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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The new look British Airways Executive Club, its here!

The day which a lot of people have not been looking forward to. Burn Baby Burn (the movement to redeem BA miles before the new look Avios set in), is officially over. Like you read here earlier, the BA program is changing. Here is a look at the new cards that are going to grace your wallets, sock drawers or wherever you keep your Frequent Flyer cards….. I like the look of the Gold card, though, you have to wait up for my next posts to know if you and me could have it in our pockets or not. Welcome to Avios!!! Hat tip to BusinessTraveller

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The 3 Days Qatar Airways Global Sale is now on from 15th to 17th Nov 2011!

We all heard Qatar Airways teaching a thing or two about aviation to airframe biggie Airbus at the Dubai Air Show, and then kissing and making up to order loads of A320 NEOs and some 5 A380s. This comes close on the heels of neighborhood airline Emirates ordering a huge number of B777s! But this is not about that. It seems like the Middle-East Asia fare wars are also on, about the same time as capacity wars are going on. About the time Emirates announced a 2-day sale for MasterCard customers from India, there comes a global sale from the stable of Qatar Airways, who is getting you across from anywhere in their network for a flat 25% off in…

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Free First Class Upgrade on Emirates and 10% off sale (15th/16th Nov 2011 only)

Emirates is one of the Asian airlines trying to become a preferred airline for the world, what with its huge orders of the Boeing 777s and the Airbus A380s. India is a key market for the Emirates and they just brought out two great offers for Indian flyers: MasterCard 2-day Sale from India to the World (valid 15/16 Nov 2011) You could be booking up a ticket to the entire route network of Emirates, which includes good connectivity to Europe, USA, Middle-East and Africa, and offers you upto 10% off using the promo code INMST11. This offer is valid only for air tickets booked on 15th and 16th November 2011 (for travel between 15th Nov 2011 to 22 Dec 2011)…

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Why my American Express Gold Card is fast gaining walletshare!?

When American Express, on my American Express Kingfisher First Credit Card decided to compulsorily sweep all my Membership Rewards points onto my King Club account every month as of May 2011, I was not very impressed with them. This because the original contract between us was about earning Membership Reward points, and I could choose to use them on any other reward as well at that point of time. I used to time my sweep to Kingfisher’s program with a bonus, so that I could earn the few extra miles. To placate me, American Express offered to issue me the newly relaunched Gold Charge Card, which usually comes free for the first year from the Amex stable. Their line was,…

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10 Weeks to OneWorld MegaDo: Preparing for Seat 33A!

I just strolled over to MegaDo.com to check how was I doing on seat 33A.  I had a whale of a time booking up my seat a couple of weeks back when I had to cancel an evening out to be in front of the computer when the booking opened up. I thought I’d plan this trip with the BoardingArea peeps and readers along going forward. Here is how it looks like so far! Booking seats on the Charter AAOWMD – Check It was 10 AM morning in the US ( I forget the time zone!), and 9 PM or so in Delhi, where I was trying to book up. Add to it the pressures of visiting friends and relatives…

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Flying Kingfisher: First impressions amongst the ongoing turmoil

  Last weekend I embarked on a BOM-DEL-BOM roundtrip on Kingfisher Airlines after a very long time. I explained the reasoning behind booking Kingfisher in my earlier post on that topic. I must admit I shuddered when the flight cancellations became a flood from a trickle around the time I was all set to return on DEL-BOM, considering I had a very important meeting the next morning, but I decided to play along. I must have been crazy to do that, but it all worked out in the end. The completion of this trip made me believe that miracles do happen, and a lot of them while at it. When I arrived at the airport, I was surprised to see…

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Cathay launches First Class product in India

Close on the heels of Jet Airways putting their B777 on the Mumbai-Hong Kong route and putting out gourmet service on the plane in September 2011, Cathay followed suit to launch their First Class on their flights from Mumbai and Delhi to Hong Kong. With effect from 31 Oct 2011, Cathay Pacific has put on their 747-400s on this route, which has 9 First Class suites on the main deck of the plane. With the famous Cathay service, a very big 81 inch pitch for the FC enclosure, and Cathay’s famous lounges from HK, you should have a great experience. Also, on board is the new Gourmet menu for Cathay First and Business Class customers which is valid from Nov…

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The rumors are true: Jet Airways is the best airline in India

This is just in via a new survey conducted by one of India’s biggest newspaper ‘Hindustan Times’ on customer satisfaction with airlines and Airports in India. The results have some surprises but here they go: Airlines Jet Airways (up 1 rank as compared to 2009) Kingfisher (drops 1 rank as compared to 2009) Indigo (up 1 rank as compared to 2009) Kingfisher Red (up 2 ranks as compared to 2009) Jet Lite (up 2 ranks as compared to 2009) Spice Jet (down 3 ranks as compared to 2009) Go Air (down 2 ranks as compared to 2009) Indian (same as 2008) Airports Bengaluru Delhi T3 Delhi T1 Chennai Hyderabad Ahmedabad Mumbai Indore Jaipur Lucknow The story is here. What is…

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Red Alert: Kingfisher plans to slice away 31 flights daily till Nov 19

Update as of 10 Nov 2011: It turns out that Kingfisher is cancelling upto 50 flights a day instead of the earlier announced 31. The DGCA has issued a notice to the airline to clarify why it is cancelling flights and what is it doing to take care of the passengers stranded because of its acts. This should be some justice to the flyers booked on those Kingfisher flights which got cancelled. —- Gulp! Hate to bring the bad news but I was just going through my Twitter timeline for @Livefromalounge where I spotted a couple of rants about Kingfisher Airlines. It is well-known that the airline is cancelling flights left-right-center with a brutal axe that only the ‘Guests’ know…

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Pegasus to take to the air in Indian skies shortly…

Amidst the bloodbath that Indian aviation has become, with almost all the major carriers losing money being up in the air, there is another airline queuing up for launch shortly. This one is called Air Pegasus, and it intends to be a regional Low Cost Carrier, only operating in South India, connecting Bangalore, Chennai, Coimbatore, Tiruchchirappalli, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Hyderabad, Hubli, Mangalore and Goa sectors. According to a story that broke on the Indian Express, the Government of India has already sanctioned to give away a No Objection Certificate to the airline operator, and subsequently, the airline will need to get its aircraft in place. After putting all the processes in place, the airline needs to go for a formal approval…

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