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Long and winding India trip advice needed

Long and winding India trip advice needed

Apr 27th, 2004, 09:34 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 7
Long and winding India trip advice needed

Hi folks, it has come upon me that I will be travelling to India this fall, and it occured to me that since I had been meaning to visit relatives in California as well, it might be good to get it all done at once. Anyways, here is an itinerary I am looking at:

Chicago-LA: 9/29
LA-San Francisco: 10/8
SF-Ahmedabad, India: 10/12
Ahmedabad-Chicago: 10/27

Is this something I can do reasonably? I was looking around the various internet travel sites, and Orbitz had a way I could do this for around $1900, which isn't too bad, I think.

A few questions:
Can I get a better price by going through a travel agent? If so, should I go to one who specializes in Indian travel, or one who focuses on this sort of open-jaw travel?

Also, is there a way to do this trip while avoiding Air India at all costs? I really do not like that airline, especially for long-haul flights, and I'm willing to pay a reasonable amount to use alternate carriers.

Also I would like to add as many miles to my American Airlines FF account as possible. Will I get miles if I stick to their oneworld Alliance carriers?

Thanks a whole bunch!
Achtung is offline  
Apr 27th, 2004, 09:54 AM
  #2  
 
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i would first check with american and see what they could offer you....i would also contact a local travel agent and see what they could do...a person specializing in indian travel may do better and may not...

i think that stops in CA may affect the price greatly, especially since you want two different stops---one might be cheaper for you??

i would also compare ging in an eat bound direction for alternative pricing...british air and luftansa are often very competitive....
for the price you have quoted you could probably also do an around the world trip stopping in all of these places...look in your sunday newspaper in chicago and see the small adds in the travel section specializing in around the world trips...last weekend in the boston paper there were 2 such adds and they started with about $1200...and $2400 was the most expensive...

i would also call each of the oneworld alliance partners and see what they offer....i would check both on the internet and by calling them directly...i find direct calling offen yields lower prices these days...but not always...

i am currently using an agent in bangkok for some travel...you might check and see what they could do for you---they are an american express agency:

www.seatoursthai.com
rhkkmk is offline  
Apr 27th, 2004, 09:56 AM
  #3  
 
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sorry in paragraph 3 that is "going in an eastbound direction..."
rhkkmk is offline  
Apr 27th, 2004, 10:03 AM
  #4  
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Well, normally we do go eastbound (on the way to India) but if I'm going to California on the way, it would make more sense to go westbound, and then return westbound (via Europe), I think.

I have family in LA, and several friends in the SF area, so it would be really nice to catch up with all of them, and preferably before going to India, which always leaves me both sick and exhausted.

I will check on RTW trips as well. I realize that the two CA stops make my trip a bit unique, but hopefully a local travel agent can help.

Thanks
Achtung is offline  
Apr 27th, 2004, 10:15 AM
  #5  
 
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Hi Achtung:

We flew from Boston to Delhi last year in March and the round trip pp was around $1200. I think you should check with an Indian Travel agent, as they buy tickets in bulk to India and are probably cheaper than buying it from the web as the demand is low on the internet.

You can also see if it'll be cheaper for you to buy two separate tickets, one for your multi destination trip from Chicago to LA to SF back to Chicago. And the second round trip from SF to India.

We flew Swiss Air and they were execellent. Air India is not necessarily cheaper to fly than other airlines. There are so many other airlines you can choose to fly with.
knaya is offline  
Apr 27th, 2004, 10:25 AM
  #6  
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Thanks knaya. That's another good idea, getting the two different trips like that. I'll ask the agent.

My parents went to India in January, and I tried to convince them to take Swiss, but they picked Kuwait Airways for about $200 difference. If I can get Swiss for a good price, I am more than willing to use them (I think they just joined oneworld too).
Achtung is offline  
Apr 27th, 2004, 01:01 PM
  #7  
 
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I would suggest that the best price will perhaps be had if you break your ticketing into two categories: (a) the flight to and from India and (b) the domestic flights. For (a) you will probably get the best deal from a travel agent/consolidator specializing in India. For (b) you can use any of the online services like Orbitz, Travelocity, Expedia etc.

For travel to India, you could either take Singapore Airlines or Cathay, both exceptional airlines, if you want to go via the Pacific. Another option is to take Lufthansa from SFO into India, one of the quickest means to get to India from the West coast. You could also consider re-jiggering your itinerary and flying out of LAX instead by taking Swiss (which does not fly out of SFO). If you are travelling Economy, then Swiss is better than Lufthansa. Note that there is a significant difference in quality between the erstwhile Swissair and Swiss. Swissair was a class in itself, on par with Singapore Airlines and Cathay. If you fly Swiss from LAX you will have to take an overnight stop in Zurich for your onward flight to Mumbai. Personally, I love doing this since Zurich is among my favourite cities. But if you are on a budget, know that Zurich is not the cheapest play to stay in.
agtoau is offline  
Apr 27th, 2004, 02:26 PM
  #8  
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Ah, I see. Alright, more possibilites. So, one more question, if I take an American or European-based carrier out of SFO or LAX to India, I'll still go eastbound through Europe? But if I take an Asian-based carrier, I'll go through Asia? Seems odd.

I don't think it matters a whole lot which cities I stop in, as unfortunately I probably won't have much time to explore. But if I do, I'll check out Zurich with Swiss.

Thanks again
Achtung is offline  
Apr 28th, 2004, 03:30 AM
  #9  
 
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check out the one world round the world ticket. it may not be cheeper then a consolidators RTW but you will get some major miles on your AA acount.

or find a fair via lax/sfo that alows a free stopoer..

or
you could buy two one ways ticks free stopover leaving (LAX) to india and one reterning too (sfo) with a free stopover.

or

check out airtrecks a RTW specialist and fidle with the trip planner program

chicago-LAX-SFO-hong kong- Bangkok- mombia-chicago US$1456 to US$1747
orgy7 is offline  

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