On Sale: American’s New Seattle To Bangalore Flight

Filed Under: American

A couple of weeks ago American Airlines caught most of us off guard, when they announced that they’d add two international routes out of Seattle, including a new Seattle to Bangalore flight.

This was part of a closer partnership with Alaska Airlines (which is also joining the oneworld alliance), and also part of them actually trying some new things lately (even if it is a weird strategy).

American’s Seattle to Bangalore flight details

American’s new Seattle to Bangalore flight was loaded into the schedule a couple of days ago, and then yesterday evening tickets finally went on sale.

The route is launching on October 25, 2020, and will operate with the following schedule:

AA200 Seattle to Bangalore departing 5:55PM arriving 10:45PM (+1 day)
AA201 Bangalore to Seattle departing 2:05AM arriving 6:00AM

The flight will cover a distance of 8,112 miles, and is blocked at 16hr20min to India, and 16hr55min from India.

American will use a Boeing 787-9 for the route, featuring 30 business class seats, 21 premium economy seats, and 234 economy seats.

American adds 787-9 Los Angeles to Seattle flights

American doesn’t otherwise have a major presence in Seattle, and they don’t fly any wide bodies there. American has loaded a 787-9 into the schedule between Los Angeles and Seattle, as follows:

AA200 Los Angeles to Seattle departing 12:50PM arriving 3:50PM
AA201 Seattle to Los Angeles departing 8:30AM arriving 11:40AM

As you can see, these segments have the same flight numbers, so you’ll be able to book a “direct” flight from Los Angeles to Bangalore, all on the same plane.

The route is otherwise operated 5x daily by American Eagle with Embraer 175s. Is this the only route where American exclusively operates a wide body and American Eagle planes, and not any mainline narrow body planes?

Is there any award or upgrade space to Bangalore?

While I wouldn’t say that upgrade availability is good, I do see some dates with confirmable business class upgrades available, and some dates even have up to seven seats available to be confirmed.

Most dates have nothing, but seeing availability on some dates is better than I was expecting, frankly.

When it comes to award seats, unfortunately I don’t see any saver business class award seats available. The cheapest business class award cost I see is for 125,000 AAdvantage miles one-way.

In economy I do see awards starting at 40,000 miles one-way, and in premium economy I see awards starting at 67,500 miles one-way.

What are fares like?

As you’d expect, fares vary greatly depending on where you originate. In economy the lowest fare I see for a roundtrip nonstop Seattle to Bangalore itinerary is ~$1,435.

Meanwhile if you originate in Los Angeles and take the 787 all the way through, the fare is cut by more than half, to ~$674 roundtrip.

Bottom line

American Airlines’ new flight from Seattle to Bangalore is now bookable. We now know what the schedule will look like for the flight, and also where the 787-9 is coming from, as the airline will fly the plane daily between Los Angeles and Seattle.

If you’re interested in booking the flight, there’s even some confirmable upgrade space to business class.

As I’ve said from the beginning, this was a truly unexpected addition to American’s route network. I imagine they must have secured some sort of lucrative contract, as that’s the only way I can make sense of the logic of this.

What do you make of American’s Seattle to Bangalore schedule?

(Tip of the hat to @IshrionA)

Comments
  1. I’m thinking if the coronavirus outbreak worsens and the impact on global aviation continues to rise, this flight will at best, be postponed to 2021.

  2. Sorry , my bad it is the same flight number from LAX so it’s a direct LAX flight albeit via Seattle and the only one to India

  3. Marcus – AA has a hub at LAX and there is also traffic from Southern California to India. There are also a lot of IT companies in Playa del Rey, Venice, Santa Monica and El Segundo The problem is arriving passengers have to clear immigration and customs at Seattle before continuing to LA as they have to mix with local domestic ones. Ideally it would be good if they could clear formalities on arrival in LA , but then AA wouldn’t sell SEA-LAX only

  4. @Icarus I prefer Bangalore, Madras, Calcutta and Bombay. Glad IATA codes haven’t changed.

  5. @Omar With Microsoft and Amazon + others in Seattle there is significant Indian population there. Even more importantly, both companies have offices in Bengalaru (dubbed “IT Capital of India”) and I am sure AA got corporate contracts from them. This makes much more sense than low-yield flying to China to compete with state-owned airlines for Chinese tourist market.

