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Air India is the country’s oldest airline company and serves many domestic and international destinations. The airline has an impressive fleet of Boeing and Airbus aircraft serving more than 102 destinations globally across 5 continents. In 2014, the airline became a Star Alliance member, putting it in partnership with some of the largest airlines in the world. Air India’s Flying Returns, its frequent flyer program, is among the region’s most rewarding programs. You earn FR points whenever you fly on an Air India operated or Star Alliance member flight.

Not only do you earn, but you can also redeem your FR points on Air India and partner airline flights. In this article, we will take a look at all the details surrounding the Air India Flying Returns program, including reward earning, status tier, tier benefits, and more.

Air India Flying Returns Programme

Table of Contents

Best Credit Cards to Earn Air India Flying Returns Points

Air India SBI Signature credit card

(4.3/5)

Joining Fee

Rs. 4,999 + GST

Renewal Fee

Rs. 4,999 + GST

Best Suited For

Travel

Reward Type

Reward Points

Welcome Benefits

You will get 20,000 reward points in the form of a welcome benefit.

The Air India SBI Signature credit card is one of the two co-branded cards offered by SBI in collaboration with Air India. It offers some decent reward points and add-on travel privileges to cardholders. You get a complimentary membership of Air India’s Flying Returns loyalty program with the card and a complimentary Priority Pass membership as well. You get 20,000 Reward points as a welcome benefit with the card and 5000 reward points as a card anniversary gift. Being an Air India co-branded card, you get accelerated reward points on booking your Air India tickets, as well as 4 reward points on every spend of Rs. 100 on retail.

  • 20,000 reward points as a welcome benefit
  • 5000 reward points as an anniversary gift
  • Up to a maximum of 1,00,000 reward points on achieving spend-based milestones
  • 30 reward points per Rs. 100 spent on Air India ticket booking via Air India
  • 4 reward points per Rs. 100 spent on retail spends
Air India SBI Platinum Credit Card

(4.1/5)

Joining Fee

Rs. 1,499 + GST

Renewal Fee

Rs. 1,499 + GST

Best Suited For

Travel

Reward Type

Reward Points

Welcome Benefits

5,000 reward points after paying the joining fee (credited within 15 days from the date of payment)

The second co-branded credit card by SBI Bank and Air India, the Platinum variant, caters to the mid-level segment and has a lower annual fee than the Signature variant. Again, the card comes with a host of travel privileges and offers accelerated reward points on Air India ticket bookings.

  • 5000 reward points as a welcome benefit
  • 2000 reward points as an anniversary gift
  • Up to a maximum of 15,000 reward points on achieving spend-based milestones
  • 15 reward points per Rs. 100 spent on Air India ticket booking via Air India
  • 2 reward points per Rs. 100 spent on retail spends
Axis Bank Magnus Credit Card

(4.6/5)

Joining Fee

Rs. 12,500 + GST

Renewal Fee

Rs. 12,500 + GST

Best Suited For

Travel | Dining | Shopping

Reward Type

Reward Points

Welcome Benefits

Choose a gift voucher worth Rs. 12,500 from any one of Luxe, Yatra, or Postcard Hotels

The Magnus credit card is a high-end offering from Axis Bank. You can obtain this card by paying a joining fee of Rs. 12,500, and you will receive vouchers worth the same amount as a welcome benefit. As a cardholder, you will have access to both domestic and international lounges at airports. Additionally, premium customers can make international transactions at a low Forex markup fee of 2%.

ICICI Bank Emeralde Private Credit Card

(4.6/5)

Joining Fee

Rs. 12,499 + GST

Renewal Fee

Rs. 12,499 + GST

Best Suited For

Travel

Reward Type

Reward Points

Welcome Benefits

Complimentary Taj Epicure membership, 12,500 bonus reward points, and complimentary EazyDiner membership

The ICICI Bank Emeralde Private Metal credit card is a new addition to ICICI Bank’s super-premium category. It requires a joining fee of Rs. 12,499 plus taxes. The card is made of metal and comes with a range of exclusive lifestyle and travel features for the cardholder. Upon signing up, you will receive a complimentary Taj Epicure membership for one year, an EazyDiner Prime membership, and a bonus of 12,500 reward points.

