Update: I got to speak with the Hyatt General manager via phone while waiting (and major props to him for that) and he was told it was due to technical difficulties. I told him that wasn’t true as I was able confirm with the staff here that exact same plane flew us back to Male. So it was unsafe to fly 15 minutes to Kooddoo but safe enough to fly 45 minutes back to Male?
I’m writing this post as I need to vent about our awful experience trying to get to the Park Hyatt Maldives – in fact we still aren’t there yet and I’m back sitting in the Moonimaa Lounge in Male for the second time today. Let me explain.
To reach the Park Hyatt Maldives, you first need to fly into Male international airport, then transfer to a domestic Maldivian airlines flight which make a stop at another airport before reaching Kooddoo. Once at Kooddoo you have a 30 minute boat ride direct to the resort.
Today started off great as we flew Emirates 652 DXB-MLE in first class with suites (there was a late aircraft switch) and we landed at 3pm local time in Male. Our flight to Kooddoo was scheduled to depart at 5:15pm but unfortunately was making a “20 minute” stopover in Kaadehdhoo. At 5pm we were informed our flight was delayed 30 minutes and would take off at 5:45pm which it did. So a small delay but nothing to complain about.
We landed in Kaadehdhoo at ~6:30pm and about half the passengers deplaned as many of them were going to the Six Senses resort. The pilot announced the stop would take 20 minutes or so and everything looked fine at this point so we could fly the 15 minutes to Kooddoo. Around 7pm, we were still on the plane with the door open and we could tell something was wrong as the ground staff and pilot were discussing something intently. Finally, we were informed there was an additional 30 minute delay and they escorted us off the plane into a waiting room at the airport.
It is 8pm now and the waiting room is filling us as new passengers are arriving to the airport who were schedule to depart for Male. We are finally told boarding will begin but the plane was going BACK to Male instead of continuing on 15 minutes. We were given no explanation and when we asked the flight attendant all we got was “there a flight schedule change”.
What?!?! We have finished one leg of the flight and NOW they do a schedule change? I’ve never heard such a thing! So without any choice, we flew back to Male and landed a little after 9pm. So 6 hours after I got to Male, I am right back after flying a roundtrip to Kaadehdhoo for no reason. The best part was landing in Male and the staff having NO idea what to do with us (a woman comes on board and goes “more than 8 of you?” and runs off obviously not prepared for us). Finally someone has the wise idea of leading us off the aircraft to the lounge which is nothing to write home about.
Our new flight time is 11:15pm (which is about an hour from now) so I’ll be sure to update this post if any further delays or mishaps occur. With the Park Hyatt being 1 hour ahead, we are not expected to arrive now until close to 2am. This isn’t at all the Park Hyatt’s fault but it does leave a sour taste in my mouth as this is suppose to be a relaxing trip and this hasn’t been a great experience thus far. Is a 6+ hour delay & taking a domestic flight for no reason the worst thing in the world? No, its not but any fanfare or joy of arriving will now be focused on getting to our room as quick as possible and gong to bed.
Thanks Maldivian Air!