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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Virgin Australia and Singapore Airlines alliance to launch in a week…

Alliances are not a matter of choice but a matter of need for airlines in Australia for a network that extends their own and gets them to serve flyers who want to travel all over the place. In the case of Qantas, they have the oneworld allliance by their side. But considering Virgin does not like getting into alliances, or at least not just yet, they have been working with an interlining strategy so far where they have a network of partners such as Etihad, Delta and Virgin Atlantic to complete their network.However, they now have an alliance with Singapore Airlines, which should be a gamechanger in feeding traffic to their domestic network from the hub of SIN. The alliance,…

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Cathay Pacific to add Premium Economy seats from Q1 2012

Cathay is quite easily a very likeable airline, and I love them for all the shorthauls I do when travelling around Hong Kong on work trips. However, now they are giving me a reason to try out their long haul product, with the launch of the Premium Economy Class in March 2012. These will be introduced first on the routes to Sydney, Toronto, Vancouver and New York, followed by London, LA, San Francisco and continental Europe. The announcement made to members of the Marco Polo Club loyalty program detail the added benefits of the Premium Economy class which is, much more than just the seat! According to Cathay, there will be a separate priority check-in and priority boarding over Economy…

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Reader Question: “Which is the best program to credit Indian flights to”?

Reader Romina pinged me with a question last week, and I thought it was a good question to address here for everyone. Her question was… Hi AJ, I’m going to India, with miles, of course, but I have to buy two domestic legs and was wondering if you have any suggestion. …. If I buy the tickets, what is the best international airline to credit the miles from KingF, jet airways and air india? … I believe this question is something which a lot of travellers to India would have on mind. My answer to her was in terms of American programs, but I’ll drop in a word with regard to other programs too.   Indian airlines are not yet…

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Delta/Amex offer Status Match and $ 200 Gift Card for US Readers (till January 31, 2012)

This was more a chance discovery but I thought it was in the best interest of everyone to know. American Express and Delta have come up with a wonderful offer, although targetted, which provides a very easy way to get Delta status all the way upto Feb 2013 with one round trip flight till Jan 2012. All you have to do, is to register an eligible American Express Card on this website, pop-in your non-status Delta Skymiles number, book a round-trip on Delta which is not in the fare classes R/O/N/E, and you’ll be eligibile for a $200 Gift Card from Amex. Also, if you have elite status on another carrier, which was at least valid till December 2012, you’ll…

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Hilton HHonors to offer 30% Reward points back on Premium Reward Stays

Hilton is lining up a slew of new offers these days, much like the other hotel chains. They recently came up with the HHonors Resort Stay offer, and now are, sort of, matching the Carlson offer to stay at their properties and get reward points back, though, with a caveat. Hilton has just introduced a new offer to book and stay on HHonor Premium Room Rewards, or on Points & Money redemptions, and get 30% of the HHonors Points back into their account a few weeks down the line. If you remember, Hilton revamped their program and downgraded most hotel redemptions a few months back by classifying almost every nook and cranny of their hotels as a Premium Room. So, now…

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Finally, a credit card which earns me lots of miles in India!

I’ve been on the case for looking out for a GOOD mileage earning credit card out of India for a few years, but I think I finally have found one. Mileage earning is not a big phenomenon in India, at least not as much as the USA. However, for a few of us travel nuts who like to be in the know and optimise ‘travel well’ while still not paying a bomb, this is an important tool in the wallet. There are all sorts of travel cards in India now, but I was just not going to go out to sign up for a few for the heck of it. If mileage earning is based on spend, then I could…

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Lufthansa offers discounts for travels from AsiaPac & Middle East stations to Europe

Lufthansa has teamed up with Mastercard for a promotion that spans most of their Asia Pacific and Middle East stations under coverage. Uptil January 31, 2011, you can head to a special website and drop your name and email address to get yourself a special one-off discount coupon in your email from Lufthansa. The deal basically produces a discount coupon which can be applied on your account when you are trying to make a booking from one of these countries listed below to fly on Lufthansa to Europe, via lufthansa.com. Take note, this excludes everything except for LH code flights. Travel for tickets booked on this voucher have to be between 07 November 2011 and 14th May 2012. Also, they are…

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7 Weeks to the oneworld MegaDo: Preparing for seat 33A!

Yeah, the days to rough it out in coach on the charter are coming closer 😉 In case you were wondering where did this weekly update vanish last week (week 8), well, nothing much moved so I thought it would be better to not bore you with the ramblings 😀 Some interesting developments have happened over the last week, which I think I should tell you about the OWMD. I noticed that the earlier schedule confirmed that Cathay Pacific, American Airlines and British Airways was going to participate in the program (some at JFK, some at DFW, some at LHR, and some more than once). But in a new development when AA announced their auction for 2 seats on the sold-out…

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When Lufthansa became Jet Airways

Being the inquisitive soul I am, I was working on another blogpost for the readers today. This one concerned Lufthansa in India. Now, out of pure guess work and intuition, I typed away http://www.lufthansa.co.in/ in my browser to check my facts. As you all would know, .co.in is the domain registration for corporations in India. But, I quickly hit F5 and then again, because I could not believe what I saw… Yes, I thought it could be the 3AM effect when I am wide awake due to the last Gingerbread Cookie Latte I had a few hours back with a huge helping of Carrot Cake. So, I tried it on another browser, and then on another computer. Same results…. End…

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And Now, Like Marriott on Facebook and get 1000 Marriott Rewards points till December 31, 2011

Facebook seems to be catching the fancy of almost all hotel chains now a days, and this makes an excellent opportunity for all of you to rake in some free points with them at a click. Hyatt is running a big Sweepstakes on Facebook with all its brands, and giving away 100,000 GP points to those who participate and win. Now Marriott has entered the game and is offering the chance to win Marriott Rewards points to everyone who participates. You got to log into your Facebook account, head up to Marriott International’s FB page and Like them. That enables you to participate in the Marriott Sweepstakes which are valid till 31st December 2011, once per day, everyday! That gives you…

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Buy AAdvantage Miles with upto 33% bonus all the way till 31st December 2011!

This just in. I am not the one to be tracking AA too much but I guess with the OWMD they got me interested. Good for them to add another customer into their fold with the close association with the OWMD! 😉 Anyways, the main news for the day is that from the 1st December 2011 till the 31st December 2011, AA is offering 2,000 free AA miles when you buy 6,000 miles with them, and in multiples. This means, for 60,000 miles to be bought, you get 20,000 free AAdvantage miles. Yes, that is true! Now usually AA allows you to buy or receive gifts of upto 40,000 miles per calender year. For this month only, that limit has…

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