If you’re a travel enthusiast, then India might be high on your radar. With the second biggest population in the world, India is a melting pot — even inside the country, it seems like there are so many different cultures wherever you look!
India’s diverse languages, customs, music, architecture, and food draw travelers from all over the world. But unfortunately, India is not a particularly convenient destination from America. Let us explain.
Only 3 carriers operate flights from North America to India: United Airlines, Air India, and Air Canada. Air Canada only operates in Canada, while United Airlines and Air India support the U.S.
Understandably, the first instinct is to look at Star Alliance frequent flyer programs, since all of the aforementioned airlines belong to the same alliance. In this guide, we’ll explore the best ways to fly to India with points and miles.
We’ll focus here on nonstop flights to India, but will also touch on some ways you can book 1-stop flights as well. There are a few sweet spots that exist with these 1-stop flights, though nonstops might be preferable for those who want to waste no time traveling around the giant country that is India!
Table of Contents
Best Airline Programs to Book Flights to India
When flying nonstop from the U.S. or Canada, you have 3 options: United, Air Canada, and Air India.
Air India is the only option of the 3 above that has a first class product on these nonstop routes. However, Air India’s premium cabin products are notoriously bad, so we wouldn’t necessarily encourage flying with them unless you want some novelty.
If none of these options seem appetizing to you, you’ll have to take a connecting flight to expand your potential.
Most of your options for connecting flights are:
|Notable Airlines That Operate Connecting Flights to India From North America|
|Aeroflot (Moscow) to Delhi||China Eastern (Shanghai) to Delhi||KLM (Amsterdam) to Delhi and Mumbai|
|Air China (Beijing) to Delhi and Mumbai||EL AL (Tel Aviv) to Mumbai||Korean Air (Seoul) to Delhi and Mumbai|
|Air France/JOON (Paris) to Delhi/Mumbai||Emirates (Dubai) to Delhi and Mumbai||Lufthansa (Frankfurt/Munich) to Delhi and Mumbai|
|British Airways (London) to Delhi and Mumbai||Etihad (Abu Dhabi) to Delhi and Mumbai||Qatar Airways (Doha) to Delhi and Mumbai|
|Cathay Pacific (Hong Kong) to Delhi and Mumbai||Finnair (Helsinki) to Delhi and Mumbai||SWISS (Zurich) to Delhi and Mumbai|
|China Airlines (Taipei) to Delhi||Japan Airlines (Tokyo) to Mumbai||Turkish Airlines (Istanbul) to Delhi and Mumbai|
The list above is not meant to be exhaustive; there are simply too many routes that can emerge from 1-stop itineraries. However, we listed the notable airlines that can provide a comfortable, luxurious inflight experience.
Again, since you have so many options for flights, the key is to have a lot of the 4 major transferable rewards points: Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, Capital One Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy points.
As always, flexibility is key. India is known for fuel surcharges, so be wary of those also.
Let’s start by digging into your nonstop flight options. Then, we’ll examine some ways to construct 2-in-1 vacations utilizing routing rules and connecting flights!
Air Canada Aeroplan
Now that we’ve provided the background for options to India, let’s dig directly into booking options! We’re going to start with Air Canada Aeroplan.
We love Aeroplan because this program doesn’t pass on any fuel surcharges, has reasonable redemption rates based on flying distance, and allows you to add stopovers for just 5,000 miles on one-way tickets!
For all Air Canada and partner flights, the redemption costs will be according to the following distance-based award chart:
While the cost of redeeming awards with points is dependent on the distance you fly, you won’t pay for any fuel surcharges, no matter which carrier you choose to fly on.
One unique benefit of Aeroplan is that you can add a stopover, even on one-way flights, for 5,000 extra miles!
If you decide to fly on Air Canada’s business class, you can depart from either Toronto (YYZ) or Vancouver (YVR) to Delhi (DEL). There are 2 United Airlines flights from Newark (EWR) that can get you to Mumbai (BOM) or Delhi (DEL).
Booking Air India provides a lot of options for departure airports: you can choose to fly from Chicago (ORD), Newark (EWR), New York (JFK), or San Francisco (SFO).
