Part IV – Getting To India Using Your SPG Starpoints

SPG Starpoints are probably my favorite of all the transferable currencies. That is because they are among the versatile points out there, which makes them great points to stockpile. Of all the transferable currency options, SPG Starpoints are probably the most difficult to accrue, but they can offer the absolute best value around for getting you to India!

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Introduction – Getting To India Using Your MRs, URs, TYPs or Starpoints
Part I – Getting To India Using Your MRs
Part II – Getting To India Using Your URs
Part III – Getting To India Using Your TYPs
Part IV – Getting To India Using Your SPG Starpoints

SPG Starpoints are probably the most versatile and coveted among the transferable currencies. That is because they offer some of the best value around. This is especially true for transfers to airline partners as SPG offers a 5,000 mile bonus for every 20,000 Starpoints you transfer. SPG offers (through American Express) only 2 cards that earn SPG Starpoints – the SPG Personal card and the SPG Business card. Neither card offers category bonuses outside of spend at SPG properties, though these cards get the majority of my non-category bonus spend as you can never have enough Starpoints in my opinion.

In addition to earning Starpoints via American Express credit cards, you can of course also earn Starpoints from your stays at Starwood properties around the world.

Now that you know how to earn Starpoints, the more complicated process is how to use those hard earned Starpoints to get you to India! Starpoints offer the most flexibility as they transfer to 35 (!) airline partners. Your SPG Starpoints will transfer to the following airlines:

AirlineAllianceTransfer RatioTransfer Time
Aegean AirlinesStar Alliance1:12-14 Days
AeroMexicoSkyTeam1:12-14 Days
Air Canada (Aeroplan)Star Alliance1:12-14 Days
Air BerlinOneWorld1:12-14 Days
Air ChinaStar Alliance1:12-14 Days
Air New ZealandStar Alliance65:12-14 Days
Alaska AirlinesN/A1:12-14 Days
AlitaliaSkyTeam1:12-14 Days
All Nippon Airways (ANA)Star Alliance1:12-14 Days
American AirlinesOneWorld1:12-14 Days
Cathay PacificOneWorld1:12-14 Days
AsianaStar Alliance1:12-14 Days
British AirwaysOneWorld1:12-14 Days
China EasternSkyTeam1:12-14 Days
China SouthernSkyTeam1:12-14 Days
DeltaSkyTeam1:12-14 Days
EmiratesN/A1:12-14 Days
EtihadN/A1:12-14 Days
Air France/KLM (FlyingBlue)SkyTeam1:12-14 Days
GolN/A2:12-14 Days
HainanN/A1:12-14 Days
Hawaiian AirlinesN/A1:12-14 Days
Japan Airlines (JAL)OneWorld1:12-14 Days
Jet AirwaysN/A1:12-14 Days
Korean AirSkyTeam1:12-14 Days
LATAM (kms)OneWorld1:1.52-14 Days
LufthansaStar Alliance1:12-14 Days
Qatar AirlinesOneWorld1:12-14 Days
Saudi Arabian AirlinesSkyTeam1:12-14 Days
Singapore AirlinesStar Alliance1:12-14 Days
Thai AirwaysStar Alliance1:12-14 Days
United AirlinesStar Alliance2:12-14 Days
Virgin AustraliaN/A1:12-14 Days
Virgin AtlanticN/A1:12-14 Days
Virgin AmericaN/A1:12-14 Days

From the data points I was able to find, it appears that transferred Starpoints used to take much longer to post to your account(s) than they do now. It appears that on average, Starpoints currently take between 2 and 5 days to post to your frequent flyer account(s). However, as always, please note that all of the transfer times are an approximation based on various data points.

Another caveat is that although I will be including general advice for getting to India on your Starpoints, your home airport will play an important role in finding availability or determining cost. For example, since Cathay Pacific operates under a distance based award chart, the cost for someone traveling from the West Coast may be lower than the cost for someone traveling from the East Coast. I will also assume for purposes of this post that you would be flying into Delhi (DEL).

Lastly, keep in mind that you will earn an additional 5,000 Starpoints for every 20,000 Starpoints you transfer to an airline transfer partner. The 5,000 bonus Starpoints will be applied to the transfer only and will not be deposited into your account. That means that transferring 20,000 Starpoints to say Alaska Airlines will result in receiving 25,000 Alaska Airlines miles. This is important as it can bring down your out of pocket award cost substantially – especially when dealing with premium cabin redemptions.

Aegean Airlines

Aegean Airlines is a member of the Star Alliance, so you can use your Miles+Bonus miles for Air Canada, United, ANA, Air India and Singapore Airlines (among others) flights to India. In other words, you are going to have a ton of options!

Aegean Airlines offers a separate award chart for flights operated by Aegean and flights operated by their partners. As Aegean does not fly to India, you would be charged according to the partner award chart. Aegean operates under a zone based system where all of India is located in the same zone. As such, your award cost will be the same regardless of where your ultimate destination is in India.

For flights between the U.S. and India, you can expect a roundtrip rate of 100k miles for economy, 150k miles for business class and 200k miles for first class.

One-way awards are available at half of the above quoted rate.

While there are some better options out there for economy redemptions, if you are looking for a premium cabin award ticket, I would give some serious consideration to the Miles+Bonus program as 200k miles roundtrip for first class is among the absolute best of all of the transferable currencies. These rates do not top Japan Airlines, but they are a great alternative if you are unable to find award space on a OneWorld carrier.

Aeromexico

Aeromexico does not list India in their award charts, though they do state that you can use their miles to book on any SkyTeam alliance flights. I would assume you would need to call Aeromexico to have them price out the ticket for you in this particular case. However, I actually do not consider this a huge loss as Aeromexico’s redemption rates across the board tend to be some of the worst on offer and I would not expect anything different for flights to India if you do call and inquire.

Air Canada (Aeroplan)

Air Canada is a Star Alliance member, so you can use your Aeroplan miles for redemptions on Air Canada, United, ANA, Air India and Singapore Airlines (among others) flights to India. In other words, you are going to have a ton of options!

Aeroplan groups the entire Indian Subcontinent into the same award zone, so your redemption rate will be the same regardless of where in India you are traveling to.

A roundtrip award ticket will cost you 100k miles in economy, 130k miles in premium economy, 150k miles in business class and 210k miles in first class.

Aeroplan does allow one-way award tickets at half the cost of the roundtrip award ticket cost. While I do love Aeroplan miles, the redemptions to India are not very good. Unless you are having difficulty finding availability elsewhere, I would look at other transfer partners for your Starpoints.

