Vistara and United launched a new codeshare relationship in mid-2019, with United fliers being able to further take on flights on Vistara inside India with a United code on the flight.
Now, Vistara and United have initiated the next level of their partnership. With effect from February 1, 2020, both the airlines are going to enable their own frequent flyer programme members to earn and redeem miles on the other’s network.
Earning Club Vistara points on United flights
Here is the earning chart if you want to earn miles on Vistara for your United marketed and operated flights. These can be any United flights, for instance, between Newark and San Francisco, as long as one of the following fare classes are booked.
Earning United Mileage Plus points on Vistara flights
On the other hand, this is the earning chart if as a United Mileage Plus member, you choose to credit your Vistara flights to your United account. The same RBDs are eligible for earning at the same number of % of flown miles.
However, if you are flying Vistara with a United codeshare ticket, you get Award miles per the following formula.
Redeeming Club Vistara points on United flights
For redeeming United flights with Club Vistara points, here is the partner award chart. Screenshot enclosed below. The territory definitions are in the PDF, but Z09 is North America subdivided into three zones. These are one-way economy class flight prices in ‘000s of Club Vistara points. For Business Class, you need to pay 4X of these prices. You need to call Club Vistara to redeem miles for United flights.
India to USA non-stop flights on United, in this case, will cost 80,000 Club Vistara points for Economy and 3,20,000 Club Vistara points for Business Class (United Polaris on the Newark routes).
Redeeming United Mileage Plus miles on Vistara flights
For redeeming United miles on Vistara flights is easier and cheaper. You can redeem miles on United.Com logged into the United Mileage Plus account. I started looking for domestic tickets. While earlier I could get Air India tickets, I can now get United to redeem for Vistara flights as well. For instance, for Mumbai – Delhi flights, you can pay 8000 miles and USD 4.5 (INR 320) for the flight. Business Class is much more expensive at 35,000 miles (more than 4X). Premium Economy is not available for redemption. You can also access the regional network of Vistara using the online redemption option.
The partnership between Vistara and United offers a lot of value to the frequent flyer programme members of both airlines, more to the members of Vistara than United. United members already had Star Alliance member Air India to offer redemptions on, but for Vistara members this is a huge win because they can now earn and burn miles in more ways than earlier. There is no elite-partnership yet, and it does not even have to be, because there is no status sharing between the two airlines at the moment. On the value of the redemptions, I think they are alright, but I will give it another pass later as well to see how this works deeper when back in Mumbai.
What do you make out of the United Vistara partnership on the frequent flyer front?