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 MegaDo Bounty winners are out, 5 of them!

If you guys have been wondering where did I go away with all your prizes after getting back from the MegaDo, you’ll be surprised. I am right here, except that a few hours after landing back home from a 24 hour bout of flying and airports, I got working on a project that has had me working 2-3 days flat out with no breathers. Apologies for the delay in reaching out to all of you for the winners of the prizes. Here we go with the correct answers: a) Which airline would you like to see join oneworld next? No one right answer…it’s your choice after all b) Where am I based out of? Mumbai, India c) Where all is…

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The MegaDo Bounty got bigger, and 72 hours more to get it!

I’ve been on the road and in the air many a times, but on a party flight, it was my first! I’m waiting to get the few hours of sleep time which I can eat into and post all I want to tell you guys here, and it shall happen soon. But for those who want to gather all the live action, Gary Leff from View from the Wing is blogging all at www.megado.com/blogs! So go ahead and find out about the party in the air which happened DFW-SEA-LAX. Including a 2-hour tarmac delay when we all boarded SEA-LAX and the flight needed a new part to fly next segment. AA was a gracious host, the beverages were flowing and…

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Spending time at the British Airways HQ in Waterside, LHR

After a lovely welcome by American Airlines, a little party in the Flagship Lounge at JFK, a shower at the American Airlines Arrivals Lounge in LHR, we were all set to go over to British Airways. We received an interesting email a few days ago from BA, which had a boarding pass in a PDF file. I got seat 2A, I am sure they looked me up from my handle on MilePoint and Flyertalk which is A2A! Some of us wanted to check out if we could check in at Terminal 5, LHR. Here is what they got But we sure did manage to check-in on the staff bus of British Airways and find our way to the Waterside HQ…

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A day at the American Airlines Arrival Lounge at London Heathrow

The American Airlines flight AA 104 was uneventful at the back of the plane, with a largely empty cabin which accommodated a lot many passengers from the MegaDo bunch onto their own fully flat seats by occupying a whole row to themselves. All the action was in the First Class where there was a special dinner on-board for a chosen few flying F, with the new president of AAdvantage, Suzanne Robin. We were lucky to have arrived in LHR an hour early, with the tailwinds in favour (the same Atlantic ones which came in my way to arrive at JFK from Brussels after a fuel-stop). Here is a little bunch of pictures from the back of the plane: Yeah, it…

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The send off at American’s Flagship Lounge in New York JFK

As soon as the Finnair presentation got over, there was a light reception, this one, at ‘ The Bridge’, where JFK based crew of American Airlines were invited to participate along with the attendees of the MegaDo’s Transatlantic trip in London. There was food, music and a lot of good chat. But then you already know all of that from the last time you heard from me. The interesting party was taking shape in the Flagship Lounge of American Airlines at JFK: This is where we managed to sample the food and the drinks offered by American Airlines at the Flagship Lounges. As someone who has only started to fly to the America’s often now, I can tell you these…

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American goes all out to welcome the MegaDo participants!

I am used to being pampered by the airline I fly a lot, and they’d accede to  my demands sometimes. But to have an airline go all out to make an impression is  a little different. American Airlines is the backbone to the inaugural oneworld  MegaDo, and they are up to their best behaviour on this one. I arrived in JFK on Saturday evening on a non-stop with a fuel-stop flight, and I was greeted at the jet  bridge by an American Airlines agent who was looking for me. The AA 5-star  arrivals service at work, even though I wasn’t even expecting it. The AA Agent walked me through to the passport control and with some  influence, I was able…

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Arriving for the OWMD on a non-stop with a fuel-stop!

The MegaDo is a sea of aviation experiences, or so am I told. And to come into the MegaDo will be marked by experiences like the British Airways Denial of Service and a fuel-stop on a non-stop flight was only symbolic. I was reading a few days back on the Wall Street Journal that Transatlantic flights on smaller planes were now having to make a fuel stop before they managed to get to their destination After I arrived in Brussels on Jet Airways 228, I was to further go to JFK on an American Airlines flight AA171 (BRU-JFK) which was going to fly on an American Airlines 757-200. When I did arrive at the gate agent’s counter after clearing transit…

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Sir, British Airways is not a part of oneworld but we do welcome oneworld members…

I was at Mumbai Airport (BOM) earlier today, to take the first leg of my flight to New York. Middle of the night flights are quite my forte, but it turned out that this time my usual flight to Brussels 9W228 was taking off at 03:00 AM. The schedule to bring it to BRU late is the first time I knew of it, because I usually travel on this flight 3-4 times a year at least, and it has always been at about 01:00 to 01:30 AM. The silver lining this time seemed to be the fact that I was booked on an American Airlines codeshare (AA7836) because I was further continuing on an AA flight to JFK. Now, in…

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I’m off to fetch some MegaDo swag for all of you! Its a giveaway!

Its here, tonight. I’m off to my 28,600 miles, ten days, nine airports, meet three airlines and make 171 new friends trip and it is called the oneworld MegaDo. I’ve been chronicling my preparation for the MegaDo over the past 10 weeks, and you all could read it here. It should be exciting, and I’ll learn a lot of ways to travel without sleep and jetlag hopefully! We, the MegaDoers, are obviously not going for anything else but the hunt for the perfect swag. Randy Petersen gave a little teaser of what was coming our way on the MegaDo website which looked like this:   This is only a peep of what is coming. There is all the goodies from the airlines…

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The Brit visa? Why so expensive? And telemarketing infested?

If you read the visa word and came over, take note this is not a credit card hawking post. Just a simple rant! Now that we have that out of the way, lets begin. For the upcoming oneworld MegaDo, I signed on for the optional segment across the pond in London. A few days ago, while flipping through my passport, I realised my UK visa had expired and I needed a new sticker. Usually, since I travel often on work, I count on the office to pay for my visa expenses, but this being a personal trip, I started to read the rules. Here is what came up at the section for visa charges: Now here is my problem. This…

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