Air Berlin

Air Berlin is a member of the OneWorld alliance, which means you can redeem your Topbonus miles for flights on Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and British Airways. The Topbonus program utilizes separate award charts for Air Berlin operated flights and partner operated flights. Since Air Berlin does not fly to India, you would redeem according to the partner award chart – which is zone based. All of India is included in the same zone, so you award cost will be the same regardless of where your ultimate destination is in India.

For flights between the U.S. and India, you can expect a roundtrip cost of 120k miles in economy and 240k miles in business class. First class redemptions are not available via the Topbonus program.

One-way award tickets are available at half of the aforementioned costs. It is worth noting that you will be hit with fuel surcharges when you redeem your Topbonus miles, so depending on the operating airline, these added charges could be significant. To redeem Topbonus miles for partner flights, you need to call Air Berlin at 0049 (0)30-3434.

Given the fuel surcharges and the non-competitive redemption rates, you are better off transferring your Starpoints elsewhere for an India redemption as there are much much better offerings available.

Air China

Air China is a member of the Star Alliance, so you can use your PhoenixMiles for Air Canada, United, ANA, Air India and Singapore Airlines (among others) flights to India. Again, in other words, you are going to have a ton of options!

The PhoenixMiles program utilizes separate award charts for flights operated by Air China and flights operated by partners, though both charts are zone based with India being in the same zone.

For flights operated by Air China, you would need to redeem two award tickets – 1 between the U.S. and China and 1 between China and India. Roundtrip you can expect an award cost of 150k kilometers in economy, 270k kilometers in business class and 380k kilometers in first class. One-way award tickets are allowed, and you can expect an award cost of 90k kilometers in economy, 165k kilometers in business class and 225k kilometers in first class.

For flights operated by partner airlines, you can expect a roundtrip award cost of 138k kilometers in economy, 207k kilometers in business class and 275k kilometers in first class. One-way award tickets are allowed, and you can expect an award cost of 82.8k kilometers in economy, 124.2k kilometers in business class and 160k kilometers in first class.

As you can see, you are much better off redeeming with partner airlines. However, even then, the PhoenixMiles program does not offer much value. You are better off transferring your Starpoints elsewhere for a redemption to India.

Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand is a Star Alliance member, so you can use your Airpoints Dollars for redemptions on Air Canada, United, ANA, Air India and Singapore Airlines (among others) flights to India. In other words, you are going to have a ton of options!

It is worth noting right off the bat that your Starpoints will transfer at a ratio of 65:1. It is also worth re-mentioning that the 5,000 point bonus is given in Starpoints, not Airpoints Dollars, so for every 20,000 Starpoints you transfer to Air New Zealand, you will receive just shy of 385 Airpoints Dollars.

Air New Zealand utilizes a separate and unique pricing scheme for flights operated by Air New Zealand, while they utilize a zone based award chart for flights operated by partners.

For flights operated by Air New Zealand, you redeem based off of the paid cost of the ticket at a ratio of 1 Airpoints Dollar to 1 New Zealand Dollar. Thus, the cash price of your ticket will dictate here how much you award costs. And yes, this does mean that you will likely receive absolutely horrible value from your Starpoints if you transfer them to this program.

For flights operated by partners between the U.S. and India, you can expect a roundtrip award cost of 1,940 Airpoints for economy, 4,140 Airpoints for business class and 5,240 Airpoints for first class.

One-way award tickets for partner redemptions are available at half of the above quoted rates.

To give you a better idea of the redemption costs in Starpoints, you would be looking at approximately 110,000 Starpoints to get yourself a roundtrip economy class ticket and over 220,000 Starpoints to get yourself a single roundtrip business class award ticket! That makes Air New Zealand one of the single worst transfer partners available for your Starpoints for this redemption!

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines is one of my favorite airlines and their Mileage Plan program  is one of my favorite frequent flyer programs since it offers so much value. Although Alaska Airlines is not a part of any of the major alliances, they do have strategic partnerships with airlines like Delta, Cathay Pacific, Air France, KLM, Emirates, British Airways and Korean Air. In other words, you have a fair amount of options.

Alaska Airlines does not fly to India themselves, so you would redeem according to the partner award charts. The Mileage Plan program is somewhat unique in that they have a separate zone based award chart for each operating airline. India is its own separate zone under these award charts, though the rates do differ.

For flights between the U.S. and India, you can expect the following round trip award costs on the following airlines:

  • Air France/KLM – 80k miles for economy and 140k miles for business class. One-way award tickets are allowed at half of these quoted rates.
  • British Airways – 100k miles for economy, 120k miles for premium economy, 140k miles for business class and 160k miles for first class. One-way award tickets are allowed at half of these quoted rates.
  • Cathay Pacific – 100k miles for economy, 110k miles for premium economy, 125k miles for business class and 140k miles for first class. One-way award tickets are allowed at half of these quoted rates.
  • Delta – 85k miles for economy and 140k miles for business class. One-way award tickets are allowed at the exact same quoted rates.
  • Emirates – 85k miles for economy, 165k miles for business class and 300k miles for first class. One-way award tickets are allowed at half of these quoted rates.
  • Korean Air – 85k miles for economy and 125k miles for business class. One-way award tickets are allowed at the exact same quoted rates.

Although these rates may seem about average, keep in mind that Alaska allows you stopover on your journey. That means you could build in a stopover in Paris (CDG) or Amsterdam (AMS) when flying Air France/KLM, in London (LHR) when flying British Airways, in Hong Kong (HKG) when flying Cathay Pacific, in Tokyo (NRT) when flying Delta, in Dubai (DXB) when flying Emirates and in Seoul (ICN) when flying Korean Air. Depending on your travel plans, this could make for some exceptional value. If you value the stopover, Alaska is a great option. If you do not care about the stopover, then you are probably better of looking elsewhere as there are less expensive options.

Alitalia

Alitalia is a SkyTeam alliance member that is based out of Rome (FCO). That means that their route network is not especially well suited for redemptions to India (especially if you are flying from the U.S.). In addition, you can redeem your MilleMiglia miles for travel on Delta, China Southern, Air France, KLM, etc. flights. Alitalia will levy fuel surcharges on partner award tickets, though they are not going to be as bad as the likes of British Airways. The trick to booking Alitalia awards is to have some miles in your account so they consider it active. From there you can call and place your award ticket on hold for about two (2) weeks. You can then transfer the needed miles and then call back to get the ticket booked.

