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Miles make memories, o yeah!

I usually take commercials with a pinch of salt, but sometimes they do strike a chord somewhere. The MasterCard Priceless was one of those. And I’m writing this on a travel and mileage blog for the precise reason that there are slice-of-life priceless moments that your miles make possible. One of these happened with me less than 36 hours ago. Ever since I moved out of Delhi somewhere in the 2000s, I try and meet up the folks as much as possible, however, sometimes time and sometimes circumstances limit the occurrence. We still try and come together on special occasions. I was just back from my mileage run earlier in the week, and I was not even thinking of getting…

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1,000 JPMiles for completing a survey

Jet Airways sent out a survey few days ago, in tie-up with a hotel chain is circulating a survey for some feedback. The survey takes about 10 minutes to fill, and Jet Airways is offering you 1,000 JP Miles for this effort. Here is the email, and you can follow the link: Dear _____ , We understand that your time is important, but we would be delighted to credit your account with 1,000 JPMiles for a few minutes of your time. We, in association with one of our partners, are conducting a survey on ‘Luxury Hotel Experiences in India’. We would sincerely appreciate, if you could tell us what criteria you use to choose your favourite hotels during your business…

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So American Air cannot make butter chicken…

After I booked up my trip to the US on American Air and their oneworld partner British Airways, I received an email from AA inviting me to pre-select my meal on one of the segments on the trip, which was going to be a lunch flight from Seattle to Dallas/Fort Worth. This feature is still experimental so only on a few flights do passengers get the option to pre-select their entrees. Obviously, I was going to take this experiment for a test-drive. Here are snapshots of what came my way on the particular flight: Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 So, when I did select the entree here and took the screenshots, I felt like some Salmon. However, later during…

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Indigo reshuffles South-East Asia, cuts BOM/DEL-SIN and BKK

While there is no official announcement from Indigo on this, they have apparently pruned their Singapore operations from Mumbai and Delhi, as well as Mumbai to Bangkok. Reservations for BOM-SIN-BOM (6E051/052), DEL-SIN-DEL (6E011/012) are closed for flights from 1st March 2013. Also, Indigo is closing Mumbai – Bangkok route and reservations on 6E071/072 have been closed. It looks like Indigo could not keep up with being an unknown brand in the other market. Using just a web-based ticketing system, Indigo is not present on the Global Distribution Systems such Amadeus & Sabre which are used by Travel Agents worldwide to source and issue tickets. Over the years, on the Singapore route, there have been flights offered by Air India, Jet…

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Pondicherry finally gets air connectivity

Pondicherry is one of my favourite towns in South India, although I must admit I last went there quite some time back, maybe 5 years or more. This little French post of yore has very good weather, good food, some good hotels as well. The trouble, it never had an airport when I used to be there. So, one had to get to Chennai (MAA), and drive from there on the scenic East Coast Road to get to Pondicherry. Now, I was completely unaware that they were building an airport there, infact their own little tourism website states Chennai to be the closest airport. But as per Wikipedia, there has been an airport in the making here. As per the…

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Kingfisher is no more, officially!

There was a lot of discussion going on about reviving Kingfisher Airlines in the past months, after the airline stopped operations in October 2012. Over the past few weeks and months, it made noises that it was serious about getting back in the aviation game, and was going to pay its employees as well before it could get started again. Employees were given some bit of their salaries, 3 months of the 7 months outstanding before they returned to work. Eventually, the Indian regulator got into the act and ‘suspended’ Kingfisher’s airline operation license. They also refused to approve the winter schedule of the airline. Vijay Mallya has been trying to offload his stake in the airline to another investor,…

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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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