  • 6 ICICI Reward Points per Rs. 200 spent on retail, grocery, education, and insurance.
  • Unlimited complimentary golf rounds and lessons at top courses around the world.
  • Get unlimited international lounge access with the Priority Pass.
HSBC Premier Metel Credit Card

(4.4/5)

Joining Fee

Rs. 12,000 + GST

Renewal Fee

Rs. 20,000 + GST

Best Suited For

Shopping

Reward Type

Reward Points

Welcome Benefits

Complimentary Epicure and EazyDiner Prime Membership. Taj Experiences Gift Card Worth Rs. 12,000

The Premier Metal Credit Card is an exclusive offering by HSBC for its customers who maintain a Premier relationship with the bank in India. As introductory benefits, the customers can get a complimentary Taj Epicure and EazyDiner membership along with gift vouchers from Taj worth Rs. 12,000. The card earns you reward points at a decent rate that are redeemable against various products and airline miles.

Axis Bank Atlas Credit Card

(4.5/5)

Joining Fee

Rs. 5,000 + GST

Renewal Fee

Rs. 5,000 + GST

Best Suited For

Travel

Reward Type

Reward Points

Welcome Benefits

2,500 Edge Miles on Completing 1 Transaction Within 37 Days of Card Issuance

The Atlas credit card is widely known as one of the most rewarding credit cards in India. By using the Atlas card, you can earn accelerated reward points when booking hotels and flights. Moreover, the Atlas Card offers a host of travel benefits, such as complimentary access to both domestic and international airport lounges, higher reward rates on foreign currency transactions, and even a complimentary airport concierge service.

Credit Cards Reward Points to Air India Points Conversion Ratio

Credit Card Reward Points Earning Transfer Ratio Effective Reward Rate
Air India SBI Signature Credit Card 30 RPs/₹100 Spent on Air India Tickets 1:1 30% on Air India Ticket Booking via the Official Website/App
Air India SBI Platinum Credit Card 15 RPs/₹100 Spent on Air India Tickets 1:1 15% on Air India Ticket Booking via the Official Website/App
Magnus Credit Card 12 EDGE RPs/₹200 Up to Rs. 1.5 Lakh and 35 EDGE RPs/₹200 on Spends Above ₹1.5 Lakh 5:2 6% Up to ₹1.5 Lakh and 17.5% Above Spends of ₹1.5 Lakh
Emeralde Private Metal Credit Card 6 Reward Points/₹200 1:1 3%
HSBC Premier 3 Reward Points/₹100 1:1 3%
Atlas Credit Card 5 Edge Miles/₹100 on Flight/Hotel Bookings 1:2 5%

Flying Returns Elite Status Tiers

When you join the Flying Returns loyalty program, you are automatically given the Red status tier. As you fly more, you are upgraded to the Premium Status Tier. In order to get a tier upgrade, you have to earn a certain number of Status FR points within 12 months.

Status Tier FR Points Needed OR Flight Requirement
Red
Silver  15,000 (4,500 Tier Points Earned Through Air India ) 30 (Minimum 4 of Air India)
Gold  30,000 (4,500 Tier Points Earned Through Air India ) 60 (Minimum 8 of Air India)
Platinum 45,000 (4,500 Tier Points Earned Through Air India ) 90 (Minimum 12 of Air India)

When you become a member of the Premium status tiers, you get access to many features and benefits for the following year. These include bonus FR points, extra cabin and checked baggage allowance, dedicated check-in counters, upgrade vouchers, priority check-in and boarding, etc.

