Great Deal: Business Class Flights To India ~$2500

It’s rare I receive an email from an airline advertising what I would consider a good fare, especially for premium cabin tickets, but Etihad is offering some very compelling fares as part of their business class sale.

India-flight-sale-01

The best fares are between the U.S. and India, with business class tickets between a variety of cities for under $3000.

This is a great price for India — typically business class tickets are upwards of $5k, so this does represent a significant discount.

Even better, Star Alliance airlines and Air France seem to be matching in some markets, so you have options even if you don’t want to fly Etihad.

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Fare details

The sale runs through April 11th, and is valid for travel through December 12, 2016. Availability looks fantastic, and I actually see these fares at the advertised prices on the majority of dates (which doesn’t always happen).

New York to Mumbai is pricing at $2453 once the taxes are factored in:

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San Francisco to Mumbai is running at ~$2800, and is being matched by United, Lufthansa, Swiss, and Air Canada:

India-flight-sale-04

While Air France is slightly undercutting fares out of Washington DC:

India-flight-sale-06

Etihad has a solid business class product across their fleet, with lie-flat seats in business class.

Etihad-787-Business-Class
Etihad 787 business class

You’d also have access to the fantastic lounge in Abu Dhabi:

Etihad-Lounge-Abu-Dhabi-22

And if you book the A380 between New York and Abu Dhabi, or Abu Dhabi and Mumbai, you can enjoy the onboard lounge as well:

Etihad-A380-Apartment - 51

Where should you credit the miles?

Depending on your exact origin and destination this is between 16,000 and 19,000 flown miles, which means you’re potentially earning a significant amount of miles as well. Realistically, you don’t want to credit miles to Etihad Guest — the partner programs have better redemption values in most cases.

These discounted fares book into “Z” inventory on Etihad, and there are a couple of good options for crediting miles, depending on your situation:

However, if you pay a little bit extra you can price this as a “W” fare, which earns 125% of flown miles through American AAdvantage (redeemable only, no credit towards elite status unless you can book this with an AA flight number, which doesn’t seem to price as of this writing).

Thankfully, you can price W fares directly on Etihad’s website. Simply search for your flights as normal:

India-flight-sale-08

The most discounted fares are the “Business Breaking Deals” — these book into Z, as mentioned above. If you select a Breaking Deals fare, you’ll be prompted for an upsell to “Business Saver” — which books into W, and includes Chauffeur service at both the origin and destination:

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Factoring in the additional mileage earning options and the car service (and I guess the potential to upgrade to First, though I don’t have experience with that process through Etihad Guest), that seems like a reasonable premium, and is definitely worth considering.

Bottom line

This is a good fare, particularly given that inventory looks plentiful. The sale goes through Monday, but I would book sooner rather than later, as popular dates will likely sell out.

I know many OMAAT readers have considered buying miles to offset the cost of business class tickets to India, and at these prices you might as well buy the tickets directly. You’ll even earn miles!

Is anyone taking advantage of this fare? Where are you off to?

Comments

  1. Actually, Emirates, Qatar and Etihad have these promotions very frequently during the lull periods for travel to/fro India so this is not a rare occurrence. However, I am sure some of the readers here will appreciate this.

  2. Thank you. As someone who travels to India frequently this is not a rare occurrence and from now to dec 12 is not a low period… Unfortunately I’m already booked in EY F.. 🙂

  3. These are definitely good prices but, as others have pointed, by no means exceptional or rare. I’ve bought business class tickets from US to India for $2500-2700 and Europe to India for $1700-1900 several times on AF, LH, Emirates, Jet Airways. Just avoid the busy months like May and Dec.

  4. In fact the lowest right now as I see it is Turkish which is $1950 from Toronto to Mumbai, which is available through next March. Seats may not be as good as Etihad’s, but food is certainly a lot better and it is $500 cheaper.

    Also, if you do use Etihad, you can get a 5-10% discount on these fares just by closing the browser, opening up virtually any other site and see an Etihad ad offering 10% off.

  5. Etihad business class on 777s operated on most of the routes is not as good as the business studio though.

  6. This is good, but not phenomenal.
    The best time to travel to India in terms of climate is mid-late December. (During the American summer, it’s the monsoon/rainy season in India.)
    I’ve booked fares over spring break (when it’s super hot) for $2200 per person round trip on Star Alliance business.

  7. Strange. Asiana Club is my main FFP so that’s likely where I’d credit miles if I were to take advantage of this. Asiana’s accumulation chart for Etihad says that the discounted “Z” class earns 150% of flown miles whereas “W” only earns 125%.

  8. These kinds of sales to India actually aren’t all that unusual. QR had a “2 for the price of 1” sale about a month and a half ago where J class tickets would price out in the low $3,000s, assuming you purchased 2 seats. Regardless, it’s a good deal. Too bad I won’t be able to make a trip to the homeland work out this year.

    @Bill – the last half of December is a good time to be in India climate-wise, but the period from roughly 12/15 through the first week of January is by far the most expensive when it comes to plane tickets. Literally every Indian family living in the U.S. is heading over there to visit extended family while the kids are on Christmas break. Fares crater about the second week of January; it’s not unusual to see fares in the mid-$800 range in Y compared to $1,200-1,500 over the holidays, and you get the same wonderful, cool weather across most of the country.

  9. Hello, I live in Bangalore, India and I want to get to Los Angeles in first class, with costs totaling to around $2500-ish.
    Is it possible!

  10. I am looking for three business class tickets to india , one in oct and 2 in dec . all three returning Jan 7th.
    Any help to get a reasonable fare or any help at all would be greatly appreciated .

  11. looking for business class tickets to Chennai from Atlanta . Any help here please?
    dod Oct 10th /Jan 5th
    My budget is 3000 to 3300

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