India

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Flight AI 682: Cochin – Mumbai, Air India, Economy

Mumbai Airport Terminal 2 Clipper Lounge, Mumbai Terminal 2 Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, Kochi Airport Clipper Lounge Cochin If I haven’t mentioned this before, the Cochin Airport is made to look more like arriving at a red-brick palace than arriving at an airport. Here is what it looked from outside. We spent a brief moment pre-security at the dead Clipper Lounge, and then proceeded to clear security check, where I realised my palatial analogy was going to fit even better. This airport missed anything that was modern, and was full of wooden chairs (more like side pieces from couches) from another generation. My first time there and I sure was surprised. The wait was prolonged, because like it always happens,…

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Review: Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, Kochi Airport

Mumbai Airport Terminal 2 Clipper Lounge, Mumbai Terminal 2 Clipper Lounge Cochin Air India 682, Cochin – Mumbai, Economy My flight from Mumbai to Cochin was uneventful, and on a very very old Air India plane, still painted in Indian Airlines livery. I did not want to write a separate review for both legs so I will cover it later on my return leg. Once I arrived at Cochin Airport, I spotted a shuttle car from the hotel to bring us over to the hotel. The hotel is less than a kilometre away from the airport, and complimentary shuttle service is provided. The decision to stay at the Courtyard by Marriott, closer to the airport and outside of town by…

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Clipper Lounge, Mumbai Terminal 2

Mumbai Airport Terminal 2 Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, Kochi Airport Clipper Lounge Cochin Air India 682, Cochin – Mumbai, Economy Like I mentioned last week, I’d taken a short getaway out of town last week, and I booked a trip out on Air India, partly to check out the new Terminal 2 at Mumbai Airport, which has been built recently. Air India is the only airline which offers domestic segments out of the international section of the airport as well, so, I thought of them. My first thoughts about the Terminal 2, Mumbai Airport are here, while here are some pictures of the airport lounge which is being used by the airlines. Apart from the airline lounges, there is also…

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Review: Vivanta by Taj – Holiday Village, Goa

A couple of months back, I found myself on the plane to have a working weekend in Goa, and the destination turned out to be the Vivanta by Taj Holiday Village, which is one of the three Taj Hotel properties in Goa, and perhaps one of the best ones out there. My flight into Goa was a little late, which meant I was going to be using the shuttle service from the hotel rather than car that we had on disposal. The hotel is a good one hour ride away from Goa’s airport, in the north end of Goa, so I was looking forward to getting moving quickly and join the rest of my colleagues who were already at the…

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India to grant visa on arrivals to everyone

One of the biggest gripe I have heard about people wanting to visit India is the visa process, which has no end to it. Visa processes are usually agreed on a reciprocal basis, however, India just tossed that rule out of the window and is going to make sweeping changes to the way it processes visitor visas. In a decision taken by the Government of India, which will hopefully be implemented by October (the official timeline), India will eliminate the need for a visa altogether, and move to an electronic travel authorisation scheme, where people would log in and apply for a visa online and pay for it. On arrival in India, a biometric collection will be done (fingerprints), and…

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Review: Hotel Intercontinental Marine Drive, Mumbai

Last weekend was an overwhelming one, mostly for reasons that a strenuous travel schedule for this year was coming to an end, and it was the birthday of my partner and I’d decided to surprise her. I was just off a 9-hour flight less than 12 hours ago, and while I don’t get jetlagged, I was running on 2 hours of sleep. So, I thought checking into a hotel was going to be a better bet than staying home or going out, also to give vent to some of my own intentions, that I never get to stay in a hotel in Mumbai! Coming to the hotel, I missed the mark with catching the 7-day out rate, and got inside…

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Hyatt Hotels offering 30% off on weekend stays & dining at all Indian properties

Hyatt is celebrating 30 years of presence in India, and on this occasion, they are offering 30% off on daily rates across their Indian properties for reservations made by 14th December 2013, and stays made by 15th December 2013. To avail of this offer, you need to be a member of the Hyatt Gold Passport program, and inserting coupon code GPWK30. The promotional code is valid for arrivals on Friday & Saturday and departure on Sunday, for standard room accommodation, except for Goa properties (Park Hyatt Goa & Grand Hyatt Goa) where the discount is only valid for suites. I looked up a few properties to compare this promotional rate with the regular rate, and the difference was apparent. So,…

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Review: Pause Lounge, Bangalore Airport (Domestic)

One of my many gripes with Bangalore’s Airport in Devanahalli, apart from the distance, has been the lack of a lounge for the longest time for Jet Airways elites. Hey, they used to give you food coupons to eat in the Food Court, not appreciating that the lounge was not about the food but about the environment. This got fixed last year when Kingfisher evacuated from Bangalore Airport, and this place was made the Pause Lounge, accessible via select credit cards and for 9W elites & Business class travellers. I haven’t been able to sample this lounge for my few trips to Bangalore all this year, so this was my first time when I actually built in time into my…

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Review: Doubletree by Hilton, Goa (Arpora)

For the recently gone Independence Day long weekend, I decided that it would be a nice idea to go back to Goa during the rains. Usually, my preference is to go to South Goa and the Park Hyatt is one of my favourite resorts there. However, this time the brother and I decided to head to North Goa, since I found out that the Hilton now had a property there. This Hilton was actually an independent property, which was reflagged as the Doubletree only in 2012. Too bad, my brother could not make it at the last minute due to other commitments, however I decided to proceed with the trip regardless. After arriving on an uneventful flight from Mumbai, I…

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A new Indian Aviation regulator and a new fee for you

Last week was full of news articles about how a new Aviation regulator is coming up for India. The currently existing Directorate General for Civil Aviation (DGCA) will soon be replaced with a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which will be an autonomous regulator for Indian civil aviation, unlike DGCA which is under the Ministry of Civil Aviation in India. Business Standard published a very good news report on the proposed structure of the new aviation regulator, and how it needs to be self sufficient. Unlike the DGCA, CAA will need to earn its own bread and butter. Here is how it proposes to do that: CAA will primarily get revenues from three sources: First, the Airports Authority of India will…

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Going RTW: Flight EY205 (BOM-AUH), Etihad, Pearl Business

Introduction & Trip Index <Celebrations Lounge, Mumbai T2                     Etihad F Lounge, Abu Dhabi T3> Boarding was pretty disorganised, and I’d begin to think this was a Mumbai Airport feature but there are airlines such as Etihad, and back in the day, Kingfisher which would enforce boarding sequence pretty well. So, the incoming flight was delayed, however, instead of going back into the lounge, I just waited in the boarding area. This was my first time being at Gate 1B, so I wasn’t in the know of what I was getting into later. Boarding started about 20 minutes later, and business class was called first, being the highest cabin on this A320.…

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