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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Air India goes 787 on Delhi Paris CDG from January 2013

Air India is flush with their Boeing 787s now, and as per the recent reports have received 4 Boeing 787 planes as of December 31, 2012. Since September 2012, when they took delivery of the first plane, the 787’s are now in operation on various domestic as well as international segments for Air India. They are frequently found on DEL-BLR-DEL, DEL-MAA-DEL, DEL-CCU-DEL in the domestic skies. Internationally, Air India first put them out on the Delhi – Dubai segment (DEL-DXB-DEL), and then introduced a flight to Frankfurt on the 787s in October 2012. Air India says the 787 has made this route operationally profitable. With the addition of new planes, now the next route which is intended to be moved…

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Access Indian airports without ticket printouts

A few months ago I’d blogged about how airlines had started to exploit the need to use an airline e-ticket print to access the airport concourse. Indian security regulations required a manual scan of the ticket by airport security to ensure only genuine passengers get to the airport. However, for whatever reason, they wanted paper, nothing on the phone or the iPad or the laptop. Entrepreneurial, airlines started to charge Rs. 50, and then hiked it up to Rs. 100 per printout of tickets, which they would earlier give out for free. The uproar this move to charge money created did force the sleepy bureaucracy to update the rulebook. Now, many a newspapers and websites are reporting that the Bureau…

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PremierMiles devalued for good by Citibank

For the existing Citibank PremierMiles customers, they would have received an email communication a few weeks back, announcing a new redemption rate of Rs. 50 per 100 PremierMiles. I did not write about it at that point of time because I was not sure if this was an additional method of redeeming miles, or the only way for redemptions on the website premiermiles.co.in. Here is how it looked. Now, the PremierMiles credit card has come a long way from its original promise. I discovered this card in December 2011, when it was an also ran product. When the card first launched into the limelight in May 2012 as a replacement to the Citibank Jet Airways credit card, there was a…

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I’m back, my bag is not! British Airways … aaargh!

First & foremost, let me take the opportunity to wish you all a very happy, healthy and successful 2013. Now, over to business. Like I mentioned here, I was out trying to make sure I wrap up 2012 on Executive Platinum status on American Airlines. Here was my entire routing, and I started to find my way back on December 30, only to land into Mumbai a shade after midnight on January 1 with the stiff upper-lipped British Airways. Going to the cold zone for a week, I thought it was prudent to check-in a bag, with some clothes for various circumstances (snow included!). The bag held up pretty well with my pace till it was time for to come…

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Skyteam status match available upto ElitePlus

I have to admit I am not too much of a SkyTeam flyer even though they have a particular flight out of Mumbai (Delta) which suits me the most on work. So, this year I did not flow SkyTeam airlines at all, and I got word from KLM that my FlyingBlue status was going to go back to Ivory if I did not put at least one flight by the end of the year on any participating airline. Even though I have a fair amount of miles in the account, it just looked impossible this year to be crediting any miles to them. In comes the Aerolineas Argentinas status match offer. Aerolineas joined SkyTeam in August 2012, and is offering…

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Reminder: Last 2 days for transfer bonuses from Citibank PremierMiles

Like I wrote earlier in November, Citibank is offering a 30% bonus on PremierMiles transfer to British Airways Avios, and a 20% bonus on Etihad Guest transfers, both valid for transfers initiated till December 31, 2012. This is a quick reminder that if you wanted to make the transfer, right now is a good time to call the Citibank helpdesk for this. Any transfers which are even initiated on the 31st of December will get the bonus mileage. It usually takes 1-2 days for the transferred miles to reflect in the mileage account, and Citi transfers PremierMiles 1:1 to Avios and Etihad Guest, which will become 1:1.3 with the bonus. Avios is a good transfer opportunity, remember, if you are…

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Reinstating your Turkish Airlines (*Alliance) Gold Account

A couple of months back I wrote about the cancellation of Turkish Airlines accounts, perhaps those which used services like AwardWallet to keep an updated balance. Turkish has been out there issuing a status match to Star Alliance Gold level status for everyone who has top-tier status with Star Alliance, OneWorld and Skyteam, something I first wrote about in May. Now, Turkish ‘suspended’ my own account as well due to the same reason, and I had to work on fixing it. Reason I say same reason, is because my mom’s TK account is not on AwardWallet, so her account survived while mine went. The first few emails did not work. Then I eventually got a response saying my account was…

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2,500 JPMiles for enrolling a new account with JetPrivilege

Jet Airways ; operates on domestic as well as international routes to the Middle-East, South-East Asia, Europe and North America from India. JetPrivilege is its frequent flyer program, which used to offer some of the best frequent flyer benefits in India. If you are not already on Jet Airway’s JetPrivilege frequent flyer program, and are planning to signup, now is the time to do so and lap up 2,500 bonus JPMiles for the enrolment. Jet Airways, via its Facebook page, has given out a link for new enrolments which get credited with the bonus after signup. You can access the enrolment form here. Jet Privilege, while is now a patch on its earlier self in the late 2000’s, still somehow…

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I must be growing too old for this stuff!

Been off the grid for a short while, sorry folks! I just decided to take off to the USA for a last minute trip/mileage run and be here for a bit of the holiday season. And in the prelude to taking off from work, there is also the need to close out lot of things before going away. I’m writing this post from a hotel room in Los Angeles. And I have been here all of about 12 hours now in the city, but the interesting bit is, I left from my home 2.5 days back. So, it took approximately 28 hours of flying and 20 hours in transit, layovers, and whatever else to get here! Is this the correct…

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Citibank Ultima & Jet Airways parting ways

Things are going sour very fast between Jet Airways and Citibank. Earlier in May 2012, they parted ways on the Jet Airways/Citibank credit card and things have never been the same again between the two. Jet Airways ended up partnering with 3 banks to counter their earlier partner Citibank: HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank & American Express. However, the statement at that point of time was that Citibank Ultima – the super premium luxury card product from Citibank, was not going to be affected with this turn of events. Ultima is an invite-only product, and one of the benefits of the product is that it comes with Jet Privilege Platinum tier membership, a heapload of Jet Airways miles and vouchers. Turns…

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Double Miles on JetPrivilege for Hyatt hotels in India & Southeast Asia

Jet Airways is one of the 3 airlines which is running a local tieup with Hyatt for a stay-based promotion valid till February 28, 2013 (it started on December 1, 2012). You need to use promotion code SWADBL while making the room reservation and you will be able to earn 1,000 JP Miles instead of the usual 500 JP Miles earned on your reservation. Here are the participating properties from India: Hyatt Regency Chennai Park Hyatt Chennai Hyatt Regency Delhi Grand Hyatt Goa Park Hyatt Goa Park Hyatt Hyderabad Hyatt Regency Kolkata Hyatt Regency Mumbai Grand Hyatt Mumbai Hyatt Regency Pune. Here are the other properties participating in the promotion: Hyatt Capital Gate, Abu Dhabi Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Resort…

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