  6. Wow. So during summer season, this flight could turn out to be a “double sunrise” flight – two sunrises in one flight!

  7. @DiscoPapa
    LAX-SEA on 787-900 is still better than ORD-CUN on 787-800 AA was flying recently. Once AA starts SEA-LHR they would simply rotate 787 without the need of LAX-SEA ferry.

  8. @Alex_77W the 787 flights from Chicago to Cancun will be packed this month with spring break.

  9. @Alex_77W – The Seattle to London flight is scheduled to be on a 777-200, which I presume will be rotated at LHR. I agree through that they should operate both of these flights with one plane type so they can rotate them from something like LHR-SEA-BGU-SEA-LHR.

    But I have to wonder what it would be like flying from LAX to Seattle to Bangalore in coach on AA, which would be 18-19 hours of flying time especially with their 17″ wide seats.

  10. @JB it is BLR, not BGU unless you actually meant Bangassou in the Central African Republic.

    I am curious if AA will follow what AI has done on the SFO-DEL route with a “follow the sun” flight path rather than a conventional one.

  11. You would think they would fly to Hyderabad since both Amazon India and Microsoft India are based there

  12. @John
    You’d think, but I suppose they might want to increase their “diversity” of options for providing cheap slave labor.

  13. LOL at the butthurt comments. Bengaluru is one of the fastest growing airports in the world. This flight will be a hit!

  14. The SEA-LHR route AA announced last month will NOT be operated on AA metal. The flight will be operated on BA metal, codeshared as a AA flight.

  15. I don’t know why everyone is acting so surprised that AA has started to a so called third world country airport from Seattle and behaving as if it is a route to a pig sty. AA is the most conservative airline in the world. They would not start a route without doing their research. For one Amazon India HQ is in Bangalore, Microsoft has a significant presence and also their R&D center based there and so is Bangalore the HQ of 2 of India’s IT companies Infosys and Wipro with most of the others having significant presence. As for the airport there is available capacity and landing slots being made available. For those ignorant about the city, the airport was the fastest growing one in the world last year at about 28% YoY. So this might have been purely designed as per projections rather than any politics. Now they have to compete with more premium offerings from other airlines esp the ME3 and SQ which we have to wait and see.

  16. This flight could be a boon for the huge South Indian population residing on the US West Coast and in Western Canada (Vancouver with its US pre-clearance) alongside tech companies. Bangalore also has higher premium yields compared to Delhi (not sure about Mumbai), not to mention this specific Indian demographic is richer than Indians as a whole (Indians in the US as a whole are the richest ethnic group by salary).

    With a strong US economy (as long as it lasts! and Indian economy (slowing down), this route can work but I suspect AA isn’t going to turn up a profit for some time…

  17. @Lucky I was on a A320 from SEA to LAX with AA two months ago. It’s not exclusively operated by Eagle.

  18. LAX-Bengaluru instead of SFO-Bengaluru? This makes no sense! Microsoft, Amazon and Intel, which are the reason for the SEA-BLR sector, have large SFO presences and practically none in LAX.

    Total head scratcher.

  19. All it will take is for Cathay Pacific or Singapore to cut fares SEA-BLR and AA is finished on this route.

    An 8000 mile flight on a route where you are almost entirely dependent on feed from a partner is not going to work.

    Delta’s decision to build its own hub at Seattle was precisely because they could not get Alaska to provide enough seats to fill Delta’s transpacific flights – which were largely 767s in the early days of the Delta Seattle transpacific hub.
    I’m not sure why Alaska will be able to give AA more seats given that AS is keeping nearly all of their own international codeshare partners.

  20. Every time I see this route written down, I am more perplexed than the last time on how this is going to work. And still surprised that AA wouldn’t want a more traditional and stable route into BOM/DEL for their return to India – at least you’d think it would end up leaving from a hub somewhere.

    As for contracts, will be interesting to see. Everyone speculated Amazon, but I’d guess that Amazon isn’t paying for the front rows of seats. So not a huge profit margin from them.

