Best business class option for US to DEL

Old Dec 26, 19, 8:31 pm
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Best business class option for US to DEL

Hi there,

First time poster on this board and first time traveler to India!

I am planning a trip to Delhi next May and interested in flying over from the US in business class. Currently I can book any of the following partner awards with UA miles (all same price):

ORD-DEL on AI
JFK-DEL on AI
YYZ-DEL on AI
IAD-DEL on AI
YYZ-ADD-DEL on ET

What differences in hard/soft product should I anticipate with these options, and which would you all recommend?

Many thanks in advance!
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Old Dec 26, 19, 10:47 pm
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Be cautious of AI as most of their planes are 2 3 2 in business outside of their older 747 and the 788. They also don't have a great J hard product seatwise.

For UA redemption I would look at some of the European carriers with a better hard product. Alternatively there is significantly better *A carriers going over the Pacific. I recently flew the extra 3 hours DEL/ORD via HkG and loved it.
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Old Dec 26, 19, 11:09 pm
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These seem to be very poor options unfortunately.

ET J is better than AI J - soft and hard. However ADD is a complete mess. AI has the advantage of flying “direct” which is always better. So none of the options look great right now.

You should call UA and ask about SQ availability (never shows up online) via LAX or SFO. LH is also a better option, however they generally release award seats to partners about 2 weeks prior. As would be UA with the real Polaris (though I think UA is flying Polaris into DEL now).

You could also check for flights into BOM and then fly to DEL from there. More painful but you might get better *A carriers.
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Old Dec 27, 19, 6:44 am
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Originally Posted by PiperAtGatesofDawn View Post
You should call UA and ask about SQ availability (never shows up online) via LAX or SFO.

SQ almost never releases long haul J space to partners, except to members of Alaska Mileageplan.
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Old Dec 27, 19, 9:54 pm
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Good point on BOM a lot more *A options esp if you are just using united.com to search. Simplicity vs comfort will be the OPs conundrum.
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Old Dec 28, 19, 6:14 am
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Originally Posted by deovrat View Post
SQ almost never releases long haul J space to partners, except to members of Alaska Mileageplan.
That's no longer true.... while availability is limited both by SQ and UA I suspect, things have changed...


Last edited by PiperAtGatesofDawn; Dec 28, 19 at 6:21 am
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Old Dec 28, 19, 7:30 am
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You may want to try Star Alliance member LOT Polish Airlines new flight via Warsaw to Delhi. Boeing 787 Dreamliner with 2-2-2 seating in Business.
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Old Dec 28, 19, 9:14 am
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the only advantage of flying ai would be the direct flight....ai's business product is nothing to write home about but perfectly adequate for a long haul flight....
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Old Dec 28, 19, 11:05 am
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Originally Posted by Keyser View Post
the only advantage of flying ai would be the direct flight....ai's business product is nothing to write home about but perfectly adequate for a long haul flight....
Agree... which is why I prefer AI for biz travel but I try very hard to avoid them when traveling for leisure on my hard earned miles... In fact for biz travel I used to be in a dilemma when choosing between AI & UA J. Polaris has slightly edged things in favour of UA though. And now DL would be good for competition from BOM although I’d probably never fly them !

Last edited by PiperAtGatesofDawn; Dec 28, 19 at 1:24 pm
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Old Dec 28, 19, 1:41 pm
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Go for one of the direct flights that suit your timing. ET J might be slightly better that AI, but why add extra travel time?
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Old Dec 28, 19, 5:23 pm
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Thank you all for your comments and advice.

Unless I can find an all-direct-aisle-access J product with *A saver availability I will most likely just go with one of the direct options.

IAD seems to be a 787 whereas the other AI options are 772s or 773s. Is the 787 service materially better? Iím most interested in a lie-flat product.
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Old Dec 28, 19, 11:03 pm
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Originally Posted by mcrw00 View Post
Thank you all for your comments and advice.

Unless I can find an all-direct-aisle-access J product with *A saver availability I will most likely just go with one of the direct options.

IAD seems to be a 787 whereas the other AI options are 772s or 773s. Is the 787 service materially better? I’m most interested in a lie-flat product.
I think ET flies only 2-2-2 so the middle row gets all aisle access.

Also I checked the IAD - DEL flights... because I thought what you said was weird. AI currently flies its 77Ws to IAD. AI's site shows they're going to fly 788s there from Jan - which I think is super weird because I doubt if 787s have the range to fly IND-USA! And unless you get a new plane (which is up to the gods of flight) the quality of things won't be materially better in one over the other (77W vs 788).

77Ws are much bigger & wider than 788s - both products on AI are lie-flat.
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Last edited by PiperAtGatesofDawn; Dec 28, 19 at 11:22 pm
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Old Dec 30, 19, 7:28 pm
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Go direct. AI is not SQ but I sleep well in the seats and the timings are typically good. FYI - Have flown to India and most carriers in J and F over the years so can compare.
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Old Dec 31, 19, 5:45 pm
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Originally Posted by mcrw00 View Post
I am planning a trip to Delhi next May and interested in flying over from the US in business class. Currently I can book any of the following partner awards with UA miles (all same price):
Completely unrelated to the question on hand - I hope you do realize Delhi will be a scorcher in the middle of summer with temperatures above 40C (104F).
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Old Jan 3, 20, 8:56 am
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Originally Posted by PiperAtGatesofDawn View Post
I think ET flies only 2-2-2 so the middle row gets all aisle access.

Also I checked the IAD - DEL flights... because I thought what you said was weird. AI currently flies its 77Ws to IAD. AI's site shows they're going to fly 788s there from Jan - which I think is super weird because I doubt if 787s have the range to fly IND-USA! And unless you get a new plane (which is up to the gods of flight) the quality of things won't be materially better in one over the other (77W vs 788).

77Ws are much bigger & wider than 788s - both products on AI are lie-flat.
During the Pakistani air space restriction time, they added Vienna as a fuel stop for all the
"Direct" flights to the US. Maybe they are doing something like that...
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