Of course, its airline products are not very well-reviewed, so keep that in mind if you decide to fly on Air India.
For those interested in flying superior airline products and who don’t mind connecting flights, look into SWISS Air, Turkish Airlines, Air China, or Singapore Airlines. You’ll have to connect in its hubs of Zurich, Istanbul, Beijing, or Singapore (respectively), but it might be worth it to fly a solid business class product.
And if you’re interested in flying on a top-notch first class product the whole way, check out Lufthansa first class!
Here are some great example routes you can take:
- Boston (BOS) – Frankfurt (FRA) – Delhi (DEL) on Lufthansa first class for 110,000 miles one-way (115,000 with a stopover in Frankfurt)
- Chicago (ORD) – Frankfurt (FRA) – Delhi (DEL) nonstop on Air India first class for 220,000 miles round-trip
- Los Angeles (LAX) – Frankfurt (FRA) – Bengaluru (BLR) on Lufthansa first class for 135,000 miles one-way with a stopover in Frankfurt
- New York (JFK) – Beijing (PEK) – Mumbai (BOM) on Air China business class for 170,000 miles round-trip
- Newark (EWR) – Delhi (DEL) nonstop on United Airlines business class for 75,000 miles one-way
- San Francisco (SFO) – Zurich (ZRH) – Delhi (DEL) on SWISS Air, Turkish Air, and Air India business class for 90,000 miles one-way with a stopover in Zurich
Earning Aeroplan Points
Aeroplan is a transfer partner with American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy.
Amex points transfer to Aeroplan at a 1:1 ratio and Capital One at a 2:1.5 ratio, but you can transfer 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points to receive 20,000 Aeroplan points plus a 5,000-mile bonus. This brings the Marriott Bonvoy to Aeroplan ratio to 2.4:1.
Amex has a number of personal and business cards that earn Membership Rewards points to choose from, making it easy to accumulate the necessary points.
Recommended Amex Cards (Personal)
|The Platinum Card® from American Express - There's currently a new welcome bonus offer of |
This is our #1 card for accessing 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide, including Priority Pass (enrollment required). We leverage ~$3,000+ in benefits and perks from the card every year. Terms Apply. For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, click here.
|American Express® Gold Card - This card has a new welcome bonus of |
We love using this card as it earns 4x points at Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery, plus, earn 4X points for Uber Eats purchases too, and 4x points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar year; then 1x. Terms Apply).
There's no better card in our opinion if you eat out and/or shop at supermarkets regularly; and you'll have access to many benefits and perks. For rates and fees of the Amex Gold card, click here.
If you’re a business owner, we would recommend taking a look at the numerous American Express business credit cards that earn Amex points, as well as come with numerous travel benefits.
United Airlines MileagePlus
Here are 2 reasons we like United MileagePlus: very low to no fuel surcharges across the board and transfer partnerships with Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Getting to India can be a tall order; planning a trip to India without fuel surcharges can quickly become a logistical nightmare. Here’s how much it would cost if you’re redeeming United miles aboard United Airlines flights:
|Award Redemption Costs to Fly to India With United MileagePlus (United-Operated flights)|
|Cabin Class||United Miles Cost||Taxes and Fees|
|First||N/A (United doesn’t offer first class)||~$42|
Here’s how much it would cost to fly to India when redeeming United miles for partner-operated flights, like on SWISS Air or Turkish Airlines:
|Award Redemption Costs to Fly to India With United MileagePlus (Partner-Operated Flights)|
|Cabin Class||United Miles Cost||Taxes and Fees|
Actually, United’s economy cost is very reasonable; it’s competitive with the best award costs for India.
The main draws of using this booking method are twofold: low surcharges with all partners, plus a transfer partnership with Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Hot Tip: United Airlines makes award bookings very easy, even on Star Alliance partners. You can do everything online, your taxes and fees will be very low, and best of all the process is simple!
Earning United Airlines MileagePlus Miles
You can also earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points that can then be transferred to United. In many cases, these cards will be the fastest way to earn lots of United miles.