Alitalia has a separate award chart for SkyTeam partner redemptions and lists the entire Indian Subcontinent as its own region.

Between North America and India, award tickets will cost you 80k miles roundtrip in economy and 100k miles roundtrip in business. From what I can tell, availability is quite good for both economy and business class space. While the economy class rate is very reasonable (and comparable to Delta), the fuel surcharges are likely going to make Delta the better choice if you are looking to fly economy. Conversely, if you are looking to fly business class, Alitalia offers one of the best options both in terms of award ticket cost and availability.

Alitalia does not allow one-way award tickets on partner airlines, so you have to book roundtrip tickets when utilizing partners. Lastly, while you must book the most direct itinerary, you are allowed one voluntary stopover. That means that if you are looking to utilize the stopover enroute, it is better to transfer your Starpoints to Alitalia rather than Delta – even factoring in the fuel surcharges.

The US phone number for Alitalia is 800.223.5730.

ANA

ANA is a member of the Star Alliance, so you can use your Mileage Club miles for Air Canada, United, ANA, Air India and Singapore Airlines (among others) flights to India. Again, in other words, you are going to have a ton of options!

ANA places India in the Asia 2 award zone, so your award costs will remain the same regardless of which destination in India you choose. However, ANA uses a different award chart for ANA operated flights than they do for partner operated flights.

For ANA operated flights, ANA uses a Low, Regular and High season award chart, so you are better off going to ANA’s website to determine your award ticket cost as there are a lot of variables at play.

For roundtrip partner flights (or even if only one of your flights is on a partner airline) between the U.S. and India, it will cost you 80k miles for economy, 136k miles for business class and 240k miles for first class.

ANA does not allow for one-way award tickets (there is a way around this which I have previously outlined here, though I do not think it is necessarily worthwhile unless you have Mileage Club points to burn). ANA can present a very good option for coach or business class redemptions to India and their product is fantastic. I would give ANA some serious consideration for your next India trip!

American Airlines

American Airline’s AAdvantage program uses a zone based award chart. American is a member of the OneWorld alliance, so you can use your AAdvantage miles to book Cathay Pacific or British Airways to India. The AAdvantage program requires you to fly between the U.S. and India via either Hong Kong (HKG) on Cathay Pacific, or via Europe, which substantially limits your available options to Cathay Pacific or British Airways.

For partner flights between the U.S. and India, you can expect a roundtrip cost of 80k miles in economy, 140k miles in business class and 230k miles in first class. One-way award tickets are allowed at half of the quoted rates.

As far as economy options go, American is among the best of the Starpoint transfer partners (especially with the 20% transfer bonus that is good through September 14, 2016). However, award space on British Airways is going to subject you to their outrageous fuel surcharges. While the award ticket redemption rates are not horrible, the surcharges with British Airways are bad enough to make me recommend you look elsewhere to transfer your Starpoints unless you can find space on Cathay Pacific via Hong Kong (HKG).

Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles program uses a distance based award chart, so this is another airline that will depend on your home airport for redemption costs. Cathay Pacific is a member of the OneWorld alliance, so you can use your Asia Miles to book Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and British Airways flights to India.

For flights operated solely by Cathay Pacific from the West Coast of the U.S. (LAX or SFO) to India, you can expect a roundtrip cost of 90k miles for economy, 108k miles for premium economy, 145k miles for business class and 220k miles for first class. One-way award tickets are allowed at the rates of: 55k miles in economy, 66k miles in premium economy, 85k miles in business class and 130k miles in first class.

For flights operated by partners or a combination of partners and Cathay Pacific from the West Coast of the U.S. (LAX or SFO) to India, you can expect a roundtrip cost of 65k miles in economy, 95k miles in business class and 130k miles in first class. One-way award tickets are not allowed on partner redemptions.

For flights operated solely by Cathay Pacific from the East Coast of the U.S. (JFK) to India, you can expect a roundtrip cost of 110k miles for economy, 132k miles for premium economy, 175k miles for business class and 260k miles for first class. One-way award tickets are allowed at the rates of: 70k miles in economy, 84k miles in premium economy, 110k miles in business class and 160k miles in first class.

For flights operated by partners or a combination of partners and Cathay Pacific from the East Coast of the U.S. (JFK) to India, you can expect a roundtrip cost of 85k miles in economy, 115k miles in business class and 155k miles in first class. Again, one-way award tickets are not allowed on partner redemptions.

What is wild though is the Asia Miles program allows you to make up to 5 stopovers, 2 transfers and 2 open-jaws at either the origin, en-route or at the turnaround point (destination)! That means you could put together an itinerary where you hop all over Asia all on one award ticket. Depending on how you routed yourself, that could offer some truly exceptional value.

If you can get the stopovers and open-jaws to work for your itinerary, Asia Miles should be a top contender for you to transfer your Starpoints to for your next trip to India. If you will not be utilizing the stopovers, then I would say there are better options out there for your Starpoints.

Asiana

Asiana is a member of the Star Alliance, so you can use your Asiana Club miles for Air Canada, United, ANA, Air India and Singapore Airlines (among others) flights to India. Again, in other words, you are going to have a ton of options!

Asiana utilizes separate award charts for Asiana operated flights and partner operated flights. Both award charts are zone based and have India in the same zone. This means that your redemption rates will be the same regardless of where your ultimate destination is in India.

For flights operated by Asiana, you can expect a roundtrip cost of 955k miles for economy, 140-175k for business class (if flying standard business class, it is 140k miles; if flying Smartium business class, it is 175k miles) and 190-225k miles for first class (if flying standard first class, it is 190k miles; if flying first class suites, it is 225k miles).

For flights operated by partner airlines, you can expect a roundtrip cost of 100k miles for economy, 150k miles for business class and 210k miles for first class.

One-way award tickets are available at half of the above quoted costs. It is also worth keeping in mind that Asiana taxes a mileage premium on premium cabin redemptions on certain routes (both operated by Asiana and partners) on top of the quoted award costs. They also use a peak system where awards for flights operated by Asiana increase in cost by 50% during certain times of the year. I would recommend you read this page for more information as it relates to your specific desired travel dates.

Given the complexities of the Asiana award system (relative to other Starpoint transfer partners anyways), I would recommend steering clear of Asiana for your award travel to India. Not only are there much less complicated award systems available for travel to India, but there are also much better deals mileage wise.

