Last month, American Airlines announced it would launch direct flights from Bangalore to Seattle - a brand new route beginning in October this year.
Announcing the new service, Vasu Raja, American’s senior vice president of network strategy, said: “India is a grossly underserved market, despite the number of businesses with a major presence in both India and the West Coast.
“By adding Seattle to Bangalore, we’re giving customers from more than 70 U.S. cities access to India in one stop or less — versus the two, three or four stops they’d have to make to get there in the past.”
An interesting quirk of this flight is that the long-haul 787 Dreamliner operating the route will continue to Los Angeles after stopping in Seattle.
This provides an opportunity for good business class fares, if you are willing to fly to LA rather than getting off in Seattle.
What’s the deal?
The new flights are scheduled to launch at the end of October - though who knows if that will end up getting pushed back due to everything that’s happening with coronavirus.
Prices are high to Seattle, a flight blocked at more than 16 hours, but that’s to be expected since American has a monopoly on the non-stop route:
What’s more interesting is that the price falls dramatically if you’re willing to continue to LA. You can save more than half, just by taking an extra flight (in the comfort of flat bed business class, of course):
Even comparing to other carriers, this is a good price for a Bangalore-Los Angeles return:
It’s only possible to book flights up until mid February - but the INR 175,000 ticket is good until then.
I can see this new service getting pushed back if coronavirus continues to cause widespread disruption, though you might feel more confident making travel plans for 2021.
If you’re looking to travel between Bangalore and Los Angeles, American Airlines' new service could be a good-value option to consider. Oneworld frequent flyers will earn a stack of miles with long flights like this.
It would also be cool to fly internally on the 787, instead of on the short-haul aircraft with standard recliners that you’d typically see on a domestic flight.
Anyone thinking of trying American Airlines and its new 787 service to Seattle or Los Angeles?