Giveaway: United Club Passes

A year ago, Hyatt launched new Diamond membership benefits, which included two United Club Passes. Since I already have lounge access at most places I am at, I’m here to seek your help in finding them a good home!

I just need to hear from you what is the best travel tip you can offer? If you have more than one, please do come by again and post the tips separately.

I’m keeping the entries open till May 15, 2016, and the winner will get both the club passes. You could be located anywhere in the world, and I’ll pass you on the club passes via standard mail. The passes are valid till August 2016.

Look forward to hearing from you. And stay tuned for more such Giveaways coming your way!

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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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  1. Always take a portable usb charger, you never know when you might need a power pick me up for your device on the go.

  2. Always keep your Hotel Card handy.
    Reason being, you might be staying in places whose name might not be in your language of preference and the local language might be tough to pronounce and you many not remember the address also.
    So while out, you can show your Hotel Card to cab drivers and they will be able to get you to your Hotel easily.

  3. Whenever travelling to major cities, research on the public transport- always buy a one/three day public pass for cheap access for going from one place to the other. If you are an employer, use your credit card for as many company related transactions as possible. You get a breathing space to pay back, plus you earn points. I highly recommend using smartpay feature if you are using HDFC credit card for LIC and other bill payments. LIC payments are one of best ways of accumulating free miles. For Employees, use your card for all sorts of shopping and miscellaneous errands. I feel employees can also claim miles and points by using their credit cards for company expenses and it is best for booking flight tickets for work purposes. Apart from miles collection, I personally feel one should always have time for themselves and travel alone. The reason being- when in a group, you are more inward within your comfort zone looking outside at new city. All activities are group centric. All your interactions and experiences are limited to the familiar people you have known. When alone, you are all by yourself. You will talk to people around, have the flexibility to stay at any place for any time and most important : Its awesome to be a spectator to foreign culture and looking at it as close as you want to. Truly humbling experience..

  4. never be afraid to ask to have extraneous fees waived. it can’t hurt to kindly ask. and oftentimes it can help keep the pennies in your pocket. this applies to baggage, change fees, seat upgrades, etc. just be nice. and often it is reflected.

  5. If you have the time, and if you aren’t carrying a huge bag, take the stairs instead of the escalator at the airport. The hours of sedentary life that comes with frequent flying can take its toll on your body, but there’s a lot that you can do to take your health into your own hands.

  6. The second best thing I can suggest is to check out Just say where you and when you’re free. Let Google give you the best flight options to travel those unseen places in the underbelly of the world! Hail Google!

  7. I travel. And I travel alot. The best piece of advice I can offer is to get lost and for a reason. What you learn about the place, the people and the culture in those not-so-touristy alleys is phenomenal. And that’s the learning that makes you a life-long nomad. On a lighter note, don’t lose you phone, camera or wallet – for those also make for a pretty mean learning. 🙂

  8. Enjoy local food, Try couch surfing saves money also gives one an opportunity to know different cultures also saves you a lot on your hotel stay :)..

    Never forget you medical insurance and always use local banks to encash your traveller cheques it saves you a lot on conversion as conversion @ Airport is never a good deal..!!

  9. My tip is simple — have fun! Since joining these blogs and taking advantage of all the great tips, I’m having the time of my life. I’ve booked four personal trips from now until October because of the awesome deals. On each, I’m exploring cities I’ve never been to such as Minneapolis, Branson, Missouri and Nashville. It’s such a joy, so I say this with a smile on my face — have fun doing this because I am.

  10. Use airport lounges as a relaxing place to get some work done before your flight. Better bathrooms too!

  11. Download Lonely Planet or mTrips to your phone. Free or Low Cost travel guides that include offline maps

  12. Have photocopies of passports when traveling internationally to expedite replacements if lost

  13. Just send all ur e tickets be it train, bus or plane to your Gmail id and the google calender will start showing those in your phone as notifcations prompting you not to forget or miss your flights, specially when you have multiple trips in the week.

  14. Luggage, the right carry on bag can make the trip smooth, while on the other hand being stuck with a wrong bag can make it cumbersome. A carry on luggage needs to be light, sturdy and a soft top. Don’t go for the four wheelers as they eat up internal space and wheel’s break or jam after a while. Get a two wheeler with large rubber wheels like an ‘eagle creek’, they last a lifetime.

