flyenthu From United States of America, joined Dec 2012, 350 posts, RR: 0 Posted (7 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 1565 times:
I am here to get some advise and recommendations from you. Due to family reasons I now will have to travel to CCU (Kolkata) twice a year for several years into the future from the US. All this while, I have not had any airline loyalty even though I fly that route at least once a year. I usually take Emirates, Singapore, or Qatar. I used to take BA, but they stopped flying into CCU. I prefer a one-stop flight. Being that it is CCU, I do not have too many options. In fact I do not have any European connection options. My only one stop options are Emirates or Qatar. I realize that I will have to be flexible be open to two-stop options.
Can you suggest some routings and loyalty programs that will be beneficial to me in the long run? I fly from IAH in the US.
RyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 5452 posts, RR: 5
Reply 1, posted (7 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 1560 times:
If you are in IAH then ultimately EK or QR seem like you best option, presuming that you are happy with continuing to fly with them.
While I prefer EK, for your circumstances QR might be a better option because they are a member of OneWorld. Therefore if you are to attain status with QR you would receive reciprocal benefits with other airlines, including AA. While flying IAH-DFW-xxx on domestic trips might be a pain, if you chose EK you wouldn't have your status recognised on any American airline.
flyenthu From United States of America, joined Dec 2012, 350 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (7 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 1545 times:
Thanks RyanAir. Yes, QR with Oneworld is a good bet. I flew QR for the first time last July and really liked it. It also had decent fares. I just checked EK and saw that it has partnered with Air Alaska, Virgin America, and JetBlue. So, I might potentially be able to use EK miles for domestic purposes.
copter808 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 1083 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (6 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 1062 times:
The flight was nothing special and I think I slept most of it. Think it was somewhere around 12-14 hours. Food was ok. IFE was ok because it was a CO airframe, not UA. Service was good.
Train was a 4-berth sleeper with decent service and food. Think it left DEL around 4pm and arrived CCU around 9am. I don't remember the cost, but it was very reasonable--read CHEAP by US standards. My 2 travel companions book their first class tickets about 90 days out, or as soon as the trains started accepting reservations. Alternatively, you might book with local travel agent.
WARNING: If you go by rail and get to the DEL train station there will be hawkers who will offer to help and tell you the train is late or cancelled. Just not so politely tell them to F-off!!! Most travel agents will warn you of this ahead of time.
I have plans to join my friends in DEL around March 30 for the train back to BOM which they raved about. We then plan to fly back to the US on UA.