Using Delta Miles to travel to India

Delta and Jet Airways have been transatlantic partners since last year (talking about a joint venture as well?), a partnership where Delta/KLM bring transfers from the US of A to Europe (Amsterdam) and these passengers then board Jet Airways flights to India (Mumbai and Delhi). The partnership was implemented in March 2016, with Jet Airways quitting their Brussels hub and moving to Amsterdam. The 9W/DL partnership also includes Virgin Atlantic.

In late 2016, the partnership got on track from the Jet Airways end, where 9W passengers could earn and burn for flights to the US of A along with Delta. Immediately after, Delta also started accruing Skymiles for Jet Airways flights. Jet Airways flights qualify for Medallion Qualification Miles & Dollars. Flights marketed by Air France or KLM but operated by Jet Airways are not eligible for accrual. Partner-marketed flights that are not ticketed by Delta continue to earn miles based on a percentage of distance flown as determined by the fare class paid.

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In January this year, the reverse leg also went live, which means burning is available from Skymiles for Jet Airways flights now. There are no fuel surcharges applied on Jet Airways flights, and the flights are counted on saver tier. This means:

  • North America to India flights are at 40,000 Delta Miles (Economy) and 97,500 Delta Miles in Business Class.
  • North America to Europe flights at 30000 Miles in Economy (only via YYZ actually!) and 70000 miles in Business.
  • Europe to India flights at 35000 miles in economy and 65000 miles in business
  • Around India 12500 miles for economy and 25000 miles for business class

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Delta has access to all the same inventory that all other Jet Airways partner airlines have, and is bookable online. Although I’d advise against picking up the inside India inventory, since it comes for ~50$ in Y class on metro segments if booking in advance so it is a total waste of miles.

Jet Airways has a nice business class cabin on the Boeing 77W they fly to Amsterdam and to Canada right now. This is one of my recent experiences on Jet Airways business class on BOM-AMS, although this is on the A333. This review about the A332 which has the same herringbone seats should give you a perspective about the seat comfort as well.

For the moment, you could also consider using an American Airlines AAdvantage redemption on Jet Airways, however, the option to accrue and redeem on United is going away in a couple of days.

Bottomline

In spite of the fact that India <->N. American J class redemptions are over 40% more expensive since last year, this is one of the ready options available to travel to India. I can’t vouch for Delta hospitality, but Jet Airways sure does have nice Indian hospitality on their flights Smile

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