About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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Kingfisher Airlines a prime case for shutdown: DGCA

I don’t intend to be soothsayer on this blog, but at the same time not a doomsayer either! I’ve been trying to be very positive about Kingfisher Airlines in my head for a very long time, and something tells me, that if they survive this ongoing phase of problems, they will come back as a stronger service-oriented institution in the new changed environment. However, for the time being, the troubles seems to be getting bigger and bigger for them, making them perhaps a case for being jilted from oneworld before they get to join, just like AI got the boot from Star Alliance. I love those guys, seriously. They gave me 2 free domestic Kingfisher First class tickets last year, on…

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Birdwatch: Photo # 4 (Jet Airways in Nokia Lumia colors)

Nokia, the erstwhile king of mobile phones is now trying to restablish itself in the market. And it thinks painting a plane in all the colors is one good move. So, as a part of their advertising strategy for the Nokia Lumia 800 which recently launched, they painted this Jet Airways plane. Now, I want to get on this plane, only if someone told me what route it is flying. Airline: Jet Airways Location: Unknown Airframe: Boeing 737-800 If you want to share a picture of a plane, an airport, or anything aviation related, please send it across to aj@livefromalounge.com with the details and I’ll put it up here. Thank you! (Hat Tip to ZOMG for this one!)

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Why Air India needs a few good men (or women)

Now, all of us know that Air India, being the flag carrier and owned by the government, is run by bureaucrats. So, they have a hit and miss track record with special promotions which are not thought through to the end, and this current one is just one of them I suppose. In a promotion launched for the international markets, Air India is offering Non-resident Indians and international passport holders the offer to travel in India on AI, with a package of tickets which cost anywhere from US$ 200 + taxes (for 2 segments) to US$1000+ taxes for 9 segments in the economy segment. Taxes per segment are usually in the region of 10$ or less per segment, depending on…

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The 2 Month Grace Period for Priority Club Reward Nights

Like you know by now, IHG has went ahead and adjusted their Reward Chart, to take effect from 18 January 2012. I also indicated there that if you want to take the benefit of the old award chart in the case of the 25% IHG properties where the cost of awards is going up, you do have a 2 month grace period to book on the old chart via the PC service Centre till March 18. This has now been confirmed by the Loyalty Traveler on MilePoint. He states after a chat with IHG officials that: Priority Club members have a 60-day window from January 18 to book hotels through the customer service center at the old lower cost or…

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PriorityClub Reward Nights devalued and 2 months grace period

A few hours ago I blogged about the PriorityClub Reward Nights valuations being readjusted. However, at that time, Priority Club seemed to have forgotten to put up the award charts on the table. They did do that shortly after and here is how the new chart looks like: IHG has usually followed a hotel brand based redemption level, and in this latest round, they’ve just added more tiers in the redemption tables. I’d have assumed this would have happened after the points they minted away in last year’s promos. Here are the key changes, which are going to affect about 25% of the hotels: Candlewoods at 20K (New 20K tier added) Intercontinentals at 50K (New 50K tier added) Holiday Inns…

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Book a Carlson property @ Asia-Pac/FrenchPoly for 30% off for all of 2012

Club Carlson has been on a roll trying to establish itself back in the big player game for hotels. While I like the Radissons for a quick stay every now and then, they are not my first choice, since they are usually pure business hotels and I miss out on the perks of being a business traveller, such as the lounge and upgrades! If you are travelling to the Asia Pacific in 2012, you might want to check out the Carlson ‘Hot Deals’valid for stays till December 31, 2012. Your bookings need to be made before February 19, 2012, and the offer provides you up to 30% off on the Best Available Rate, if you stay 2 or more consecutive…

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Speculation about devaluation to IHG Priority Club Reward Nights?

In the mail while I was sleeping was a mail from Priority Club, my monthly e-statement. Since there was nothing to reconcile, my eyes went out for the other big news that seems to have leaked out here, that IHG Priority Club Reward Nights will undergo a change in the coming fortnight.   The email stated: Effective 18 January 2012, Priority Club will make changes to the number of points required for Reward Nights. The email lead on to a link which brings me to the current Priority Club Reward Nights page.  However, nothing new reported here as of now. My sense is that PC might be changing the award charts and going for a devaluation perhaps? The Sunset that PC chose to send with this email…

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3 Weeks to OWMD: Preparing for Seat 33A!

Things have been quiet in here about my preparations towards the oneworld MegaDo. Not really, a lot of action has been happening and it is time to give you all an update. However, a quick round up on whats happening on the MegaDo preparation before we go on to my preparations. This past week, the waitlist was wrapped up, and all the original participants who looked like they could not participate in spite of having paid up (due to the multiple bookings), have now been accomodated. This, of course, comes with the sad news that some other people have to go off the charter, including fellow Boarding Area blogger Mike Reed of Getting Status. Some cool swag has been lined…

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Star Alliance and Air India can’t seem to make up their minds…

Back in July 2011, Star Alliance put a lid on Air India’s ambitions to join their little coterie, by stating that the majority of the member airlines were against AI joining on the back of security concerns. Business seems to have taken over that logic now, and the media is reporting that Star Alliance and Air India are now back in talks again. This opening is clearly a nice choice of words since AI’s membership was ‘suspended’ and not completely withdrawn at that instance. Reportedly, AI and *A met up in December 2011, and members are ‘reconsidering their stand‘ on AI. This is closely to be read with the fact that a new CEO is taking over *A (Mark Schwab),…

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2011 in honors and not!

2011, I managed to measure the tape from China to the USA, and it was no doubt, a wonderful experience to be all over the place for business or leisureI closed the year at 76,200 miles, while having gone many places, thanks to all the hopping flights I do when I  The first day of 2012 sounds like the best day to wrap up the list and confer the honors on the various airlines and hotels and experiences which have been the most exciting (and not!) for the year gone by… Best Destination of the year… The Great Wall of China, although I’d like to go there again when it is not freezing cold 😉 Best Redemption of the year……

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