British Airways/Iberia

British Airways and Iberia somewhat share an award program where both have a distance based award chart, so your home airport is really going to make the biggest difference here in how much an award ticket to India will cost you. Unfortunately, last year American Express and British Airways/Iberia devalued their transfer rate slightly to 1:0.8. As both British Airways and Iberia are members of the OneWorld alliance, you can use your Avios to book British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines or American Airlines flights to India.

The upshot of using Avios is that you can build in an itinerary that flies from the U.S. to Hong Kong (HKG) or Tokyo (NRT/HND), or from the U.S. to London (LHR) or Doha (DOH), and then on to India if you wanted. That actually opens up a lot more possibilities as you are not restricted to routing via the Pacific or Atlantic. The downside of this is that due to the distance based award chart, your particular routing may cost you substantially more Avios.

There are no direct flights between the U.S. and India operated by a OneWorld carrier, so you are going to need to connect somewhere. Here are the one-way award ticket costs you can expect for the various most direct routings assuming you are flying out of New York (JFK):

  • British Airways – JFK-LHR-DEL – 45k Avios + $340 in economy, 135k Avios + $757 in business class and 160k Avios + $757 in first class.
  • British Airways – DEL-LHR-JFK – 45k Avios + $302 in economy, 58.5k Avios + $449 in premium economy, 135k Avios + $574 in business class and 160k Avios + $574 in first class.
  • Qatar Airways – JFK-DOH-DEL – 45k Avios + $278 in economy and 125k Avios + $402 in business class.
  • Qatar Airways – DEL-DOH-JFK – 45k Avios + $212 in economy and 125k Avios + $333 in business class.
  • Cathay Pacific* – JFK-HKG-DEL – 47.5k Avios + $37 in economy, 82.5k Avios + $37 in premium economy, 142.5k Avios + $37 in business class and 177.5k Avios + $37 in first class.
  • Cathay Pacific* – DEL-HKG-JFK – 47.5k Avios + $59 in economy, 82.5k Avios + $59 in premium economy, 142.5k Avios + $65 in business class and 177.5k Avios + $65 in first class.
  • Japan Airlines* – JFK-TYO-DEL – 55k Avios + $79 in economy, 110k Avios + $79 in premium economy, 165k Avios + $79 in business class and 200k Avios + $79 in first class.
  • Japan Airlines* – DEL-TYO-JFK – 55k Avios + $101 in economy, $110k Avios + $101 in premium economy, 165k Avios + $109 in business class and 200k Avios + $109 in first class.

*Note that neither Japan Airlines nor Cathay Pacific offers a premium economy or first class product on their routes to or from Delhi (DEL). That means if you paid for the premium economy or first class flights, only your trans-Pacific flight would be in that cabin.

If you were traveling between Los Angeles (LAX) and Delhi (DEL), you can expect your cost to go up a bit if routing through London (LHR) or Doha (DOH) and down a bit if routing through Hong Kong (HKG) or Tokyo (TYO).

Again, keep in mind that these are price ranges for flights between New York (JFK) and Delhi (DEL) with the most direct routing, so your award ticket cost may vary from these numbers depending on your home airport, number of connections needed and destination in India. Also keep in mind that British Airways does not levy their usual hefty fuel surcharges on partner redemptions, but they do if you redeem for British Airways flights through London (LHR).

Award space tends to be best on these routes either very close in, or very far out. Premium cabin award space on these routes is pretty decent across the board at the time of writing, though Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines are consistent with opening up additional space starting ~30 days from departure.

In light of the cost, unless you have a glut of Avios you want to burn, you are better off transferring your Starpoints elsewhere for a redemption to India – especially if you are looking to travel in a premium cabin.

China Eastern

China Eastern is a SkyTeam alliance member, which means you can redeem your Eastern Miles for travel on Air France, KLM, China Southern, etc. flights.

The Eastern Miles program maintains separate award charts for China Eastern operated flights and partner operated flights. Both award charts are zone based, with India being in the same zone for both.

For flights operated by China Eastern, you would need to redeem two award tickets – one between the U.S. and China and one between China and India. For roundtrip flights between the U.S. and India, you can expect a cost of 153k miles for economy, 260k miles for business class and 370k miles for first class.

One-way award tickets are allowed at the rates of 85k miles for economy, 145k miles for business class and 215k miles for first class.

For flights operated by partner airlines, you can expect a cost of 130k miles in economy, 240k miles in business class and 310k miles in first class. One-way award tickets on partners are allowed at half of the quoted rates.

As you can see, the much better value with the Eastern Miles program is in partner redemptions. With that said, the redemption rates are not competitive with some of the other Starpoint transfer partners, so I would recommend you look elsewhere for your Starpoint transfer for a trip to India.

China Southern

China Southern is a SkyTeam alliance member, which means you can redeem your Skypearl kilometers for travel on Air France, KLM, China Southern, etc. flights.

China Southern utilizes a separate award chart for flights operated by China Southern from those operated by partners. The China Southern specific award chart is distance based (in kilometers), while the partner award chart is zone based.

China Southern only flies to New York (JFK), Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco (SFO) in the U.S., so unless you are based in one of these hubs or can position yourself to one of these hubs easily, you will be redeeming under the partner award chart. To stay on all China Southern operated flights, you would need to connect through Guangzhou (CAN) or Shanghai (PVG).

For roundtrip flights operated solely by China Southern aircraft between New York (JFK), Los Angeles (LAX) or San Francisco (SFO) and Delhi (DEL) via Shanghai (PVG), you can expect a cost of 128k kilometers for economy, 154k kilometers for premium economy, 220k kilometers for business class and 310k kilometers for first class.

China Southern’s partner specific award chart places all of India in the same zone, so your redemption cost would be the same regardless of where your ultimate destination is in India.

For roundtrip flights operated by partners, you can expect a cost of 130k kilometers for economy, 240k kilometers for business class and 320k kilometers for first class.

One-way award tickets are allowed at half of the above quoted rates. There are some blackout dates for redemptions, so I would strongly recommend you check those here before transferring your points.

Overall, these rates are below average for redemptions between the U.S. and India, so you are better of looking to transfer elsewhere for flights between the U.S. and India.

Delta

Unfortunately, approximately a year and a half ago, Delta decided to take down its award chart. Without a published award chart, that means that it is difficult to give a number of miles that it will take to get to India. Since Delta does not fly to India, you will need to utilize a partner that does for at least one segment of the trip.