  15. Print a copy of your itinerary and put it in your bag: if it gets lost, it could turn out useful! 🙂

  16. Look up the best restaurants for the terminal you’re going to be in before getting to the airport, and decide where you want to eat. Once you get through security, go straight to that restaurant. This has helped me as a vegetarian since oftentimes the best places to eat are a bit hidden and not located in the first bank of restaurants after security.

  17. Bring a sense of humor and patience wherever you go. Hiccups/delays/logistical problems can and will occur…your best bet for not having things ruin your travels is keeping a good perspective on it all. Maybe things don’t go your way all the time…but at least you have the privilege to travel and experience the world away from home.

  18. Electronic boarding passes, confirmations, and receipts are great, but always print out a backup paper copy to keep in your carryon, just in case.

  19. Be nice to people, even if they are not being nice to you – a little courtesy goes a long way, and can keep negative situations from getting worse.

  20. If you are delayed, miss a connection, or anything goes wrong, be patient – you are going to get where you are going eventually!

  21. I always bring a copy of all the phone numbers and last 4’s of the cards I bring with me. Just in case my wallet is lost or stolen, I have fast access to the numbers I need to call to cancel my cards.

  22. I’m flying united in next week! My best tip is bring little promotional freebies you get at conferences and store them in your bag. When there’s a cranky crying baby or toddler on the plane, kindly offer it to the mother to give to the kid. Kids love anything new and different. I’ve given away stress balls and little cell phone doodads. Mothers are so grateful! The whole plane will thank you. I’ve had times where I vowed to never have kids because of the incessant screaming. But this has helped everyone out.

  23. Keep your phone charged – you never know when irregular opps will happen and have to make alternate plans

  24. Have some sense of “value” about facets of your trip. For instance, TSA PreCheck is $85 for 5 years. How much is your time worth in the regular security line vs. PreCheck? Same goes for “buying” things like status at hotels (e.g. HH Amex surpass, Amex Plat., et al.), or benefits (4th night free with Citi Prestige). For that fee ($75-450 / year), you get perks (for instance, free breakfast). How much value do you get out of that convenience and not having to pay? Do you often travel with a guest? When you break it down, sometimes it comes out worthwhile to pony up, and other times….not so much.

  25. Use a card without foreign transaction fees when abroad. Sounds simple but I am shocked how many of my friends/family just put up with the 3% fees when traveling in another country and never get a card without foreign exchange fees.

    • Getting a credit card without a foreign mark up fees is true in countries like the US. It isn’t possible on India. No credit card in India goes below 2% mark up fees.

  26. Download offline maps. Carry an empty bottle through security which you can fill up later. Don’t eat at airport restaurants, use your MasterCard/Priority pass for lounge access. Always book hotels in hotel currency. Wear a belt without a metal buckle to get past security faster. Buy local SIM. Packing cubes.

  27. I’m not a real frequent traveler, but my tip is, whenever possible, use those airline lounges you have access to. In my case, that would be UAL. They are my stress relief at Newark EWR from the crazed masses on long layovers….. and they are always LONG layovers. I can relax, have a few cups of coffee, some light snacks…. and I’m good to go.

  28. Use Seatguru to select your seats (although I do wish Seatmaestro and Seatexpert were more comprehensive).

  29. Do your research! A few hours’ time spent in advance to understand public transportation, etc. in a new city can save money, time and aggravation.

  30. Just a quick travel tip you already know, take a credit card without foreign transaction fees! Lol

  31. oops i guess it didn’t post. try again
    Travel light, I mean real light. Preferably a carry on only.

  32. Best travel tip: Bose QC 25. A little expensive, but one flight with a crying baby and you’ll be glad to pay double.

  33. My travel tip – plan for contingencies ( tickets, cars, hotels, atm cards, the list continues ) and keep an open and calm mind when sh*t happens. It’s not that bad once you look at alternatives.

  34. I’d say valuing your time when on vacation as well. If you lose hours on a wayward SuperShuttle, it’s just not worth it.

  35. Read livefromalounge and boardingarea everyday without fail 🙂
    I’m not in for vouchers though!

  36. Never underestimate the perks of loyalty. So next time you pick an itinerary, make sure you pick the one with loyalty than the one offering low far, if the fares are not far apart

  37. Thanks AJ for this. Best travel tip I can share is to travel as you like. I mean best way to explore a place or enjoy a trip is to keep an open itinerary or a flexible itinerary and to then connect with local people or agencies to have the best out of your trip. It gives you a best chance to learn and enjoy the place more efficiently and effectively.

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