Lastly, you have the option of boosting your United miles with Marriott Bonvoy points. For every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points you transfer to United, you’ll get 27,500 United miles!
Recommended Chase Cards (Personal)
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card - This is our favorite beginners travel rewards card, which is currently offering a 80,000 point bonus after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.|
The card earns 2x points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. With offering other travel benefits such as excellent travel insurance coverage and no foreign transaction fees, this card is a very rewarding Chase credit card.
|Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card - This premium card will get you access to 1,300+ airport lounges. as well as a number of other card benefits. The current sign up bonus is 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. You'll also get a $300 travel credit per year which wipes away a big chunk of the $550 annual fee. As an extra bonus, until 12/31/21, gas station & grocery store purchases will also count towards earning your Travel Credit.|
Earn big with this card, earn 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit, earn 3X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out, then 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
|Chase Freedom Unlimited® card - A fantastic, no annual fee card that earns you a $200 bonus after you spend $500 in your first 3 months. Earn 5% cash-back on travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% cash-back on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% cash-back on all other purchases, but you won't get any travel benefits with this card.|
Recommended Chase Cards (Business)
|Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card - this is our #1 recommended business card and right now comes with a 100,000 sign up bonus after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening. This bonus is worth $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Pay your cell phone bill with this card to receive up to $600 in cell phone insurance coverage per year; as well as a number of other benefits.|
Earn 3x on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year, plus 1x on all other purchases — with no limit to the amount you can earn. All for an annual fee of $95.
|Ink Business Cash® Credit Card - Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening|
This no annual fee business card earns up to 5% cash-back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year, plus 2% cash-back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary.
|Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card - Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back rewards on every purchase made for your business.|
Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. There's no annual fee.
Avianca is a Star Alliance partner. If all you care about is being able to fly to India on Star Alliance airlines and you also have a lot of Citi ThankYou Points, Avianca is your best bet.
As noted above, you’ll have the choice of traveling nonstop on United, Air India, or Air Canada, though 1-stop flights open up lots of options.
The economy and business award costs are actually extremely reasonable. The other factor that puts Avianca LifeMiles near the top of our list is the fact that it doesn’t pass on any fuel surcharges, minimizing your out-of-pocket cost.
Here’s the award chart for the flights we’re looking at:
|Cabin Class||Avianca LifeMiles Cost||Taxes and Fees|
Here are some example routes you can book with Avianca LifeMiles:
- Houston (IAH) – Newark (EWR) – Delhi (DEL) on United Airlines Polaris class
- San Francisco (SFO) – Delhi (DEL) on United Airlines Polaris class
- Toronto (YYZ) – Delhi (DEL) on Air Canada business class
To book Star Alliance partners with LifeMiles, follow these steps:
- Visit the Avianca Vuela website.
- Click on “LifeMiles” in the bottom right corner of Avianca’s homepage.
- Once you’re on the LifeMiles page, hover over “Use” and click on “Airlines.”
- Enter your desired destination and travel dates and hit “continue.” The next screen shows availability and costs for those dates, as well as for 2 days before and after.
- Select your flight.
Hot Tip: You won’t be paying any fuel surcharges by booking with LifeMiles. This is an awesome way to avoid fuel surcharges on long flights to India!
Earning Avianca LifeMiles
LifeMiles is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Points, Capital One Rewards, and Marriott Bonvoy.
You can earn LifeMiles miles directly by applying for the Banco Popular co-branded card.
It’s also possible to transfer Marriott Bonvoy points if you need to top off your LifeMiles balance.
Another method to consider is purchasing LifeMiles. Avianca has periodic sales providing up to 200% bonus miles, so hold out for one of those before pulling the trigger.
All Nippon Airways Mileage Club
We’re big fans of ANA, but unfortunately, ANA’s awesome redemption rates are somewhat muted by the fuel surcharges it imposes on routes to India (particularly nonstop flights).
Still, it’s worth discussing if you are comfortable paying $600 to $800 in fuel surcharges in return for saving points.
If you fly on Air India, you will be paying every penny of those fuel surcharges. If flying on United or Air Canada, you won’t be responsible for most of the fuel surcharges.