As a general ballpark, from a Delta hub airport, you can expect to see roundtrip award tickets cost approximately 80k in economy and 140k in DeltaOne (business class). Oddly, I could not get Delta Comfort+ award seating to price out on this route (presumably because Delta does not fly to India). These rates all assume you can find low level award space on the route, which surprisingly did not seem to be too difficult. One-way flights are available for half the quoted cost, though the taxes and fees ranged from $200 to $600+ depending on your routing. Look for routes operated by China Southern (CZ) flights if you want to keep your taxes and fees low.

Also keep in mind that Delta allows you to route via the Pacific or the Atlantic on this route, so your options for flights should be pretty wide open. Delta is a good option to India if you can avoid the high taxes and fees routes.

Emirates

Emirates uses a zone based award chart, so your redemption cost will largely depend on your departure airport and your arrival airport. If you are looking to redeem for flights operated by Emirates, I would recommend you use their Miles Calculator to determine the cost.

Emirates also partners with Korean Air and Japan Airlines, so you can redeem your miles for flights on these airlines as well.

For flights operated by Japan Airlines between North America and India, you can expect roundtrip rates of 70k miles for economy, 145k miles for business class and 215k miles for first class. You will need to get yourself to one of Japan Airlines’ gateway cities in the U.S. on your own however.

For flights operated by Korean Air between North America and India, you can expect roundtrip rates of 95k miles for economy and 140k miles for business class. As with Japan Airlines, you will need to get yourself to one of Korean Air’s gateway cities in the U.S. on your own.

It does not appear that one-way award tickets are possible on Japan Airlines or Korean Air flights. Some of these rates are not bad, while others are not exactly competitive. The economy rate for Japan Airlines operated flights is actually quite good and Japan Airlines economy product is probably my favorite in the sky. I would definitely not rule Emirates completely out as a viable redemption option to get you to India!

Etihad

Although Etihad is not a part of any major airline alliance, they do have several strategic partnerships with airlines such as All Nippon Airways (ANA), Asiana and Korean Air. The award charts for all three of these partners is distance based and varies, so I would recommend that you go to Etihad’s respective partner pages to determine your mileage redemption rates.

For reference though, most of your flights are going to run over 100k miles for a roundtrip economy award ticket, so I would strongly recommend you look elsewhere to transfer your SPG Starpoints for an India trip.

To redeem for any partner awards you have to contact the Etihad service center at 888-8ETIHAD at least 14 days prior to the intended date of travel.

Air France/KLM (FlyingBlue)

Air France and KLM share a frequent flyer program called FlyingBlue. Since FlyingBlue is a SkyTeam alliance member, you can redeem FlyingBlue miles for travel on Air France, KLM, China Southern, etc. flights. FlyingBlue can be finicky to work with, but they offer some decent value for flights to India. FlyingBlue groups the Indian Subcontinent into its own award zone.

Roundtrip award tickets will cost you 80k miles in economy and 200k miles in business class. Again, availability looked pretty wide open for both cabins. Depending on your routing, you can expect $200-$300 in taxes and fees for roundtrip economy tickets and $350-$800 in taxes and fees for roundtrip business class tickets.

One-way award tickets are allowed at 40k in economy and 100k miles in business, but no stopovers are allowed. While the economy class rate is right in line with the other SkyTeam transfer partners, the business class rate is twice that of Alitalia. Accordingly, I would be looking to Alitalia (if you want a stopover) or Delta for business class tickets. I personally find FlyingBlue slightly easier to use for award tickets than Alitalia, but considering the cost difference and the free stopover Alitalia offers, I would strongly recommend going with Alitalia over Flying Blue. With that said, searching for space via FlyingBlue will give you a good idea of what inventory should be bookable by Alitalia.

Gol

Gol’s Smiles program is fascinating to me as there are some great sweet spots with their miles and they have in the past offered up to a 200% bonus on purchased miles. While there are some sweet spots in the program, travel between the U.S. and India is not one of them. This is because the transfer ratio for Starpoints to Smiles miles is 2:1. That effectively doubles the cost of every award ticket.

Although Gol is not a part of any major alliance, they do partner with the likes of Etihad, Qatar, Air Canada, Delta and Korean Air. While that does open up your options for available flights, the 2:1 transfer ratio again kills any perceived value in using Gol as a Starpoint transfer partner.

Award flight costs on Gol are largely based on the routing that you take. For the most direct routings between the U.S. and India, you can expect a roundtrip cost of 60k miles in economy and 90k miles in business class. One-way award tickets are allowed at half of the quoted rates. Remember to factor in the 2:1 transfer ratio when considering this option.

While there is some good value to be had utilizing the Gol program, you are much better off looking elsewhere for Starpoint transfer partners to get you to India economically.

Hainan

Although Hainan is not a part of any major alliance, they do have some strategic partnerships with airlines like Etihad. Etihad also happens to be the only Hainan partner that flies to India. The award chart for Etihad flight redemptions using your Fortune Wings miles is distance based. As such, your home airport is really going to dictate your award ticket cost here.

From the East Coast of the United States (JFK) to Delhi (DEL) via Abu Dhabi (AUH), you can expect a roundtrip ticket to cost 180k miles in economy, 350k miles in business class and 600k miles in first class.

From the West Coast of the United States (LAX) to Delhi (DEL) via Abu Dhabi (AUH), you can expect a roundtrip ticket to cost 180k miles in economy, 350k miles in business class and 600k miles in first class.

One-way award tickets are allowed at half of the above quoted rates. As you can see, Hainan is one of the absolute worst Starpoint transfer partners for award flights to India. Unless you already have an absolutely massive amount of Fortune Wings miles, I would strongly recommend looking elsewhere for your India redemption.

Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines does not fly to India, however their partner Korean Air does. However, Korean Air only flies to Mumbai (BOM) in India. In addition, you would actually need to redeem 2 award tickets for this routing – 1 between the U.S. and Seoul (ICN) and 1 between Seoul (ICN) and Mumbai (BOM).

For Korean Air operated flights between North America and Seoul, you can expect roundtrip award ticket prices of 100k miles for economy and 200k miles for business class. For Korean Air operated flights between Seoul and Mumbai (BOM), you can expect a roundtrip award ticket cost of 30k miles for economy and 60k miles for business class. One-way award tickets are not allowed and all segments of your flights must be operated by Korean Air.

That makes Hawaiian Airlines one of the worst transfer partners for redemptions to India. Not to mention they also offer only one destination in India. As such, I would strongly recommend you look elsewhere for a Strapoint transfer partner that can get you to India.

