Moving to Kolkata from Houston, Texas/need advice on choosing airline and class

#1 Mar 8th, 2014, 15:45
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  • ksh58 is offline
#1
Hello! This is my first post on India Mike. Thank you so much in advance for any advice you can give me, someone who has done very little international air travel.

I will be moving to Kolkata within the next few months to join my fiance at his home, so at least I don't have to worry about finding accommodations!

He seems to be assuming that economy class is the only way to go, but I cringe when I think of such a long flight in such cramped conditions. I know that business class costs a lot more (although I don't know HOW much more--and from articles I've read so far, it sounds like the fare difference can vary quite a bit depending on which airline you use). I'm 55 years old, trying to recover from fractures in my ankle and foot (this has already delayed my move--we had wanted for me to be able to arrive in Kolkata two or three months ago, when the weather would have been more hospitable), and I have neuropathy, especially in my legs. Is there enough of a difference in legroom, etc., to warrant considering the more expensive business class, considering these ailments of mine?

I live in Houston, Texas (USA) and am assuming at this point that I will depart from Houston. That's my preference, in any case. I guess I'd also prefer to land in Kolkata, rather than making my fiance meet me in another city, or my having to travel alone by some other means from another city to Kolkata. What airlines/routes do you think I should consider?

Also, I only have a tourist visa (six months), even though we are planning to marry soon after I get to Kolkata, and I plan to stay there permanently. My fiance's lawyer has already fixed up the papers to allow us to get a registry marriage, and my fiance has said that once I am there and we are married, we will be able to arrange for me to stay there permanently and legally. (I don't yet know quite how that works.) But since currently I do have only a tourist visa, do I have to buy a round-trip ticket when I book my flight? Is there a way to get around that? I hope so, since I certainly won't be needing to fly back to the States within that six-month time frame.

Sorry about my total ignorance. I have tried to research on my own, but I am getting overwhelmed! Thank you so much for any info anyone can offer. I'm so glad I came across this site!

Cheers,
Karen
#2 Mar 8th, 2014, 16:16
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  • theyyamdancer is offline
#2
Hello Karen,
I have just googled Emirates flight Houston -> Dubai; and Dubai -> Kolkata.

If you take Economy it would cost 1120 US $ in April:

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If you take the same dates for a single trip in April and fly Business class, it costs more than 8000 US $.


Factor in that you can probably save money by buying a return flight.

This is just an example - you can probably find much cheaper flights.


Welcome to IndiaMike by the way.
#3 Mar 8th, 2014, 18:38
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  • nycank is offline
#3
You have a handicap, a recovering situation from a multiple injury; you want to fly in May ? June ? one-way business ?

Well, out of Houston, a two stop fare is going to be anywhere between $3800+ to $5800+ Air India being the cheapest solution. United and Cathay slightly more expensive.

What you'd get if you choose any is the following: Access to business lounge between stops. If you ask for assistance you will get wheelchair assistance. Most carrier have flatbed or near flatbed in Business Class. One way coach/economy much cheaper. Not all carriers have Prem-Economy with more legroom all the way to Kolkatta.
#4 Mar 8th, 2014, 18:47
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  • ViShVa is offline
#4
@nycank

Will the airline allow her to board with a one-way ticket on a tourist visa?

Air India DEL>NRT business class seats were atrocious. Not flat-bed at all. Just slightly wider than normal.

Surely wheelchair help is available for economy passengers too.
#5 Mar 8th, 2014, 19:25
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  • ycl1688 is offline
#5
in april,
Economy from houston to kolkata $815 Business 9x the with economy fare.
Ask for a exit door row seat will be better.

From: To: Departing: Cabin Class: Passengers:
Houston (IAH) Kolkata / Calcutta (CCU) Tue, 01 Apr 2014 Economy 1

Outbound: Houston to Kolkata /Tue, 01 Apr 2014Total Time: 20:20 hrs

QR 714
Houston (IAH)
Tue, 01 Apr 2014 19:50
Terminal D Doha (DOH)
Wed, 02 Apr 2014 18:25
Economy (Q) Qatar Airways
Time between sectors : 50 mins
QR 546
A320-100/200 Doha (DOH)
Wed, 02 Apr 2014 19:15
Terminal 2 Kolkata (CCU)

One Way Trip
DepartHouston (IAH)to Kolkata (CCU)
Tue, 01 Apr 2014Dep: 19:50, Arrive: 02:40 +2 day(s)
#6 Mar 9th, 2014, 06:36
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  • ksh58 is offline
#6
Hello, Theyyamdancer, glad to meet you! Thank you so much for your reply, and for taking the trouble to look up that info!

