Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

How to get to Mauritius using air miles, as we begin our series on the island

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Today we are starting a series of articles from a recent trip that Rhys took to Mauritius.

For once, we are not focusing on the flight because it was British Airways Club World from London Gatwick. This features the old Club World seat which is, thankfully, disappearing quickly – although there is no timetable for converting the Gatwick fleet yet. More practically, it is a difficult flight to review because both legs are overnight and you spend the bulk of it asleep.

Getting to Mauritius with air miles

We are reviewing three of the branded resorts in Mauritius – the Sofitel, the Westin and the newly refurbished Le Meridien.

We are also going to look at:

  • the British Airways First Class lounge at London Gatwick (this article runs today, the hotel reviews will follow every couple of days)
  • the excellent Priority Pass lounge in Mauritius
  • the new British Airways lounge in Johannesburg, which is how Rhys routed his return trip

Getting to Mauritius using Avios

The obvious route to Mauritius is to use Avios on British Airways which is what I (Rob) did when I was there in May. If you’ve got any questions about One & Only Le Saint Geran, you can ask me in the comments as I didn’t write a review. I booked this via our hotel partner Emyr Thomas due to the additional benefits he could secure – you can contact him here.

Surprisingly, Qatar Airways does not fly to Mauritius. If you try to book for cash it routes you via Johannesburg, connecting to South African Airways.

In theory you could also use Avios to fly on British Airways to Johannesburg and then pay for a connection on South African Airways or Air Mauritius. London to Johannesburg is not an easy route to secure, however.

Other frequent flyer miles options to Mauritius

I thought it was worth taking a quick look at some of the other ways of getting to Mauritius, assuming that you have frequent flyer miles in multiple programmes.

Air Mauritius business class seats

Air Mauritius

Yes, Mauritius has its own airline, Air Mauritius. It also has a new modern airport as Rhys will show.

Air Mauritius flies direct from London and Paris. A picture of its business class cabin is above.

These routes reflect the ties between the island and the UK and France. Whilst the UK was the last colonial ruler of Mauritius before its independence in 1968, it was previously controlled by the French between 1715 and 1810. Mauritian Creole, French and English are all widely spoken.

There is no easy way of earning miles in the Air Mauritius frequent flyer scheme. However, whilst the airline is not in any of the three main alliances, it does have a number of partnerships.

You can book Air Mauritius flights using miles from the following programmes:

Emirates Skywards

As well as using Emirates Skywards miles to redeem on the direct Air Mauritius flight from London, you can also redeem on multiple daily flights from the UK via Dubai on Emirates.

Flying Blue Air France to Mauritius

SkyTeam or Virgin Points

If you have miles in any SkyTeam frequent flyer programme, or Virgin Points, you can redeem on the direct Air France service from Paris.

You could also redeem on Air France to neighbouring Réunion and then hop on a connection for cash with Air Mauritius.

There is also a routing on Kenya Airways via Nairobi. You cannot book Kenya Airways via Virgin Points, only with a SkyTeam currency such as Flying Blue miles or Delta SkyMiles.

One other option for Virgin Points holders is to fly on Virgin Atlantic to Johannesburg and book a cash connection onwards.

Star Alliance

If you have miles in any Star Alliance frequent flyer scheme, there are various direct Europe to Mauritius routings you could potentially book including:

  • Austrian from Vienna
  • Eurowings from Frankfurt
  • Turkish from Istanbul

You could also use Star Alliance miles to book the South African Airways service from Johannesburg to Mauritius. You could use either Avios on British Airways, Virgin Points on Virgin Atlantic or Star Alliance miles on South African to get from the UK to Jo’burg.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are multiple options for getting to Mauritius even if you are struggling to find Avios availability on British Airways.

Starting with our lounge review today, we hope our series of articles gives you a feel for the island.

Comments (37)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • MT says:

    I did the Air France option recently redeeming via Virgin and must say found it a very good option. The AF business cabin was far superior to BA old CW and late night departure from CDG made for an easy connection. Also put me perfectly in the time zone on arrival.

    Only word of warning is not sure you always get the newer Air France cabin.

    I fully agree the PP lounge at MRU is excellent. Puts a lot of airline own lounges to shame. Also had a great flight with South African to JNB, best medium haul flight for ages and the service put anything on BA to shame(First included).

    Looking forward to this series of articles to see how Rhys’s experience compared.

  • Gingertravel says:

    Looking forward to this series of articles! Have booked Mauritius for next summer (family of 5) and were surprised at the number of WTP seats available on Avios when flights were released – often more than economy and certainly more than club world, which seemed to have pairs of seats go fairly quickly!

  • Yuff says:

    How was Le Saint Geran?
    Stayed there 25 years ago, don’t think one & only had taken it over then and it was twinned with Le Tusserok.
    Loved the sunset cocktail at 6pm in our suite every night.
    Food was excellent. I think it was pretty much all inclusive back then except scuba diving, which was excellent.

    • Rob says:

      It was shut for a complete gut and refurbishment over 2017/8 so is effectively brand new, with an extra pool and restaurant added on the tip. Basically a new hotel but with 50-year old trees etc.

  • Filipino_Chino says:

    It’s a beautiful place, i went back packing many moons ago thanks to a £200 air france ticket off ebay – looking forward to this series as i said i would take my family back – love the mix of french and indian on the island… sadly you will learn about what the biritsh did with Chagos

  • James says:

    We stayed at the St Geran 15 years ago, before the refurb. It, and Le Tousserok, were One and Only. Junior suite on the beach. Wake up and walk onto sand. It was rather embarrassing when the butler insisted on unpacking the wine and champagne we had brought along, having been warned about extortionate prices on the island.

    The hotel was magnificent. Spa, tennis, great cuisine, fabulous layout and setting. We had a tremendous time and hope to return at some point.

  • Jill Kinkell says:

    We managed to use 241s several times direct to MRU and again via JNB and Comair. Our very first trip was Business on Air Mauritius and that was the first time we’d flown business on any airline! A few trips on Emirates as well. Mauritius was just the place for us as knackered NHS staff. Stayed in a few different hotels round the island, splitting our stays between n/s or e/w . Car hire and driving easy. It’s a lovely place and hoping to head back soon

  • Greg says:

    I was lucky enough to work and live in Mauritius from 2015 to 2017 and found Air Mauritius excellent. Two points particularly worth mentioning here:

    1 – If you bank with Barclays Mauritius you can earn Air Mauritius “Miles” using your credit card. If I remember correctly there was a bonus rate for Barclays Premier Customers. As a result of putting every Rupee spending on the card, my wife and I enjoyed Cape Town, Singapore (twice) and Perth during the 2 years.

    2 – I am not sure if this is unique, but Air Mauritius “Auction” their Business Class seats the day before a flight. If you book an economy flight, you have the opportunity to “bid” for an upgrade. Obviously the highest bids win, but it means they invariably fill Business, releasing more Economy seats, or oversold tickets.

    I enjoyed every flight with them. Highly recommended.

  • The Streets says:

    Very much looking forward to this! We are booked to go with the little one this Christmas flying Air France with the virgin points and staying five nights each at the le meridien and westin on points with titanium status

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