    As someone who flies to BLR usually once a year (CVG-based), this flight isn’t going to make my radar unless it is incredibly cheap (and if it is, well, doubt the flight will last long anyway). The only way for me to get to BLR that isn’t a double-connection – pre- and post- this flight, is with DL/AF via CDG. But even with that, as a * guy, I typically go via a UA hub and then Frankfurt. To have to go via ORD/DFW and SEA…on AA, just isn’t going to happen. It’s also a longer flying time. Plus I actually like breaking the flight up about halfway in the EU. I don’t think my perspective is going to be much different from anyone else from the Midwest or east coast, who even if they don’t need a double-connection, is still more efficient going via the EU. Even from California, probably debatable whether via SEA is more efficient than, HKG or SIN (plus better service on CX or SQ).

    I realize I’m not going to make or break this flight, but every little bit is going to be needed for this flight to survive, and they’re certainly not going to get business from this traveler to BLR, not I’d guess many people like me.

  21. I’m flying AA 712 LAX-SEA on March 4 which is an A319 so they do use regular narrowbody mainline aircraft occasionally.

  22. I am amazed how people still think India is only about DEL and BOM! Anybody who knows enough about the Indian diaspora in the US would understand how big a market BLR is & how relevant a non-stop to BLR is. SEA is the only city where a route to BLR will work non-stop without payload restrictions and DL’s feed in SEA is not enough for it to try the route – AA is just giving it a try, that’s it; and most probably with some contracts. Whether it is going to be successful remains to be seen – and you wouldn’t know it unless you try it.

    And on the other hand, there are some people who want to say this route is going to fail only because it is AA who is launching it. Somehow if DL were to launch this, they would be singing praises that it is a brilliant move and that people will go to BLR only to fly this flight.

  23. @Jon – AI flies BLR-MLE nonstop, it’s probably 2 hours. I think SpiceJet also used to fly it, but appears not anymore (and I would definitely stay away from them, anyway). It would be an overnight connection for sure on the way in, and not sure what the connectivity would be like getting back to SEA.

    @KS – I certainly understand there is much more to India than BOM/DEL – like I said, I fly to BLR about once a year (though sometimes MAA). I don’t know that the traffic is there from SEA though – whoever is trying to fly it. If DLs feed to SEA isn’t enough for them to try the route, have no idea why AA thinks they would have the feed for it (even with AS). I wouldn’t say DL would have much better odds. I’d say better odds would be for UA to try SFO-BLR, but I don’t know enough about what aircraft could make it without weight restrictions – I suspect you’d need a 350ULR or something, obviously, UA doesn’t/won’t have any of those.

  24. All United has to do is retime their SFO-DEL flight to allow a connection on to BLR. They could charter a private jet even at the current times to allow connections and succeed at pulling off all of the high value connections that AA is supposedly going after.
    Any number of other airlines that fly to both SFO or SEA and BLR could do the same; and there are still connections via Europe or the Middle East that could be priced such that the AA service can’t succeed.
    Do you think that Emirates isn’t just a tad motivated with AA’s decision to partner with Qatar?

    There are way too many competitive responses that could sink this flight; add in that AA is dependent on AS for much of its feed and is essentially raiding both UA and DL’s west coast to Asia hubs and it is hard to understand why anyone, esp. AA management, thinks this could succeed.

    As usual, though, AA can’t get fares and profits comparable to DL and UA out of most of its international route network outside of London and Tokyo so they keep moving around aircraft. It is becoming increasingly obvious that the only non-Tokyo/London flights that work are out of DFW. Problem is that you can’t be a global airline if your international network is just centered on DFW.

  25. @Lucky says: The route is launching on October 25, 2020, and will operate with the following schedule:

    No mention if it is daily or specific days per week.

  26. Don’t forget, Alaskan will feed a lot of people into Seattle for this flight. Taking out the business aspects, India has a billion people and there are huge amounts of Indians in the US and west coast who will most likely connect to this flight via Alaskan.

  27. I give this route 1 year before they pull the plug. I guess Doug is testing the board of directors if they really want to fire him.

  28. Sure, Alaska will feed to the flight, but not clear its an efficient for most people (of course, depending on where you are coming from).

