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Need routes recommendation for travel to India

Need routes recommendation for travel to India

Old Mar 14, 17, 4:06 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Apr 2010
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Need routes recommendation for travel to India

Hi there – I have flown AA for only a year and do not have any international experience flying with the OneWorld Alliance (I used to fly SkyTeam).
I am going to fly to India for the first time. Selected class fare is business. Dates and routing are:
- Departure CLT to DEL: 3/31 (preferred) or 4/1
- Return BLR to CLT: 4/15 or 4/16
For the details, I have Plat Exec status, EU citizenship, green card holder, and 4 SWU awards available.

I am looking for recommendation for routes for the above itinerary and dates. I am looking (ideally) for routes with the shortest overall flight duration (and with no more than 2 connections) but wanted to know if there were specific routes that you would recommend (as far as airlines, types of planes are concerned for business class) and/or avoid (because of visa issues if layover is greater than X hours, etc…). Price is a decision factor, but not the main one (unless it is 2x more expensive that the cheapest route).

Thanks for the tips!!

Last edited by sorka; Mar 14, 17 at 5:48 pm
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Old Mar 14, 17, 4:41 pm
  #2  
 
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I visit India every year, and have done so for the past 14 years. My primary recommendation is to schedule in a "transit day" in Europe before you go to India. Your jet lag will be be quite diminished. BA to Delhi or Bangalore is generally good (not great). Lufthansa is also great, through Frankfurt.
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Old Mar 14, 17, 5:25 pm
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Originally Posted by handspring088 View Post
I visit India every year, and have done so for the past 14 years. My primary recommendation is to schedule in a "transit day" in Europe before you go to India. Your jet lag will be be quite diminished. BA to Delhi or Bangalore is generally good (not great). Lufthansa is also great, through Frankfurt.
I'd also add that Qatar is a really good option. That would get you the shortage ITN in terms of time, but I think you'd have to go to IAD or MIA. There's a PHL flight, but the connections to India suck.
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Old Mar 14, 17, 5:40 pm
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I am assuming you mean DEL and not DEI.

For traveling to DEL, I would go CLT-LHR-DEL. It's an easy 2.5 hour connection, arriving at LHR at 8 am and leaving at 10:30 am. Coming back from BLR is a little more complicated because the BA flight arrives too late to make a LHR-CLT flight. So, you will have to make 2 stops unless you want to spend ~21 hours in London. BLR-DOH-ORD-CLT on Qatar/AA or BLR-HKG-ORD-CLT on Cathay/AA are your two best options.
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Old Mar 14, 17, 5:52 pm
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Seems like CLT-LHR-DEL is the best option on the way to india.

On the way back, i noticed there an an Etihad flight that stops by CDG (and then there is a direct CDG-CLT). If i stay in CDG but for a connection < 24hrs, does that count as an extra leg?

Thanks for the tips. I wish i could have tried the A380 but does not seem there are any good flights for that.
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Old Mar 14, 17, 6:39 pm
  #6  
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I always take Emirates through DXB. Through JFK so it's on the A380. Seat 23K.

On long flights like this, airline loyalty/status takes a back seat to better seats/sleep/lounges etc.
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Old Mar 14, 17, 6:49 pm
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Kayak and other sites will sort your trips by total trip time, so you don't need to ask here for that. In general, a 1-stop will take less time than a 2-stop and also reduce the risk of misconnections and lost luggage.

Other than that, it is not clear what considerations are important to you. Flying to India is not that different from flying to anywhere else. Some of the above posts are recommending non-OW airlines, but I assume you want to stick to OW. Do you want the best J seat for sleeping on the plane? (CX; some QR aircraft; BA only if window seats.) Do you want the best food and service? (QR; avoid CX like the plague.) Are you more obsessed, as many on FT are, by lounge access? (There's no huge difference..)

If an AA partner, i.e. EY, will work also, then there are more options.
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Old Mar 14, 17, 7:06 pm
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Take a Middle Eastern carrier, rather than connecting in Europe. This way you will complete the vast majority of your trip in one shot, and that makes jet-lag easier to deal with rather than making a connection mid-trip in Europe.
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Old Mar 14, 17, 8:31 pm
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Just a note, since you are traveling in Business Class, with Qatar, you should qualify for a complimentary Hotel in DOHA if your connection time is at least 8 hours. This applies to both directions. A break in US-DEL is not an unwise strategy.
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Old Mar 14, 17, 11:06 pm
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That doesn't look like a cheap trip!

The best I can see on OW is $6300 via JFK and HEL outbound (12 hours in HEL) and via HKG and ORD on the return. Anything else looks like being in the $10k+ range.

SWUs might help a little but I doubt they'd be great, since they'll only work on AA flights (getting you to LHR or HKG maybe). If you want to travel Business class, then DEL return will be cheaper - $4000 on Finnair via Helsinki looks far and away the cheapest.
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Old Mar 15, 17, 2:22 am
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I think your best bet is the following itinerary. QR is an excellent airline and personally I would take their long haul business class product over BA or AA.
Attached Images  
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Old Mar 15, 17, 1:42 pm
  #12  
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Originally Posted by cheltzel View Post
I think your best bet is the following itinerary. QR is an excellent airline and personally I would take their long haul business class product over BA or AA.
True, but I wouldn't agree it's better than EK on a 380. But QR would be a second choice - both are about the same price. EK is about $8 more, and can save an hour. In the big picture, those aren't meaningful.
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Old Mar 15, 17, 4:47 pm
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Originally Posted by CPRich View Post
True, but I wouldn't agree it's better than EK on a 380. But QR would be a second choice - both are about the same price. EK is about $8 more, and can save an hour. In the big picture, those aren't meaningful.
I was taking in OW elite qualification in as a factor as the OP seemed to value the alliance.
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Old Mar 15, 17, 5:42 pm
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If you want to use SWUs and spend more time in J then consider CLT-LAX-HKG-DEL. Can SWU Y->J for the AA part then fly 6 hours in CX coach.
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Old Mar 15, 17, 7:10 pm
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Using the SWU for J to F would be even better.
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