Air India FLYING RETURNS POINTS

Here are all the benefits of different status tiers with Air India Flying Returns.

Red

  • Spend points for reward flights & cabin upgrades.
  • Everygreen points.
  • Earn points on all spends at Air India and partner airlines.

Silver 

  • All benefits of Red tier.
  • Dedicated customer support.
  • Priority privileges.

Gold

  • All benefits of the Silver tier.
  • Vouchers for upgrade.
  • Complimentary lounge access.

Platinum

  • All benefits of the Gold tier.
  • Fly early benefit.
  • Seat selection privileges.
  • Changes and cancellation fee waivers.

How to Earn Air India Flying Return Points?

Here is how you can earn Air India FR Points:

By Flying With Air India or Partner Airlines

Whenever you fly on a domestic or international route on an Air India flight, you earn Flying Returns (FR) points, and you receive more points based on the length of your flight route. Also, the higher your fare class, the more points you earn for your travel. As Air India is a Star Alliance member, you also earn FR points by flying on any of the Star Alliance member airlines flights.

By Converting Your Credit Card Reward Points

You can convert the reward points earned on your select SBI, Axis, HSBC, and Citibank credit cards to Air India FR points at a fixed ratio. If you are a frequent traveler, you can get rewarded for your everyday spends through your credit card and then convert your reward points to air miles.

How to Redeem Air India Flying Returns Points to Book Flights?

Once you have earned Air India FR points, the next step is to redeem your points for flights. You must be a member of the Air India Flying Returns program in order to claim your miles and redeem them for award flights. FR points needed to redeem different fare class flights are as follows –

  • Business Class – 2 times the points needed for Economy class.
  • First Class – 2.5 times the points required for Economy class.

Flight redemption using FR points is based on your flight route, and more points are needed to book higher-fare class flights. You can check the required points on Air India’s official points calculator. The following are the top routes for travelers to redeem Flying Returns points.

  • Delhi to Leh – 8,000 Points
  • Delhi to Mumbai – 5,000 Points
  • Mumbai to Kolkata – 6,000 Points
  • Chennai to Jodhpur – 1,500 Points

You can also use your FR points to book Star Alliance member airlines award flights based on the Star Alliance Award Chart. Redemption depends on the availability of seats on your designated flight and the booking class. Moreover, you can also redeem your FR points to upgrade your eligible tickets on international and domestic flights. The points required to upgrade the fare class depend on the booking class of your Economy class ticket. For Star Alliance upgrades, it depends on the booked RBD and the partner airline in that situation.

Booking Air India Flight via FR Points

Booking Air India Flight via FR Points

  • Log in to your Flying Returns account.

Flying Returns Login Page

  • You will reach your Account Summary page. Go to the Points box and click on Book a Flight.

Air India Account Summary page

  • In the flight search box, enter your arrival and departure location, date of travel, and other details, and then search for flights.

Air India ONLINE FLIGHT BOOKING

  • You will see all available flights on your chosen date, along with the total miles required to book the flight.

Select Departure Flight

  • Click on the flight you want to book to check out its details and the available fare class options with the points requirement. Select the fare class you wish to book and continue with the booking.

How to Book Air India Flights Using Partner Airlines’ Miles

As we already know, Air India is a member of the Star Alliance, and you can book Air India-operated flights using partner airlines’ miles as well. We’ll talk about the leading airlines that allow you to book Air India flights –

United Airlines

  • Visit the United Airlines website and Sign in to your United MileagePlus account.

Check United Airlines website

  • Enter the departure and arrival location, date of travel, and other details, then search for Flights.

departure and arrival location page

  • You will see all the available flights on your chosen dates, including from partner airlines. You can even see options that include flight itineraries from Air India, Vistara, and more.
  • You can also check out the 30-day calendar to search for all flights during that month.

