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.
- Depart Mumbai, India (BOM)
TIME, DATE & CABIN
- Leave October 19th, 2015 (+/- 2 days)
- Return October 28th, 2015 (+/- 2 days)
- Business Class
- Vejle, Denmark
BUDGET & INVENTORY
- 350,000 Jet Airways JetPrivilege Miles
- $750 Cash
Paid Full Fare
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.
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.
Then we need to search routes. We can use our usual Route Searching tools for that.
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.
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)
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.
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.
- Fill in the form to request availability right away. Make sure you mention a bunch of routes and options so they search them all?
- Gain confirmation and book the award flight
- Book your personal Business Flight using money through your work. Make sure you are on the same flights!!!
- Go on your trip!
- 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.