Wow, that's quite the price difference between economy and business class -- well, economy class, here I come! Thank you for taking one of my major questions completely off the table. One fewer decision to make -- a good thing, as I hate making decisions!

After speaking with my fiance earlier today, I don't think I'll have to compare and contrast airlines, either. His uncle made a suggestion that makes sense to me: he suggested that I take Emirates Air. He said that on Emirates, I can depart from right here in Houston, fly to Dubai and have a substantial break there, after which I'd have a relatively quick flight (he said he thinks about four hours) to Kolkata. I haven't checked out the particulars yet, but this sounds very appealing to me for several reasons. For one thing, it would be nice to be able to freshen up before meeting my fiance in Kolkata. I might even change into a sari during that break -- I'd love to surprise him by greeting him at the airport in a sari, something I probably wouldn't wear for a very long flight, since I'm not used to wearing one. (Sorry for the rambling and babbling. I guess it's obvious that I'm excited about this trip, especially reaching my destination! )

Now I just need to find the best deal I can for Emirates Air -- kayak.com, or is there a better one to use?

So my last remaining question concerns buying a round-trip ticket (since I have only a six-month tourist visa at present, but will actually be staying in Kolkata permanently and will not want to fly back to the States within six months).

Hi nycank, thank you so much for your reply.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nycank View Post You have a handicap, a recovering situation from a multiple injury; you want to fly in May ? June ? one-way business ?
I guess "handicap" might be too strong a word, but yes, I'm recovering from some fractures in my right foot and ankle. I am wearing a boot-like, brace sort of thing that makes walking much less uncomfortable and keeps my foot and ankle relatively immobile. The other problem I mentioned, the neuropathy (for which my doctors can't find a cause -- maybe eventually a doctor in Kolkata will be of more help, but don't get me started on the subject of doctors!) can be pretty maddening at times, especially if I can't get up and walk around occasionally. I have made a definite decision now to take economy class (please see my reply to theyyamdancer) and not business class, as neither my fiance nor I has thousands of extra dollars lying around that we don't need -- my jaw dropped when I saw how much more expensive business class is! I'm not certain yet when to leave, but I'm thinking that the earliest would be mid-April and the latest would be mid-May. And I would like to get a one-way ticket, but don't know whether there's any problem doing that since I currently have only a tourist visa.

Quote:
Well, out of Houston, a two stop fare is going to be anywhere between $3800+ to $5800+ Air India being the cheapest solution. United and Cathay slightly more expensive.

What you'd get if you choose any is the following: Access to business lounge between stops. If you ask for assistance you will get wheelchair assistance. Most carrier have flatbed or near flatbed in Business Class. One way coach/economy much cheaper. Not all carriers have Prem-Economy with more legroom all the way to Kolkatta.
Thank you so much for all the information!

Hello ViShVa, so happy to meet you (and everyone who has so kindly responded to my long and rambling post)! Thank you so much for replying, and for all the info. BTW, I don't think I would need wheelchair assistance -- I am hoping, however, that I'll be fortunate enough to not be trampled by impatient fellow travellers, as I may be moving a bit more slowly than they are.

Hello ycl1688, happy to meet you. Thank you so much for responding and for all the info!
Last edited by JuliaF; Mar 9th, 2014 at 14:05.. Reason: merged posts
#7 Mar 9th, 2014, 09:53
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  • ksh58 is offline
#7
Well, I posted (or thought I did) a pretty long reply to this hours ago, but it hasn't shown up ...
Cheers,
Karen

"There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest."
Elie Wiesel
#8 Mar 9th, 2014, 14:06
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  • JuliaF is offline
#8
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksh58 View Post Well, I posted (or thought I did) a pretty long reply to this hours ago, but it hasn't shown up ...
Your post was held up for moderation. This sometimes happens to new members' posts and you would have been notified of that. It has now been approved and is published above.
#9 Mar 10th, 2014, 15:09
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  • nycank is offline
#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by ViShVa View Post @nycank

Will the airline allow her to board with a one-way ticket on a tourist visa?
For a one-way Business fare ? Sure !

Oops: The OP has decided, both the class fare, and the airline. Nothing much one can do when relatives decide what's best

As an well known entity once summed CCU/Bengalis as - Cholbe Na ! Sob Janta Hai (Will not happen, [I] Know everything )
Last edited by nycank; Mar 10th, 2014 at 15:23.. Reason: Did not read OP's other post

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