India to Denmark - JJs Business Trip Tagalong

Cover Img: Erikf

JJ is going on a business trip from Mumbai, India to a city in Denmark called Vejle. His flight can be covered by his work, but he wants to bring his wife along for the ride and isn't sure what the best use of his points are. JJ got in touch with me through the Travel Hacking Cartel and their new Booking Concierge Service to find out if and how he can make this work.

If you want to join the Travel Hacking Cartel to learn the best ways to earn and spend points and miles, you can start a free trial here.

Trip Specs

ORIGIN

  • Depart Mumbai, India (BOM)

TIME, DATE & CABIN

  • Leave October 19th, 2015 (+/- 2 days)
  • Return October 28th, 2015 (+/- 2 days)
  • Business Class

DESTINATION

  • Vejle, Denmark
    (CPH-Copenhagen, BLL-Billund)

BUDGET & INVENTORY

  • 350,000 Jet Airways JetPrivilege Miles
  • $750 Cash

Paid Full Fare

Click Img to see full details - Link to flight

Using the usual search tools, we found prices ranging from $1,800 USD - $7,000 USD

The best flight we found left a day later than the requested dates but was more expensive than the budget allocated.

Points And Miles Strategy

Jet Airways JetPrivilege Miles = 350,245
Cash Budget = $750

How many Miles

Jet Airways JetPrivilege

Jet Airways has an award chart for their own flights, but not for partner flights. 
They have a Mileage Calculator for partner flights but you have to know which airlines you will use. You also have to search by segment (See Routes section below).

After figuring out routes, I discovered the miles cost for partner awards:
- India to Europe = 62,000 miles one way (Business)
- Intra-Europe = 30,000 miles one way (Business)

So in total it was going to cost 92,000 miles each way or 184,000 for a round trip in Business Class

Jet Airways recently changed their award system so that there are no fuel surcharges when booking awards on any Jet Airways flights. As a result, the redemptions are higher. 

Combining a Jet Airways award, and a partner award, I discovered:
India-Europe (Jet Airways) = 85,000 miles one way (Business)
Intra-Europe (Partner) = 30,000 miles one way (Business)

So in Total it will cost 115,000 miles each way or 230,000 miles for Round trip is using Jet Airways. IT costs more miles but the fuel surcharges will be less. See Trip Cost section below for details.

Routes

We need to figure out the ways we can get to the destination using thesemiles. So First we need to know which partner airlines to keep an eye out for.

Jet Airways Partner Airline List

Then we need to search routes. We can use our usual Route Searching tools for that.

You can select the airlines from a list, or add ";a=AF,SN,9W,LH,LX" to the end of the google flights url where AF and SN are the IATA codes for the airlines you want to filter by.

FlightConnections - Free Route Planning Tool. You can search all routes between 2 destinations. Clicking through them will show you the airlines that service those routes.
Google Flights - Search BOM to CPH and see what flights come up. Keep an eye out for the airlines on the list. If you want you can even go through and filter so that only those specific airlines show up.

Mumbai to Copenhagen

  • BOM-FRA-CPH (Lufthansa) - via Frankfurt
  • BOM-MUC-CPH (Lufthansa) - via Munich
  • BOM-ZRH-CPH (Swiss) - via Zurich
  • BOM-BRU (Jet Airways), BRU-CPH (Brussels Airways) - via Brussels


Mumbai to Billund, Denmark

  • BOM-FRA-BLL (Lufthansa) - via Frankfurt
  • BOM-CDG (Jet Airways), CDG-BLL (Air France) - via Paris
    Billund is closer to Vejle than Copenhagen and is still in Denmark so it is another option for JJ.

Trip availability

Jet Airways has a requirement that you need to have 3500 miles in your account to search. They also have a weird system where you cannot book online, you have to have an agent look up the specific itinerary for you.

To book a partner award you have to fill in this form and you can choose one of the routes mentioned above.

If the online form isn't working, you can print a regular form, fill it out and email it back to them. Seems super primitive but it is their process.

Once you do that, they reply with availability and cost, then you confirm and pay the fees, etc.

Searching for availability elsewhere

Luckily, some of the airlines Jet partners with are in an Alliance so we can search their availability elsewhere. Lufthansa and Swiss are Star Alliance so can be searched on Aeroplan (Signup required) or United (no signup required)

United Award Search - See there is Saver Award available under the Business Column. This usually means the award will be available with partners. See the far right column and the airline is Lufthansa. Note the miles here are United Miles and are not relevant, but simply shows us there is availability for those flights on these dates.

Trip Cost

Without being able to search, it is hard to know what the cost will be. However after a quick google search and looking on FlyerTalk, I found that Jet Airways charges fuel surcharge on partner flights but not on their own flights. To find out how much the Fuel Surcharge will be on those partner flights, we can search the exact flight on ITA Matrix, and see the fare breakdown.

If we search the route using advanced routing codes, we can pinpoint the exact flight we found availability on and see what the fuel surcharge will be.

YQ is code for Fuel Surcharge, and all the other fees will likely be added too. The one you don't include is the base fare.

Lufthansa - 184,000 miles round trip + ~$800 USD Taxes and Fees
Swiss - 184,000 miles round trip + ~$800 USD Taxes and Fees
Jet Airways/Brussels Airways = 230,000 miles Round Trip (85k Round trip BOM-BRU on Jet + 30k Round Trip BRU-CPH on Brussels) + ~$200 Taxes and Fees

Looks like using Jet Airways whenever possible will use way less cash because JetPrivilege awards don't charge fuel surcharge on those flights. It will cost more miles though so depends on what is more important to you.

Action Plan

  1. Fill in the form to request availability right away. Make sure you mention a bunch of routes and options so they search them all?
  2. Gain confirmation and book the award flight
  3. Book your personal Business Flight using money through your work. Make sure you are on the same flights!!!
  4. Go on your trip!

Bonus Tips

  • Search Google Flights to see the flight options and when connections and layovers get in.
    Also don't forget to check the connection times and layovers that Jet sends you back for your wife's award itinerary.
  • All these flights have 2 segments. The first from India to Europe is the longest and most of the airlines offer lie flat Business Class seats.
  • Almost all of the 2nd segments offer Business Class but none of them have "Lie Flat" seating.
  • Since you are booking a revenue ticket and your wife is booking an award ticket, it may be best to mention this at the time of booking so you can try to make sure you get sat together.
  • To check which flights will have different seating arrangements and lie flat seats, I use Google flights to see whether there is lie flat seats, then I take the flight number and search for the flight on SeatGuru.

If you have questions, tips or suggestions for JJ, please feel free to ask or let us know in the comments.

You can get these concierge services through the Travel Hacking Cartel.

You can also hire us at A Whistle & A Light as your personal Flight Search Concierge.