Citibank India to devalue reward points for airmile transfers from 1 Sept’12

If you use a ‘regular’ credit card, i.e., not a mileage earning one or a co-branded card from Citibank, you are most probably earning reward points for your transactions on the card. Now, while most people like to use these reward points for ordering shopping vouchers or gifts from their rewards catalogue, all my reward points are usually transferred to my  mileage accounts with one or the other airlines. Citibank offers the capability to convert these reward points to airmiles on Jet Privilege and Air India Flying Returns. They are now going to reduce the number of miles offered per reward point with effect from 1st September 2012 on these regular credit cards. As per the conversion chart posted on…

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Go Goaah: Park Hyatt Goa Resort & Spa

Park Hyatt Goa Resort & Spa Alila Diwa, Goa June – September is the time of the year when I am inclined to take a vacation with friends in Goa. The peak Goa season is over in March (starts from October when all the tourists arrive!). The idea is to spend time with close friends and shut down my mental machinery for a few days, also the Goa weather in June-August is marvellous, with the rains. This time around, the destination was going to be the Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa, partly thanks to my Hyatt Diamond status last year. We were a bunch of six-eight friends who were going to be going over, so I booked three standard…

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Club Carlson Redemptions for 50% off in Europe, Africa and Middle East

A reader Neet left a comment on my recent blogpost about my stays for the Club Carlson Giveaway 2012. I am taking Ma and Pa to Europe in September and took advantage of the 50% off redemptions for Radisson Blu (their best hotel) in Sweden, Hungary and Switzerland. You should check it out and redeem if you can, here’s the link – http://www.clubcarlson.com/offers/5313887 (emphasis mine) Since I did not know of any particular new promotions on Club Carlson which offered this 50% off redemption rate, I clicked away to find out what is on offer. Here is what I saw… Hotels in Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Ethopia, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland,…

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Earn double Avios for your flights from India on British Airways

British Airways is offering double Avios for all return flights booked from India to London and one additional onward sector (and back) for all bookings made on BA between July 19 to August 19, 2012 to commemorate the Olympics, travel can commence anytime on or before October 31st to avail of this offer. And this seems stackable with the British Airways faresale I wrote about yesterday (valid only till tonight!) BA is frequently criticised for the high fuel surcharges on award redemptions for its flights, sometimes the cost of a ticket itself. However, it also provides great value in short segment travel. As per the terms and conditions of the offer, members can avail the double Avios on return bookings…

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And now, the new Lufthansa business class on Mumbai–Munich from September 6, 2012

Lufthansa clearly seems to be looking at India as one of the markets they want to dish out a good treatment to. After bringing on the new Boeing 747-8i to Delhi (from Frankfurt) as its second destination globally and first in Asia from August 6, now Lufthansa is upgrading its Mumbai service as well. Later in the year Lufthansa will also put the Boeing 748 on the famous Silicon Valley Express route (FRA-BLR). Back to the Mumbai service, Lufthansa is introducing a retrofitted A330-300 on the Munich-Mumbai-Munich daily service which will have the brand new business class product that everyone has been talking about so much. This one is going to be available on Munich-Mumbai from September 2, and Mumbai-Munich…

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British Airways sale upto 27 July 2012 from India to London, Virgin Atlantic is matching

British Airways is offering a 3-day sale from all its Indian ports to London for booking till midnight of 27th July 2012, where it is offering flights from upwards of Rs. 52,000 for a round trip to London. The fare is valid on a 7-day advance fare booking. I looked up the fare on their website, and it does look lucrative as compared to the regular British Airways fares from Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai. And they are not alone, seems like Virgin Atlantic has matched them on this route. Here is a screenshot of a sample fare from ITA for a Mumbai-London flight in November 2012, and Virgin Atlantic with their new product on the Airbus 330 will…

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So how did I fare with the Club Carlson Giveaway 2012?

Like almost all of the travel blogging community would have told you, Club Carlson’s 2012 promos were bigger and better than the 2011 promo which focussed on the Radisson properties in the USA only. I was one of them too. And they went all guns blazing to dole out points. Potentially, this summer everyone has the opportunity to register and earn up to 188,000 Club Carlson GoldPoints in their own name by participating in the promo for their four brands, and they could stay at any property around the world. I registered my entire family for the first three promotions: Radisson, Country Inn and Park Inn. However, we were clearly not going to be staying 12 nights (4 family members…

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Air Mantra takes wings in North India

Air Mantra, a regional carrier, took wings with its first flights on the Amritsar – Chandigarh and return segments yesterday (23rd July). Owned by the Religare guys, Air Mantra is taking a vastly different strategy so far in terms of airlines currently operating in India, by operating very small planes on routes which connect smaller cities and avoiding the trunk routes altogether. The airline has been assigned the IATA code of M1, although I cannot seem to find their registered code on the IATA website, and they were granted a scheduled operator permit on 1st June 2012. The airline is using turboprop Beechcraft 1900D planes, of which it has 2 of these currently to serve routes which would not be…

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A Thai Vacay: The Millennium Hilton, Bangkok

Introduction Check-in: British Airways Galleries Lounge, Mumbai Check-in: Clipper Lounge First Class, Mumbai Airborne: Flight CX 750 (BOM-BKK), Cathay Pacific, Economy Millennium Hilton Hotel, Bangkok Around Bangkok Hilton Hotel, Pattaya Around Pattaya Radisson Suites, Bangkok Check-in: Japan Airlines Sakura Lounge, Bangkok Check-in: British Airways/Qantas First Class Lounge, Bangkok Check-in: Cathay Pacific First & Business Class Lounge, Bangkok Airborne: Flight CX 709 (BKK-BOM), Cathay Pacific, Economy Conclusion I arrived at the Central Pier of Bangkok using a mix of the airport express train system of the city, and switched to the Bangkok Mass Transport System later. Our hotel was located across the Chao Phraya river that runs through the city and put us towards the western end of the city and…

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The Jet Airways Walt Disney livery in the making

If Eva Air’s Hello Kitty airplane fascinates you, recently Walt Disney India went out to collaborate with Jet Airways to do something similar. For a whole month, a Jet Airways Boeing 737-800 (VT-JGC) will be flying around wrapped with Disney characters. Here is a time-lapse video of the making of the plane.   This is the second Jet Airways livery change this year and I expect a lot more to come. Here is the first one earlier this year with the Nokia Lumia wrap. Live From A Lounge is also present on Facebook, Twitter and available via RSS.

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Sunday Plastic: American Express Platinum Travel Card

The turmoil at Kingfisher Airlines seems to have affected their relationship with American Express as well. The American Express Kingfisher First Credit Card, while it still exists in the pockets of those who had them for years, is not being issued anymore. American Express then had to quickly work on an alternative and they have recently launched the American Express Platinum Travel Card. Here is how I look at the American Express card hierarchy in India as of now: American Express Platinum Charge Card American Express Platinum Reserve Credit Card American Express Gold Charge Card American Express Platinum Travel Credit Card   Like you can see, the American Express Platinum Travel Credit Card is the entry level American Express card…

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