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epaulino Oct 1st, 2007 10:35 AM

Boston to Delhi-which airline?
Planning a trip to Delhi Mid January to early February and trying to choose an airline with a great in flight service and with good dependability and price.

Please give me your advise.


Gpanda Oct 1st, 2007 10:59 AM

This will all be covered at the upcoming Boston GTG on October 13. You are cordially invited to attend and have all your questions answered by Bob the Know-it-all.

epaulino Oct 1st, 2007 12:59 PM

Hello Gpanda

What is the GTG?


Gpanda Oct 1st, 2007 01:06 PM

Every year, we have a Get-To-Gether (GTG) of Fodors posters from Boston and many other places. We meet for a long lunch, take a break and then a long dinner. This year the lunch is at The [email protected] and the dinner at a Thai restaurant in Cambridge, Similans. It is very relaxed. There is much talk of travel. If you want more details, you can E-mail me at [email protected]. We'd love to have new attendees.

lcuy Oct 1st, 2007 04:13 PM

But just in case....the non-stop Newark to Delhi on Continental is a pretty nice flight. I've done it once and doing it again a couple of days after the GTG!

Ericka Oct 2nd, 2007 03:44 AM

We will be flying Boston to Frankfurt, and then Frankfurt to Delhi on Lufthansa (a star alliance airline). We've always flown first with them using miles which is a very nice experience.

Anyone have experience with Lufthansa coach or biz???

agtoau Oct 2nd, 2007 05:52 AM

Lufthansa's coach seating is an affront to the human body (and I am not particularly tall).

Lufthansa Business is comfortable and efficient, although they are behind the curve in terms of seating - not all of their 747s have the new upgraded seats.

Lufthansa First is very comfortable but again behind the curve vis-a-vis its competitors. The best aspect of Lufthansa First is their First Class building at Frankfurt.

rhkkmk Oct 2nd, 2007 07:29 AM

there are non stops from newark and chicago and probably ny....

do join us next saturday for the GTG...several of us have been to india: craig, rhkkmk, lcuy, rizzuto? and perhaps others...

e mail me if you want to come:
[email protected]

Cicerone Oct 2nd, 2007 10:30 PM

Well, the price and dependability and in-flight service requirements rarely match up and in the case of India, even less so. You will find Indian Air to be the cheapest most likely, but also the least dependable and very low on the in-flight service scale IMO.

Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Thai Airlines and Cathay Pacific have excellent service, very nice aircraft and are very dependable (and just about in the order named IMO), but may not match other airlines on price and won't offer as many non-stops from the US as US airlines. IMO a non-stop is a very attractive option on such a long flight.

I would consider the Jet Airlines flight from London, of course you have to get to London first which adds time. But service is very good (as is food, something I never ever say about airlines, as I think even Singapore Airlines food is just average; but get the Indian food on Jet). If Kingfisher Airlines is operating at that point from London or elsewhere then for sure put them on the list, especially for their business class. Again, this means a stop in London, which can of course mean delays.

Continental has a non-stop from Newark but IMO their seats are probably the most uncomfortable of any carrier, although those Airbus seats on Swiss are pretty bad too, and service standards are poor when compared to the Asian airlines but probably OK if you don't expect much. The European airlines are OK for service, not really great IMO when you are used to Asian carriers, but fine; but you will be hard-pressed to find non-stops and layovers in Frankfurt, etc can be long.

So you really, IMO, have to choose between price (Air India), non-stops (US carriers) or service/comfort (Asian carriers and Emirates). I have a hard time between the last two personally.

MotivatedTraveler Oct 5th, 2007 03:35 PM

You have a LOT of choices:

American Airlines via Chicago to Delhi nonstop

Delta via JFK to Mumbai nonstop

Continental via EWR to Delhi or Mumbai nonstop

Northwest/KLM via Amsterdam to DEL and perhaps other cities

All the other major European carriers offer connections too:

British Airways via LHR to DEL, MUM, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore

Virgin Atlantic via LHR to DEL or MUM

Air France via Paris to Del, MUM and probably some other cities

Lufthansa via FRA to DEL and probably some other cities

Swiss International

As a previous post noted, the Premiere Asian carriers can get you there, but traveling from the east coast to India on them doesn't really make sense. Even though Singapore and Cathay Pacific are among the best carriers in the world, the overall transit time is 30 hours or more. I suppose if you take Singapore's nonstop from NY JFK or LAX and carch a good connection, it wouldn't be too bad. Again, their reputation for quality and customer service is unparalleled (even in coach).

You can take Emerites via JFK and Dubai- also known for high quality service (in First and Business).

Qatar air just started service from Washington Dulles here via Doha.

United now operates from Dulles to Kuwait and then codeshares on Kuwait Airlines to India; in addition to their code share with Lufthansa, US Airways, SAS, etc.

Air India apparently provokes very strong feelings on all sides (both fans and critics). It just merged with Indian (the other government owned heretofore domestic carrier). The carrier is now acquiring new aircraft including 777's. Most of their flights from JFK, Chicago O'Hare and LAX go via Europe but nonstop service from JFK is supposed to start soon. Just from my own research, Air India is if anything relatively cheap/inexpensive. I am avoiding them for my forthcoming first trip to India because as an aviation enthusiast I've always heard they are infamously unreliable. Most of my East Indian friends, neighbors and coworkers (as well as acquaintances with whom I've spoken) avoid the airline like the plague.

Jet Airways (India's largest private airline) just started service to JFK via Brussels on brand new 777-300s. The airline has a stellar reputation. Air India is also acquiring the 777-300.

I ultimately decided to go with Virgin Atlantic via Heathrow to Delhi and return from Mumbai primarily because they offer Premium Economy which is a real good deal when you consider the wide difference in price in between standard economy/coach and business class. British Airways has World Traveler Plus, the equivalent service. BA has much better connections than Virgin, but you can't earn AA mileage on the transatlantic segments and perhaps not the India flights depending upon fare. Virgin lets you earn mileage on Delta and Continental.

If money is no object and you can afford first class or business, go with the airline with the shortest transit time (around 17 hours). Sites like expedia and travelocity or orbitz let you sort flight options by duration.

In the case of Boston, it's probably AA via ORD, CO via EWR, DL via JFK, BA via LHR or Air France via Paris.

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