Check Flexible dates

  • The total miles required to book the flight, along with other taxes and fees, are given in front of the flight.
  • Click on any flight to check out its details and proceed with the booking using your United Miles.

Fill Traveler Details

Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines website

  • Click on Book Trip and then check the Redeem flights box.
  • Next, choose the Show Flight for Star Alliance option to view flights operated by members, including Air India.
  • You will see all the available flights for your chosen date and can even search for other flights during that week. The miles required to book the flight are given in front of the flight.

Singapore Airlines booking page

  • Click on any flight to check out its details and proceed to book it using your KrisFlyer Miles.

Turkish Airlines

Turkish Airlines website

  • Log into your Turkish Miles and Smiles account.

Turkish Airlines login page

  • Click on Award ticket – Buy a ticket with Miles.

Turkish Airlines flight booking

  • Next, click on Book Now under the Star Alliance award ticket box.
  • Enter your departure and arrival location, date of travel, and other details to search for available flights. You can choose between Economy Class and Business Class for the results.
  • You will see all available flights by Air India and other Star Alliance members for your chosen date, along with the Miles required to book the flight. Click on Select this flight to proceed to the next step.

Check Turkish Airlines flight duration and timing

  • You will see the flight details along with the taxes to be paid in cash for booking the flight. Click on Continue to finalize the booking using your Turkish Miles.

Check Turkish Airlines flight payment page

Conclusion

Air India is one of India’s largest airlines, and being part of the Star Alliance, it operates flights to a number of locations across the globe. Its frequent flyer program, Flying Returns, is highly rewarding, and you can earn FR points on your travels on both Air India and Star Alliance member airlines flights. Additionally, you can even transfer your credit card reward points to Air India FR points at a fixed conversion rate if you are a frequent traveler and want to maximize the benefits of your reward points.

The FR points earned by you can be redeemed for Air India as well as partner airlines award flights. Also, you can upgrade your award flight class using your FR points if you want. You can book award flights through the official Air India website for domestic and international flights.

Not only this, as Air India is a Star Alliance member, you can book Air India award flights via United Airlines, Avianca Airlines, Turkish Airlines, and other partner airlines using their loyalty program reward points or air miles as well. Make the most of your air miles and redeem as many flights as you can.

FAQs:

The following are the best credit cards to earn Air India points in India -
  • Air India SBI Signature Credit Card
  • Air India SBI Platinum Credit Card
  • HSBC Premier Credit Card
  • ICICI Emerald Private Metal Credit Card
You can earn Air India Flying Returns points in the following ways -
  • By flying on Air India or its partner airline flights.
  • By converting your credit card reward points.
When you join the Flying Returns loyalty program, you are automatically given Member status, and as you fly more, you are upgraded to the Premium Status Tiers. In order to get a tier upgrade, you have to earn a certain number of Status FR points within 12 months.
  • Red
  • Silver - 15,000 (4,500 Tier Points Earned Through Air India )
  • Gold - 30,000 (4,500 Tier Points Earned Through Air India )
  • Platinum - 45,000 (4,500 Tier Points Earned Through Air India )
Yes, you can redeem your FR points to redeem a Delhi to Toronto Air India flight. You need 80010 FR points for an Economy class ticket and 160020 FR points for a Business class ticket.
Follow these steps to book an Air India flight using FR points -
  • Visit the official website of Air India and log in to your Flying Returns account.
  • You will reach your Account Summar page. Go to the Points box and click on Book a Flight.
  • In the flight search box, enter your arrival and departure location, date of travel, and other details, and then search for flights.
  • You will see all available flights on your chosen date, along with the total miles required to book the flight.
  • Click on the flight you want to book to check out its details and the available fare class options with the points requirement. Select the fare class you wish to book and continue with the booking.
Air India is a Star Alliance member, and you can book its flights using partner airline miles. The following airlines miles can be used to book flights -
  • United Airlines
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Avianca Airlines
  • Turkish Airlines
  • Air Canada

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