Saturday - Jan 16, 2021

First class ticket to India for $2,000

Etihad Airways has one of the best product in the airline industry. They provide Chauffer service when you travel Business/First class (even on award tickets).

Etihad Airways awards can be booked using AAdvantage miles. To travel to India on an award ticket, here is what you need.


In the last few days, I was trying to find the trend on Etihad award seat availability. I found that the flights out of San Francisco has plenty of award availability in Business and First Class.

Here is snapshot of the availability in the near future. Ignore the miles displayed in this picture, use this tool to find the number of seats available only. American Airlines would charge you miles as explained above.


First Class Award

There are a 4 award seats in first class from SFO to Abu Dhabi on May 30, 2015


You can get business class award if you are short of miles

You can get business class award if you are short of miles


Assuming you do not have any miles in your account, you could buy miles and book these awards. Right now, there is a buy miles promotion from American Airlines. If you buy miles during this promotion

for a First class award to India, you need to buy 90,000 miles and will cost you $1932.75


First Award

You need 90,000 miles for a one way first class award to India


for a Business class award to India, you need to buy 67,500 miles and will cost you $1,552.20


Business miles

You need 67,500 miles for a one way Business class award to India


for an Economy Class award to India, you need to buy 45,o00 miles and will cost you $1,139.94


Economy Miles

You need 45,000 miles for a one way economy class award to India


Let us look at the retail cost of an Economy class ticket, if it even makes sense to buy miles and book an award ticket.


Economy Cost

One way economy class ticket for $1,330.80


Instead of buying a ticket in economy class directly for $1,330.80, you may buy miles to book an award ticket and would cost you the following based on the class of booking

Economy Award  – $1,219.54 ($1,139.94 to buy 45,000 miles + $5.60 in taxes & fees + $75 close in booking fees)

Business Award  – $1,632.80 ($1,552.20 to buy 67,500 miles + $5.60 in taxes & fees + $75 close in booking fees)

First Award  – $2,013.35 ($1,932.75 to buy 90,000 miles + $5.60 in taxes & fees + $75 close in booking fees)


Business class and First class awards are slightly costlier than economy fare. But, if you already have a few miles in your AAdvantage account – the math may be in your favor.



  • American Airlines will let you hold award tickets

 – Hold for 5 days when you book 15 – 330 days before departure

– Hold for 1 day when you book 1 – 14 days before departure

– Hold up to 2 hours before departure when you book within 24 hours of departure


  • You can hold the award ticket (if available) and then buy miles – Miles will post immediately  after your payment is authorized.



  • If you need to travel from Los Angeles, but found an award from SFO, You can connect through American Airlines from Los Angeles to San Francisco and then on to Etihad flight for the same amount of miles.



  • Miles purchase transactions are nonrefundable and nonreversible
  • You cannot earn miles on award tickets.
  • AAdvantage account must be at least 30 days old to buy miles
  • You can only purchase a maximum of 100,000 miles in a calendar year (excluding bonus miles)
  • Check round trip prices and do the math, before deciding the plan.



If your travel dates are flexible, you could travel in Business/First class to India for a little premium over Economy fare. Etihad Airways is giving opening up decent amount of Business & First Class seats especially out of San Francisco.

You can use our free award travel booking service to find the award seats for you.


Disclaimer:  Links mentioned in this post do not earn us any commission.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analysis and any calculations shown are authors alone. Information in this post is not reviewed, approved and endorsed by any airlines, frequent flyer programs or financial institution

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