France) or a Star Alliance Airline (like United or Singapore). Miles with oneworld Alliance members (like American) aren’t going to help you out at all!

There are regularly scheduled flights on Air France from Paris (SkyTeam), Turkish from Istanbul (Star Alliance), and seasonal flights on LOT Polish (Star Alliance) from Warsaw into Ivato International Airport (TNR) in Madagascar’s capital.

Since we know what airlines are possible to fly to Madagascar now, it’s time to start comparing prices for using miles to book these flights.

In Economy

If you want to save some miles and fly economy, United miles are going to be one of the best options. United charges 40,000 miles each way and won’t cost you an arm and a leg in fuel surcharges.

You can use your Alaska Airlines miles for the same price to book flights on KLM and Air France. Keep in mind, when booking partner awards with Alaska, you can only fly one of their partners in a single itinerary, so if Air France or KLM doesn’t fly out of your home city you will need to either book an Alaska flight to get there on the same award or figure out alternate means of transportation. Delta doesn’t publish their award chart anymore, but theoretically it is possible to book the same flights for 40,000 Delta miles.

In Business

If you would rather fly in business class, the cheapest award options look a little different. Korean Air takes the cake for cheapest business class redemption, as long as you are able to find availability on the Air France flight from Paris. Korean Air charges 60,000 miles for the one-way trip. Note that when booking with Korean Air, you can only book for yourself and your family members, so you lose a little bit of flexibility.

Alaska Airlines has the next cheapest award option, charging 70,000 miles for a one-way in business class on Air France.

If you can only find availability on the Star Alliance member flights, the lowest number of points you will get away with spending is 72,500 with Singapore Airlines. Air Canada charges 75,000 miles and United charges a whopping 80,000 miles each way.

Availability

So great, it’s possible to get to Madagascar with miles! But what does availability look like? In short, it’s a little hit-or-miss.

Availability on the Turkish flight from Istanbul was present at least one day per week in April and May 2017, but all availability was in economy. The direct flight on LOT Polish did not show availability in any of my searches.

The availability on the Air France flight from Paris was a pretty consistent three days per week in April and May 2017 in economy. If you’re looking for business class, things looked a little bit better than the Star Alliance flights but still not great. Eight days in the two month period showed business class availability.

 

Are you interested in using miles to fly to Madagascar?

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