You can book connecting flights on ANA metal as follows: (L = Low Season, R = Regular Season, H = High Season)
ANA does not operate nonstop flights to India from North America. If you’re fine with that and want to fly in ANA business class, your redemption prices will be very reasonable. Just be cautious of the ~$400 to $500 in taxes and fees you’ll have to pay.
Here’s the award chart for Star Alliance flights we’re looking at:
|Cabin Class||ANA Miles Cost||Taxes and Fees|
|Economy||80,000||Variable (depends on carrier)|
|Business||136,000||Variable (depends on carrier)|
|First||240,000||Variable (depends on carrier)|
As far as miles costs go, the economy and business class redemptions are extremely reasonable. Taxes and fees will most likely be the determining factor here, and they vary from carrier to carrier.
Hot Tip: If you are open to taking connecting flights, you’ll be able to experience business class products such as ANA, Air China, SWISS Air, or Turkish Airlines with little (or no) fuel surcharges.
Here’s how to book awards with ANA miles:
- Visit ANA’s website.
- Choose “ANA Mileage Club.”
- Choose “International” then “Award Reservation.”
- Log into your account.
- Enter your desired route and dates.
- Choose your desired class of travel.
- Choose your flights.
- Reserve your flight and pay for any applicable taxes and fees.
Earning ANA Miles
ANA Mileage Club is a transfer partner with Amex Membership Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy.
Amex points transfer to ANA at a 1:1 ratio. There are a number of personal and business Amex credit cards to choose from that earn Membership Rewards points, making it easy to accumulate the necessary points.
You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points and transfer those to ANA at a transfer rate of 3:1. For every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points that you transfer, you’ll receive an extra 5,000 ANA miles bonus.
Recommended Marriott Bonvoy Cards
|Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card - Earn 100,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Get automatic silver elite status each account anniversary year; and a free night award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary. Plus, earn up to 17X points per $1 at over 7,000 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, and 2X points per $1 on all other purchases. Annual Fee is $95.|
|Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card - Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. Earn up to 14X points per $1 at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, earn 2X on other travel purchases, then 1x on all other purchases. A solid card for Marriott loyalists looking for a no-annual-fee card offering Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status.|
|Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card - Earn 125,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Plus, earn up to $200 in Statement Credits for eligible purchases at U.S. Restaurants within the first 6 months of Card Membership. Offer Expires 5/12/2021.|
Earn 6x per $1 at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels plus 3x at U.S. restaurants and flights booked directly with airlines. Annual Fee is $450. Terms Apply. For rates and fees of the Bonvoy Brilliant card, click here.
|Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card - For a limited time, earn 100,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 of eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn up to $150 back in statement credits on eligible purchases made on your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 5/12/21. |
This is a solid card for business owners who will get complimentary Marriott Bonvoy silver elite status. Annual fee is $125. Terms Apply. For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card, click here.
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
Technically you can fly on British Airways, Korean Air, or Finnair in addition to Cathay Pacific and Emirates, but they’re generally not favorable due to either award costs or huge fuel surcharges.
Let’s dive into Cathay Pacific followed by Emirates.
Here’s the full award chart for Cathay Pacific one-way booked with Alaska Airlines miles:
|Cathay Pacific Contiguous U.S. and Alaska to India and South Asia|
|Cabin Class||Alaska Miles Cost||Taxes and Fees|
It’s well known that Cathay Pacific is a sweet spot for redeeming Alaska miles.
As far as Emirates goes, you’ll be able to fly in its first class for 150,000 Alaska miles one-way, or in business for 82,500 Alaska miles one-way. See below for the complete award chart for Emirates:
|Emirates Contiguous U.S. and Alaska to India and South Asia|
|Cabin Class||Alaska Miles Cost||Taxes and Fees|
It’ll cost a lot of Alaska miles to fly on Emirates to India, but it might be worth it. In fact, it’s possible to fly the entire way to India in the famous A380 suites!
Follow these instructions to use your Alaska Miles to book Emirates awards:
- Go to Alaska’s website.
- Search for your desired route (make sure you select “Use Miles”).
- Select your desired flight and “Add To Cart.”
