Monday - Nov 20, 2017

How To Book Air India Business /First Class Awards For Free?


Have an upcoming trip to India?  Why not travel in a premium cabin for free? In this post, we will explain how you can travel to India for free on Air India Business/First Class.

Earlier, We have covered travelling for the following airlines

Etihad Airways

Cathay Pacific

Emirates

Qatar Airways

 

Things to consider when Choosing Air India

  • Air India operates to only to New York, Newark and Chicago. There is a  new service to San Francisco from New Delhi starting early 2016.
  • Air India is a member of Star Alliance, along with Lufthansa, United, Singapore Airlines etc..

 

How to travel on Air India using Miles?

There are multiple frequent flyer programs you can use to book an award ticket with Air India.

 

1. United MileagePlus

You can redeem United MileagePlus miles for Air India awards. You need

  • 42,500 miles for a one way economy class ticket between USA & India
  • 80,000 miles for a one way Business class saver ticket between USA & India
  • 140,000 miles for a one way First class saver ticket between USA & India

 

You can book these awards online at United.com

 

Air India SFO

 

How can you earn United MileagePlus miles?

There are several ways to earn United MileagePlus miles and you can accumulate steadily for a future award ticket.

United Mileage Plus Explorer Card  : You can earn 30,000 bonus United MileagePlus miles after spending $1,000 or more in 3 months.  Annual fee $95 – Waived for the first year

 

Transfer Ultimate Rewards

You can transfer Chase Ultimate rewards to British Airways Executive Club at 1:1 ratio. You can earn ultimate rewards from Chase Sapphire preferred Credit or Ink Plus Business Credit Card

 

You can transfer your Chase Freedom points to any of the frequent flyer programs

Convert Chase Ultimate Rewards to United MileagePlus at 1:1

 

 

American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Credit card: You can earn 25,000 Starpoints  after spending $3,000 or more with in 3 months. You can transfer Starpoints to United MileagePlus Miles at a 2:1 ratio. While this is an option, it is not recommended as Starpoints can be worth a lot more.

 

 

2. Air Canada – Aeroplan

Aeroplan is another Star Alliance member, you can use Aeroplan miles for award tickets with Air India. You need

  • 50,000 Miles  + Taxes/fess for a one way economy award between USA and India
  • 75,000 Miles  + Taxes/fess for a one way business class award between USA and India
  • 105,000 Miles + Taxes/fees for a one way first class award between USA and India.

 

Aeroplan first

 

How to earn Aeroplan Miles? 

Transfer Amex Membership rewards

You can transfer Amex Membership rewards to Aeroplan  at 1:1 ratio. You can earn Amex Membership rewards from Amex EveryDay Credit card , Amex Premier Rewards Gold Card, Amex Platinum , Amex Business gold rewards card, Business platinum

You can transfer Membership Rewards to Delta

American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Credit card:

You can earn 25,000 Starpoints after spending $3,000 or more with in 3 months. You can transfer Starpoints to Air Canada Aeroplan  at a 1:1 ratio and you also get 5,000 bonus miles for every 20,000 points transferred.

 

 

3. Air India Flying Returns

Air India’s frequent flyer program is called “Flying Returns“. You need

  • 45,000 Miles  + Taxes/fess for a one way economy award between USA and India
  • 90,000 Miles  + Taxes/fess for a one way business class award between USA and India
  • 112,500 Miles + Taxes/fees for a one way first class award between USA and India

 

Air India

 

You can use this calculator to find the number of miles needed for any specific route.   Right now there is no opportunity to earn Air India Flying Returns miles with any US credit cards, except a few Indian based Credit cards.

 

4. Avianca Life Miles.

Avianca is another Star Alliance member. You can redeem Avianca’s Life Miles for awards on Air India flights. You need

  • 42,500 Miles  + Taxes/fess for a one way economy award between USA and India
  • 78,000 Miles  + Taxes/fess for a one way business class award between USA and India
  • 111,000 Miles + Taxes/fees for a one way first class award between USA and India

 

You will pay $82 in taxes and fees for the below itinerary.

 

Avianca

 

How to earn Avianca Life Miles?

Avianca runs promotions regularly offering miles at a very low price. If you strategize and purchase during a promotion, you could get great value.

There is also Life Miles Visa Signature card from US Bank, offering 20,000 miles after first purchase.

 

 

5. Singapore Airlines – KrisFlyer:

Singapore Airlines is also a member of Star Alliance program. Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles can be redeemed for Air India awards.

You need the following

  • 52,500 Miles  + Taxes/fess for a one way economy award between USA (East Coast) and India
  • 102,500 Miles  + Taxes/fess for a one way business class award between USA (East Coast) and India
  • 132,500 Miles + Taxes/fees for a one way first class award between USA (East Coast) and India

or

  • 42,500 Miles  + Taxes/fess for a one way economy award between USA (West Coast) and India
  • 90,000 Miles  + Taxes/fess for a one way business class award between USA (West Coast) and India
  • 125,000 Miles + Taxes/fees for a one way first class award between USA (West Coast) and India

 

How to earn Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles?

There are several ways to earn Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles. The great part is, KrisFlyer program is partnered with all the flexible currency programs in USA. You can transfer the following points to

  1. Amex Membership Rewards
  2. Citi ThankYou Points
  3. Chase Ultimate Rewards
  4. Starwood Preferred Guest points

 

Conclusion:

As Air India being a Star Alliance member,  you can redeem miles for Air India award tickets across various frequent flyer programs in Star Alliance network.

If you are looking for Business class awards, Avianca Life Miles and Air Canada Aeroplan offers best value.

 

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 institutions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *