Wide Open Business Class Award Space Non-Stop To India For 4+ Passengers

Last month I mentioned Spencer Howard who runs a free email newsletter where he sends out award availability alerts. He’s found something interesting: Wide open business class saver awards for four or more passengers non-stop between the U.S. and India on United.


United Polaris Business Class Seat, Boeing 777-300ER

Wide Open Award Availability

United operates three different routes between the U.S. and India and all three have wide open business class award space looking out into 2021.

  • Newark – Delhi is wide open in April and early May 2021.
  • Newark – Mumbai is wide open late January through early May 2021.
  • San Francisco – Delhi is wide open February through early May, but the return flight is much harder to get. This flight is currently slated to have United’s old business class seat.


Taj Palace, Mumbai

Here’s a search for 4 business class partner saver awards on United for the Newark – Delhi route in April. I decided to show connecting availability also because it’s worth flagging business class award space for four or more people on Swiss through Zurich and Turkish via Istanbul. There’s even Air Canada business class Delhi – Vancouver for four passengers on Tuesdays.

Booking These Awards

Chase points transfer to United, and United charges 75,000 miles each way for these awards. Amex points transfer to Aeroplan (75,000 miles each way) or to ANA (just 136,000 miles roundtrip). If using Amex points I’d still transfer to Aeroplan for the certainty – those transfers are generally instant, while ANA transfers may take a couple of days – and the space could be gone before the points show up.

The absolute cheapest redemption would be through Turkish Miles & Smiles. Turkish is a Citi transfer partner, but those transfers can take a couple of days as well. You can put the award on hold pending transfer.

If you have a stash of Avianca miles the awards will run you 78,000 miles each way. While Avianca has had issues with redemptions on Lufthansa group airlines, United awards continue to come up on their website.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Does not really help, since India does not allow foreigners to enter yet, even if flights operate – which they are currently not.

  2. Thanks Gary! I booked an award for the EWR-BOM flight in July but it got cancelled. Do you know when they are going to restart the Mumbai flight?

  3. The COVID crisis is out of control in India. The numbers are rapidly growing and they just surpassed Spain and Italy for total numbers, but hey you can get business award seats to there! Don’t be surprised if the US implements travel bans for India in the near future.

  4. @Bill, just wow. USA with 2Mn cases and 112k deaths implementing travel ban on India with 250k cases and 7k deaths. Shouldn’t it be other way around ?

  5. @Mikhail – You did actually read the article right and saw these awards were largely available through May 2021?! No one is saying travel now (even if you could) but award space in 2021 to India or late Q4 2020 into Q1 2021 for Europe is a great deal. ABSOLUTE worst case you can get the miles reinstated (likely at no cost if prohibitions are still in place but worst case $150 or so). I booked business class to Germany in November. Likely will be open by then given how travel restrictions are being loosened but, if not, I can get the 84,000 Aadvantage miles (yep 42,000 each way for domestic first then business from DFW to FRA) reinstated. Have a hotel I can cancel for no penalty up until the day before I leave so that is no risk either.

    See there ACTUALLY are ways to benefit from deals like this even if end up not being able to go. Now don’t you feel just a little smarter??

  6. @Ram Mudunuri umm I wouldn’t recommend people to go to parts of the US either right now, but that somehow doesn’t make India a safe destination now does it? The fact is the numbers are going up very fast in India right now, so the point is valid.

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