- Login to your Alaska Mileage Plan account.
- Pay the necessary taxes/fees and complete your Emirates booking.
Hot Tip: Searching award availability for Emirates is easy enough — you can do it on Alaska’s website. You will need to search the British Airways website for Cathay Pacific award availability and call Alaska to book.
Here are some examples of great awards to India:
- Boston (BOS) – Hong Kong (HKG) – Delhi/Mumbai (DEL/BOM) round-trip for 140,000 miles + ~$19 in taxes and fees on Cathay Pacific first class and business class
- Chicago (ORD) – Hong Kong (HKG) – Delhi/Mumbai (DEL/BOM) one-way for 62,500 miles + ~$19 in taxes and fees on Cathay Pacific business class
- Los Angeles (LAX) – Dubai (DXB) – Mumbai (BOM) one-way for 150,000 Alaska miles + ~$19 in taxes and fees on Emirates A380 first class suites
- New York (JFK) – Tokyo-Haneda (HND) – Delhi (DEL) one-way for 60,000 miles + ~$30 in taxes and fees on 22 total hours on Japan Airlines business class
Earning Alaska Mileage Plan Miles
Although the main disadvantage of Alaska Airlines miles is the lack of transfer partners, you can transfer Marriott Bonvoy points and earn Alaska miles directly by signing up for the Bank of America co-branded credit cards.
You can also purchase Alaska miles. You’re limited to 60,000 miles per transaction, but you can buy as many total miles as you want.
Alaska Airlines often offers discounts of up to 40% on purchased miles, so do look to buy miles at those times.
American Airlines AAdvantage
|Cabin Class||Award Cost||Taxes and Fees|
|Economy||80,000||$40 to $160 (except British Airways and Iberia)|
|Business||140,000||$40 to $160 (except British Airways and Iberia)|
|First||230,000||$40 to $160 (except British Airways and Iberia)|
There are a few restrictions that American places on travel to the Indian Subcontinent:
“Transpacific travel to the Indian Subcontinent permitted via Hong Kong only. Travel for the transpacific sector to Hong Kong is permitted only on Cathay Pacific or American Airlines. Travel from Hong Kong to the Indian Subcontinent permitted on Cathay Pacific and SriLankan Airlines. Travel on other partners to the Indian Subcontinent is transatlantic only.”
This means that if you fly across the Pacific Ocean, you can only do it through Hong Kong, either on Cathay Pacific or American Airlines. Otherwise, you have to fly other partners across the Atlantic Ocean.
The best way to book using AA miles is by searching for award availability on British Airways and calling AA to book:
- Visit British Airways and log in.
- Select your route, travel dates, and class of service.
- Note the flight number, date, and time.
- Call American Airlines at 800-882-8880.
- Ask them to search for first/business class award space on the desired airline (you might have to provide the flight number).
- Provide all necessary info to complete the booking.
Here are some examples of great awards to India using AA miles:
- Los Angeles (LAX) – London (LHR) – Mumbai (BOM) round-trip for 140,000 AA miles + ~$160 in taxes and fees in American Airlines business class and British Airways business class
- New York (JFK) – Abu Dhabi (AUH) – Delhi (DEL) one-way for 115,000 AA miles + ~$20 in taxes and fees in Etihad First Class Apartments and 787 first class
- San Francisco (SFO) – Hong Kong (HKG) – Chennai/Mumbai (MAA/BOM) round-trip for 140,000 AA miles + ~$160 in taxes and fees in Cathay Pacific business class
Hot Tip: Cathay Pacific and Etihad Airways might operate different planes on the same routes. For example, flying Etihad from Abu Dhabi to Delhi can be in an A321, A330, or 787. You want to fly first class on the 787. The same is true for Cathay Pacific’s regional flights, except you want to fly on the 747 for the best first class flight. Be sure to check which airplane you’re flying before booking!
Earning American Airlines AAdvantage Miles
Earning AA miles is made easy by the variety of co-branded credit cards offered by both Barclays and Citibank.
