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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Why I stepped on a Kingfisher plane yesterday!

So I got on a Kingfisher Airlines plane for the first time in lets say 3-4 years yesterday evening, unless you count the 45 minute GOI-BOM flight I took on Kingfisher Red last year in August. The reasons I’ve abstained from Flying Kingfisher have been many. Here are a few: They are flashy! I am not just referring to their choice of Red as their color, but all the flying models, personally chosen by the CEO bit and all their eagerness to please appeared over the top. I felt hurt when the owner went all out to get Air Deccan down to their knees and bought them out with their flanking strategy. And yes, I am an M&A guy myself,…

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Get 100$ off your next flight with the IHG ‘Gotta Get 100’ promotion!

IHG released a Black Friday promotion this past week via its Twitter handle @IHG_Deals. Using this, you could get a 100$ Flight Credit on any US RT  flight after completing a weekend stay in any IHG brand hotel. You could get upto 3 flight credits in this manner till April 29, 2012. The promotion entails signing up. After registering, you need to have a consecutive 2 night stay (weekends only) at a single IHG brand property. After the stay, you have to send your Stay Folio via fax, email or snail mail to the travel agent who is enlisted for this promotion (ATG). They will validate your stay and get you a PIN for getting your $100 off, which again,…

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If you can get a Politician size sleeper suit, you definitely can accrue miles on NWA still!

Last week I pointed out an unexplained situation on the Kingfisher Airlines KingClub website, which mentioned Politician size sleeper suits. I figure no one had an answer to what these mean, because no one has still told me what size this means. However, looks like this is one airline which loves to also carry on traditions of the past. I just noticed while pricing a ticket, that you could still accrue miles on the NWA program, although the airline itself is long painted in Delta colors as of 2008.   I’d love to poke more fun on the Kingfisher website, but what they really need to do is check their website for copy errors one time, for good, and thoroughly.…

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Kingfisher Airlines prepares for oneworld, ties up with American Airlines for frequent flyer partnership

Kingfisher has been gradually in the process of setting up bilateral arrangements with various oneworld alliance member airlines to be able to come on board the alliance early 2012. It already has a tie-up with some notable ow carriers such as BA and Finnair, and has now lined up AA as a partner with effect from Nov 1, 2011. As a part of this agreement, KingClub members will be able to earn and redeem KingMiles on American Airlines flights, and AAdvantage members will be able to earn and redeem AAdvantage miles on Kingfisher flights. While this will not count for EQMs right now, once the membership in OW is confirmed, IT flights should count for EQMs also. Kingfisher is considered…

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Jet A meet Jet B: 9W to interline with B6

Jet Airways (9W) and JetBlue Airlines (B6) today announced an interlining agreement, which adds another major American airline into the fold of Jet Airways to connect across the USA. Jet Airways has partnerships with Delta, American, United and US Airways in the US, and with this alliance, 9W passengers have the ability to buy tickets to any American destination on a single ticket after arriving into JFK/EWR.Similarly, JetBlue passengers can now hop on to a plane from the USA to Brussels or India using 9W. With the quality coach product on both the airlines, it sure looks like an awesome match. Now, next thing on the wishlist, where I hope 9W makes some codeshares in the USA.

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Gotta Scoot!!?!!

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, scoot means “to move swiftly”, but with the new Singapore Airlines subsidiary choosing to be named “Scoot”, I am not sure if they are hitting or missing the point. To me, it looks more like they are missing the point than getting it! Scoot, which was officially unveiled today, has been getting quite some press even before it took off. With this airline, Singapore Airlines wants to complete the loop of offering a choice of services to passengers. SIA being the full-service version, SilkAir being the regional version and Scoot being the medium to long-haul intercontinental version. The modus operandi is simple. The airline will operate in a 2-class configuration, and allow customization of most…

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Do you know what a ‘Politician’ size sleeper suit is? Let me know…

This evening, I set out to recover the long lost account of my brother on Kingfisher Airlines since he never travelled with them in the past 4 years. Once we got on the website, the Update Profile section caught my eye. Usually a comprehensive portfolio review earns 500 miles so I thought, “why not?” However, this really had me in splits for a long while after… Pay attention to the drop down! So, basically, I am wondering what it feels like to have a Politician size sleeper suit. I am also wondering if the website designer for Kingfisher Airlines was playing a crude joke n his masters, or whatever happened here? Or maybe it is just me who is ignorant.…

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Looks like I am up for a MegaDo!!!!

It was a test of technology that is now turning into a test of patience! This morning (late evening in India actually), I sat in front of my laptop waiting for the clock to strick 930 CDT. There were hints that the booking for the upcoming OW MegaDo in Jan2012 could start earlier than the 10AM deadline. Of course I was already envious of those who could have made it to the LAX launch party and had a right of first refusal to all seats on the plane. At roughly about 10 AM, the site started giving all the error messages which pointed to a huge rush. Despite the best efforts and intentions of the MilePoint team, MegaDo.com where the…

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The Lounge that went missing at Mumbai Airport Terminal 1B

Before I became a Gold tier with Jet Airways, I used to frequent the Clipper Lounge in Mumbai’s Terminal 1B very often. This little oasis of calm was tucked away on the Mez floor of the terminal, and was used by Jet Airways before they laid their hands on the lounge inside the security hold area. Both the lounges on 1B were operated by Clipper, a contract lounge operator. Last week, on a flight to Delhi, I found myself the need to use the pre-security lounge again after long. I was not flying Jet Airways, but Indigo instead, and I needed to kill 45 minutes before boarding started. I found my way there after what seemed like a long time,…

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Checked bag fee for the 2nd checked bag from India may be gone soon

India’s aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Commercial Aviation has took the initiative in stemming the practice of charging for the second checked bag by some foreign carriers flying from India. As per this news report, the aviation regulator has shot off a missive to all the carriers charging for the 2nd bag to revert to the pre-crisis practice of not charging for the first 2 bags, upto 23 kgs each. If implemented, this means the non-frequent traveler save a substantial amount of money taking their second bag over to the US, Europe etc. This will also take care of a disparity between the Indian carriers who still offer 2 checked bags of 23  kgs for travel to Europe and…

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Jet Airways quietly introduces the B77W on Mumbai-Newark-Mumbai!

Update as of 12 Nov: Jet Airways has seemingly pulled back the plane to go to EWR, and right now only offering the 777 on BOM-BRU-BOM. — There has been much speculation about what was Jet Airways planning to do with the Boeing 777-300ER once they started collecting them back from Turkish, where they were gone on lease for a while. Jet Airways had already inducted one of these on the BOM-HKG segment earlier this year. The airline is now quietly introducing this prized possession on the BOM-BRU-EWR route two times a week with effect from 28 October 2011.I call it prized because of the First Class suites that are completely enclosed on these planes, and one of the best…

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