Flying Returns

Tag Archives for Flying Returns.

Tonnes of changes coming to Air India Flying Returns

One of the best and worst frequent flyer programs in India at the same time is Air India’s Flying Returns. Why bad? Because it is a pretty miserly program I would say again and again. Why good? Because they’ve got a credit card on the market which makes it easy to earn their miles and status, and they are a member of Star Alliance, so their status comes handy across the globe. Having said that, I received a new membership kit yesterday, which had a Golden Edge membership card valid till April 2015 (my status matched membership expired in March 2015 actually). As per the postmarks, the kit was dispatched in April 2015, and I am already an Air India…

Continue Reading »

Booking Star Alliance tickets with AI Flying Returns: it’s buggy & complicated

Ever since Air India joined Star Alliance, the interest in being able to redeem Air India Flying Returns miles for Star Alliance tickets has been well known, but somehow, it has been so complicated that no one has bothered to figure it out. Even in the award reservation service I am offering in beta right now, there has not been much interest in using AI miles for Star Alliance tickets. One part of the reason is that the award chart is inflated, and the other is the myth that only Air India elites can access the Star Alliance inventory. Reader Deovrat tried to crack the code, and went about making a dummy reservation. He used a request to redeem for…

Continue Reading »

PremierMiles Transfer: Air India Flying Returns

PremierMiles Devaluation w.e.f. February 1, 2015 PremierMiles to Etihad Guest conversion Since the devaluation of PremierMiles was announced last week, I am trying to post on all the options available for all of us to transfer into various frequent flyer programs, our hard earned PremierMiles. Yesterday, I wrote a post on Etihad Guest, and today, it is time for Air India’s Flying Returns program. I’ve covered bits and pieces of the Air India Flying Returns program over the times. Air India joined Star Alliance last year, so your miles on AI can now be used for redemptions on Star Alliance member carriers as well. On a whole, I find Air India’s program to be an expensive program, in comparison to…

Continue Reading »

Air India status upgrades via SBI Card are back

A few days ago, I reported that the promised tier upgrades and status matches for Air India, which are available via their co-branded card with SBI were not going through. There was either a technology problem, or there was a snap of relationships between both parties. We don’t know. However, I’ve been hearing since yesterday days, that people have started to get their upgrade confirmations via email, for status earned via spend on Air India. This looks like it is sorted now. However, for me personally, something seems to be off, as my account is locked out. Which definitely points towards a technology upgrade of some sorts that may have happened at the back end. For those of you who…

Continue Reading »

Air India’s Frequent Flyer program not known to AI

Sigh, I’ve just wasted a whole productive hour of my life this afternoon, and I need to vent it out. So, bear with me for a bit. Domestic Flight Cancellation Charges One of the advantages of the Flying Returns program is that at elite tiers, such as Gold and Maharajah Tiers, you get almost free domestic ticket cancellation/rebooking, as compared to the INR 1600-1900 which is the going price these days amongst Indian airlines. They charge you a modest INR 200, which also allows people like me to take a bet on fares long out and lock in some tickets subject to our schedules. Here is a snapshot of the benefits for Air India Gold Club: Now, the trouble seems…

Continue Reading »

Air India offering double miles on the Delhi–Moscow flight

I recently wrote about the launch of Air India’s flight between Delhi and Moscow, which started operations from yesterday, on their Boeing 787 planes. Now, Air India is offering a double miles promotion on their frequent flyer program Flying Returns for those who choose to fly between India and Russia, for flying with them between July 18, 2014 to September 30, 2014. If you will be connecting from anywhere in India, you won’t get double miles for your intra-India flight, but on your India-Russia or vice versa route you should clock double miles. AI has not updated the mileage calculator on their website yet, but Delhi-Moscow should earn 2679 miles one way (base). Remember, Air India does not guarantee 100%…

Continue Reading »

Do you need to be an Air India Elite to get access to Star Alliance rewards?

Last week, I put out my first thoughts on the Air India Flying Returns’ program, after they joined in the Star Alliance. One of my first observations was that it is more expensive to burn on Star Alliance partners than to burn on Air India’s own metal for international travel. In the comments section, reader Krishnakumar makes a note: Just spoke to Flying Returns agent over the phone. He says that since I am Base Member of flying returns, I cannot redeem AI miles on Star alliance. You need to be Silver , gold or Maharaja member ! To which I was very surprised. However, today he came back reconfirming this statement: Dear AJ, I reconfirmed. FR told me that…

Continue Reading »

First look at Air India Star Alliance award chart

Air India has joined the Star Alliance today, culminating a seven-year long effort to get inside the world’s largest club of airlines. One of the things that also changes then, is the Flying Returns program, which will now offer earn and burn opportunities across the Star Alliance network of airlines. I had indicated earlier in this post about how will Air India elite members be mapped to Star Alliance tiers, and how will they be able to receive benefits today onwards. However, the new earning chart for Star Alliance carriers has just been released a while ago. Earning on Air India for Star Alliance member flights: While you can have a detailed look at the PDF, here are the broad…

Continue Reading »

Air India confirms benefits for elite members on joining Star Alliance

Air India has been working to get ready for the Star Alliance, and one of the common question I have been asked over the past few days was about the benefits that members will be able to get as Star Alliance elites. I had made a post last week about my expectation on what will be the benefits for AI flyers on joining the Star Alliance. One of the remarks was on the expected outcome of status equalisation with Star Alliance tiers. Here was what I wrote: Air India elites will now be Star Alliance Elites: Air India has 4 membership levels: Base, Silver, Gold and Platinum called Member, Silver Edge, Golden Edge and Maharajah Club. You cannot earn elite…

Continue Reading »