FlyerTalk Forums - View Single Post - [ARCHIVE 2018] Conrad Maldives Rangali Island {MDV}
Old Jul 5, 18, 12:13 pm
  #3060  
MaldivesFreak
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Back in Hell
Posts: 3,769
The Definitive Seaplane Transfer Information Post & FAQ

Pre-Arrival:
The resort will ask for your flight details via email and pass them on to the seaplane company. They need to have them 48hrs before your arrival. If you do not give these details to the resort there is a good chance you will not be on a seaplane flight the day you expect to leave and you will have to wait until the next day to depart!
The seaplane company will arrange the passenger lists for any given day according to passengers' scheduled arrival times, i.e; arrange passengers who have overnighted in Malé and arriving very early in the morning to go on the first flight(s) to the resort. Basically, the earlier you arrive, the earlier you will depart on a seaplane. There's nothing you can do to influence which flight you'll be on apart from arriving in Malé early (before 7 or 8AM) or the night before.

Post-Arrival (at Velana International Airport, Malé):
The resort will be informed of the seaplane schedule the night before and inform you accordingly. Either;
a) if you are not overnighting in Malé, the Conrad representative at Malé airport will inform you of the seaplane departure time when he meets you in the arrival hall.
b) if you are staying in a hotel in Malé or on the airport island overnight, you are usually informed by the Conrad rep as per above, otherwise the resort will inform your hotel of what time you have to be at the seaplane lounge and the hotel staff will let you know in due course. Most hotels usually have a service where they will drop you back at the airport after you have checked out in the morning and they will arrange your checkout so you will get back to the airport and the Conrad Lounge on time. Then you make your way over to the Conrad Booth (#19), and the Conrad rep will take care of the rest. There is an air-conditioned shuttle bus that takes you to the lounge from the airport.

Note on luggage: All luggage is checked and weighed at the seaplane check-in desk just outside the international terminal and this happens after you are met by the Conrad representative and before you depart for the Conrad Lounge. Your luggage goes with you to the lounge so you have access to it while waiting for the seaplane to depart.


IMPORTANT POINTS TO KEEP IN MIND:
* The daily seaplane schedules are arranged 1 day beforehand and are according to passengers' scheduled arrival times. They are completely out of the resort's control
* The decision whether to fly or not if there is bad weather or there are safety concerns is at the sole discretion of the seaplane operator
* All prices are set by the seaplane operator and are completely out of the resort's control. The resort will only collect what is due at checkout on behalf of the seaplane operator



FAQ:
Q: Does the seaplane operator have guests wait in the lounge until the flight is full, then depart?
A: No. Departure times are decided on the previous day.

Q: If I walk into an empty lounge will I have to wait a couple of hours? If I walk into a lounge full of people, then it's a sure bet I'll be leaving in 10 minutes, right?
A: No. You can arrive to an empty lounge and then be told to leave in five minutes and find that the other passengers are already in the waiting room downstairs or on the seaplane jetty. So in a nutshell, the amount of people in the lounge has little or no bearing on when you will depart. The reason for this is there can be other guests who will get dropped off at another resort along the way. They are not guests of the Conrad and so do not have access to the lounge. There can also be guests who are flying to the Conrad but have arrived in Malé late and so never enter the lounge and are taken directly to the waiting room or the seaplane jetty.

Q: How long do I have to wait for the seaplane?
A: As mentioned in the wiki, the seaplane operator endeavours to limit the waiting time to 2 hours. Providing there are no delays due to weather, maintenance issues etc, usually the longest you'll have to wait is about 2 hours or a little more. Most often the waiting time is less than 1 hour.

Q: Am I more likely to have a later seaplane departure from Rangali if my international flight out of the Maldives departs later in the evening, or will I have a longer wait at the airport?
A: Yes, you are more likely to get a later departure. There are more night flights out of Malé and consequently there are many more seaplane flights in the late afternoon. And also because of the fact that seaplane departures are often late, 30min to an hour on average. This is especially true the later it is in the day when everything can easily be running behind schedule.

Q: What time is the earliest seaplane flight to Rangali and what time is the last seaplane flight back to Malé?
A: The earliest flight can be as early as 10 - 15 min after sunrise but they usually start around 8 or 9AM. There is, however no way to know what time it will be on any given day due to passenger / group arrival times being different. The last flight back to Malé can be at around 6:30PM (that's resort time, which is 5:30PM Malé time) which is just about the latest time they can depart in order to comfortably get back to Malé before daylight, or the lack of it, becomes an issue.

Q: I've read above that the seaplane company will arrange the passenger lists for any given day according to passengers' scheduled arrival & departure times and that there is no way to know what time my flight will be on any given day. Can you be more specific about what factors influence seaplane departure times?
A: Regarding the first flight out to the resort each morning, what the above effectively means is that if no-one overnights in Malé and no-one arrives earlier into Malé than say 10AM, there won't be any flights out to Rangali until about 11:30AM or noon. Of course that almost never happens but it's still a possibility. Generally speaking they won't fly unless the plane is at full or near-full capacity. And regarding capacity, if there are only a few passengers, say a couple or a small family overnighting in Malé, and the first lot of other guests arrive in Malé at 10AM (and there are no guests waiting at Rangali for an early departure back to Malé), you'll still be looking at an 11:30AM or midday flight out. Again, I stress that this almost never happens due to the resort's size (more villas equals more guests equals more flights per day) so it's almost never an issue. The other determining factor (bar maintenance issues) is daylight, as they cannot fly in darkness so the earliest will be say 10 - 15 min after sunrise (click here for Malé's sunrise / sunset times). So the earliest they will fly is about 6:30AM but that's only if they've prepped the plane the night before and are flying staff out. They usualy won't fly guests out that early. The earliest some FT'ers have flown out is around 7:30, so that's what you should expect if you are on the earliest of the first lot of flights out.
Regarding the return journey, if there are a large number of guests that have evening flights out of Malé, they will start to move those passengers on 2, 3, 4PM flights departing the resort so you may get unlucky and have an early flight back and a long wait at Velana Airport for your international flight. That's where the Conrad Lounge can be useful (see wiki for package prices and other info).

Q: What are the contingencies in case of bad weather?
A: Both the resort and the seaplane operator will do their best to get you on a domestic flight. If the weather is bad you'll be taken care of and be put on the next available flight to the resort.


That pretty much sums it up. If you have any more questions please feel free to ask! This post has been linked to in the seaplane info section of the Wiki.

Last edited by MaldivesFreak; Jul 12, 18 at 7:14 am
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