First, you can apply for the AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®, since Barclays is more “sensitive” to hard inquiries and newly opened accounts than Citi. If possible, apply for the AAdvantage® Aviator® Business Mastercard® after that.
Using Citi’s AA cards is also a great way to earn hundreds of thousands of miles.
If your AA miles are not enough, you can top off your balance with Marriott Bonvoy points. However, using them here is definitely not your best bet, and we wouldn’t recommend transferring from Marriott Bonvoy unless you have a specific redemption in mind.
It can take up to 2 business days to transfer Marriott Bonvoy points to AA.
Air France/KLM Flying Blue
Generally speaking, SkyTeam awards are very expensive, and India isn’t necessarily a focus city for the SkyTeam airlines.
That being said, if flying on a specific SkyTeam airline such as Air France or China Airlines is high on your priority list, chances are you’re going to be booking with Air France/KLM Flying Blue.
We’ll discuss Flying Blue first.
As you might already know, Flying Blue took away its award chart and replaced it with a calculator and variable pricing. Generally speaking, the prices for round-trip awards from America will be somewhere around the following:
With this chart in mind, we definitely wouldn’t book first class (!) — that seems like a great way to throw away all your points.
You will almost always be responsible for paying for fuel surcharges in full, which is what makes this program even less valuable, with some notable exceptions.
Here are some example routes you can take to avoid $1,000+ in fuel surcharges:
- Los Angeles (LAX) – Shanghai (PVG) – Delhi (DEL) for 170,000 Flying Blue Miles plus $20 in taxes and fees on Delta One Suites on the A350 and China Eastern business class on the A330
- New York (JFK) – Taipei (TPE) – Delhi (DEL) for 170,000 Flying Blue Miles plus ~$250 to $300 in taxes and fees on China Airlines business class
Another added benefit is that American Express and Citi sometimes offer transfer bonuses of up to 35% to Flying Blue. This means that 170,000 miles will only cost ~125,926 points round-trip. This can help squeeze additional value from your points.
You can search for award availability through Air France/KLM and book awards completely online.
- Go to the Air France Flying Blue website.
- In the top right corner, click My Account and log in with your Username and Password.
- After logging in and being returned to the homepage, click Use Your Miles.
- Type in your airport information, dates, number of passengers, and class type.
- For flexible dates, you can also search on an award availability calendar by clicking this link and selecting the checkbox underneath Dates that says You are looking for a flight around these dates.
- Select your flights and pay for any taxes and fees.
Hot Tip: Be careful of “phantom availability” for partners! Call Flying Blue and confirm availability before transferring your points!
Don’t want to use your Flying Blue miles on a trip to India? Check out some other of the best ways to redeem Air France/KLM Flying Blue miles for max value.
Earning Air France/KLM Flying Blue Miles
Similar to Singapore Airlines, there are plenty of ways to earn lots of Flying Blue miles. It is, fortunately, a transfer partner with all of the 5 major points systems: Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, Marriott Bonvoy, Capital One Rewards, and Citi ThankYou Points.
Other Options to Fly to India
There are several other frequent flyer options to fly to India, including Japan Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Delta, Korean Air, Singapore Airlines, or Japan Airlines. We did not include these in our main analysis for one or more of the following reasons:
- High fuel surcharges
- High award redemption rates
- Lack of transfer partners
- Unattractive flights/subpar airline options
For example, Korean Air charges 170,000 miles for round-trip business class, but you’ll have to pay huge fuel surcharges. On top of that, Korean Air miles are hard to earn, due to its sole transfer partner being Marriott Bonvoy.
There are plenty of ways to fly to India with points and miles. Although your options for flying nonstop are limited to Air Canada, United, and Air India for U.S. or Canadian flights, you can construct some pretty cool itineraries if you have some flexibility.
For example, you can fly on Cathay Pacific to stopover in Hong Kong with Alaska Airlines. You can also fly in Emirates First Class Suites aboard the A380 all the way to Mumbai!
Be sure to seriously consider adding stopovers in other countries to get the most bang for your buck.
There’s a lot of value to be had when flying to India, especially when you fly there with points and miles!
The information regarding the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card, and Chase Freedom Unlimited® was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.