Japan Airlines (JAL)

Japan Airlines (JAL) is arguably my favorite airline in the world. In addition to having a spectacular hard and soft product, their frequent flyer program is among the most generous available. JAL is a member of the OneWorld alliance, which means you can use your Mileage Bank miles to book Cathay Pacific, British Airways and JAL flights to India.

JAL utilizes a separate award chart for JAL operated flights and OneWorld partner operated flights. The JAL operated flights award chart is zone based, while the OneWorld partner award chart is distance based.

For flights operated by JAL, you would be looking at roundtrip costs of 70k miles in economy, 90k miles in premium economy, 140k miles in business class and 170k miles in first class.

For flights operated by OneWorld partners, your home airport is really going to make the difference here due to the distance based award chart. There is actually some pretty good value to be had in this award chart.

For OneWorld partner flights between the East Coast of the U.S. (JFK) and Delhi (DEL) via Hong Kong (HKG), you can expect a cost of 85k miles in economy, 105k miles in premium economy, 125k miles in business class and 200k miles in first class.

For OneWorld partner flights between the East Coast of the U.S. (JFK) and Delhi (DEL) via London (LHR), you can expect a cost of 60k miles in economy, 80k miles in premium economy, 100k miles in business class and 155k miles in first class.

For OneWorld partner flights between the West Coast of the U.S. (LAX) and Delhi (DEL) via Hong Kong (HKG), you can expect a cost of 60k miles in economy, 80k miles in premium economy, 100k miles in business class and 155k miles in first class.

For OneWorld partner flights between the West Coast of the U.S. (LAX) and Delhi (DEL) via London (LHR), you can expect a cost of 60k miles in economy, 80k miles in premium economy, 100k miles in business class and 155k miles in first class.

One-way awards are allowed, though it would be based on the distance of your segments, so you would be better off using the Mileage Bank calculator here and then finding the corresponding award cost here. With that said, if you are looking for a business or first class redemption to India, there is no better option than JAL! Even JAL’s economy and premium economy rates are among the best of the Starpoint transfer partners. I would give JAL some serious consideration for your next award trip to India.

Jet Airways

Jet Airways is not a member of any of the major alliances, though they do have strategic partnerships with airlines like Etihad, Delta and Korean Air. Since Jet Airways does not technically fly direct to the U.S., you would redeem according to their partner award chart, which is zone based.

Although the partner award chart lists all of India in the same zone, it breaks the U.S. up into 4 separate zones. Those zones (in Jet Airways’ own words) are:

  • America 1 (Northeast) – Newark, Toronto, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, etc.
  • America 2 (Southeast) – Atlanta, Daytona, Carolina, Florida, etc.
  • America 3 (Southwest) – Texas, Mexico, Los Angeles, etc.
  • America 4 (Northwest) – Seattle, Denver, Portland, San Francisco, etc.

For partner award flights between America 1 and India, you can expect a roundtrip award cost of 120k miles in economy, 240k miles in business class and 360k miles in first class.

For partner award flights between America 3 and India, you can expect a roundtrip award cost of 200k miles in economy, 300k miles in business class and 400k miles in first class.

Jet Airways does not list redemptions for flights between America 2 or America 4 and India.

One-way award tickets are allowed at half of the above quoted rates. You will also be charges the taxes, fees and surcharges from the partner airline, which depending on the airline you opt to redeem your miles for award travel with, could be pricey (I’m looking at you Etihad). Overall, these rates are not exactly competitive among the Starpoint transfer partners anyways, so I would probably write Jet Airways off the list and look elsewhere for a solid redemption to India.

Korean Air

Korean Air is a SkyTeam alliance member, which means you can redeem your SkyPass miles for travel on Air France, KLM, China Southern and Korean Air flights to India.

Korean Air uses a two-tier system where award tickets solely on Korean Air flights are one rate, and award tickets on partners are another rate. Both the Korean Air specific and partner specific award charts have India in the same award zone – Southwest Asia.

For itineraries solely on Korean Air flights, Korean Air operates under a peak/non-peak season award chart. Those dates are very specific and depend on where you are flying so you are better off checking out the chart here.

A roundtrip for flights operated solely by Korean Air between the U.S. and India will cost you 95k/140k miles in economy, 170k/255k miles in business and 210k/315k miles in first class. The rates reflect off-peak/peak dates. One-way awards are allowed at half of the aforementioned rates.

For a roundtrip award ticket operated by partner airlines between the U.S. and India,  you can expect a cost of 100k miles in economy, 170k miles in business class and 230k miles in first class. Keep in mind that Korean Air does not allow for one-way awards on partner redemptions.

You are also allowed one stopover on a one-way award ticket and two stopovers on a roundtrip award ticket.

While Korean Air Skypass miles generally offer pretty good value, that is really only the case for redemptions during off-peak dates between the U.S. and India. To complicate matters further, it can be difficult to work with Korean Air. If you are planning to use your miles to book an award ticket for another person, that other person has to be a family member (mother, father, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, wife, husband or child). You will also need to call in to Korean Air to book your partner award and the process is somewhat arduous. I would strongly recommend that you call in to make sure space is available and then place a hold on your award ticket(s) before transferring your Starpoints to your Skypass account. If you are looking for a premium cabin seat, you are probably better off searching via ANA instead.

LATAM

LATAM is a member of the OneWorld alliance, though interestingly you can only redeem your Pass kilometers to book Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and British Airways flights to India.. It is worth keeping in mind from the start that the Pass program utilizes kilometers instead of miles. As a result, your Starpoints will transfer at a rate of 1:1.5. That means that for every 20k Starpoints you transfer to LATAM, you will receive 37.5k kms (30k kms + 7.5k kms bonus for transferring 20k Starpoints).

LATAM utilizes separate award charts for those flights operated by LATAM and those operated by their partners. As LATAM does not fly to India, I will only focus on the partner award chart here, which happens to be distance (in kms) based.

For partner flights between the East Coast of the U.S. (JFK) and Delhi (DEL) via Hong Kong (HKG), you can expect a roundtrip cost of 200k kms for economy, 300k kms for premium economy, 400k kms for business class and 500k kms for first class.

For partner flights between the East Coast of the U.S. (JFK) and Delhi (DEL) via London (LHR), you can expect a roundtrip cost of 120k kms in economy, 210k kms in premium economy, 280k kms in business class and 350k kms in first class.

