I was recently looking for business class tickets to India and seeing rates which were well above my allotted business travel budget for the quarter. I was pretty much resigned to toughing it out in economy before I stumbled upon a Delta fare online which priced out at just over $3000 roundtrip between DFW and India.
I had recently heard from my colleagues here on BoardingArea that AMEX sometimes had some great discounts on air travel as part of the “International Airline Program“. I didn’t really think it was going to result in my finding a fare inside my budget, but I thought I would give it a shot, since there was a slim chance there would be a good enough fare for me to fly business.
I say slim chance because in the past, the AMEX Intl Airline Program was just about buying a full fare business class ticket and getting an additional free ticket. This could end up cost two to three times more than your actually buying two business class tickets to the same place.
This particular benefit is only available to those who call the number on the back of their cards. So I called the number on the back of my AMEX Business Platinum Card and got immediately connected to a very nice woman who seemed really excited that I was flying to India. After jotting down the dates and desired flights she quickly ran a search for me and came up with the price of around $2500 per passenger to travel in business roundtrip between DFW and Delhi (even lower given the Delta AMEX Offer on my account). This was almost $500 cheaper than the lowest fare I could find for the same flights online!
I must have asked her at least 10 times whether she was sure that was the rate for those flights. I really appreciate how patient she was with me as I frantically searched my desk drawers I was literally jumping for joy when I heard about this fare since India tickets during Christmas (even in economy) don’t price out that cheap very often. My company quite literally paid 1.5x that amount for me to travel in economy a few years ago.
This is an absolute win-win situation for me. I don’t have to dread the idea of my typing on the laptop with it half folded or not having enough space to work and eat! In doing so, I would likely qualify for Delta Gold Medallion (for whatever that’s worth) and try two new business class seats (Delta A330 and A350)
Anyway before I leave you to it, you do need your passports on hand if you want to confirm international itineraries. Reservation holds are available, but that is only for the seats and not the fare itself, which is subject to change. And , in case you are wondering: yes you do get a 24 hour cancellation window So in my opinion just book it and brood over it.
If you are interested in these fares and flights to India, please check Google Flights for your desired itinerary before calling. I have linked here to the page the style of itinerary I ultimately booked.
Think about whether you will use the International Airline Program benefits before chucking that AMEX Platinum card out because this benefit by itself could easily pay for the annual fee by itself. Do remember that the AMEX Personal Platinum Card offers 5x points on all airfares. This benefit certainly extended the time I will be keeping my card open by at-least a year. Kudos to AMEX for providing a better “International Airline Program.” I should also mention that AMEX travel agents are some of the best I’ve ever interacted with, which makes the experience of calling in for airfare a bit more pleasant.
If you are looking for a 100k AMEX Platinum Card offer, check out the CardMatch tool and see if you have been targeted for that offer.