    Sure, from elsewhere on the west coast, where you need a connection anyway, it might make as much or even more sense (California outside of SFO/LAX, PDX, smaller cities in WA/OR, etc.). But even from LAX/SFO, its unclear why going via SEA would be more efficient than, say, other one-stop option on CX or SQ (or even the ME 3 – and all those carriers tend to be better than AA). From the other parts of the country (east coast, most of the south, and even midwest), it probably makes much more sense to go east via the EU – lots of connections via FRA, CDG, AMS, etc.).

  29. As people are doubting on this flight to work always forget to go to airport and see the queue for Singapore airlines, Cathay pacific departing from SFO, SEA and YVR – and you will find many indians (in some seasons more than 70% of the flight is dominated by indian origins) similar trend i saw during CX flight out of JFK where 40% traffic was indian origin even though there are ME carriers and shorter routes to go to india
    few things for AA to point out – if they allow more than 2 bags to check in for economy, they will get the business from ME Carriers (CX Did that promotion during past fall from all major gateway to india)
    pricing to compete with Asian carriers, no need to worry about ME Carriers since the flight time is same
    and people who knows how bad is to transit through CDG will always avoid Air france & Delta ( with family it is hassle to go through the security again – i have done this even when i was in business, and plane was parked in remote area at CDG)
    so this route will work surely, but others will realize that there is beyond BOM & DEL to serve directly and get feed
    (remember AI has direct London-Ahmadabad and has never seen empty)

  30. According to the other post AA only has one remaining destination in Asia…NRT. I conclude from this that Bengaluru is in Europe.

  31. India is really…. gonna be about DEL and BLR from US West Coast.

    You have to remember, that Asia is industrialziing at an accelerated rate. Before we go into China and India, we will welcome Japan (besides Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya), South Korea (besides Seoul), Taiwan, Singapore (besides working adults travelling for work). Singapore’s Singaporean outbound market will go from 35 million to 150 million by 2028 eventually due to per capita trips increase and need to become mega city to escape irrelevance.

    Hong Kong’s baby boomer and gen X populations are declining at accelerated rates because of the trend of migration. Yes, Hong Kongers are literally dying out from old age.

    Long story short, we need to plan for airspace usage of Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia and South Asia being as 1 to 2 billion population each.

  32. On SEA, Delta previously explained it somewhere…

    The A330-900neos reach all of Asia from SEA. They do not need to use the A350. From SEA, they do not need to buy ULH planes to serve Asia. And there are A LOT of cities to eventually serve. Also, the A321XLR reaches much of Northeast Asia from there.

    SFO is fine, but once ex-SFO, United can’t do anything much with A321XLR. They can however, reach all of Asia with A330-900neo and A330-800neo, which is why they continue to look at it. United is determined to serve Asia, dressing itself using the benchmark of SQ, to compete. And that means heavier planes, and with those addons, the 787 payload drops out.

    AA CZ plans are probably the most interesting one. But you ought to know, SEA-OVB., SEA-VVO, SEA-HRB, SEA-SHE will make a lot of sense. These can be reached with narrowbody.

  33. I feel the majority of those flying SEA-India will generally fly EK, BA, LH, CX, SQ. AA can’t compete with their inconsistent service. I have several friends who travel to India regularly & don’t mind the transfer to break the long trip up & receive good inflight service for the most part.
    This all seems very random on AA’s part as well as flying it daily. Hmmm.

  34. not sure about the revenue, payload, etc. but one thing is for sure…that this route will be a flop if AA treats passengers the way they treated on their Chicago to Delhi flights. I flew on that route 5-6 times, and even in Business Class, the service, the meal options, etc. were PATHETIC. The flight attendants were mighty rude (borderline could care less about their passengers), made little to no effort in understanding the dietary requirements for Indian passengers and overtly dismissive. The route will not fail on account of revenue. The route will fail on account of American Airlines’ terrible service. Off-course, in classic fashion, AA will blame it on lack on revenue blah blah blah!!!!

  35. I can’t see this flight on aa.com anymore. I was looking forward to using this flight.

    I learnt something that the H1B visa holders probably already knew. Some of them cannot fly to India via Europe because of visa issues and for them this would’ve been a great alternate. This would have been the only US to Blr direct flight and I would have used it every time and was looking forward to it. Does anyone have an update on what happened to this schedule.

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