For partner flights between the West Coast of the U.S. (LAX) and Delhi (DEL) via Hong Kong (HKG), you can expect a roundtrip cost of 200k kms for economy, 300k kms for premium economy, 400k kms for business class and 500k kms for first class.

For partner flights between the West Coast of the U.S. (LAX) and Delhi (DEL) via London (LHR), you can expect a roundtrip cost of 200k kms for economy, 300k kms for premium economy, 400k kms for business class and 500k kms for first class

One-way award tickets are allowed at half of the above quoted rates. It is unclear on whether any surcharges are passed on, though the taxes, fees and surcharges on Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines operated flights tend to be relatively low. On the other hand, the fuel surcharges on flights operated by British Airways via London are usually exorbitant. Factoring in the relatively bad redemption rates, I would cross this option off the list unless you have a glut of Pass kilometers you are looking to burn.

Lufthansa

Lufthansa is a member of the Star Alliance, so you can use your Miles & More miles for Air Canada, United, ANA, Air India and Singapore Airlines (among others) flights to India. Again, in other words, you are going to have a ton of options!

The Miles & More program utilizes a zone based award chart that is the same regardless of whether you are flying Lufthansa flights or partner flights. India is placed in the same award zone in the program, so your redemption rates remain the same regardless of where in India your ultimate destination is.

For a roundtrip award ticket, it will cost you 100k miles in economy, 185k miles in business class and 290k miles in first class.

One-way award tickets are allowed on partner flights, but Lufthansa does not explicitly state what those redemption costs will be in their terms and conditions, which makes me think it will cost you more than half of the above quoted mileage. While the redemption rates actually are not horrible, you will get hit with surcharges. In premium cabins, this can be as much as $1,000 per ticket. Overall, I would look elsewhere for your redemption unless you have some Miles & More miles already stashed. In that case it could make sense to transfer your Starpoints to Lufthansa and pay the surcharges.

Qatar

Qatar’s Qmiles program uses a distance based award chart, so this is another airline that will depend on your home airport for redemption costs. Qatar is a member of the OneWorld alliance, so you can use your Qmiles to book Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and British Airways flights to India. Qatar uses a separate calculator for flights operated by Qatar, so if you wanted to route yourself via Doha (DOH), your are better off using Qatar’s award ticket calculator. For flights operated by partner airlines, your award ticket costs will be as follows:

From the East Coast of the U.S. (JFK) to Delhi (DEL) via Hong Kong (HKG), you can expect a roundtrip cost of ~170k miles for economy, ~255k miles for premium economy, ~340k miles for business class and ~510k miles for first class.

From the East Coast of the U.S. (JFK) to Delhi (DEL) via London (LHR), you can expect a roundtrip cost of ~150k miles for economy, ~225k miles for premium economy, ~300k miles for business class and ~450k miles for first class.

From the West Coast of the U.S. (LAX) to Delhi (DEL) via Hong Kong (HKG), you can expect a roundtrip cost of ~170k miles for economy, ~255k miles for premium economy, ~340k miles for business class and ~510k miles for first class.

From the West Coast of the U.S. (LAX) to Delhi (DEL) via London (LHR), you can expect a roundtrip cost of ~170k miles for economy, ~255k miles for premium economy, ~340k miles for business class and ~510k miles for first class.

One-way award tickets are allowed at the half price of the above quoted rates. If you are routing via London on British Airways flights, you will again be hit with their outrageous fuel surcharges, taxes and fees, so I would recommend avoiding those routes if you can. Again, and as with Qantas, unless you have a glut of Qmiles you want to burn, you are better off transferring your Starpoints elsewhere for a redemption to India.

Saudi Arabian Airlines

Saudi Arabian Airlines is a SkyTeam alliance member, which means you can redeem your Alfursan miles for travel on Air France, KLM, China Southern and Korean Air flights to India.

Saudi Arabian Airlines utilizes a separate award chart for partner awards, though both award charts are zone based. Saudi Arabian Airlines breaks India into two zones – South India and North India. South India includes Chennai (MAA), Bangalore (BLR), Hyderabad (HYD), Kozhikode (CCJ) and Kochi (COK), while North India includes Delhi (DEL), Mumbai (BOM) and Lucknow (LKO).

For flights operated by Saudi Arabian Airlines between the U.S. and North India, you can expect a roundtrip cost of 95k miles in economy, 210k miles in business class and 305k miles in first class.

For flights operated by Saudi Arabian Airlines between the U.S. and South India, you can expect a roundtrip cost of 100k miles in economy, 215k miles in business class and 315k miles in first class.

Under the partner award chart, India is again broken down into North India and South India (with the division remaining the same as noted above).

For partner flights between the U.S. and North India, you can expect a roundtrip cost of 100k miles in economy, 200k miles in business class and 300k miles in first class.

For partner flights between the U.S. and South India, you can expect a roundtrip cost of 100k miles in economy, 200k miles in business class and 300k miles in first class.

One-way award tickets are allowed at 60% of the above quoted rates. It is also worth mentioning that first class redemptions are only available on China Airlines, China Eastern and China Southern flights. That means if you wanted to go with a first class redemption, you would need to route through China on your way down to India.

Overall, these award ticket redemption costs are not at all competitive with some of the other SkyTeam partners that are Starpoint transfer partners. As such, I would look elsewhere to transfer your Starpoints.

Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines is a member of the Star Alliance, so you can use your KrisFlyer miles for Air Canada, United, ANA, Air India and Singapore Airlines (among others) flights to India. In other words, you are going to have a ton of options!

Singapore Airlines is one of several airlines that utilizes a separate award chart for partner awards. The Singapore Airlines specific award chart puts India in Zone 6, while the partner award chart puts India in the Central, South Asia award zone.

For Singapore Airlines operated flights from the East Coast of the U.S., you can expect roundtrip prices of 105k miles for economy, 177k miles for premium economy, 205k miles for business class and 265k miles for first class.

For Singapore Airlines operated flights from the West Coast of the U.S., you can expect roundtrip prices of 85k miles for economy, 167k miles for premium economy, 180k miles for business class and 250k miles for first class.

For Singapore operated flights, one-way award tickets are allowed at half the price. Also keep in mind that the quoted rates do not factor in the 15% discount you would receive from booking your award ticket online. With that said, even factoring in the 15% discount, these rates are not especially competitive.

For roundtrip partner redemptions between the U.S. and India, it will cost you 105k miles for economy, 195k miles for business class and 265k miles for first class.

