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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When the travel agent steals and Indian Government notices

I happened to read this in yesterday’s newspaper but was way too shocked about the scam to react. Here is what was happening while no one was looking, as per the news report: The Rajya Sabha secretariat paid long haul international fares for domestic air tickets for one of its members. The scam was detected only when the MP realized the incredulous prices paid for the tickets and then complained to the government. The secretariat paid Rs 99,292 for a one-way Delhi-Chennai flight on Jet Airways for Ashk Ali Tak, a Congress RS member from Rajasthan. A Chennai-Hyderabad ticket on Air India was bought for Rs 35,184. A Hyderabad-Bangalore journey on Jet and a Bangalore-Jaipur ticket on low cost IndiGo…

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Cleartrip launches Pricewatch for international tickets out of India

International ticket pricing is a myth for most. Fares are constantly filed, refiled and have no one direction. That is why, it is never a good idea to ask your neighbour on the plane about the price he/she paid for his ticket. While I don’t want to be sounding like a PR pro telling you this, but I’m just glad that someone did do the honest thing to do and come out with a feature like this. Cue to Pricewatch, the proposition that Cleartrip is making is very simple. Since international tickets are repricing all the time, it is possible that a ticket may cost lower than what you booked it for. Cleartrip will keep the itinerary price on a…

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Citibank Ultima, now just another credit card!

Citibank Ultima is was one of the best lifestyle credit cards in the market, and now it seems that it will be losing the edge soon. The invite-only Ultima card has premium proposition that includes an unlimited Priority Pass, a membership to the ITC Culinary Plus program, Golf privileges, an international medical cover for $50K and other stuff. The reason a business traveller would get interested? Till last December, they used to have a product variant, which used to let you get access to the Jet Airways’ Jet Privilege program Platinum Tier, along with the upgrade vouchers and complimentary 50K JPMiles (used to cost INR 50K per annum in fees!!) Like I reported a couple of months back, this partnership…

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14% discounts by Indigo for bookings till Feb 17

Indigo has sent out targeted mailers to select customers today, offering them a base fare waiver on one-way or roundtrip reservations on their domestic as well as international network, for up to two people. One needs to have a promotional email in their mailbox itself, and the discount is on base fare, so it does not show up as a separate amount when you are trying to make a reservation. However, I did confirm that it exists. If you’ve flown Indigo or signed up for their mailing lists, now is the time to check the spam folder for this email in case you are intending to book some tickets in the days ahead. Related Posts: Indigo takes top spot from…

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An extra 25,000 PremierMiles for you?

In the last quarter of 2012, Citibank ran a promotion for the PremierMiles credit card holders, where the top 2000 spenders who registered for the promotion were going to get a double on their PremierMiles earned during the promotion period. Some of you should have received an email on these lines yesterday: Double Miles Double Happiness Congratulations! 25000 Bonus Miles havebeen credited to your account! Thank you for participating in the Double your Miles campaign for our PremierMiles credit cardholders.We are happy to inform you that your card number ending with XXXX has been credited with 25000 Bonus Miles on 11th Feb 2013.Looking forward to bring you more exciting offers this new year. While PremierMiles have significantly devalued since their…

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Emirates launches a new Platinum tier

Emirates, India’s unofficial national airline (for carrying over 11% of India’s international traffic!) has announced a new Platinum Tier on Tuesday, as it gets ready to roll the red carpet on its new partnership with Qantas. Emirates’ Skywards program already had a Blue, Silver & Gold tier which one could qualify on achieving 25K Tier miles (Silver) & 50K tier miles (Gold). However, the new Platinum Tier is a significant uptick and will be only awarded to members who earn 150K Tier Miles per annum, and will be launched on April 1, 2013. The benefits include the following: First Class check-in and baggage delivery Access for member and a guest to the Emirates First Class lounge in Dubai and Emirates…

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ICICI Bank Jet Airways co-branded sign-up bonus is back till March 2013

ICICI Bank hasn’t exactly been doing a great job with what is perhaps a good product out there in the market for those who like to accumulate JPMiles. However, the Jet Airways ICICI Bank co-branded credit card did make it to my personal list of Mileage Earning Credit Cards which you should keep to earn JP Miles. The reason I’ve been using my blue-cloud JP/ICICI Sapphiro Amex is the 7 JPMiles per Rs. 100 which I earn on this card, the best mileage earning in India for daily expenses at the moment. ICICI Bank has been offering a bonus mileage offer of 50% of welcome miles from time to time, and every time the offer would be extended for one…

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New PremierMiles promo: Rs. 1K & Rs. 10K discount codes for early birds

Citibank has quietly come out with a new promotion for the Citibank PremierMiles card, more specifically for the travel portal that runs with the card called premiermiles.co.in. They had some awesome promotions last year, such as the 10PM/Rs. 100 on international and hotel spend, and the promotion for double PM the top 2,000 spenders whose results are still to be announced. Back to this current one, there are two promotions at work here. There is a daily promotion, where 30 people daily can get Rs. 1,000 discount codes for being the first to book revenue tickets on the PM website. 15 winners per day in the following 2 timeslots: 1200 IST to 1959 IST 2000 IST to 1159 IST (on…

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Jet Airways offering 200% mileage bonus to fly business class on their new A-333s

About a month and a half back, Jet Airways inducted two new Airbus 330-300s into their fleet, which have their new business class product, a departure from the herringbone design I so love, because of legal issues. And now, till April 30, 2013, they are offering a special promotion which offers a 200% bonus on the following routes for flying in their Premiere Class, over and above the 100% you’d earn regularly and the cabin bonus and your JetPrivilege tier bonuses: Delhi – Brussels or v.v. Delhi – Toronto or v.v. Delhi – Newark (via Brussels) or v.v. Mumbai – Newark or v.v. Mumbai – Toronto or v.v. Some of these sectors look pretty sweet for earning as per this…

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American Express 10,000 bonus JPMiles are posting

In December, American Express launched their co-branded Jet Airways’ credit card, and as an introductory promotion, they offered 10,000 bonus JPMiles to anyone who applied for the card before December 25, 2012 (and got it approved too!). Yesterday, these points posted in my JetPrivilege account, and from what I heard from other people, they got the miles posted as well. Remember that the bonus is due for everyone who applied for the card before December 25, 2012. Even Platinum JP Members, who may have decided to not pay for the card and forego the regular 20K welcome gift will get these miles if your card was approved. The regular 20K welcome gift will come in on your first spend. Time…

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Singapore Airlines offering bonus miles for India–USA flights

Singapore Airlines is offering special Bonus Miles to KrisFlyer members flying to USA from the 11 Singapore Airlines and SilkAir airports serviced from India. The following airports are covered: Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi, Thiruvananthapuram and Visakhapatnam. The promotion offers: 9,500 bonus miles for travel on the First and Business class. Enjoy 7,500 bonus miles for travel on the Economy class. While this is not something that new members should jump out for, existing Singapore Airlines loyalists, and there are lots in India, could look out for some extra miles in their accounts with this promotion. However, if you bank your miles on another Star Alliance carrier, this could be of no use to you.…

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