Overall, Singapore is not really very competitive when it comes to award ticket prices to India. There are definitely much better redemptions to be had elsewhere with your Starpoints, so I would not necessarily transfer them here.

Thai Airways

Thai Airways is a member of the Star Alliance, so you can use your Royal Orchid Plus miles for Air Canada, United, ANA, Air India and Singapore Airlines (among others) flights to India. In other words, you are going to have a ton of options!

Thai Airways is another airline that uses a separate award chart for redemptions on their own flights and partner redemptions. As there are no Thai Airways flights from the U.S., you will redeem according to the partner award chart.

A roundtrip redemption will cost you 110k miles for economy, 192k miles for business class and 264k miles for first class.

It is worth keeping in mind that Thai Airways levies fuel surcharges on award tickets and from all the reports I have seen, they are crazy high. Considering that ANA should have access to most of the same Star Alliance award space that Thai Airways has access to, you are better offer transferring your Starpoints to ANA for this redemption unless you have a stash of Royal Orchid Plus miles that you are looking to burn, and/or you do not mind paying exorbitant surcharges. Again though, if you are not dead set on flying a Star Alliance carrier, there are definitely better redemptions to be had with your Starpoints (like Cathay Pacific, Singapore and FlyingBlue).

United

United is a member of the Star Alliance, so you can use your KrisFlyer miles for Air Canada, United, ANA, Air India and Singapore Airlines (among others) flights to India. As with Singapore Airlines, you are going to have a ton of options!

United places India in the Central Asia award region, so regardless of where you are traveling to in India, your redemption costs will remain the same.

United uses a two-tier award system for their awards. Economy tickets are the same cost regardless of whether you are on a United flight or a partner flight. A roundtrip saver economy award ticket will cost you 85k miles.

Business and first class award tickets on the other hand will differ in price depending on whether you are flying on a United operated flight or a partner operated flight. For United operated flights, a roundtrip saver business class award ticket will cost you 140k miles, while a saver first class award ticket will cost you 180k miles.

Alternatively, for partner operated flights, a roundtrip saver business class award ticket will cost you 160k miles, while a saver first class award ticket will cost you 280k miles.

When booking a roundtrip award ticket, United allows you one stopover. United also allows one-way award tickets (though you would lose out on the free stopover) at half the rates cited above.

As you can see, the much better value when redeeming for premium cabins is with United operated flights – though the actual product is going to be far less enticing than what some of United’s partners such as ANA offer. Economy award tickets through United definitely offers one of the best values for economy redemptions of all of the Starpoint transfer partners, though it is important to remember that your Starpoints transfer to United at a 2:1 ratio. That actually makes United one of the worst possible transfer partners for your Starpoints. If you are interested in Star Alliance operated flights, you are much better off going through ANA.

Virgin Australia

Virgin Australia operates out of an extremely small market in the U.S., though they do partner with Virgin America, Delta, Etihad and Singapore Airlines, so you do have some options for award tickets to India. The major downside to this program is that the taxes and carrier imposed fees/surcharges are pretty high – especially on premium cabin redemptions. If you opt for flights operated by Etihad, you will also be hit with ticketing fees of $50 in economy, $205 in business class and $300 in first class. These fees are assessed PER SEGMENT, which means 4 segments in a premium cabin will cost you some serious bucks.

Virgin Australia uses a separate award chart for flights operated by partners other than Virgin Australia, Virgin America and Delta, though both award charts are distance based so you home airport is really going to be the determining factor in your award cost here.

As neither Delta nor Virgin America fly to India, and since routing to India via Australia on Virgin Australia would be prohibitively expensive, I will focus entirely on the partner award chart.

For partner flights between the East Coast of the U.S. (JFK) and Delhi (DEL) via Frankfurt (FRA) and Singapore (SIN), you can expect a roundtrip cost of 150k miles for economy, 278k miles for business class and 406k miles for first class.

For partner flights between the West Coast of the U.S. (LAX) and Delhi (DEL) via Tokyo (NRT) and Singapore (SIN), you can expect a roundtrip cost of 150k miles for economy, 278k miles for business class and 406k miles for first class.

Virgin Australia allows for one-way award tickets at half the quoted rates.

Not even factoring in the high taxes, fees and surcharges assessed, these redemption rates are among the worst of the Starpoint transfer partners. When you factor in the high taxes, fees and surcharges, I would look absolutely anywhere else to transfer your Starpoints for a redemption to India.

Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic operates out of a very small market in the U.S., but they do fly to Delhi (DEL) and Mumbai (BOM). The major downside to this program is that the taxes and carrier imposed fees/surcharges are outrageously high – especially on premium cabin redemptions.

For redemptions on Virgin Atlantic between New York (JFK) and Delhi (DEL), you are looking at a roundtrip cost of 77.5k miles + $856-$1,027 for economy, 125k miles + $1,416-$1,700 for premium economy and 180k miles + $1,730-$2,076 for business class. That is absolutely absurd!

As reader DJ pointed out to me in the comments, the flight between London (LHR) and Mumbai (BOM) is actually operated by Jet Airways instead, so that is something to keep in mind if you were looking to get in on the Virgin Atlantic on board bar.

Virgin Atlantic does partner with All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Singapore Airlines, though you need to call Virgin Atlantic at least 14 days prior to departure at 1.800.365.9500 to receive pricing and book. From what I have been able to find, you can expect pretty outrageous taxes, fees and surcharges on these redemptions (think $1,000+ for business class redemptions).

Although the mileage redemption rates for economy are actually not horrible, the outrageous taxes and fees make Virgin Atlantic the single worst Starpoint transfer partner for award tickets to India in my opinion. As a result, I would strongly recommend you avoid this option at all costs unless you literally have no other option.

Virgin America

From what I can tell, Virgin America does not offer any partner redemptions from the U.S. to India. While you could potentially piece together multiple partner award tickets, it simply is not worth the hassle and frustration given the high taxes and carrier imposed fees that Virgin America passes on. You are better off looking elsewhere for SPG transfer partners that can get you to India.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, the SPG Starpoint transfer partners offer the absolute best options for finding award availability to India. Hopefully this guide has helped to shine a little light on how to utilize and maximize your Starpoints for a trip to India!

What is your favorite way to redeem Starpoints to get to India?

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2 thoughts on “Part IV – Getting To India Using Your SPG Starpoints

  1. If you are using Miles and More miles to fly on Lufthansa itself (not on partner) – what’s the pricing of a one-way award? half of the round trip? or more?

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